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The Smart ForTwo is a micro car, sometimes known as a city car, which seats two. Owned by Daimler, the Smart is distributed in the U.S. by Mercedes-Benz.
For 2013, there are cosmetic changes inside and out, along with a special edition model, the SharpRed. Smart offers two trim levels: Pure and Passion, the latter of which can be had with a convertible top. There’s also a sport package bearing the name of Mercedes-Benz tuner Brabus.
Exterior styling received several changes, including new larger grille, changes to the fog lights, lower front valance, and rear valance. Standard exterior features include 15-inch wheels, contrasting colors on the framework surrounding the passenger compartment, and the convertible sports a power top. For the SharpRed, Smart combines red and black interior and exterior accents.
Part of what makes the Smart such a compact vehicle is its diminutive engine and transmission. A 70-horsepower, 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine with 68 pounds-feet of torque and mated to a five-speed auto/manual transmission that powers the ForTwo’s front wheels. Top speed is limited to 90 mph. With its small size the makers left power steering as an option. Fuel economy for coupe and convertible models comes in at 34 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.
Inside the ForTwo are standard features including electronic instrumentation, outside temperature display, and low tire pressure warning. Most of the comfort convenience features are either optional or limited to availability on the Passion trim level. CD stereo, power windows, power mirrors, panoramic roof, automatic air conditioning and heated leather seats are among the options. New for 2013 is a leather package that upholsters the seats in leather and fabric.
Standard safety features include stability and traction control, antilock brakes with emergency braking assist, safety belt load limiters with pre-tensioners, and integrated rollover protection. The unit body features high-strength steel and is designed to dissipate crash energy. Coupe models include eight airbags: front, side-impact, side-curtain and knee units. Convertible models come with six airbags, dropping the side-curtains.
Zero percent financing, employee discount, cash back, out-the-door price tags...
Most dealers work hard to offer the public competitive prices. These incentives can grab your attention, but they can also obscure the actual terms you're getting on your purchase.
How can you fully understand incentives to get the lowest possible price on your car?
Most state franchise laws prohibit manufacturers from selling cars directly to the public, so the dealer will be your middleman. But in terms of financing and insurance, you can choose a bank or the dealer directly.
How can you determine what's in your best interest?
Destination charges, taxes, license and title fees, advertising fees... When going to a dealership, you must ask for an explanation of any fee you don't understand. But you need to choose your battles wisely. Your local car dealer may have taken a loss or slim profit along the way, and your fighting over something like a doc fee when the deal is nearly wrapped up may be counterproductive.
In any case, there are many fees and charges in the sale process: some inevitable, others questionable.
How do you tell them apart?
If you currently own a car, it probably represents profit. The question is, whose profit will it be?
With few exceptions, you'll get the most money for your used car by selling it privately. That's because dealers pay wholesale prices — not retail prices — for used cars, and they sell them at retail.
Your current car's value can be used to lower the price on your new car. However, most people underestimate their used car's value when going to a dealership.
How can you maximize your value?
The car manufacturer holds back a fraction of the price of all vehicles the dealership sells. Then, it returns the money to the dealership, usually on a quarterly basis.
Dealer holdback began its life as a safety net that ensured the manufacturers would have a security deposit of sorts if a dealership missed payments, and the dealerships would have money on hand to cover overhead costs when the holdback was returned.
How can you take advantage of dealer holdbacks to get the bottom line price?
Unlike consumer incentives, dealer incentives are factory-to-dealer incentives that reduce the dealer's true cost to buy the vehicle from the factory to below invoice.
Manufacturers offer these incentives on a regional basis to generate sales on specific models. These incentives are sometimes referred to as "spiffs," and they can touch off competition among dealers to move slower-selling stock.
For instance, a dealer incentive may kick in when a certain sales target is reached, with each subsequent sale resulting in a higher factory-to-dealer rebate.
How can you benefit from that?
We use your ZIP code to find accredited dealers in your area who will quote you their best internet price.