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Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
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 Ford and rear in the case of the Smart). The first one has a Ford-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 8-valves 50hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 3-cylinder, 6-valves 50hp engine designed by Smart.Safety
A starting point here would be to take a look at the results from European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests which were performed on both of the cars, with the same number of safety stars gained in the process. 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, but that fact doesn't break the tie between the two cars. Furthermore, taking kerb weight as an important factor into account, the American car offers a considerable difference of 18% more metal.Reliability
Manufacturers have been building their reliability reputation for decades now and, generally speaking, it appears that both brands display similar results in faults and breakdowns, at least on all of the models level. These are the results of an independent reasearch, while our visitors describe reliability of Ford 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. We should definitely mention that owners of cars with the same powertrain as the American car rank it on average as 3.0 out of 5, exactly the same as the other one.Performance & Fuel economy
Ford is undoubtly more agile, reaching 100km/h in 1.2 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 147 kilometers per hour, 12km/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 20% difference compared to the American car.
Ford 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 American car offers significantly better overall protection, taking the lead here. It all continues in the same direction, with Ford 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 Ford. 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 more than 12.000 different ones in our database.