2016 Smart Fortwo still thinks small is big

Few cars on the road today are genuinely different from the ones that came before, but the Smart Fortwo certainly is. Unfortunately, standing out from the crowd hasn’t made it attractive to buyers.

Parent company Daimler hopes to change that with the redesigned 2016 Smart Fortwo, which maintains the current model’s less-is-more philosophy with a few nods to practicality.

From the outside, it still looks like a Smart.

The Fortwo is still impossibly tiny, with short front and rear overhangs. However, the 2016 model sports a more distinct hood line and an actual front grille, part of an attempt to make it look less like a dystopian transportation pod and more like an actual car.

For the first time, the two-seat Fortwo is joined by a four-door Forfour model. While the previous (not sold in the U.S.) Forfour was a mini crossover of sorts, the 2016 model is a stretched version of the two-door Fortwo, in the vein of the MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 door.

2016 smart fortwo

The interior also borrows the look of previous Smart models, with a pair of round vents prominently perched above the dashboard, and plenty of rounded surfaces. It’s a funky design for a funky car.

The way the center screen appears non-permanently attached to the dash would normally be something to criticize, but since Mercedes-Benz did the same thing in the more-expensive CLA-Class, we’ll let it slide.

The 2016 Smart Fortwo and Forfour ride on a new chassis shared with the Renault Twingo and maintaining the current car’s rear-engined layout. The engines themselves are also new.

At launch, base 2016 Fortwo models will be offered with a 999 cc three-cylinder engine that produces just 71 horsepower, while an 898 cc turbocharged triple will offer a little more grunt… 90 hp.

Buyers will be able to choose between five-speed manual and six-speed dual-clutch transmissions, and both engines feature stop-start for added fuel efficiency.

Smart has always had trouble convincing buyers that its tiny cars are safe, which is why the 2016 Fortwo is loaded with protective gadgets.

Crosswind Assist is now standard, and will probably come in handy given the car’s tall and narrow shape. Forward collision warning and lane departure assist are optional, and the Fortwo once again features Smart’s “tridion safety cell” construction.

The 2016 Smart Fortwo launches in Europe this November, with prices starting around 11,000 euros, or about $14,874 at current exchange rates. U.S. pricing, final specifications, and fuel economy will be released closer to the car’s trip across the pond.

Product Review

The all-new 3 Series proves BMW can still build a compelling sport sedan

Seat time in the entry-level BMW 330i ($41,425) and M340i xDrive ($54,995) will test the German automaker’s commitment to driving dynamics, powertrain refinement, and cutting edge technology.
Cars

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Cars

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.
Cars

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti has released a teaser image to preview a concept it will unveil at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The yet-unnamed design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language.
Cars

What’s next for in-car entertainment? Audi believes it knows

Audi is bringing two technologies to CES 2019. The first turns a car -- a luxury sedan, in this case -- into a drive-in movie theater. The second is presented as a new entertainment format that turns the journey into the destination.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Booze-filled ski poles and crypto piggy banks

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

California wants all-electric public bus fleet on its roads by 2040

California approved a regulation that targets an all-electric public bus fleet for the whole state by 2040. The effect of the full implementation of the regulation is equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the road.