Drivers can look smart

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 June, 2012, 12:00am


The tiny smart fortwo is well-suited to Hong Kong.

Economic and stylish, the 999cc two-seaters consume 4.2 litres per 100km, and both the 61-horsepower (from HK$104,000) and 71hp versions (from H$131,150) can earn a discount on first-registration tax here as government-designated Environment-friendly Petrol Private Cars.

Some people buy smart fortwos because they commute alone and see no point in paying extra money to drive cars with two or three empty seats.

Others like the way the seats are positioned higher for safety, and afford an excellent all-round view of the road, particularly when reversing.

The 2.695-metre fortwo is one of the easiest cars to park in town.

Some couples buy two smarts and park them, often laterally, on a single space at weekends.

The 2012 'facelift' versions of the car have just arrived in Hong Kong, with a 'bolder' exterior and a fresh leather-fabric mix in the interior', dealer Zung Fu says.

The revamped smart fortwo has a larger radiator grille with integrated logo, new front aprons, horizontally arranged LED daytime driving lights and wider skirts.

There is a choice of three new alloy wheels and seven colour options with the introduction of the new matte anthracite shade. Also introduced is a new crystal grey interior option, with leather and fabric seats, 'an imitation leather/fabric mix for the door trims and black imitation leather for the instrument panel in combination with a grey knee pad', the Daimler-owned marque says.

The smart fortwo has enough power to take two large adults up The Peak, and can challenge Hong Kong's speed limits with sprints to 100km/h in 13.7 seconds and a top speed of 145km/h.

The five-speed semi-automatic gearbox is best in manual mode, and weekend drives in the open-top cabrio version (HK$181,500) can be fun.

The car earned a four-star safety rating five years ago in Europe's New Car Assessment Programme crash tests in 2007, thanks to a Tridion reinforced steel safety cell around the passenger compartment, and wheels that can act as shock absorbers in collisions.

A faster Brabus Xclusive coupe (HK$222,500) and cabrio (HK$248,000) promise 100km/h in 8.9 seconds and a top speed of 155km/h.