The Low Down
The 2016 Smart Fortwo has been completely redesigned – from more space (because that’s the first thing WE think of when we think Smart Car), more power, and all new styling. While Smart Car’s motto has always been geared for easy maneuvering for those of us who live among narrow city streets, and parking in spaces that didn’t even look like a space when you drove past it the first time – we’re now hunting for all the reasons why someone who doesn’t exist within our struggle would want one. Let’s find out!
The exciting news is, the redesigned model for 2016 does prove to be smarter the second you have a seat. The additional interior space makes a mondo difference, which is only made better by features like a specially designed app to help guide you into parking spaces.
It may look tiny on the outside, but it’s surprisingly more spacious once you hop in the driver’s seat – especially if you’ve ever sat in a Smart Car before. Plus as a bonus, due to its small size, you gain loads of visibility so you really feel like you can see everything as you’re driving. It’s got a modern design which makes it look a little bit more expensive than an otherwise affordable car would look. The cargo space obviously is everything you’d expect from driving a car that essentially resembles a refrigerator in size, so you can pack about 6 stuffed bags of groceries in the boot. The passenger seat can also be folded down in case you’re ever picking up a longer piece of IKEA furniture, but ideally when picking a Smart Car, you know what you’re in for.
The Smart Fortwo 2016 model is a super small two seater car designed for the city which is available as a coupe (promises for a convertible and all-electric models set for 2017) in FOUR trim level options:
Pure: the base model trim comes standard with 15” steel wheels with plastic covers, LED running lights, cruise control, power windows, cloth upholstery, AC, Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity, 2 speaker sound system with USB.
*Also standard is free Cross Connect app, which we delve into in the Tech section.
Passion: this swaps out for alloy wheels, black exterior trim, heated and power adjustable mirrors, contrasting interior upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, height-adjustable driver seat, additional storage compartment for the center console, and retractable cargo cover.
Prime: the Prime model adds fog lights, panoramic sunroof (yes please! This’ll help you feel less cramped!) automatic headlights/wipers, leather upholstery, heated seats, and interior ambient lighting. See how it just keeps getting better and better?
Proxy: the top of the range model adds 16” wheels, white exterior trim, lowered sport suspension, alloy pedals, shift paddles for automatic transmission, 8 speaker JBL sound system – which is a HUGE boost from the puny 2 speakers offered in the lower models.
*Additional options include: rear parking sensors, frontal collision warning system, and center armrest and phone cradle which positions smartphones in the center of the dash so you can use it as a touchscreen controller.
*Keep in mind some of the features in the higher range models come available as single-added options for the Pure and Passion models.
For those of us who sit behind the wheel for long periods of time, you may notice it’s a little bit of a slow, bumpy and less than comfortable drive (in more ways than one), with handling that isn’t as smooth as you’d experience even in other models like the Chevrolet Spark or Fiat 500. If you’re opting for an ultra-compact car, test drive a few in the market before settling on the Smart.
Standard for iOS and Android smartphones is the Cross Connect app, which is free, that controls your phone, audio, internet radio streaming, vehicle information, and nav system.
As an option, you can add a phone cradle that puts your smartphone front and center of the dash to use as a touchscreen controller.
Standard safety features on the Smart Fortwo models across the board include seat mounted head and side airbags, knee airbags, antilock brakes, traction/stability control, and crosswind assist system.
You can opt for rear parking sensors and frontal collision warning system on every model except for the base Pure model.
Starting at $14,650
Why this Car?
The Smart ForTwo sets out what it’s designed for: cutting through traffic and parking virtually anywhere, with the added bonus of a bit more space than usual. This car is literally made for shorter commute bursts and errand running around the city. It’s a little loud and less comfortable than other models, so you don’t want to be stuck sitting in it for ages. That being said, if you’re single, or it’s just the two of you, and you don’t have too much ground to cover in one week, this is a manageable option for fuel efficiency and fitting anywhere!