2016 Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe – Do you remember Willy Nelson’s song, On the Road Again? Until recently, I never thought that I could associate driving on the highway like a “group of gypsies” with the smallest car in the country. Because, you know, smarts are known for being good around town cars.
Mercedes-Benz (maker of the smart) has just launched a new generation of its small car. Even though it’s more masculine than before, the smart new one—with a small “s”—is actually the same size as the old one, except that it’s 10 centimeters wider. But key smart features are still there, including a short front treatment, a two-step hatch that opens behind the passengers, plastic body panels and wheels located at the rear of the car.
2016 Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe
Inside it’s all smart but, in my humble opinion, the presentation is now very well done. Although the quality of the plastic is questionable, there is some storage room and the large tachometer is easy to read. The large air vents on top of the dashboard add an unusual touch, but isn’t that why we love smarts? The steering column is neither adjustable in depth nor adjustable in height. And yet it didn’t take us long to find the right driving position (but we tested love with the main versions, which come with height-adjustable driver’s seats. In the basic trim, they just slide forward and backward).
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No engine under the hood! As in the past, various components are placed in the front, such as the battery and windshield washer fluid and antifreeze tanks. The small plastic hood is removable, but it’s easy to put back on with the help of two small latches hidden in the front grille—and attached to the car’s body with two strips of fabric (hello, MacGyver!). The standard grille is black, but for a small price some versions can be fitted with a silver or white grille. The same goes for the tridion safety cell (which wraps around the body and forms the better part of the chassis) and its contrasting color strip that forms the rear of the car.
Hey, while we’re talking about the safety cell, did you know it’s made by Magna, a Canadian company? They do this in a French factory near Hambach, where the geniuses are assembled. An extended version of the platform equips the Renault Twingo (five doors whose wheelbase is 2,492 mm compared to the smart’s 1,873 mm).
Like all smarts, the engine is located under the boot floor. Three-cylinder turbo comes with direct injection and 0.9 liter displacement (898 cc, if that). It produces 89 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 100 lbs.-ft. 2 torque, 500 rpm. See all technical details here. For the first time in America, it’s paired with a five-speed manual transmission, though you can opt for a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The smart may not be very powerful, but since it only weighs 900 kilos with a manual transmission, it performs very well. But more than performance, we were impressed with how quiet the engine was. Anyone who has driven the first gen with its horrendously loud diesel engine will find it hard to believe, I know! The broadcasts were also impressive. The manual is pleasant enough, although the shift range is a tad too long and the clutch is not as strong as one would hope. Most people will also be happy to know that there is a way to avoid going downhill.
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The old smartphone was often criticized for its automatic transmission that took ages to shift. Gone are those days. The automatic dual clutch is intuitive and shifts quickly—and stays on time. That said, one of my colleagues did complain that the city conditions sometimes pop up, but I didn’t have that problem.
On the highway, the Smart is more stable than before, largely thanks to its wider width. If you push the laws of physics too far, the car tends to understeer (the front end keeps going straight), but it’s not long before the assist systems (which you can’t turn off) step in with approval. Good news: all models come with Crosswind Assist, which applies the brakes to stabilize the car in strong winds. No more worrying about wisdom blowing in the wind!
Even though the new smart proved its chops on the highway, it remains a smooth city. And there’s nothing like a U-turn to prove it. This kid doesn’t turn a dime, he turns the head of a pin! I found myself drawing U-eys just for fun!
Depending on which version you choose, you can always add the Touch Screen ($1,395), Sport ($800) or Style ($1,200) packages or some of the more expensive options. Note that a cabriolet version is on the way, but the European forfour version is not bound for Canada. Also remember that dealers are currently closing stock of the older generation electric version.
K Mile 2016 Smart Fortwo Passion 5 Speed Manual
Ultimately, the Smart is one of those cars you buy for love. And the way things look now, this love story can go on for a long time. Especially if you can’t wait to hit the road again.
4.0/5 We averaged 7.2 litres/100km, but that’s not a good figure because we drove it with gusto. 6.0 L/100 km is probably more likely.
3.5/5 Considering its short wheelbase, you can’t expect the smarts to be as comfortable as the Lexus. But it is much better than before.
Smart Electric Drive
The 2016 model year marks the first complete redesign of the Smart ForTwo since it went on sale in Europe nearly two decades ago. The fully facelifted version of the small two-seater isn’t shorter than before — it’s still just 8.8 feet — but it’s almost 4 inches wider, making it feel like a compact car when you’re not looking over your shoulder .
The new ForTwo still has a blunt nose, perky styling and a passenger compartment defined by a different color than the Tridion’s safety cage. The wheels are pushed out to the corners of the car. But there’s now a more defined hood, with a shorter hood that’s slightly curved than before, to offer better protection to pedestrians.
Design features carried over from the previous Smart include a bold shoulder line, frameless door windows and a split tailgate whose upper half opens for access while the lower half folds down to provide temporary space. The new headlights use LED daytime running lights for a modern touch. The “grille” between the lights is actually a blank carpet-finish panel covered with holes.
The interior is still simple, but disguised with different trim colors and a variety of round shapes. Two eyeball slots sit atop the dash, and a small instrument cluster behind the steering wheel contains the usual gauges. The touchscreen display always takes pride of place in the center console, and overall the interior has a very large feel.
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The basic system of the new Smart 2016 remains the same: It still runs on a three-cylinder engine mounted on its side between the rear wheels, under the boot. (In 2016, the Smart Electric Drive version, powered by a battery and an electric motor, will continue to use the old design – it will be updated next year.)
The Smart 2016 is powered by a 0.9-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that produces 89 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque. Mounted between the rear wheels, power is transmitted to the rear wheels. The layout is the same as before, but now there is a shipping option. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed dual-clutch transmission offers automatic transmission for those who prefer it. (Smart expects four out of five customers to order the automatic transmission.) Combined EPA fuel economy is 35 or 36 mpg, and the company says 0-to-60-mph acceleration is 10.1 seconds in the manual, and what 10 .5 for DCT is. .
The Smart is particularly proud of the turning circle, which is a surprisingly narrow 22.8 feet from edge to edge (or 24 feet between two walls). This makes it more manageable than ever, and the perfect urban hero. But the new Smart is more powerful on the highway than the old one, and has a calm and smooth ride under all conditions. The sound of such a small car is well muffled, and the redesigned interior and extensive refinement make the new Smart a very pleasant car to drive or drive. The 2016 ForTwo comes standard with eight airbags, as well as a Crosswind Assist feature that keeps the car safe. Direct
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