Almost everyone has seen a Smart Fortwo go by and wondered what the shrimpy little car is all about. Despite its rather odd shape, the Smart is a mainstream micro that has earned a reputation among buyers who want the smallest car possible. The Electric Drive variant has no need for gas whatsoever, something that the target market might appreciate even more than the ability to make their own parking spaces.
What's New for 2016
While the gas-powered Fortwo has been totally redesigned, the Electric Drive coupe and convertible continue with minor equipment revisions only.
Choosing Your Smart Fortwo Electric Drive
As its name and appearance shout to you, the Fortwo seats just two passengers, but room is quite good since there's no back seat competing for space. A rear liftgate provides access to the cargo area, which is predictably small at 8 cubic feet. However, the passenger seats folds down so you can carry some fairly long items.
The Electric Drive is powered by a rear-mounted 55kW electric motor, matched to a single-speed automatic transmission. The motor produces just 47 horsepower under normal operation, but output temporarily jumps to 75 horsepower when you smash the pedal. The Electric Drive goes from 0 to 60 mph in 11.5 seconds, which is acceptable for an entry-level EV. On a full charge, you're good for about 68 miles of driving. It takes six hours to recharge a fully depleted battery on a 240v outlet.
While there are several versions of the regular Fortwo, the Electric Drive comes in a single, well-equipped trim level. You get automatic headlamps and wipers, power windows and locks, electric power steering, 15-inch alloys wheels, heated power side mirrors, and a two-speaker sound system. Coupes get a fixed glass roof panel, while the convertible carries a power soft top.
Major individual options for the Electric Drive include leather upholstery, heated seats, a seven-speaker surround-sound system, and cruise control. The Kinetic Green package adds eco-themed green and white trim throughout.
The most essential upgrade is the surround-system, reasonably priced at $490. The standard two-speaker unit is simply inadequate, even for a car of this size.