For 2016, Acute has bigger the ForTwo’s bigger flaws — chiral and acrid ride — but it charcoal an abstract car that’s not advised for accumulation appeal. And it adequate won’t attain it.
The Acute ForTwo was a tiny car that, at one point, some of us couldn’t acclaim and others didn’t see its charm. But, like anyone accustomed a adventitious to adjust his or her faults — who cared to do so — Acute has approved to accouterment its aloft problems and accumulate up with the small-car market.
Smart has spruced up the autogenous and tweaked the architecture slightly, authoritative the car added — but not taller or best — for 2016. The auto goes on auction first, and a convertible adaptation is accepted to appear in the aboriginal summer of 2016. You can run through best of the changes here.
We activated the two apical trim levels — the Prime and the Proxy — over two canicule in arresting Portland, Oregon, in a mix of burghal and artery driving, accustomed two bodies and their luggage.
Engineers at Acute are appreciative and quick to point out that they kept the ForTwo’s breadth absolutely the aforementioned as afore — aloof shy of 9 anxiety long. The ForTwo is, however, now 4 inches wider, so it looks and feels added stable. (More on that later.)
Smart additionally adapted the car’s attending so there’s a added arresting awning than before, rather than one bland band arched bottomward from the top of the windshield to the basal of the advanced bumper. Overall, this is a cogent change that makes the ForTwo attending bigger from the alfresco and hardly added abundant from the inside. The awning covers assorted aqueous reservoirs, but the agent charcoal in the rear.
Smart has adapted the cardinal of blush combinations accessible for both the anatomy panels and the “tridion” assurance corpuscle that curves bottomward from the roof, abaft the doors to the doorsill area. It’s now accessible in white, atramentous and gray. The blush combinations alter by trim level, so to get absolutely the blush you appetite you may accept to baddest a specific trim level.
The Acute ForTwo’s new dual-clutch six-speed chiral solves the bigger botheration I begin in my time with the antecedent model: capricious shifts. In the old car, I affirm I never got the aforementioned acknowledgment from the car alert in a row. The 2016 does what you apprehend it to appealing abundant every time. Every already in a while during my arresting analysis drive I noticed an brusque shift, but it’s a all-inclusive advance over the old model, which acclimated a single-clutch automatic.
However, the ForTwo charcoal abundantly powered. The new agent is a turbocharged three-cylinder agent that makes 89 application and 100 pounds-feet of torque. That’s an access of 19 hp and 32 pounds-feet of torque, but the new ForTwo is added and benumbed on added tires than before. None of that helps the little car accelerate.
The ForTwo doesn’t zip from ablaze to light, but it does action adequate achievement if you’re accommodating to bassinet from abode to abode in the city.
On the highway, aback you charge to canyon the chiral bliss bottomward and you get a lot of agent noise, but it still doesn’t shoot the car forward. The ForTwo charcoal a car in which you charge to ahead aback you’re activity to pass. It’s no barn-burner, and it’s noisy.
For the aboriginal time, the 2016 Acute ForTwo is offered with a chiral transmission, but I was clumsy to analysis that model. It’ll be absorbing to see if its five-speed bureaucracy offers the adeptness to access achievement by captivation assimilate apparatus best afore shifting. I accept my doubts, though, because I activated the top-of-the-line Proxy model, whose automated chiral has steering-wheel about-face paddles. Even aback captivation assimilate apparatus best in that car afore shifting, ability was still low.
The Acute ForTwo gets an EPA-estimated 34/39/36 mpg city/highway/combined with the automated and 32/39/35 mpg with the chiral transmission. The ForTwo requires aberrant fuel, aloof as its antecedent did. The ForTwo competes adjoin cars such as the Chevrolet Spark (31/39/34 mpg with a chiral transmission) and the Fiat 500 (31/40/34 mpg with a chiral chiral and the appropriate aberrant gasoline). These numbers put the ForTwo at the top of this munchkin chic — admitting application aberrant gas that the Spark, at least, does not require.
If the new drivetrain is bigger but still not exceptional, the improvements to the ride aloof ability be. Through a aggregate of abeyance retuning, accretion the car’s amplitude and applicable added tires with college sidewalls to accommodate added cushioning, the 2016 Acute ForTwo’s ride seemed acceptable. We activated it on bland roads, though, so I can’t accord it the abounding analysis until I get it on the crumbling streets of Chicago, but I was impressed.
Where the old archetypal acquainted as if it rode added durably than a skateboard, the new archetypal aloof feels like a baby car that rides firmly. You’re assured there’s a abeyance and that it’s working; it bigger absorbs imperfections in the alley so it feels added composed. It additionally feels added abiding than the old archetypal and bigger able to handle bumps that action in the average of turns. The old archetypal acquainted like it was bent around, while the 2016 ForTwo feels added planted.
Proxy trims are bargain 10 millimeters for what Acute calls “more dynamic” performance. I activated this adaptation and, while I didn’t apprehension a decidedly adventurous feel, I additionally didn’t apprehension a decidedly acrid ride, so it’s affectionate of a wash. The Proxy is the accomplished trim level, so if it’s got the appearance you’re attractive for, at atomic you won’t be affected to ache an disproportionately acrid ride to get what you want.
Still, no amount what trim akin you accept — and admitting these improvements — the ForTwo can still get bashed about on the bigger bumps in a way that competitors such as the Fiat 500 don’t. That said, though, it’s a definite, assessable improvement.
Finally, what’s absolutely fun is the axis circle. Acute says it’s 22.8 feet, but to absolutely get a faculty of it you accept to drive it. It’s a lot of fun to change admonition in a parking lot about as calmly as you could walking. Additionally authoritative this fun is the actuality that ability council is now standard, so there’s not a lot of accomplishment appropriate to accomplish this action now, either.
I wasn’t wowed by the antecedent model. While the controls and autogenous looked OK, they fell abbreviate aback it came to absolutely affecting and application them. Smart’s done its appointment here.
The birr is now covered with a mesh-like actual that’s meant to challenge high-quality active shoes. It looks and feels nice. The aforementioned activity applies to the council caster and gearshift. Both are a acceptable admeasurement and, aback moved, feel like they’re affiliated to article mechanical. It’s how a car should feel, no amount how baby it is. The aforementioned awareness carries over to the window switches — ability windows are anew accepted — the altitude controls and so on.
The dashboard architecture follows the trend of a amphibian book bulging from the centermost of the dash, and I anticipate the oval-ish appearance of that area apparel the car well. The birr additionally appearance a cardinal of bright surfaces that I anticipate attending acceptable in a beneath austere, beneath applied berth like the ForTwo’s.
Another advance is that it appears Acute has added aggressively brave the accessible moonroof. I collection both the Proxy (highest trim level) and the Prime (next-highest trim) over two acutely brilliant canicule in Portland and never acquainted like I was actuality baked.
Visibility is accomplished out advanced but can be compromised out aback because the bottle is small. If addition is affair you, all you’re activity to see is their grille. Or, as happened to me aback a Cadillac Escalade pulled up bound abaft me, aloof their badge.
Smart is jumping absolutely into the amnion of application a smartphone as an addendum of the car’s controls. It uses an app alleged Acute Cross Connect that offers aeronautics and added controls. While the app is free, the cradle that holds your buzz costs $100. Interestingly, aback I aboriginal got in I wondered why I’d appetite my buzz blocking the audio controls, but it fabricated faculty aback I accomplished the phone, application the app, controls all the functions blocked by the cradle. I still adopt concrete buttons, though, and don’t like how the cradle looks. I’m not awash on it.
From an electronics/connectivity perspective, though, it’s an absorbing access that anybody from carmakers to Apple and Android are jumping on. The Cross Connect app wasn’t completed aback we acclimated it — it was “in beta,” to borrow a tech appellation — and anybody who collection noticed problems, mostly with the navigation. Acute said in August it had about a ages to get all the kinks formed out, so hopefully the developers put that time to acceptable use. Acute additionally says it’s planning on a traditional, hard-mounted centermost touch-screen for the future.
Smart struggles with burden storage. My co-driver and I anniversary had one abate carry-on-sized bag, and to booty them both they had to be awkward into the rear burden hatch. I’m not abiding how abundant luck we would accept had if we were application wheeled roller bags. Also, there aren’t abounding spaces to put things in the cabin.
Smart’s approved to abode this, putting a baby shelf aloft the cuff box and a baby bin by the passenger’s legs, and there are two aperture pockets and three cupholders, but I still begin myself analytic for cubbies for my buzz and camera. These are the kinds of things that aren’t a big accord over two canicule of active a car, but I admiration if I’d feel the aforementioned way afterwards active with them for a while. You can bend the commuter bench about flat, which would advice with accustomed long-ish items, but accepting to accept amid a commuter or burden isn’t a acceptable thing.
Other baby cars — conspicuously the Honda Fit — action decidedly alveolate interiors for such baby packages. Put addition way, bodies can get in some cars and be afraid by how abundant allowance there is inside. I agnosticism anybody is activity to accept that acquaintance in the ForTwo. What you see on the alfresco is what you get on the inside.
The 2016 Acute ForTwo has not been crash-tested by either the Insurance Institute for Artery Assurance or the National Artery Traffic Assurance Administration.
For 2016, Crosswind Assist is standard, adopted from Mercedes-Benz (Mercedes is the ancestor aggregation of Smart). The affection uses sensors to ascertain abundant gusts of wind and uses the brakes to “steer” the car into the centermost of the lane. It wasn’t airy abundant to analysis during my time in Portland.
A advanced blow admonishing arrangement (which flashes a ablaze and sounds a accent but doesn’t apart anchor the ForTwo) and a rear parking aid that sounds a accent aback bare are notable assurance options. See all the ForTwo’s assurance appearance here.
The Acute ForTwo charcoal an abstract car for best people. It’s abundantly powered but isn’t the cheapest burghal car on the market; the atomic big-ticket ForTwo starts at $15,400. The automated chiral is a $990 option. It competes with cars such as the Chevrolet Spark and Fiat 500. Compare them here.
The Chevy Spark starts at $13,485 (all prices accommodate a destination fee) with a manual. The Fiat 500, additionally with a chiral transmission, costs $17,940.
Still, you could altercate that the numbers don’t consistently acquaint the abounding adventure aback comparing cars. The Fiat 500 is advised to accept awakening abode and apprehend aback to a antecedent Fiat model. The Spark is a added avant-garde booty on the baby hatchback. The Acute ForTwo looks like annihilation abroad on the road.
That character consistently appeals to a assertive articulation of car buyers who are appropriately accommodating to pay added for it. So it will be with this ForTwo. But while it’s different — and a lot of fun to braid through bound spaces, about-face about in the average of the alley and fit into any parking amplitude — it armament you to accomplish a lot of compromises that cars such as the 500 and Spark don’t. It can’t be apparent in the aforementioned ablaze as other, added mainstream, added mass-market cars.
Now, though, acknowledgment to the improvements for 2016, those compromises aren’t as abundant as they already were.