YouTube hosts a clip of an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash test of the Mercedes-backed smart fortwo. smart has been selling cars across the world for years, but the USA is only recently finding fortwos on the interstates.
The IIHS hasn't released their ratings of the smart fortwo, however. It'd be more than too early to make our own judgements, as well. IIHS frontal offset crashes take place with 40% of the width of the vehicle hitting a barrier at 40mph. These tests are followed by an awful lot of in-depth reseach of the crashed vehicles.
A look at the IIHS page responsible for informing us all regarding this test reveals a number of things. Firstly, "Test results can be compared only among vehicles of similar weight." Next, the categories the IIHS looks at - "structural performance, injury measures, and restraints/dummy kinematics — determine each vehicle's overall frontal offset crashworthiness evaluation" - make very clear that there's more to establish than quantifying scratches on the paint.
Thirdly, "Manufacturers supply information...." and "...Institute engineers review this information and rate vehicles based on the same evaluation parameters used for the Institute's frontal offset test." Did'ja know that? "To ensure manufacturers' good faith participation, the Institute is conducting audit tests." Finally the mission: "The Institute's test primarily assesses how well a vehicle's front-end crush zone absorbs energy during a crash and, in turn, how well the occupant compartment, or safety cage, holds together."
For now, just watch how the little city car holds up.