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Car #1
Make
Model
Variant
Engine
Car #2
Make
Model
Variant
Engine

compare selected cars
1997. - 2001.
A - Micro car
hatchback, 3 door
front
Badges
Production
Vehicle class
Body style
Wheel drive
Safety
1998. - 2002.
A - Micro car
hatchback, 3 door
rear

Dimensons & Outlines

3537 mm
1639 mm
1460 mm
131 liters
790 liters
35 liters
Length
Width
Height
Boot (min)
Boot (max)
Fuel tank
2500 mm
1515 mm
1529 mm
150 liters
479 liters
22 liters
1997 Seat Arosa
1998 Smart City-Coupe

Engine

Volkswagen
1.4 AZE
Petrol
4 - Inline, 2 valves per cylinder
Nat. Asp.
1397 cc
60 hp
116 Nm
Engine
Fuel
Configuration
Aspiration
Displacement
Power
Torque
Petrol
3 - Inline, 2 valves per cylinder
Turbo
599 cc
62 hp
80 Nm

Performance (manual gearbox)

manual gearbox - 5 gears
870 kg
14.1 s
160 km/h
8.5 l/100km
4.9 l/100km
6.2 l/100km
148 g/km
Gearbox type
Vehicle weight
Acc. 0-100
Top speed
Cons. (urban)
Cons. (highway)
Cons. (average)
CO2 emissions
 
kg
s
km/h
l/100km
l/100km
l/100km
g/km

Performance (automatic gearbox)

automatic - 4 gears
900 kg
16.2 s
155 km/h
10.4 l/100km
6.2 l/100km
7.6 l/100km
181 g/km
Gearbox type
Vehicle weight
Acc. 0-100
Top speed
Cons. (urban)
Cons. (highway)
Cons. (average)
CO2 emissions
automatic - 6 gears
720 kg
16.8 s
135 km/h
6.1 l/100km
4.3 l/100km
4.9 l/100km
118 g/km

Expenses

950 EUR
Price from
1200 EUR

Virtual Adviser's™ opinion

Overview

Two significantly similar cars, no doubt about that. Still, each one has something different to offer. Having both cars powered by petrol engines and utilizing the 3-door hatchback body style within the same 'Micro car' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (front for the Seat and rear in the case of the Smart). The first one has a Volkswagen-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 8-valves 60hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 3-cylinder, 6-valves 62hp engine designed by Smart.

Safety

The fact that the Smart got tested by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), while the other contender didn't, isn't really an advantage, taken the poor 3-star rating it received. That aside, let's consider some other aspects which affect safety. Both vehicles belong to the micro car segment, which is generally a misfortune safety-wise, still it doesn't help us solve our dilemma, does it? Furthermore, when it comes to weight, a factor that most people underestimate, the Spanish car offers a considerable difference of 21% more metal.

Reliability

I don't like generalizing things when it comes to reliability, although it does seem that Smart does have a slight advantage, at least on all of the models level. These are the results of an independent reasearch, while our visitors describe reliability of Seat with an average rating of 4.4, and models under the Smart badge with 3.9 out of 5. The same official information place Arosa as average reliability-wise, and City-Coupe is more or less at the same level.We should definitely mention that owners of cars with the same powertrain as the Spanish car rank it on average as 4.5, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 3.0 out of 5.

Performance & Fuel economy

Seat is undoubtly more agile, reaching 100km/h in 2.7 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 160 kilometers per hour, 25km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be the German car, averaging around 4.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (58 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 27% difference compared to the Spanish car.


Verdict

Seat appears just a bit more reliable, although the difference is truly marginal. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In this case though, it seems that both cars show similar levels of passenger protection all together, so that won't break a tie. But one thing that actually could is the performance, with Seat being considerably quicker, thus putting more smile on driver's face. It does come at a cost though, and that's the fuel consumption... It's really tough to make a final decision here, but if I'd need to, I'd say Smart. In any case that's my personal view, built upon all the data available to me. What should decide here though is the way you feel about the two vehicles, and I hope you'll find my guidelines useful in the process. In case you have two minutes to spare I invite you to define your needs, desires and budget and see which car would be chosen by the virtual adviser, out of 12.000+ vehicles we currently have in our database.

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