Review: Smart Fortwo (2014)
Huge improvement over previous Fortwo. Available with a manual gearbox as standard. All-new twin-clutch automatic. Cheap to run. Tiny turning circle.
Bigger Smart Forfour isn't much more expensive. 71PS needs to be worked hard out of town.
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Smart Fortwo (2014): At A Glance
- New prices start from £11,415, brokers can source from £10,104
- Contract hire deals from £136.54 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 3–11
- On average it achieves 76% of the official MPG figure
The latest Smart Fortwo is just as impressive around town as its predecessor, with compact dimensions, perky performance and an incredibly tight turning circle – but it adds in a healthy dose of cute, quirky styling. For people who live in congested cities it is unbeatable – but it holds appeal for buyers out of town too.
Smart offers two three-cylinder petrol engines - a 71PS or a 90PS, both of which live in the back, under the boot floor. The less powerful engine is fine in 30mph and 40mph limits, but gets a bit out of breath at higher speeds and needs to be worked hard. It does have low emissions though, at 93g/km with official economy of 68.9mpg.
The compact dimensions obviously make the Fortwo ideal for urban environments, but if you specify the 90PS engine it’s perfectly at home on faster roads - and it’s just as cheap to run with official economy of 67.3mpg. Its short wheelbase and light weight mean it isn’t quite as planted at high speed as other small city cars, though.
In keeping with the trend for small hatchbacks the Fortwo is available with a host of customisation options. Buyers can mix up the colours of the bodywork and the ‘Tridion’ safety cell, plus there are various different interior upholstery colours on offer, so you can really make the Fortwo stand out.
If you don’t need rear seats the Fortwo is reasonably practical, despite its size. The tailgate splits for easy loading in tight spaces and has enough space for a weekly shop or a weekend away, but obviously there are only two seats, so isn’t much use for a family – but the Forfour looks just as good and offers more room.
There’s plenty to like about the Smart Fortwo. It’s characterful, cheap to run and perfect for urban environments – but it is also quite expensive. The cheapest model costs almost £11,000, which would get you a very well-equipped Volkswagen Up. Nonetheless, if you want something unique and you live in a city the Fortwo is easy to recommend.
What does a Smart Fortwo (2014) cost?
Smart Fortwo (2014): What's It Like Inside?
Despite having tiny exterior dimensions, the Smart Fortwo feels surprisingly light and roomy inside. The dashboard, with its fabric covering, looks good and gives the Smart an upmarket feel – fitting, given its steep price tag. The controls are straightforward to use, whether for the audio system or air conditioning, while the seats are supportive and comfortable – but there are obviously just two of them.
Boot space is surprisingly useful. The 260 litre capacity is ahead of the Volkswagen Up, though the Up has the advantage of rear seats that can be folded. Fortunately the Fortwo does have a nice party trick with a split tailgate. The upper part can be flipped up in the tiniest spaces, while the bottom part has a little storage locker for holding small items.
Obviously, with two seats there isn’t much point in giving the Fortwo a second look if you have a family, but if you are a fan of the fun looks and rear-engine quirkiness the latest Forfour offers the same style as the Fortwo, but with more space – though it loses some of its town-friendliness since it is that much larger.
The Smart Fortwo is quite expensive considering its size, but it does come with plenty of equipment. All models get alloy wheels, climate control and Bluetooth connectivity, plus a choice of interior colours. Moving to upper trim levels brings different upholstery options, plus extra tech like lane keep assist and heated seats.
Passion models come with 15-inch eight-spoke alloy wheels, automatic climate control, smart audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, and a choice of either an orange/black interior or a white/black interior.
Prime adds (over Passion) 15-inch five-twin-spoke black alloys with high sheen finish, panoramic glass roof with sun protection, black leather upholstery, additional dashboard instrument pods with a cockpit clock and rev counter, heated seats and lane-keeping assist.
Proxy adds (over Passion) 16-inch eight-Y-spoke alloys wheels in black, panoramic glass roof, blue and white interior with Artico and cloth upholstery, lane keeping assist and the Sports Package with a sports leather multifunction steering wheel, suspension lowered by 10 mm, rubber studded alloy sports pedals and an exhaust finisher in chrome.
Child seats that fit a Smart Fortwo (2014)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Smart Fortwo (2014) like to drive?
The Smart Fortwo is offered with a choice of two petrol engines – one with 71PS and another with 90PS. For urban driving the less powerful engine is fine and it has low running costs, thanks to a CO2 output of 93g/km and official economy of 68.9mpg. But if you ever go out of town or make longer trips the 90PS engine is much better and is just as cheap to run.
In fact emissions are almost the same at 94g/km and economy is 67.3mpg. It might only have a moderately higher power output, but it is much more flexible on the road, with 132Nm of torque. Allied to the tiny, lightweight bodywork this engine is surprisingly potent and makes for easy motorway driving and overtaking.
That said, there are better small car choices if you tend to cover long distance, or if you spend a lot of time commuting on faster A and B-roads. The short wheelbase makes for a fun, nimble drive but the Fortwo doesn’t feel quite as as planted as cars the likes of a Volkswagen Up, though it is much better than the old Fortwo.
Nothing this side of a scooter can match the Fortwo in town. Its short length makes it perfect for tight parking spaces, plus it has an incredibly small turning circle. U-turns and other manoeuvres like reversing into spaces are effortlessly simple. If you’re always worrying about scrapes and bumps in multi-storey car parks you’ll love it.
Buyers who want an automatic will be pleased to know the glacially slow automated manual from the old Smart is gone, replaced by a new, much slicker DCT transmission. This is far better than the old transmission and makes a lot of sense for stop and go town traffic.
|0.9||54–67 mpg||10.4 s||94–97 g/km|
|0.9 Automatic||57–69 mpg||10.4–11.3 s||96 g/km|
|0.9T 109 Automatic||63–69 mpg||9.5 s||96–102 g/km|
|1.0||57–69 mpg||14.4 s||93 g/km|
|1.0 71||69 mpg||14.4 s||93 g/km|
|1.0 71 Automatic||69 mpg||15.1 s||94 g/km|
|1.0 90||67 mpg||10.4 s||94 g/km|
|1.0 90 Automatic||69 mpg||11.3 s||96 g/km|
|1.0 Automatic||59–69 mpg||15.1 s||94 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Smart Fortwo (2014)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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