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2009 Smart Fortwo Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2009 Smart Fortwo was new.


Interior: 8.2

The 2009 Fortwo's cabin proves big things can come in small packages. In the context of its size, the car's space for people and things is surprisingly spacious. In addition, the instruments are decked out in nice, unconventional materials. 

  • "Its design is deceptive: It looks like passengers should be horribly cramped, yet they aren't." -- Seattle Times
  • "The interior is light and airy and big enough to provide room for someone who's six-five. There are normal-car attributes like climate control and a nice stereo and power locks and windows. It's only when you glance over your shoulder and realize that the car ends right . . . about . . . there . . . that you're reminded that you might want to apply motorcycle tactics to your driving technique." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "I am 6 ft tall and didn't quite know what to expect. Well, I needn't have worried. The seats proved to be very comfortable indeed. The driving position was fine, as were the instruments." -- The Auto Channel
  • "The materials rarely feel cheap...and build quality is respectable." -- Cars.com


It might seem as though a car built for two offers little comfort for its passengers, but looks are deceiving. The 2009 Fortwo may be no larger than a golf-cart, but its two passengers will be plenty comfortable in the car's supportive seats.

  • "The fortwo may be tiny, but its cabin is impressively roomy. You sit high, with ample head and leg room, allowing even our tallest staff members easy entry and exit." -- Motor Week
  • "Inside the cabin, the Fortwo is not just roomy but positively spacious. The high roof offers lots of headroom and the transparent roof (in the upfitted 'Passion' edition) lends the car an unexpected airiness." -- Los Angeles Times
  • "Dimensionally, the Smart's passenger compartment compares well to the front seat area of larger subcompacts such as the Mini and the Honda Fit. Its 39.7 inches of headroom offers almost an inch more clearance than a Mini and an inch less than the Fit. Its 41.2 inches of legroom compares to 41.4 inches in the Mini and 41.9 inches in the Fit." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

Most auto writers like the Smart Fortwo's cabin features and design, especially the orange cloth seating. Potential buyers should note that the Pure model comes with air conditioning and power windows but little else. The Passion Coupe has a CD player along with electric heated side mirrors, and the top of the line Cabriolet offers a six-disc changer and mp3 compatibility.

  • "The dash is made of reasonably well assembled plastic, some of which is dressed in cloth that matches the seat upholstery." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "The interior is simple but attractive, with a number of monochromatic and two-tone options available. The Passion's trim level's cloth upholstery is available in several vivid colors with whimsical patterns that breathe some life into the well-designed cabin." -- Edmunds
  • "Gauges easy to see; speedometer is unobstructed, and optional tachometer and clock gauges are situated above dash in free-standing pods." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The instrument panel is direct and pleasantly quirky." -- Motor Week


The Fortwo has 7.8 cubic feet of available cargo space up to the beltline and 12 cubic feet if cargo is stacked to the roof. Those dimensions are lower than most compacts, but reviewers are still pleased with what you can do with that space, especially for such a small car.

  • "At first look, the Smart seems too small to be practical. It's not. Rather, it is a marvel of packaging efficiency." -- Edmunds
  • "The trunk will swallow at least four airline carryons." -- Motor Trend
  • "I was amazed at how much stuff I could stuff into the Fortwo's 12 cubic foot cargo bay." -- About.com
  • "Tiny glovebox offers barely enough space for an owner's manual." -- Consumer Guide

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