Smart Fortwo (2014 – 2019) Review

Smart Fortwo (2014 – 2019) At A Glance

4/5

+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.

Insurance Groups are between 3–11
On average it achieves 78% 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. 

Smart Forfour Electric Drive 2017 Road Test

Smart Fortwo Electric Drive cabrio 2017 Road Test

Real MPG average for a Smart Fortwo (2014 – 2019)

RealMPG

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.

Average performance

78%

Real MPG

38–66 mpg

MPGs submitted

79

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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Ask Honest John

What small car has a tight turning circle?
"I have a very small parking space in front of my house and need a small car that can turn tightly and is automatic. What do you suggest? "
Can you charge a car in your parking space? If so, the electric Smart EQ Fortwo could be a good choice – its compact dimensions and tiny turning circle make it ideal for London driving. Alternatively, consider a used petrol Smart Fortwo or Renault Twingo – with their rear-mounted engines, the front wheels can turn 45-degrees, giving them a very tight turning circle.
Answered by Andrew Brady
We only do 1000 miles a year - what small electric car do you recommend?
"What small electric car do you recommend for me and my wife? We only do 1000 miles per year."
A Renault Zoe is one of the most affordable electric cars. You have to hire the battery separately, though, so it might not be as cheap as you'd think. The Smart EQ ForTwo could be a good option if you don't need much practicality and don't travel very far.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Our electric Smart doesn't reach the claimed range - what can we do?
"Smart provides a range figure of 99 miles for its Smart EQ. In the two weeks we have had ours, we have never had an indicated range of more than 72 miles and in reality, less. Temperatures have been moderate - between 12 and 18 degrees C, and we have been careful to minimise electric consumption from functions within the car. I would be grateful for any insights you might have and also whether we have a case to complain to Smart?"
Depends on the wording. If it says "range up to 99 miles", nothing much you can do. If it says "range of 99 miles" then you can return the car for a full refund because it does not have the promised range. Shame, because they are huge fun to drive in town traffic: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/smart/smart-fortwo-electric-drive-cabrio-2017-road-test/ and ForFour here, where the range was criticised: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/smart/smart-forfour-electric-drive-2017-road-test/ Your rights here: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/
Answered by Honest John
Are there any rear-engine diesel cars?
"I'm doing research for a book and am wondering if there's ever been any diesel cars manufactured with the engine in the rear and the trunk in the front? If not, is there a reason why this isn't a viable design?"
Rear-engined diesel cars? Volkswagen's Type 2 (T3) has a rear-mounted engine and diesel was an option. And there's a Beetle prototype that still exists in a museum, but rear-engined diesels never really took off. There are probably several reasons for this, with the biggest one being weight - old diesel engines weigh considerably more than their petrol counterparts, which would have caused some significant handling issues. A friend who is passionate about oil burners suggested that you might be able to find some examples of rear-engined diesel microcars from the 1970s and 1980s if you look hard enough. There are a couple of examples of modern-rear engined diesels, including the Smart ForTwo.
Answered by Keith Moody
More Questions

What does a Smart Fortwo (2014 – 2019) cost?