2016 Smart ForTwo - L.A. Auto Show
The new Smart ForTwo. Now for Americans!
By: Anthony Fongaro | November 2015
When the original Smart ForTwo arrived in the United States, many people were quite concerned about how massive an accident could happen with such a small car. Its small size made potential owners quite nervous if they ever went head-to-head with a Hummer or any other large vehicle. The original car did have some major flaws – the outdated styling, the horrible gearbox, not very good fuel economy, basically everything seemed like a flaw - but with the 2016 those flaws seem to be rectified.
First off the new Smart ForTwo looks a little more masculine. Both the front and the rear lights no longer look like they come from a Fisher-Price toy. The new car is also wider and taller than before so it no longer looks like just a box on wheels.
The biggest complaint about the outgoing car was the transmission. Now most people would probably not care about the transmission but the old cars semi automatic gearbox was clunky and unrefined. The whole car would shake and it took some time before the car would decide to change gears. Now you have the option of either a shift-yourself manual or a conventional automatic. Either transmission is smoother then the outgoing’s transmission and fits the ForTwo’s city car style better.
When you get into the interior it still looks quirky but feels a little more upscale. Build quality has improved drastically with nicer materials. It still is a two seater; thankfully they didn't try to add backseats because there is absolutely no place to put them. What Smart did do was make a split-folding tailgate which is convenient for loading your one shopping bag you can fit and looks cool.
Sticking with the urban quirkiness Smart is known for; the four model choices are pure, passion, prime, and proxy. The big differences between these four are wheel sizes. Primy and proxy features include heated seats, a panoramic roof, and leather. Basic pure ForTwos come with Bluetooth, a steering wheel, and an engine.
As always, this car is meant more for the city then for the open highway. But despite the substantial changes for 2016, the Smart ForTwo still isn’t in the same ball park as even the smallest compact cars on the market. Case in point – Zayde Naquib, an owner of the newest Smart ForTwo and previous owner of the older ForTwo told me it’s "Quicker than you think" but "it's basically a different car". Hip millennials in crowded cities – probably why the ForTwo was in Los Angeles – will love how small and alternative the Fortwo is.
If you are actually able to find a Smart car show room – there are only 89 dealerships in the United States and Puerto Rico - then look for the totally redesigned 2016 Smart ForTwo starting at an asking price of around $15,000.