Can European-style micro-cars make it here in America? While many would say no, the Daimler Corporation is saying yes with the all-new, totally redesigned 2016 Smart ForTwo that debuted yesterday at the North American International Auto Show. Can this pint-sized people-mover strike a better chord with urbanites the second time around?
Daimler certainly has done its best to make the 2016 Smart ForTwo a far more appealing vehicle than its predecessor. It’s still tiny, at 105.9 inches in total length, making it the smallest new car in America by a wide margin. Thanks to its diminutive size though, it has an incredibly tight turning radius of just 22.8 feet, making maneuvering around tight urban environments a snap.
The 2016 Smart ForTwo will also offer a lot more techie options for the increasingly-connected consumer, from Bluetooth connectivity and LED running lights, Daimler has made a point to offer buyers a lot more options this time around. The automkaer also seen fit to give the 2016 ForTwo Crosswind Assist tech, developed for larger Mercedes vehicles, to help the tiny runabout on particulary breezy days.
U.S. buyers will have just a single engine option to start, a Renault-sourced 0.9 liter turbo making a not-too-shabby-for-its-size 89 horsepower. Arguably the biggest upgrade for the ForTwo’s powertrain though is a new six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, replacing one of the biggest complaints about the original Smart car. Those who prefer to shift-for-themselves will have the option of a five-speed manual transmission as well.
This really only scratches the surface of the changes made to the 2016 Smart ForTwo. There are a lot of little features (literally) like the extra storage space in the trunk panel (very neat) or the three-spoke steering wheel that feels like it actually belongs.
Can the 2016 Smart ForTwo find success where its predecessor seemed to find only failure?