2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Convertible

#30
in Midsize convertibles
2017 MODEL

$28,000 - $29,000

6.6

Overall Rating

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Overview

Not everyone is familiar with the Smart ForTwo cars. However, whosoever are, testify to the fact that the ride is indeed one of the smartest, yet lesser-known 2-seaters. 2017 Smart Fortwo Convertible is the best incarnation of the lineup so far. Though the ride isn't a practical solution, as it lacks the back seats, it is a powerful option to stand out from the herd.

A tiny 0.9-liter 3-cylinder engine powers the 2017 Smart Fortwo. The engine is rated for generating 89 horsepower along with 100 lb.-ft. of torque. 2017 Smart Fortwo Convertible boasts a 5-speed manual transmission mode, which is a standard to the segment the ride belongs.

In the segment, 2017 Smart Fortwo Convertible receives competition from Fiat 500 C Pop, Mazda MX-5, and Mini Cooper. Rivals to the Smart Fortwo Convertible are better performers. However, the ride offers a remarkable combined fuel economy and a class-leading storage capacity along with an innovative infotainment screen and excellent maneuverability.

See detailed review »

Pros

Airy cabin

Excellent parking capability

Great fuel economy with the EV variant

Innovative use of the smartphone as the primary infotainment screen

Intricately designed interiors

Most inexpensive convertible

Superb maneuverability in narrow streets

Cons

Gasoline variant requires premium fuel

Jerky dual-clutch automatic transmission

Large blind spots

Rough ride quality on irregular road surfaces

What's New?

Introducing New Variants - Cabriolet and electric-drive models are now available

Galore of Customization Options - A number of new customization options are available, including the Brabus Sport package



Styles

 2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Convertible in Lava Orange color  2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Convertible in Cool Silver Metallic color  2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Convertible in midnight blue metallic color  2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Convertible in Black color  2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Convertible in Autumn Brown Metallic color
Lava Orange

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Exterior

7.0

Engine

5.2

Fuel Economy

9.4

Features

5.4

Driving

6.3

Interior

6.3

6.6

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Convertible electric drive passion

electric drive passion

Fuel: Electric fuel, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 2

$28,000

Configurations
electric drive passion 2dr Convertible (electric DD)
Seating: 2 HP: 80-hp
Torque: 118 lbs.-ft.

 2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive Convertible electric drive prime

electric drive prime

Fuel: Electric fuel, Transmission: Manual, Seats: 2

$29,000

Configurations
electric drive prime 2dr Convertible (electric DD)
Seating: 2 HP: 80-hp
Torque: 118 lbs.-ft.

Expert Review


carhp editor October 25, 2018

6.6

Overall Rating


5.4/10
Features

 

5.2/10
Engine

 

9.4/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.3/10
Interior

 

7.0/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

Starting at $23,800, the ForTwo has three trims for its coupe variant and two in the cabriolet version which has a motorized fabric roof pull down. It has an 80hp three-phase synchronous electric motor with a single speed transmission. Capable of juicing up to 17.6 kWh, it's good for 60-70 miles in a full charge.

In the city limits, ForTwo is incomparable with anything else with such dimensions, turning circle and that quick nature getting off the line. It has almost created a niche in the market. The next comparable EV is $8,000 expensive i.e. Fiat 500e and then a $17,000 jump for Chevrolet Bolt EV.

Features

5.4/10

Smart offers three trims for ForTwo Coupe: Pure, Passion and Prime. While Cabriolet with only two: Passion and Prime. Essentially they are same cars to the last bit just a swap of hardtop with a fabric liner makes them differ.

The standard Pure version now gets a rearview camera and Bluetooth connectivity as standard. They also add voice recognition in conjunction with Siri and Google now.

Trims Passion Prime Proxy
MSRP (Manual) $18,900 $19.900 $20,900
Key Features

Dashboard and door center panel in black fabric

Dashboard instruments with cockpit clock and rev counter

 

3-spoke multifunction sports steering wheel in perforated leather (with gearshift paddles for models with twinamic automatic transmission)

Alternative dashboard and door center panel in orange fabric

Grab handle for front passenger

Brushed stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs

Upholstery in black/grey fabric as standard

Sunglasses holder Dashboard and door center panel in black fabric

Alternative upholstery in black/ orange fabric

Upholstery in black leather with grey topstitching

 

Engine

5.2/10
Driving a tiny and lightweight car is intrinsically fun. -Edmunds.com 

Engine and Transmission

Helping Smart ForTwo to scale city streets is a three-phase synchronous 80hp (60kW) electric motor producing 118lb-ft torque from zero rpm. The initial pull from standstill is phenomenal. The red light GPs till the 20mph are always won over. It only needs a single speed transmission to do all this deed.

It loses the spirit to catch up speed after 40mph and 0-60mph comes after a while of 11.4 seconds. This nature of the car limits it to the city and we believe it's better be confined in it. Highway runs make the range drop drastically. Smart has limited the maximum speed to 81mph for optimum use of the available range.

The next competitor to ForTwo is Fiat 500e though some 7 grand expensive is far more fun and zippy with the 111hp electric motor. And that's not really the case with Smart ForTwo.Engine and Transmission Smart ForTwo EV vs. competitors

Models

Smart ForTwo EV

Fiat 500e

Nissan Leaf

MSRP

$23,900

$31,800

$30,680

Battery Capacity

17.6kWh

24kWh

30kWh

Transmission

Single speed

Single speed

Single speed

Horsepower

80 hp

111 hp

107 hp

Torque

118 lb-ft

184 lb-ft

187 lb-ft

Smart ForTwo offers a very basic electric powertrain package as compared to Chevrolet and Fiat. Where the competition has aptly powered motors and good range battery packs. Smart is pricey for 17.6 kWh powertrain which is good for 57 miles only.

Acceleration

ForTwo has quite a punchy start off the line. Stop and Go in this car is a charm it pulls rather ambitiously till it hits 40mph patch. And that's where the acceleration curve dips down. It shows up quite imminently in its 0-60mph time.

Models Smart ForTwo EV Fiat 500e Chevrolet Bolt EV
0-60 MPH 11.4 sec 8.4 sec 6.5 sec
Quarter mile 17.9sec 17.0 sec 14.9 sec

The competitor's sub-10 second times are not really to be called impressive but yes, a leap over. Even the light weight of 2363lbs for an EV, doesn't help ForTwo. It has some of that laggy nature, Smart hence is an avoidable vehicle to take on highways and expect overtakes from.

Handling and Braking

ForTwo is fundamentally just that right compact car that city needs. The length of 106.1 inch and a super impressive turning circle of 22.8ft. In a line, that means you can literally U-turn from the lane you are into the one that is beside.

The car is a hoot to drive in tight city spaces. The 15" wheels on the extreme corner give the right kind of expanse of the vehicle. The steering is electrically assisted and could do a lot in terms of the feedback and feel. As far as the ease goes it just matches what this car needs to be. Simple, Light and Ready to move.

Model Smart ForTwo EV Fiat 500e Chevrolet Bolt EV
Brake Front(in) 11.0 11.0 N/A
Brake Rear(in) 8.0 9.4 N/A
60-0 MPH (ft.) 110 127 132

Brakes feel very go-kart like, woody and false. There's not enough momentum carried by the car that'd help with that particularly. Being a lighter car it is expected to brake far before than its competition would. But it doesn't impress as such.

Fuel Economy

9.4/10

The 96 cell lithium-ion battery packs in a compact space. And juices up in 3 hours at 240V fast charge facility which returns around 60-70 miles when driven efficiently. A 120V household charge takes over 16.5-17 hours to charge full. Smart's eMPG is decent.

Model Smart ForTwo EV Fiat 500e Chevrolet Bolt EV
eMPG (city) 124 121 128
eMPG (Highway) 94 103 110
eMPG (Combined) 108 112 119
Battery Range (Miles) 58 84 238

Spending a little more on your EV would provide a far more practicality in terms of range and enough firepower to cruise at highway speeds.

Interior

6.3/10

"To diminish the HVAC system’s battery drain, the Smart's interior can be preconditioned while the vehicle is charging." - caranddriver

Seating and Comfort

There's surprisingly enough room for two in ForTwo. You literally walk into the cabin. Ergonomics are spot-on with good room. Fabric-roof cabriolet version offers even more expansive and infinite feel to the already good space.

Model

Smart ForTwo EV

Fiat 500e

Chevrolet Bolt EV

Passenger capacity

2

4

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

39.7/48.0/41.2

38.9/49.4/40.7

39.7/54.6/41.6

Rear (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

N/A

35.5/46.4/27.6

37.9/52.8/36.5

As you run your eyes and hands across the gear and the center console. The quality of plastics would disappoint the elatedness you felt when you climbed in. Something that delights you is the options and colors Smart offers on seat fabric and the panoramic sunroof on the coupe.

All this is marred by the crashy suspension, makes you feel the smallest of bumps the quick direction changing ability ruins it even further. Overall it's fun looking inside as it is outside.

Exterior

7.0/10

"In the Fortwo Cabrio, a clever cutout in the rear hatch tailgate lets you stow the roof bars when you want the full convertible experience with the top down and the bars off." - KBB

Dimensions and Weight

It's a very oddball of a car. It's pint-sized in dimensions which makes it look very chic and cute. It looks beefier than the model before and there are many individualization options. The range of colors is vast. And the body color is in contrast with the Tridion safety cell. Which makes it look very interesting.

Smart could always do with LED powered headlights but make do with halogen bulb headlights with DRLs. LEDs could be more of a power efficient option than Halogens we think.

Model Smart ForTwo EV Fiat 500e Chevrolet Bolt EV
curb weight(lbs) 2363 2980 3563
Length(in) 106.1 142.4 164
Width(in) N/A 64.1 69.5
Height(in) 61.2 60.1 62.8
Ground clearance(in) N/A 4.5 N/A
Wheel base(in) 73.7 90.6 102.4
Track width(in) F/R 57.8/56.3 55.4/55 59.1/59.1

The Fiat 500e in comparison doesn't alienate being an EV. It's hard to distinguish with the normal gasoline powered 500. Chevrolet Bolt EV is a full-sized smart looking 5-seater hatchback. But as the exclusivity goes Smart wins over our hearts. It looks its part.

Safety

Smart has few pro-active safety features. Its frame is based on “Tridion steel safety shell”. A small energy-absorbing crumple zone at the front of the car lessens impacts.

  • Anti-Lock Braking System
  • 8 Airbags
  • Tridion Safety Cell
  • Electronic Stability Program
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Crosswind Assist

Competition

Smart ForTwo Drive vs. Fiat 500e

Fiat is far more fun and zippy car than Smart ForTwo. And it almost feels like the gasoline powered 500. If you can stretch up to 7 grand more. 500e is a better option. It even has a tad more range than offer.

Smart ForTwo Electric Drive vs. Nissan Leaf

If Smart is a city car the Leaf is a quintessential Electric Family car. A very practical buy we must say. Nissan Leaf awaits a long needed update. Unless you can wait for the Leaf coming next year this is still a practical buy.

Final Verdict

Smart ForTwo now is zingier with that electric drive. Even more so than its slow shifting petrol version. You can park this thing anywhere at will, in the tightest of spaces. The initial pull from the start line is great. The small dimensions helps you to make it maneuver with ease. It's fun and chic looks grabs eyes. Just its range and average performance is one concern. If you can overlook that part and if the city is your jungle. This is the car for you.

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