New Car Review

2016 smart fortwo: Real World Review

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 smart fortwo passion
Used 2016 smart fortwo
$12,993
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 smart fortwo Prime
Used 2016 smart fortwo
$14,900
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 smart fortwo passion
Used 2016 smart fortwo
$12,994
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 smart fortwo passion
Used 2016 smart fortwo
$11,750
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 January 2016

Ever since the smart fortwo first went on sale in the U.S. for the 2008 model year, it's been something of a curiosity due to its small size and unusual shape. This year, the smart car has finally been redesigned, and we recently had the chance to spend a week behind the wheel of the 2016 smart fortwo in order to check it out. So what do we think? We've rounded up our thoughts into our latest real world review.

Stylish Inside and Out

First things first: We really like how the new smart fortwo looks. In fact, we think the small hatchback's redesign was one of the most successful in recent memory, as it managed to modernize the car's appearance without compromising its distinctive shape, style and dimensions. The fortwo looks newer than before, but it still has the famous smart car design that makes it clear you couldn't be looking at anything else.

The fortwo is also dramatically improved on the inside. Not only does the new fortwo offer improved cabin materials, but it also touts more style just about everywhere you turn -- something the old model was surprisingly short on. The latest version is finally as unique and cute on the inside as it is on the outside.

Surprisingly Fun to Drive

Styling, however, is only one component of the fortwo's experience. The way it drives is another -- and we're happy to say we were pleasantly surprised with our time in the fortwo. In fact, our Automotive Data Editor Ben Cheney says he climbed in the car and spent the first few minutes laughing, noting that it's a highly unusual and different experience from virtually every other car on the road.

It isn't just the fortwo's size that makes us appreciate its driving characteristics. We also like its new engine -- a 0.9-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder that makes 89 horsepower and 100 lb-ft of torque. That's a big boost over last year's engine (19 hp and 32 lb-ft of torque), and it makes the car feel a lot more peppy and exciting. Cheney also noted that he appreciated the tall seating position, which provides excellent visibility and improved handling compared to the outgoing model.

What's the Point?

With that said, we're still not exactly sure why most people buy the smart fortwo. Unless you're really eager to drive around in something very distinctive, the fortwo doesn't work in the vast majority of U.S. cities, perhaps only making sense in densely populated, parking-strapped areas such as downtown Boston, Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia or Washington, D.C.

Otherwise, the fortwo is surprisingly expensive for what it offers: Despite only two seats and 89 hp, it starts around $15,500 with shipping -- or about $2,500 more than the 4-door Nissan Versa sedan. And fuel economy isn't as impressive as you might expect: The fortwo boasts 34 miles per gallon in the city and 39 mpg on the highway, which isn't better than many other practical subcompacts (such as the Honda Fit).

Our Take

As a car, the 2016 smart fortwo isn't perfect. It's too small, a little too expensive and not very practical. As a statement, however, the fortwo is ideal for many city-dwelling drivers who want to stand out from the crowd -- and have some fun doing it. If you find yourself in that group -- and you don't often haul around large items or carry more than one other person -- the smart fortwo might make sense for your needs. We're certain you'll have a blast driving it.

Find a smart fortwo for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 smart fortwo passion
Used 2016 smart fortwo
$12,993
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 smart fortwo Prime
Used 2016 smart fortwo
$14,900
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 smart fortwo passion
Used 2016 smart fortwo
$12,994
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 smart fortwo passion
Used 2016 smart fortwo
$11,750
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.
2016 smart fortwo: Real World Review - Autotrader