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Compare any two cars and get our Virtual Adviser™ opinion

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

compare selected cars
2001. - 2004.
A - Micro car
hatchback, 3 door
front
Badges
Production
Vehicle class
Body style
Wheel drive
Safety
2002. - 2004.
A - Micro car
hatchback, 3 door
rear

Dimensons & Outlines

3551 mm
1639 mm
1460 mm
130 liters
790 liters
35 liters
Length
Width
Height
Boot (min)
Boot (max)
Fuel tank
2500 mm
1515 mm
1549 mm
150 liters
479 liters
22 liters
2001 Seat Arosa
2002 Smart City-Coupe

Engine

Volkswagen
1.7 SDI AHB
Diesel
4 - Inline, 2 valves per cylinder
Nat. Asp.
1716 cc
60 hp
115 Nm
Engine
Fuel
Configuration
Aspiration
Displacement
Power
Torque
Diesel
3 - Inline, 2 valves per cylinder
Turbo
799 cc
41 hp
100 Nm

Performance (manual gearbox)

manual gearbox - 5 gears
955 kg
16.6 s
157 km/h
5.9 l/100km
3.6 l/100km
4.4 l/100km
119 g/km
Gearbox type
Vehicle weight
Acc. 0-100
Top speed
Cons. (urban)
Cons. (highway)
Cons. (average)
CO2 emissions
manual gearbox - 6 gears
730 kg
19.8 s
135 km/h
3.9 l/100km
3.1 l/100km
3.4 l/100km
90 g/km

Performance (automatic gearbox)

 
kg
s
km/h
l/100km
l/100km
l/100km
g/km
Gearbox type
Vehicle weight
Acc. 0-100
Top speed
Cons. (urban)
Cons. (highway)
Cons. (average)
CO2 emissions
automatic - 6 gears
730 kg
19.8 s
135 km/h
3.9 l/100km
3.1 l/100km
3.4 l/100km
90 g/km

Expenses

1600 EUR
Price from
1500 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 diesel 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 41hp 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. Moving further on, let's take a closer look at some additional safety-related facts. 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, if we'd like to consider vehicle mass in this context too, which we definitely should, the Spanish car offers a potentially life-saving difference of 31% more metal.

Reliability

Manufacturers have been building their reliability reputation for decades now and, generally speaking, it appears that Smart does have a slight advantage, when all the models are taken into account. That's the official data, 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. Unfortunatelly, I don't have enough insight that would allow me to comment in more details on the specific models level. That apart, owners of different cars powered by the same engine as the Spanish car rank it on average as 3.0, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 4.5 out of 5.

Performance & Fuel economy

Seat is way more agile, reaching 100km/h in 3.2 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 157 kilometers per hour, 22km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be the German car, averaging around 3.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (83 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 29% difference compared to the Spanish car.


Verdict

Smart 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 my opinion, everything taken into account, the Spanish car offers slightly better overall protection and takes the lead. It all continues in the same direction, with Seat outracing its opponent in any situation possible, making it better choice for boy racers. 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. Also, you could use the oportunity to find out which car, everything taken into account, would be the perfect choice for you in the eyes of the virtual adviser, among thousands of similar, yet so different vehicles.

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