So let’s talk about the 2016 Smart ForTwo. This is an inline 3 cylinder engine with a .9 L displacement. It does have a turbocharger which outputs 89 hp and 100 ft-lbs of torque. The curb weight is right around 2,000 lbs. A fun fact most people won’t be able to tell it is a rear wheel drive, mid engine car. Now Mercedes is the owner of the brand Smart; similar to how BMW owns Mini. However, Mini has a certain reputation which I do not believe has been bestowed upon Smart. The Smart ForTwo retails right around $15,000 which in my opinion is quite a lot for the size of the vehicle and the materials and overall build quality.
Let’s start with the exterior, the car looks like you shrunk a car in photoshop and got this… thing… a car large enough for two average sized adults with room for one carry on bag, maybe two backpacks or one cooler. I doubt a golf bag could fit in this car with two people in it. Everything to me just looks like it was cut off. The hood and the trunk both look like someone just took a saw to the car and left what was there. It really doesn’t look horrible for a small car, but it definitely isn’t the best designed car out there. I would probably give it around a 5 or 6 if I had to rate it out of 10. I actually do like the headlights and tail lights, the body work just doesn’t look really appealing and the multi-colors are just weird. The test car was a hazel brown metallic and with the black accents it doesn’t look bad. The car comes with 15 inch rims which are multi-colored with aluminum and black which look good. Overall, I’m a huge fan over the last model compared to this newer model. Doesn’t really mean much since the last model looked horrendous.
Moving onto the interior of the car. The overall space is just okay it allowed my fiance and I to sit without bumping arms and it fit our two backpacks in the hatch. So cargo room is terrible, it’s not really meant for that, but you can fold down the passenger seat and fit some more items this way. The Smart ForTwo really seems like it’s aiming at customers who want the bare minimum when it comes to space for an okay price. In my opinion I’d rather go for a Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Nissan Versa (Note), Sentra or any other small compact car in the segment. My reasoning is simple you can get more room, comfort, build quality and standard technology with those cars. Yeah you may not be able to fit two of those other cars in one parking space, but look at the money. All of those base cars start right around if not less than the Smart ForTwo! Build quality is subpar, I’m not expecting Mercedes quality, but this is right on par with the cheapest cars sold today maybe with the exception of the Mitsubishi Mirage… Interior you get sunglasses holders for both the driver and passenger, fairly comfortable seats, hard plastics nearly everywhere, a decent feeling steering wheel and a simple infotainment layout. Everything is a button so easily navigable and no questions around what does what.
Performance should really not be a category for this car, but here we go. 89 hp and 100 ft-lbs of torque… only 2,000 lbs… is it fun… yes, is it good… no. The dual clutch automatic gearbox defaults to ECO mode and only has one other mode SPORT. Kind of odd to me, but I suppose it makes sense. This only has to do with the throttle mapping which is definitely different from one setting to the other. There is also a manual mode which I found switched gears decently well, but not industry leading. It’s a fun torquey little car it gets upset over large bumps, but most cars this price do. It has front, ventilated brakes and rear drum brakes. Stopping power isn’t bad, but when you have two people in the car acceleration and braking aren’t good. The funny thing is when we mention fuel economy in which case you would assume it’s ASTONISHING NOOO AMAZING… NOOOO UNBELIEVABLE well it’s pretty good for the class. 35 mpg city and 40 mpg highway… however you can receive very comparable fuel economy with not using premium gas… let’s see Honda Fit 29/36, Hyundai Elantra 32/40, Kia Rio 28/37, Chevy Spark 29/38, Ford Fiesta 27/35, Toyota Yaris iA 32/40 and Nissan VERSA NOTE 31/39. So with all those cars you have more cargo room, more power and features. Why would someone get this car…? Simple, 22.8 feet turning circle… I think the only other vehicle that can make a similar turning radius is a motorcycle which takes 30 seconds longer. Other than that I really have no idea why one would own this car. Maybe to be different is a good option.