2017 smart fortwo
- A short wheelbase and narrow width make the Fortwo a cinch to park
- Electric Drive EV has quick, immediate acceleration at low speeds
- Boasts a fun and distinctive interior design
- Using a smartphone as the primary infotainment screen is innovative
- Uncomfortable ride quality on rough roads
- Dual-clutch automatic transmission is horrendously jerky
- Large rear blind spots, especially with the convertible
- Gasoline version requires premium fuel
2017 smart fortwo pricingin Ashburn, VA
Which fortwo does Edmunds recommend?
We think the upper-mid Prime trim is a good way to go. Its leather upholstery, heated seats, ambient lighting and panoramic glass roof add an air of luxury to a car that is otherwise draped in unappealing plastics and an overwhelming sense of thrift. The top-end Proxy doesn't cost much more, but we can do without its sporty suspension. That said, its shift paddles make living with the automatic transmission a bit more palatable. The Electric Drive Fortwo is much easier to drive, but we can't recommend it until we know how much more it costs than the gas-powered version.
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating2.5 / 5
One of the most infuriating issues that anyone living in a big city will inevitably have to deal with is parking. Perhaps a sports car is splitting two stalls. A pickup is crammed into a spot marked "Compact." Or maybe the only opening is next to a sidewalk, and you aren't the world's greatest parallel parker. If any of these scenarios seem familiar, you might be drawn to the small footprint of the 2017 Smart Fortwo.
The Fortwo is instantly recognizable for its compact dimensions (competing subcompacts such as the Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper are even bigger). It's the ruler of the parking lot, slotting into spots too tight for normal cars. It's also easy to maneuver on the street, especially the Electric Drive EV, with the instant power afforded by its battery pack. But take it out of crowded cityscapes and much of its appeal is lost. Acceleration is extremely slow at highway speeds, the ride is unforgivably rough, and its blind spots are wide. Unless you absolutely need a Fortwo for its short length, most rivals are a better buy, even if they are slightly pricier.
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Smart Fortwo is a pint-sized city car with seating for two (get it?) and a surprising amount of passenger space inside. Available as a coupe or convertible, its rear wheels are driven by your choice of a gasoline engine or an electric drivetrain. The gas-burner is a turbocharged 0.9-liter three-cylinder (89 horsepower, 100 pound-feet) paired to either a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Electric Drive's 17.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and 60-kW motor (81 hp) drive the wheels directly. The gas Fortwo comes in Pure (Coupe only), Passion, Prime and Proxy trim levels, while the Electric Drive is available in Pure, Passion and Prime trims.
The Fortwo's base Pure trim includes 15-inch steel wheels with plastic covers, LED daytime running lights, cruise control, power windows, cloth upholstery, automatic climate control, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a two-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary input and a USB port.
Also standard is the ability for iOS and select Android smartphone users to download a free Cross Connect app that controls phone, audio, internet streaming radio, vehicle information and a navigation system.
Stepping up to the Passion trim adds alloy wheels, black exterior trim, heated and power-adjustable mirrors, contrasting interior upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, an additional storage compartment in the center console and a retractable cargo cover.
The Prime further dresses up the Smart with silver exterior trim, foglights, cornering lights, a panoramic glass roof, automatic headlights and wipers, leather upholstery, heated seats and interior ambient lighting.
The range-topping Proxy trim adds 16-inch wheels, white exterior trim, a sport suspension, alloy pedals, shift paddles (for the automatic transmission only) and an eight-speaker JBL sound system (six speakers for the Cabrio).
Available for Passion, Prime and Proxy models is the Brabus Sport package. It includes the Proxy's sport suspension and shift paddles and adds a stiffer anti-roll bar, gray-painted wheels, staggered-width performance tires, and unique interior and exterior styling elements. A separate package bundles a rearview camera with rear parking sensors. Individual options include a forward collision warning system, imitation-leather (premium vinyl) upholstery and a phone cradle that positions smartphones in the middle of the dash and allows it to function as a touchscreen controller. A conventional touchscreen will be available as an option later in the model year for gas-powered models.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Smart Fortwo Proxy hatchback (0.9L 3-cyl. turbo; 6-speed automatic).
Being tiny and lightweight affords some intrinsic fun, including a higher perception of speed and the tightest turning radius for a current production car (22.8 feet). Despite the improvements made, the Fortwo ultimately misses its mark of being a great car for the city.
You might assume the Fortwo gets dinged on comfort due to its smallness, but size doesn't factor in here. Seat comfort is compromised for aesthetics, and the suspension is much too stiff to provide any peace over rough city roads.
Noise & vibration2
Some cost-saving measures, such as the nonadjustable cupholders molded into the hard plastic center console, are laughably obvious. But there are some redeeming qualities to the Fortwo's interior, such as generous passenger leg- and headroom and a cabin design that feels modern and fun.
Ease of use3
Getting in/getting out3
You don't buy a Smart expecting much in the way of storage solutions, but the Fortwo does the best with what it's got. The pull-out drawer from the center console is clever, as are the storage nets behind the seats. The bottom edge of the soft top folds up to increase the cargo opening.
The free Cross Connect app that turns your phone into an audio and navigation controller is an inventive way to integrate touchscreen controls with a very basic radio setup. The 7-inch touchscreen is a worthy upgrade, but it won't be available until well into the 2017 model year.
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite fortwo safety features:
- Proximity Warning Function
- This optional feature helps avoid collisions by alerting the driver if the Fortwo is approaching the car in front too quickly.
- Rear Park Assist
- Parking is made easier with these rear sensors, which sound an alert when the Fortwo approaches an object while backing up.
- Crosswind Assist
- This standard feature detects if the Fortwo is being pushed around in its lane by strong crosswinds and applies brakes to keep it straight.
Ever cruised around the city trying looking for parking, dreaming of a car that could fit into all those little spots you had to pass up? Here it is: The Smart Fortwo. Did some inconsiderate pickup driver park over the line? No problem. Did an idiot in a Bimmer leave only half a spot between his back bumper and the car behind? With the Smart Fortwo, that spot is yours. The Smart Fortwo makes other minicars look as big as old-school Cadillacs, and if you have to drive in a crowded city, you'll find no better runabout.
Unfortunately, once you head out of the city, the disadvantages begin to pile up. The Smart Fortwo has a hard ride, it accelerates slowly at highway speeds, and the blind spots are huge. You might expect great fuel economy from such a tiny vehicle, but the Fortwo runs on premium fuel, which offsets the savings.
Freshly redesigned just last year, the latest Fortwo is powered by a 0.9-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine that puts out 89 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque. Smart now offers a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic, which shifts much more smoothly (and promptly) than the sequential transmission in the older Smart, as well as a five-speed manual. But the new Smart is heavier than the old one, so acceleration is tepid — we clocked the automatic-equipped car to 60 mph in 10.1 seconds, and the car feels particularly slow to accelerate at higher speeds. EPA fuel economy estimates are 35 mpg combined (33 city/39 highway) for the automatic and 34 mpg combined (31 city/39 highway) for the manual. Smart also makes an electric version called the Fortwo Electric Drive.
The Smart Fortwo has a turning circle of just 22.8 feet, which means it can pull a U-turn on all but the narrowest of alleys. With its high center of gravity and narrow tires, the Smart isn't a great handler, and the ride is abnormally stiff. Short-wheelbase cars generally have a choppy ride, but the Fortwo takes this to a new level: Large bumps have the potential to toss you out of the seat if you aren't strapped in (which, considering the lack of seat comfort, might not be the worst thing).
At least the Fortwo offers decent room; with only two seats, there's plenty of space. The interior design is stylish and well laid out, but the materials feel chintzy. There's no padding on the door armrests, and a center armrest is an extra-cost option. Because the engine is under the trunk floor, trunk space is limited to just 9.2 cubic feet.
Smart sells the Fortwo in Pure, Passion, Prime and Proxy models; the Pure is a basic grocery-getter, the Proxy is brimming with style, and the Passion and Prime live somewhere in between. Let Edmunds help find the perfect 2017 Smart Fortwo for you.
2017 smart fortwo Overview
The 2017 smart fortwo is offered in the following submodels: fortwo Hatchback, fortwo Convertible, fortwo Electric. Available styles include electric drive prime 2dr Hatchback (electric DD), electric drive passion 2dr Hatchback (electric DD), electric drive pure 2dr Hatchback (electric DD), passion 2dr Hatchback (.9L 3cyl Turbo 5M), proxy 2dr Convertible (.9L 3cyl Turbo 5M), pure 2dr Hatchback (.9L 3cyl Turbo 5M), prime 2dr Convertible (.9L 3cyl Turbo 5M), proxy 2dr Hatchback (.9L 3cyl Turbo 5M), passion 2dr Convertible (.9L 3cyl Turbo 5M), prime 2dr Hatchback (.9L 3cyl Turbo 5M), electric drive prime 2dr Convertible (electric DD), and electric drive passion 2dr Convertible (electric DD).
What do people think of the 2017 smart fortwo?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 smart fortwo and all its trim types. 0 Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 fortwo.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 smart fortwo and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 fortwo featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Which 2017 smart fortwos are available in my area?
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Should I lease or buy a 2017 smart fortwo?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.