Reviews

2018 Smart fortwo Driving Impressions

Ease of parking, as demonstrated in TV commercials, is the Smart car’s most compelling feature, apart from its thrifty and smooth electric drive system. A tight turning circle (22.8 feet) makes for startlingly nimble urban behavior. No other car can whip into tiny parking spots with such ease, or make U-turns, where permitted, in such narrow spaces. Maneuverability and agility are hard to beat.

Front fender wells are deeper than those in pre-2016 models, allowing sharper wheel angles. Overall width is 4 inches greater than in the past, too. A low-mounted battery pack makes the center of gravity appropriately low. Even at highway speeds, the 2018 Smart car feels confident and secure. With either 15- or 16-inch tires, the fortwo grips the pavement well.

A substantial torque increase in the electric motor for 2018 makes highway driving more feasible, though the Smart car still functions best as a capable urban contender. Highway acceleration is still on the sluggish side. Charging time is reasonably short (3 hours or less); but naturally, regular access to a charging station is mandatory.

Despite its short wheelbase, the Smart fortwo promises decent ride comfort, with a suspension that absorbs most pavement imperfections. On most surfaces, the ride is surprisingly smooth and quiet.

As for operating cost, the battery-powered Smart fortwo Coupe is EPA-rated at 124/94 MPGe (equivalent miles per gallon) City/Highway, or 108 MPGe Combined. The Cabrio rating drops to 112/91/102 MPGe. Range is EPA-rated at 58 miles (57 for the Cabrio), though the company claims 70-80 miles.

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