Smart ForTwo is a small rear-drive hatchback, category “A”, designed for two passengers. Smart is a model of mini-class cars produced by the company, which is owned by the international concern Daimler AG. Despite the fact that the model appeared for the first time in the autumn of 1998, it takes its history back in 1972, when a group of developers began to design a fundamentally new small-capacity city car. Such a name, Smart received from the combination of words For Two, which means “For Two” in Russian.
Restyled version of the 2nd generation appeared in March 2012 in Geneva. And the last time Smart models were presented in autumn 2014, as part of the Paris Motor Show. The third generation was designed together with the company Renault. And despite the fact that this small car is not yet popular in Russia (the average annual number of sales is 200 cars), Smart is going to expand its dealer network by increasing the number of stores in the country. The whole model range is Smart.
- History of the car
- Smart ForTwo I Generation (1998-2007)
- Smart ForTwo II generation (2007-2014)
- Smart ForTwo III generation (2014-present)
- Crash test
- Complete sets and prices
- Owner’s Reviews
- Pluses and minuses
- We sum up
- Smart ForTwo 3 photo
- Test drive
- Video overview
History of the car
Smart ForTwo I Generation (1998-2007)
The history of the small Smart machine for the city dates back to 1994, when the Swiss watchmaker, together with Daimler-Benz, decided to set up a joint MCC factory. After a while, the Swiss decided to withdraw from this program, so since then the company is owned only by the German carmaker.
The debut version was a 2-seater hatchback Smart City Coupe, which began to be produced in 1998 at the French company. As the basis for the structure of a small machine, which was only 2.5 meters long, decided to use a “capsule” of metal, which hang colored panels made of plastic.
In 2002, a small vehicle underwent modernization, and in 2004 it was renamed Smart Fortu. After that, the hatchback had updated headlights, grille, lower bumper edge, stern lanterns and an enlarged fuel tank (previously 23 and now 33 liters).
First-generation smart forts were produced up to and including 2007. During these years, the company managed to sell about 770000 cars. The model was produced in 2 types of bodies: 3-door hatchback and convertible. The length of Smart Fortu 1 was 2500 millimeters, width 1515 millimeters, height 1549 millimeters, and the wheelbase was at 1812 millimeters.
The weight of the car started from 730 – 740 kg, the difference was in the configuration. Gross weight in both variants is 990 kg. The material used to produce the body is energy absorbing. A large number of interior details were made of hard plastic, and armchairs and doors are finished with plastic.
From the very beginning, the Smart ForTwo 1 family received one 0.6-liter 45-horsepower 3-cylinder gasoline engine and a 0.8-liter 41-horsepower turbo diesel version. When the 2002 upgrade took place, the list of available engines increased to 3 gasoline engines with a capacity of 0.7 liters (engines were developed from 50 to 70 hooves).
The diesel version of the engine has remained at the same level. The engine was installed at the rear, and the entire torque potential was extended to the rear wheels using a six-band robotic control. Smart ForTwo I has an independent spring type suspension at the front and rear. The front wheels have disc brakes and the rear wheels have standard drum-type brakes.
The vehicle is equipped with a sandwich platform that accommodates a safety capsule. Together with the reduced centre of gravity it prevents the light machine from tipping over in steep bends. Among the advantages of the Smart Fortu car are its small dimensions, which are perfectly suitable for use in urban areas.
In addition, the car turned out to be quite reliable, practical, with a spacious double cabin. The presence of rich equipment and an excellent degree of safety is a pleasure. The first family Smart ForTwo is easy to operate, and when driving at high speed, the car is kept stable and reliable. Among the disadvantages are rigid suspension, unclear functioning of the “robot”, expensive spare parts and their long waiting time. In addition, the service in our country is very poorly developed.
Smart ForTwo II generation (2007-2014)
The second family of 2-seater compact car was produced since 2007. This rear-wheel drive vehicle with aft powertrain placement has appeared on the Russian market in an official manner since 2012. The second generation has been upgraded twice.
For our customers the model was presented in 2 versions: Pure and Passion. The novelty has an interesting design, not bad stuffing and a lot of experience of driving on European roads. The appearance of Smart Fortu 2 is more expressive than the first generation.
Taking into account the small size of the vehicle, it even seems slightly predatory. All models of the ForTwo series have relatively massive air intakes. They were made of anthracite-colored carbon fibre. In addition, the European has large “huge” side skirts. As a result, even modest size speaks about importance and uniqueness.
All this is smoothly combined with the feeling that the 2-seater model will move quickly, like a lightning bolt. Massive, elongated headlights, which were made of transparent glass, add to the face of Smart’s “cunning expression”. It is noticeable at once that the novelty has matured and looks, a little “squinting”. The whole image is complemented by a lot of stern lanterns.
Smart ForToo’s second generation looks fresher and more modern, and is simply perfect for the role of a city car, given the small size and low fuel consumption.
The new model features stylish side ducts, cast “rollers” (optional 9-spoke, three large or three twin spokes), tridion body safety cell (made with high strength steel that easily “holds the blow” at front contact at speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour), and LED daylight system.
Although the “model” is small, it has doors that open wide, which significantly improves fit. The designers decided to use wide 15-inch “rollers” as wheels. In 2011, Smart ForTwo II underwent a small restyling, which touched the front and rear bumper, grille and a little interior decoration.
The interior of the small car has not lost its charm. Auto and previously appreciated the convenient location inside, so experts decided not to change anything in this regard. The chairs still have a high level of comfort, which allows you not to get tired even during many hours of trips.
When you look at the appearance of Smart Fortu 2 generations is unlikely to assume that the car has such a free interior. Only leather and strong fabric were used for interior decoration, which received a light gray scale, which does not cut the eyes and gives additional comfort. Based on the consumer’s intentions, the color of the upholstery may have a saturated red variant or black palette.
Interesting that there is a moving opaque panel under the Smart ForTwo car ceiling. It is used to dim the glass tinted roof, which protects the driver’s and passenger’s head from overheating.
The elements of the “dashboard” decided to cover the skin, which creates a new level of solidity. If we speak for the skin, it was made, given the modern design trends. In addition, the model was equipped with the latest electronics of the surround eight-channel sound, which has high-frequency and midrange speakers.
Based on the opinion of customers, the second family of small car may have an on-board computer with a convenient multifunctional screen, which reflects the daily mileage, current gasoline consumption and other necessary data. The board computer is able to work with a comfortable cruise control system.
These electronic technologies can be controlled by means of a special keypad mounted on the steering column. Leather steering wheel, if required, can be equipped with a leather framed speed knob. The practicality of the model is improved by an extensive glove compartment with a convenient latch and the latest three-dimensional mesh pockets placed on the armchairs.
The volume of the luggage compartment is very impressive and has 340 litres of usable space. The vehicle was officially delivered to the Russian market, under the hood of which was placed a three-cylinder 1.0-liter engine and five-speed robotic gearbox. It developed such a power plant with 71 horsepower at 5800 rpm.
Consumption of such “engine” 4.6 liters per 100 kilometers in urban environment. Outside the city the index drops to 3.9 liters per every hundred. It is important to note that, given the speed of the engine, modest fuel consumption and compact size, the second family marks the title of the ideal city car. The ultimate speed is 145 kilometers per hour, and you can accelerate to the top 100 in 13.7 seconds.
The Smart ForTwo Passion version already has a turbocharged engine that can deliver 84 horsepower. The speed limit is at the same level, but it takes 10.7 seconds to reach the speed limit of 100 km/. The version Smart ForTwo electric drive has received the electric motor developing 41 “horses”.
The motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery. With one battery charge, the car can travel a maximum of 115 kilometers, after which you will need to recharge for up to 8 hours. To fully exploit this version on the territory of our country, we need a suitable infrastructure, and we do not have it, so in our area the electric version will look like an expensive toy, rather than a full-fledged vehicle.
All torque is transmitted only to the rear wheels. This has been done for many reasons, but one of the main ones is to improve safety. When the drive is installed in this way, the probable amount of deformation increases. The higher it is, the “longer” the softening impact.
All this, together with the tridion steel cage, the seats with integrated seat belts, the Airbag for all people sitting in the car and the collision sensor, has had a significant impact on the overall safety of the model. So it is no surprise that Smart Fortune 2 was able to get a high rating for the safety of sitting people during crash tests.
In addition, the vehicles are equipped with dynamic machine stabilization, ABS technology with integrated electrical braking force distribution, hydraulic brake drive and anti-spin electronics. Many drivers will enjoy the installed lifting assistance system.
Speaking about the cost of cars in our country, in 2014 the model with basic equipment was estimated at 550,000 rubles. For equipment with a turbocharged “engine” it was required to pay additional 200,000 rubles. The convertible version was from 820 000 Russian rubles.
Smart ForTwo III generation (2014-present)
A new third generation of the famous compact car has appeared since 2014. In Russia, the founders decided to increase their dealer network just in time for the Russian debut of the latest version of Smart Fortu 3, which was scheduled for the end of 2015.
Before starting to improve Smart, the designers set themselves the task of making the coupe look a little bit aggressive. Now about 50% of the body frame was made of high-strength steel, the doors were replaced by steel.
Under the renewal was the grille, which increased in size, and then changed its appearance of the headlights, both bumpers and taillights. If desired, the bumper can be equipped with “fog lights” or LED strips. A small hood, a massive bumper, with a mouth of the lower air inlet – everything looks nice.
In addition to the diamond optics with U-shaped daytime running lights, the nose section has a fresh Smart logo on the new grille. It is very pleasant that the model has retained the usual two-color body color. After a while, the Smart ForTwo III is now available with the Urban Style package, which has an understated suspension system, arches and chrome exhaust pipes.
It’s easy to see the compact hood, massive wheel wings for such a car, a door to almost the entire board and a chopped-off rear of the car. All in all, this is a side view of the machine that gives the opportunity to appreciate the work of designers in the exterior design. The final part of the update was the 15-inch alloy wheels, which received a new design and a variety of colors for the body painting.
That’s the small scale of the body that makes you smile. And in general, the appearance creates the impression that in front of you is not a mini-car, and a mini-cosmolitan from the future or a toy for children. It does model simultaneously beautiful and strange that very strongly allocates it from the basic stream of cars even if it too “ForTwo” as at acquisition to become a choice between almost four tens colour registrations.
Such solutions of designers deserve respect, because courage was required here in any case. But he is given the opportunity to park in a place where a full-fledged car is not even shining. After all, “Smart” is “Smart” and the actions of their designers and engineers have always been extravagant and special.
Smart’s rear part looks proportionally correct, thanks to the diamond-shaped clearance lamps, which are also LED. Visually increase the overall characteristics of ForTwo weight bumper and large for such a car, the luggage compartment door. In the latest version of “Smart Fortu” the dimensions are equal to the following figures: length – 2690 mm, width – 1660 mm, height – 1550 mm and 130 mm clearance at 1873 mm wheelbase.
Thanks to its miniaturization, Smart ForTwo sets a record for a turning radius of only 6.95 m (from curb to curb) or 7.3 m (from wall to wall). Of course, skills will be useful for this, but it is still convenient for participation in city traffic.
The interior of the ForTwo mini car is quite friendly, modern and stylish. Processing of the new generation of this model from the inside was carried out all over the place, from the steering wheel to the cladding. It was decided to make the interior decoration in two-color format (blue and white). The impression is the same as from the appearance – minimalistic and partly toylike, although the interior is quite ergonomic.
Thus, the inside of the car is clearly combined with the outside. The dashboard with the big half radius of speedometer and the display of the onboard computer became very stylish, and the multipurpose steering wheel and comfortably located audio system JBL with six built in speakers will please any motorist.
Immediately plus you can highlight the touch screen multimedia system, which actively interacts with smartphones and stylishly designed, unusual control unit climate functions. The interior itself is designed naturally only for two people. For people with average growth of space will be quite enough.
Fortu is also distinguished by a good overview, and visibility from all sides. The volume of luggage compartment is no less than 260 liters. Options that I would like to note are an advanced audio system, heating of both seats and a central lock with remote control.
If you look at the whole, the two-seater interior has many oval, spherical parts of decoration. There is a fabric upholstery on the top of the front panel. As it is clear from the photos of the interior, the novelty has an improved “dashboard” and advanced screen of the on-board entertainment system. Many motorists will be pleased with the interior with bright colors.
Only two seats are comfortable and have side support. Using a special mesh material in the central part of the chair, effective ventilation is provided. It is not necessary to deceive yourself with small dimensions of the car, as any person can sit comfortably, and the seats can be moved back far enough.
There’s plenty of room over your head. This was achieved with the help of a high bodywork. The lightweight and comfortable multifunction steering wheel makes it easy to operate the already small machine. Under the climate control console in the machine, the designers placed a couple of cup holders. Transmission control lever is installed in its native place. The parking brake lever is located behind it. The 3rd generation Smart Fortu salon looks unforgettable, youthful and unusual.
The new generation of this miracle machine can be equipped with three different engines to choose from. It is clear that the units will not show off their strength, but instead their advantage is their cost-effectiveness.
For Smart ForTwo 2015, three gasoline three-cylinder units are available with an output of 60, 71 and 90 hp and a volume of only 0.9 and 1 liter. The 71 hp version has a multipoint injection system and produces 91 Nm of torque. The variant with 90 hp engine already develops 135 Nm of torque.
Paired with a five-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed Twinamic gearbox with two Getrag dry clutches.
In Smart, engineers used the front suspension with McPherson racks. At the rear, the car received the De Dion suspension with completely redesigned shock absorbers and springs for the rear supports. The engine was positioned above the rear axle, under the boot deck, and so it was decided to make the drive on the rear wheels.
An additional paid option is available, which allows the hatchback to be equipped with a sports suspension and low ground clearance. The braking system consists of front ventilated discs and rear drums. Electric power steering can be installed only in more expensive versions, when the basic equipment does not have it.
The mini-campus has not a small number of security systems. This includes a central lock with remote control and an immobilizer that deprives the car of mobility without a key. In the development of security systems for cars Smart, was invested 40 years of experience of professionals in the study of accidents of the concern DaimlerChrysler, as well as information on the order of 50 crash-tests.
The serial version of the vehicle has an electronic distribution of braking forces. It works quite simply and clearly – the driver can turn and brake at the same time. Anti-skid electronics is called Trust-Plus.
It has received the function of electronic traction control and exchange rate stability. A separate Smarta processor uses wheel speed sensors and transverse acceleration to continuously monitor the driving position.
Passive driving safety has a large list, namely:
- Row of airbags at the front, sides, and combined for head and chest protection for both seats;
- No matter what the rear row is missing, there is still an ISOFIX;
- The doors close automatically when the movement starts;
- Tridion safety cell – stainless steel case, the structure of which in case of an accident allows it to absorb most of the energy and prevent damage to people inside the machine;
- Standard wind stabilization system;
- Three-point seatbelts with pretensioning system and force limitation, and if you forget to fasten them, the indicator will remind you of this.
The following functionality works directly when moving:
- Anti-block braking system (ABS);
- Course Stability System (ESP);
- High Start Assistant;
- Cruise control system with car speed limitation;
- Collision sensor;
- Tire pressure monitoring system (in case of a puncture, you will immediately find it).
As mentioned above, the safety capsule, which was developed specifically for this model, is designed to absorb the lion’s share of the impact force during frontal impact by means of deformation zones. It turns out that the power unit of the car is shifted forward, under the safety capsule.
The armchairs in the car were made with the use of strong steel. They have high backrests, headrests and seat belts. The seats are designed to absorb the impact by means of a programmable collision deformation of the backrest and seat fixing system.
Importantly, all Smart models have a fuel tank under the bottom of the machine. Thanks to this, the tank is located outside of the frontal impact deformation area.
The Germans are so confident in their vehicle that they even made a confrontation for two models of their production. This is Mercedes S-Class and our model – Smart ForTwo. What is amazing is that the Germans decided to hit a small car with a heavy C-class, which today is considered to be the safest car of Mercedes company. The model weighs more than twice as much.
The collision is carried out on a high-speed mode – 50 kilometers per hour. The impact occurs with a slight shift (about 50%). German specialists state that the new Smart Fortu car safety technology is similar to that of the newest S- and C-class cars. After the crash-test, the world audience was surprised that the small car coped well with the collision.
And all with the help of cellular body structure technology (Tridion), which is able to absorb a solid part of the impact through improved energy absorption. The body structure has decided to use a higher proportion of high strength steel, which provides the vehicle with improved stability.
Therefore, it is safe to say that the model clearly deserves attention, because in addition to its mobility, low fuel consumption and practicality, it is also safe.
Complete sets and prices
ForTwo is available in three different configurations. Passion (basic) is a central lock with remote control, cruise control, LED dipped beam, immobilizer, outdoor thermometer, albeit monochrome, but still a screen of the on-board computer, the functions of ESP, ASR and ABS. There is an electric drive of glasses.
Safety is provided by front and side airbags. Engineers have also introduced a very interesting option Crosswind Assist, which is designed to resist with powerful side gusts of wind, while braking the wheels and leveling the trajectory, so as not to “deflate” the car from the road.
The Prime and Proxy versions will cost a little more – where you can find seat heating, 3.5 inch computer colour screen and leather steering wheel trim. In Russia, for example, the hatchback variant will cost from $12395,10 to $21181,50, depending on the configuration. But the convertible will cost from $1553,31 to $18043,50. And they will be offered in two versions, 1-liter atmospheric or turbine version of this engine.
The standard equipment of the new Smart ForTwo III includes halogen headlights H4, where there is an installed LED daylight, black exterior mirrors with a texture, black radiator grille with a texture, 15-inch “rollers” made of steel, the 3rd brake light, clothing department in the front doors, upholstery made of black fabric.
In addition, there is interior lighting, a three-spoke “hand wheel”, five-speed manual gearbox, twinamic, automated system Start/Stop, ABS, drive block, ESP. There are airbags, tire pressure control technology, as well as the possibility of installing ISOFIX child seats in the passenger seat (there is a function to disable the Airbag), start up assistance system, side wind resistance technology and a special capsule tridion.
According to the feedback of Smart Fortu owners, customers are attracted by the bright design, maneuverability of the car, good headlight illumination, surprisingly good cross-country ability, confident driving in winter, high-quality seats, reliability, excellent safety level. Here you can also include small size of the car, modest fuel consumption, various electronic auxiliary systems.
Power units of the German car can walk up to 300,000 kilometers without major repairs, but provided that the owner will monitor the oil level. Even a new engine can “eat” oil – it all depends on how the owner turns the turbine. The new original turbine costs 55,000 – 60,000 rubles, and the Chinese version costs 16,000 – 22,000 rubles.
The second variant is much cheaper, but it takes about two weeks. Drivers say that electronics does not “glitch” and in any frost the car is started from half a turn. Despite the small size of the vehicle, its cross-country ability may be envied by older cars. The owners do not like the high cost of spare parts and maintenance in official service centers, rare rubber, little free space, so for one car in the family, this option is clearly not suitable.
Often a rather small volume of fuel tank causes complications, because despite the declared modest consumption of gasoline, the power unit can “eat” up to 12 liters of fuel in urban mode, but this is if you “pile up”, and Smart can do it. The car quickly gains speed, however, the control is not so ideal after about 70 km/h. Due to the fact that the front wheels are narrow, they quickly slip into the sky. In general, the model looks very fresh, practical and interesting, especially for people who value their time and often ride around the city.
Pluses and minuses
- Minimum fuel consumption;
- Small auto sizes;
- A sufficiently sharp motor and a record short turning radius (4.4 m).
- The brake system works perfectly with electric power steering;
- Use all the functions very simply and easily;
- And despite its size “ForTu” has a spacious enough trunk, but not as we would like it;
- Electronic auxiliary systems to help the driver while driving;
- Unusual and fresh appearance;
- Model is quite reliable;
- Comfortable salon;
- Comfortable seats with side support;
- Media system color display.
Cons of a car
- Little baggage capacity;
- Still not a powerful enough engine;
- Slow car speed by modern standards, although in urban conditions it will be provided;
- Small fuel tank;
- Expensive spare parts and service
- Hard to find the right rubber for the wheels.
We sum up
The fact that your car will stand out among the entire city stream is not even disputed. The appearance makes you pay attention to yourself. The model makes you feel special, when, for example, a big SUV quickly overtakes the “dwarf” coupe. The third generation of Smart Fortu is fully in line with modern fashion trends. Sometimes it seems that in front of us just a toy car, but its functionality and practicality, is off the charts.
And this can be attributed not only to the exterior, but also to the interior decoration. The salon turned out to be youthful, technological and intuitive. Ergonomics is at a proper level, which is typical for the models of German production. It is possible to allocate the ventilating system deflectors which have received the original design, and also the colour display on which it is possible to display all necessary information.
The seats, although they look simple, have received comfortable side support. When you’re inside, there seems to be plenty of room everywhere, even above your head. The luggage compartment hasn’t got record liters, but it’s quite enough for city purposes. Power units work perfectly and allow the German Smart ForTwo III to move quickly through the busy city streets.
At the same time, in winter, the power unit needs a long warm-up time, which can cause some inconvenience. The availability of electronic systems designed to help the driver to drive a vehicle is encouraging. German experts have not forgotten that Smart is equipped with a proper level of safety, which is eloquently evidenced by high estimates of the results of crash-tests.
The cost of a car is not so expensive, which is not to say about spare parts and service. Also, it would not be superfluous to remind that, buying this model, the owner will not be easy to find the necessary rubber on non-standard wheels. Therefore, before buying a new car or from hands, you should think carefully whether it makes sense.
As to have only one such car in the family, it will be extremely inconvenient, considering its small functionality. And for trips to work, business and city streets – there are no rivals here, because the car is not afraid of narrow streets and uncomfortable parking and is simply created for the city.
We advise you to read the article: History of Smart Automobile