Smart Fortwo Coupé 0.9, Front view 18 Photos Zoom

Smart Fortwo Coupé 0.9 Test: What can the new city runabout offer

We tested the new Smart Fortwo Coupé 0.9 with a three-cylinder engine. One highlight is its turning circle, which measures in at 7.2 metres. Find out what else the micro-car has to offer by reading the test write-up.

Smart Fortwo Coupé 0.9 Test 3,5 1

With slight exaggeration, we could say that the major advantage of the first two generations of Smart Fortwo Coupé 0.9 was that you could get rid of it so easily. There was always a gap into which it could be squeezed. The new model can do this even better – in spite of the additional ten centimetres in width.

With the length remaining unchanged (2.70 metres) this gives it a much more unrestricted sense of space and a more sturdy appearance on the road. First of all, we take our seats in the car, which accommodates two people astonishingly comfortably. We catch sight of the reversing camera, perplexed. Anyone that needs it probably also need one when sitting on a desk chair. Especially seeing as the Smart Fortwo, with a record-breaking turning circle of 7.2 metres, can easily turn inside a double garage. There is also a small amount of boot space, and you could hold onto your luggage from the driver seat if it threatened to slip in a quickly taken corner.

The Smart Fortwo Coupé 0.9 enthrals with optimised sound and suspension comfort

But hold on a minute, nothing is slipping anywhere. The ESP issues reprimands it such over-regulated fashion that it is at first difficult to tell with the Smart with its rear-mounted engine oversteers or understeers in the limit range. A winding road: brake, shift gear, steer. The Smart Fortwo corners with practically no feedback in the light steering. Apply the accelerator at the apex of the corner and the ESP brakes even more. Thus, the handling should satisfy even the highest of safety requirements, but has not so lofty ambitions when it comes to driving pleasure.

In any case, the scope of use of the Smart Fortwo is not limited to the city when the 898cc turbo starts to get going. With this engine, the Fortwo quickly gets going on the motorway, exhibiting a considerably more pleasant level of noise and suspension comfort compared to previous models. In addition to this there is now a manual transmission. It is miles better than the old automatic transmission. Not because the notchy Renault five-speed gearbox is perfect, but because the old transmission jolted so terribly. This makes the Smart Fortwo Coupé 0.9 seem more grown up, but it is still as handy – and expensive - as before. The turbo starts from 11,790 Euros. With it the Smart is: small, agile, better.

Successful automatic version

While Smarts used to frequently be bought in spite of the transmission, the opposite now applies: subject to additional charge (depending on the equipment, from 1,000 Euros) the Smart Fortwo and Forfour, ranging from 70 HP will also be available with a newly developed dual clutch transmission during the course of the year. We have already tried our the Twinamic in a test model and were very impressed. The small six-speed automatic shifts gear the way we had hoped its predecessor would: quickly and jolt-free, without increased consumption.

Photo

Achim Hartmann

Date

8 June 2015
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