Car Comparison

2015 vs. 2016 smart fortwo: What's the Difference?

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 smart fortwo Coupe
Used 2015 smart fortwo
$8,530
RELATED READING
See all smart fortwo articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro October 2015

The redesigned 2016 smart fortwo has officially made its debut with some small but noticeable updates over the outgoing model, updates including new features, revised styling, powertrain improvements and a larger cabin. What has changed? Is it better to buy a new smart fortwo or a certified pre-owned version of the outgoing model? We've rounded up the key differences between the latest smart fortwo and last year's model to help answer those questions.

Exterior

Although the latest smart fortwo roughly shares its sizing and general look with last year's model, it offers some major changes on the outside. Most obvious is the new front end, which touts new round headlights and a larger grille than the outgoing fortwo. The changes don't stop there, as the new model also boasts a revised rear end with new taillights and new wheel designs compared to last year's model.

Interior

The latest smart fortwo offers bigger changes on the inside than on the outside. Specifically, the small hatchback touts a revised dashboard with improved materials, a new steering wheel and a new center console that now connects with the car's center control stack. The latest fortwo also manages to eke out more cabin space than the outgoing model, offering improved legroom and headroom compared to last year's model. In short, the latest smart fortwo's cabin is a big and highly welcome improvement.

Mechanicals

The smart fortwo boasts a completely new engine for the 2016 model year. While last year's 70-horsepower 1.0-liter 3-cylinder powerplant was adequate, the latest model touts a 0.9-liter 3-cylinder with 89 hp, an engine providing a welcome boost in power and acceleration.

The new model also offers a standard 5-speed manual transmission (last year's model only came with an automatic), while the optional automatic has been converted from a clunky 5-speed sequential transmission to a smooth, fast-shifting 6-speed dual-clutch unit.

Changes under the hood have also had a slight benefit on the smart's fuel economy, which has risen from 34 miles per gallon in the city and 38 mpg on the highway with last year's automatic transmission to 34 mpg city/39 mpg hwy for the new dual-clutch. With the manual, fuel economy drops slightly to 32 mpg city/39 mpg hwy.

Features & Technology

Going along with improvements to the fortwo's styling, interior and powertrain, the small hatchback also touts a lot of new features. One is a new cross connect app, which allows users to place their smartphone where a car's infotainment system would usually be to control the phone, the stereo and the navigation system. Other newly available features include parking sensors, a panoramic sunroof (a full convertible model will return next year), a JBL sound system and a forward-collision warning system.

Although the 2016 smart fortwo hardly offers the high-tech benefits of some models, there's no doubt it boasts a dramatic improvement for the latest model year. If you're a technophile, you'll probably want the new model instead of the outgoing version.

Driving Experience

Although we've covered major changes in terms of the smart's equipment, powertrain and interior and exterior design, the biggest smart fortwo update comes from its driving experience.

The outgoing fortwo felt like a compact car from a different era: slow, loud and saddled with a mediocre transmission constantly hunting between gears and making jerky upshifts and downshifts. While the new model is a little slow, it offers dramatically improved acceleration over the outgoing version, and the transmission is leagues better too, regardless of whether you go with the smooth dual-clutch automatic or the do-it-yourself 5-speed manual.

Fortunately, however, the fortwo's primary selling point remains perfectly intact. The hatchback is still as small and zippy as ever, offering city-friendly dimensions and a diminutive length that can squeeze into almost any tiny parallel-parking space.

Safety

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash testing, the outgoing smart fortwo earned an overall four stars out of a possible five. It also earned strong ratings in several tests carried out by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, though it has not yet been submitted to all the firm's crash tests. Because it's so new, the latest smart fortwo has not yet been tested by either agency.

As for safety features, however, the new model offers a few benefits over the old one. Specifically, while both new and old smart fortwo models tout anti-lock brakes and a wide range of airbags (including side airbags), the new model adds a newly optional forward-collision warning system and available rear parking sensors.

Conclusions

Although there are usually differences between an outgoing model and its redesigned successor, those updates are even more substantial here. The 2016 smart fortwo boasts a new look, a bigger cabin, improved materials, more equipment, a bigger engine and new transmissions, all of which make it a more agreeable vehicle without compromising its original perfect-for-the-city purpose. Our take: Unless you find an amazing deal on an outgoing model, hold out for a new one. You won't regret it.

Find a smart fortwo for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 smart fortwo Coupe
Used 2015 smart fortwo
$8,530
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 vs. 2016 smart fortwo: What's the Difference? - Autotrader