2014 smart fortwo Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2014 smart fortwo Hatchback

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smart fortwo Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.0 L Inline 3-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automated Manual
  • Horse Power 70 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 34/38 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2014 smart fortwo

  • Although the ability to park the 2014 Smart Fortwo almost anywhere is a major plus for city dwellers, its unrefined powertrain and questionable value proposition make it hard to recommend.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Easy to park in tight spaces; roomy seating for two people.

  • Cons

    Irritating auto-manual transmission for gas models; anemic performance; rough ride on the highway; spartan interior.

  • What's New for 2014

    For 2014, the Smart Fortwo gets a few more standard features, including air-conditioning for the base Pure trim level.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (4 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Quirky, of course

by on
Vehicle: 2013 smart fortwo

I'm a teacher, and they reeled me in with the extra discount - and a generous trade-in on my 10-year old New Beetle. The car has been more fun than I thought it would be to drive, but I agree with other posters that leaving it in pure auto mode results in a lousy ride. Even in 'manual' 1st to 2nd is a drag. The little engine does quickly lug out on hills and even slight inclines, but it drops seamlessly into 4th with an easy pull of the shift lever. Gas mileage so far better than advertised. Plenty of vertical room, but my legs end up jammed against the door and the shifter when it is in 'manual' mode. Along with the seats being uncomfortable, I am not looking forward to long trips.



22 of 24 people found this review helpful

Get your info from owners

by on
Vehicle: 2013 smart fortwo

It exceeds every measure of what anyone should reasonably expect! During my 55 years of driving I have owned quite a few of those "highly recommended" status symbols. In quality and reliability my smart car is equal to or exceeds every one of them! The writers REALLY blew it on the smart car. Do you believe a magazine writer knows more than the engineers at Mercedes? Rate the car for it's intended purpose! Don't get out of your manufacturer provided 455hp sport car and say the smart car lacks acceleration! My advice, if you truly want to know about any car, talk to an owner. Forget the writers getting paid by the manufactures to write about their "phenomenal new engineering creation."



2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Best of no world

by on
Vehicle: 2013 smart fortwo

My first impression of this car was that it will be fuel efficient which I can now assure you that it is NOT. I had read reviews that this car isn't really efficeint so I convinced myself by telling myself that I'm buying a quality product. It has been six months and take my word on this. It's not efficient for it's class. It's a tiny car, with very little power, you would think it gives twice as much mileage as a car like Corolla but it gives same result at the gas station. I had a flat tire at 2000 miles from a tiny piece of metal and Roadside assistance took 5 hours to arrive in rural area near a smart center. Inefficient and uncomfortable. I don't know how I got fooled into this.



38 of 45 people found this review helpful

Fairly smart car

by on
Vehicle: 2013 smart fortwo

I just purchased a Passion coupe for my wife, as she has been very interested in this car ever since it was introduced to the US in 2008. She was driving a 2008 New Beetle Convertible, but reliability issues were making this car a real hassle to maintain. As has been pointed out in countless reviews, the smartfor2 is equipped with a rather bizarre 5-speed automatic transmission which can also be shifted manually via steering wheel mounted paddles or the floor shifter. My wife tends to keep the car in the auto mode and it seems to constantly be shifting; even on relatively small inclines. When I drive the car, I usually use the manual mode. It actually gets better than advertised mileage.



Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 34
  • cty
/
  • 38
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2014 smart fortwo Review

What's New for 2014

For 2014, the Smart Fortwo gets a few more standard features, including air-conditioning for the base Pure trim level.

Introduction

We've all seen them while trying to park in crowded cities or shopping centers -- those partial parking spots left by those too inconsiderate to park properly. If this maddening scenario is all too familiar, the diminutive 2014 Smart Fortwo can offer relief. At just under 9 feet long, a Smart Fortwo measures nearly 3 feet shorter in length than a Fiat 500, and will thus fit into parking spots normally usable only by motorcycles and scooters.

Long popular in crowded European cities, the subcompact Smart Fortwo is a natural fit for urban environments where space, parking and otherwise, is at a premium. Though some may point out the aptly named Fortwo's strictly two-passenger status as a negative, there are plenty of commuters who would consider that a non-issue. The gasoline-powered Fortwo also provides good fuel economy, as it's rated at 36 mpg in combined driving. Of course, there is also the Fortwo Electric Drive, which doesn't use gasoline at all.

However, the Smart has a number of issues that prevent us from recommending it. Topping that list (in the gas version) is an irritating automated manual transmission whose herky-jerky shifts make for a rather annoying driving experience. And although the Fortwo is certainly capable of freeway speeds, its excessive road noise, choppy ride and susceptibility to buffeting from wind and passing trucks discourage long road trips. Lastly, there are now plenty of more comfortable small cars that offer both a backseat and equal or even better fuel mileage.

With all that in mind, we'd strongly suggest some alternatives. If easy parking is paramount, you should also test-drive the only slightly larger three-seat 2014 Scion iQ. If it's maximum mpg you're after, you'd do well to look at the compact 2014 Toyota Prius C. For zippy performance in a small, gas-sipping package, the 2014 Chevrolet Spark, Ford Fiesta and Mini Cooper would be our top picks. The 2014 Fiat 500e (the electric version of the Fiat 500) is also a superior choice to the electric Fortwo. Although the 2014 Smart Fortwo's iconic shape and tidy footprint will no doubt appeal to some shoppers, if you look at the bigger picture, there's more value to be had in rivals.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Smart Fortwo is offered in both coupe and convertible (Cabriolet) body styles. Coupes are available in base Pure and better-equipped Passion trim levels. The convertible is only offered in the Passion trim and features a powered soft top with a sunroof-like front section that can be opened independently. The Fortwo Electric Drive is available in a single trim level and can also be had in coupe and convertible body styles.

The entry-level Pure model's list of standard features includes 15-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, air-conditioning, power door locks and manual windows. Options include a Cruise Control package (bundles cruise control and a trip computer), electric-assisted power steering (unassisted steering is standard), automatic climate control, heated seats and a two-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio jack and USB interface.

Stepping up to the Passion model gets you 15-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, see-through roof panels (coupe only), heated power outside mirrors, automatic climate control, power windows, a three-spoke steering wheel with shift paddles, a driver's armrest and the two-speaker sound system.

Options here include a Comfort package (power steering, leather upholstery, heated seats, a retractable cargo cover), a Style package (distinctive 15-inch alloy wheels, ambient interior lighting and additional dashboard gauges) and a Technology package (a navigation system and a seven-speaker surround-sound audio system). Some of these features are offered as stand-alone options, along with LED daytime running lights, foglights and center console storage. There's also a Brabus Sport package that adds an aerodynamic body kit, unique 15-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and the contents of the Comfort package.

The Fortwo Electric Drive is equipped identically to the Passion, although it comes standard with power steering and doesn't have the shift paddles. It offers similar options.

Powertrains and Performance

Powering the 2014 Smart Fortwo Pure and Passion is a rear-mounted 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that delivers 70 horsepower and 68 pound-feet of torque. This is sent to the rear wheels through a five-speed automated manual transmission.

In Edmunds testing, a Smart Fortwo went from zero to 60 mph in a sluggish 14.1 seconds on its way to a 90 mph top speed. Though its fuel capacity is only 8.7 gallons, the range is acceptable considering its EPA-estimated fuel economy of 36 mpg combined (34 city/38 highway). Premium fuel is required, however.

With a 55kW electric motor and a 17.6 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive generates a continuous 47 hp and 96 lb-ft of torque. A burst mode can briefly increase that output to around 70 hp. That's good enough to propel the Fortwo Electric from zero to 60 mph in an estimated 11.5 seconds. The EV tops out at 78 mph, however. According to the EPA, the electric Smart has a range of 68 miles.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2014 Smart Fortwo include antilock brakes, stability control, traction control, hill-start assist and eight airbags including front, knee, side-impact and side curtain.

In crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Fortwo earned the top rating of "Good" in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side impact and roof strength tests. Its seat/head restraint design was rated "Acceptable" (second best out of the four ratings) for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features

From the outside, you might not expect the cabin of the 2014 Smart Fortwo to feel so spacious. The large windshield and see-through roof panels on the coupe and retractable front section of the convertible's top create an airy feeling. Both the driver and passenger seats offer generous amounts of head- and legroom. Open the rear hatch and you have a small but workable 8-cubic-foot cargo hold that can be expanded in a pinch via the fold-flat front passenger seat. With the battery pack placed under the floor, the Fortwo Electric Drive provides the same cargo capacity as its gasoline counterpart.

The interior of the entry-level Smart Fortwo Pure leaves lots to be desired, however, as it lacks some pretty basic features like a radio and power windows. The top Passion trim level is much more acceptable in this regard and can be decked out with all the toys if you're so inclined, though this can drive the price to head-scratching heights.

Driving Impressions

Driving the 2014 Smart Fortwo around town is a passable experience mainly because you can zip in and out of traffic in ways that are just not possible with larger cars. The fact that two Smart cars parked end to end are still shorter than a full-size SUV like the Chevrolet Suburban gives you some idea of the parking possibilities this microcar opens up. Handling is secure, but the combination of a too-firm suspension and a short wheelbase creates a harsh ride quality that can become tiresome on long drives.

The 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine mounted behind the seats in gas-powered Smarts provides decent power both on city streets and the highway, though it begins to feel a little winded at interstate speeds. The real annoyance is the performance of the five-speed automated transmission that produces unacceptably slow, jerky gearchanges in "automatic" mode. Shifting manually mitigates this flaw somewhat, but it's not an overstatement to say this transmission ruins what otherwise might be an all-around decent driving experience.

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