The Smart Fortwo is a two-seater coupe which features a 0.9-liter 89hp engine driving the rear wheels through either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. Performance is sprightly at lower speeds and it offers a tight turning circle and sharp responses although competitors like the Fiat 500 feel far more accomplished for a similar outlay. An overly hard ride and noisy cabin make it less suited to highway driving. Standard equipment includes climate and cruise control and opting for higher trim levels adds heated leather seats, panoramic sunroof, and an upgraded JBL audio system.
|Pure||1.0-liter Inline-3 Gas||5-Speed Manual or 6-Speed Automatic (Optional)||Rear Wheel Drive||$13,625||$14,650|
|Passion||1.0-liter Inline-3 Gas||5-Speed Manual or 6-Speed Automatic (Optional)||Rear Wheel Drive||$15,010||$16,140|
|Prime||1.0-liter Inline-3 Gas||5-Speed Manual or 6-Speed Automatic (Optional)||Rear Wheel Drive||$16,266||$17,490|
|Proxy||1.0-liter Inline-3 Gas||5-Speed Manual or 6-Speed Automatic (Optional)||Rear Wheel Drive||$17,186||$18,480|
by John Tallodi
If city driving forms a big part of your daily driving routine and you find the mainstream subcompact hatches and sedans a bit too bulky for those tight parking bays and narrow alleyways the Smart Fortwo Coupe may be just what you have been looking for.
Its tiny footprint and great maneuverability makes it the ideal commuting companion for two and to further entice shoppers, it features some additional standard equipment for 2017.
The Fortwo Coupe makes the most of its hard plastics and average quality materials with a fun interior design and bright colors that draw your attention away from the basic fittings. The car may be small but it makes the most of the available space and even taller occupants will find enough head and leg room. The cabin is filled with clever storage solutions for small items.
The seats themselves are not particularly well-padded but longer journeys are not what the Fortwo is about. The small trunk is actually on par with some larger subcompacts and the passenger seat folds flat to take advantage of every available inch of space.
The tight turning circle and lively handling of the Fortwo make for an entertaining drive within city limits. That same eagerness translates into a somewhat nervy feel at highway speeds and the already firm ride becomes downright uncomfortable at these velocities.
Stay in the confines of tight urban roads and the Smart’s strong brakes and willing engine come to the fore, it’s a case of horses for courses and this little pony is happiest when slotting into tiny parking bays and zooting down tight side roads.
The Smart Fortwo Coupe comes equipped with a tiny 0.9-liter 3-cylider engine which makes 89 horsepower and 100 lb-ft of torque. Either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed dual-clutch transmission powers the rear wheels and despite those anemic outputs the featherweight Fortwo is capable of a 10.1-second 0-60mph time. Not ultra-quick but the narrow dimensions and responsive engine make it feel like it is travelling a lot faster than the numbers say.
Overtaking acceleration on the highway is somewhat lackluster but at lower speeds the performance is more than adequate. Fuel economy should be excellent with the manual offering an average 34mpg and the dual-clutch transmission adding another 1mpg to that figure.
The Fortwo Coupe is available in four trim levels, all feature the same engine and 2-seater coupe body with the base Pure Trim offering some notable standard items such as cruise control, climate control, LED running lights, Bluetooth connectivity and a multi-function steering wheel. Crosswind assist and 8 airbags add to the safety levels.
The Passion Trim adds a center console storage bin, retractable cargo cover, powered and heated side mirrors, height adjustment for the driver and 15-inch alloy instead of steel wheels.
The Prime Trim adds fog lamps with cornering function, heated seats, leather upholstery, panoramic sunroof and LED taillights.
The top Proxy Trim adds 16-inch alloy wheels, sport suspension, paddles for the dual-clutch transmission and an upgraded audio system.
The top three trims can further be specced with a Sport or even more focused Brabus Sport Package which add larger alloy wheels, additional aero add-ons and even sportier suspension components. Rather look at the individually available JBL audio system, proximity warning sensors and smartphone cradle that links to the audio system instead.
Two doors, turbocharged engine, rear-wheel drive, its vital statistics read like a sports car’s and the Smart Fortwo is just as focused when it comes to offering city commuting convenience.
This single mindedness does mean a lot of compromise in other areas and the tiny engine and overly firm suspension do make it less accomplished on longer journeys. The interior quality levels could be better.
The Fortwo Coupe is at its best for short commutes and sticking to a mid-level trim adds some desirable features without getting too close to some much more talented competitors.