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2013 Smart Electric Drive: 4 Stars Overall For Crash Safety From NHTSA

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The 2013 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive is the latest electric vehicle to have undergone the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's crash test procedures.

Following frontal crash, side impact, and side pole impact tests, the Electric Drive was awarded four from a possible five stars overall.

Individually, the electric smart was rated best for side impact protection, scoring a full five stars. It received four stars for front impact and rollover tests, and three stars in the pole side impact test.

Driver and passenger front, side and knee airbags are standard in the Fortwo, contributing to its decent NHTSA test scoring.

In lane-change maneuver testing, the Electric Drive was also rated at a relatively low 15.5 percent risk of rollover, barely a percent more than a 2013 Ford Fiesta. That's down to the car's highly proactive stability control system that prevents the car from tipping even in severe cornering. The car scored four stars in the test.

The results only apply to the Electric Drive coupe model, and not the convertible we recently tested, nor either of the regular gasoline-powered Smarts. However, the ED does score an extra star in rollover testing compared to previous tests for the Fortwo.

The Smart Fortwo's safety is often the subject of much debate given its diminutive size.

While a strong safety cell makes up most of the car's silhouette and protects occupants well, minimal crumple zones mean less impact energy can be dissipated than in a larger vehicle, potentially increasing the risk of injury from quicker deceleration.

Test results show that, for its size, the Fortwo remains a relatively safe vehicle--and its electric drivetrain has no negative impact upon the car's structure. You can see videos of the three impact tests above and below:

[Hat tip: Allen T]

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