The Smart EQ Fortwo has always made us wonder what it would be like to drive. But today, Smart has become a little different…
But that’s for a little later. To be honest, the Smart Fortwo doesn’t really need an introduction. It’s been around for 1998 and anyone instantly recognizes one of the smallest cars on the road.
So as you may have heard, as of 2020 Smart has gone fully electric meaning internal combustion engines are gone. And since then, this song has been suck in my head.
Anyway, electric Smarts aren’t anything new. In fact, they’ve been around for quite some time now.
It’s propelled by a rear-placed electric motor producing just 82 hp and 160 Nm’s. And whilst that doesn’t really seem like a lot. It still manages to accelerate in 4.8 seconds to 60 km/h. And with instant torque response, that’s plenty quick enough in the city. Stoplight sprints are a lot of fun this way without breaking the law. Above 60 km/h the acceleration drops down quite a bit, no surprises with just over 80 hp.
Fresh Looking Face
A new chapter means a new fresh face for the EQ ForTwo. Gone are the somewhat cute looks and they’ve been replaced by a big futuristic-looking grille with full-LED lights. In the back, the taillights have this really cool 3D shape inside. But one of my favorite design elements is the rims. They resemble a miniature size version of a multi-spoke wheel an AMG GT.
What’s also amazed is that in over 20 years the Smart Fortwo hasn’t really become any bigger than it was before. To illustrate this, we brought out a friend’s Crossblade and put them side by side. And truth beholds, it’s exactly as long as it was 20 years ago. It has gained a little bit in width (for the better) but other than that dimensions are still as they were. A rare feat in a world where every car gets bigger every generation.
So if we jump inside, we are pleasantly surprised by how spacious it feels. This is probably thanks to the glass panel roof but it doesn’t stop there. So yes the trunk is quite small, no surprises there, especially with the charging cable taking up some space. To fix this issue, Smart has fitted the passenger seat with a special velcro belt to keep stuff neatly in place next to you. Are you still running out of space? There’s space behind the seats as well. If I manage to bring all my video and photo gear along with a travel suitcase than it’s properly practical. Space for a passenger? Do you really need that?
The seats are very nice and the steering wheel has a nice grip on it. The instrument cluster is partly digital and in terms of design, it gives off a vibe of older Mercedes cars.
The infotainment system leaves a lot to be desired for a car sold in 2020. It’s a touch screen interface but the design looks quite “childish” if that’s the right word. There’s no Apple Carplay integration and the onboard navigation isn’t too good so you’re quickly switching to Google Maps or Waze.
Comical Turning Circle
Since the electric motor is placed in the rear, that means the front wheels only have the task of steering. Combine this with the insane short wheelbase of just under 1,9 meters and you get a turning circle of 6,95 meters.
The short wheelbase and rear-wheel-drive layout provide an excellent combination for handling. The EQ Fortwo turns sharp and is a joy to navigate.
The short turning circle at first is somewhat difficult to try and park because your mind just hasn’t been calibrated yet to how sharp it turns. Once you get the hang of it though, it’s so easy to park this thing literally everywhere.
Really, if you’re no longer going for a gap that exists, you’re not a real Smart driver.
Range Anxiety Is Real
We’ve talked about range anxiety in electric cars and if you’re not aware of the phenomenon: It’s the fear of running out of electricity before reaching a charging station or your destination. And here the size of the EQ ForTwo does play its parts. With a battery pack of only 17.6 kWh, the NEDC range is rated at 159 km. In real life, it’s closer to 120 km and that is if you put it in eco-mode and turn off the ventilation.
It really gets stressful from time to time, especially when you’re on the highway you see the funky battery meter drop 10 % almost every 5 minutes. So if you’re getting booty called from Bruges and you’re in Brussels, you’ll have to charge halfway and by then you’ve lost your chance.
Then again this isn’t really a car you’d normally take on journeys like this…
Was The Move To Fully Eel-ectric a good one?
The Smart EQ ForTwo is a great city car thanks to its compact size. However, for its size, it’s still able to take along quite some luggage. Inside it’s very nice but the infotainment system should’ve really benefited from that facelift the outside had.
Then there’s the range, for city use, it’s perfect because you’re not traveling big distances and you can easily charge it after every use. However, when you need to travel a little further, the experience gets really stressful and you’ll spend a lot of time at charging stations. With a price starting at 24.000 € it’s quite expensive and I see a big market falling away of people who just have the Smart as their means of transport. For now, it’s a great fun second car to own.