Smart ForTwo hatchback (2014-2019) - Interior & comfort
The new Smart ForTwo feels nicer inside than the old model and has lots of standard equipment
The gearbox and hi-tech suspension fitted to the Smart ForTwo mean that, right from the off, it's more comfortable than the car it replaces. The new automatic gearbox all but eliminates the old car's jerky gearchanges, while the 2015 Smart ForTwo has suspension which is far more comfortable than the old car.
There's still room for improvement, though: because the small, three-cylinder engines have to be worked quite hard the interior can become noisy at motorway speeds. In contrast, the Volkswagen up! remains relatively hushed in these circumstances. Wind buffeting caused by the car's upright shape doesn’t help matters, either.
Smart ForTwo dashboard
Get comfortable in the driver's seat of the Smart ForTwo and it becomes clear from the dashboard design that this car is aimed at younger drivers. It features a mixture of shapes – rounded rectangles and circles, mostly – that give the interior a funky feel, without being messy to look at.
There are plenty of bright contrasting trim colours to choose from and the majority of the plastics seem to be of decent quality, although the plastic housing for the rev counter (which sprouts from the top of the dashboard) feels cheap.
All Smarts including the entry-level pure are fitted with fuel-saving stop-start technology, LED daytime running lights, remote control central locking and electric windows. Passion models come with climate control, cruise control,15-inch alloys and black/orange upholstery, while Prime models get a leather interior and additional equipment such as a panoramic sunroof, heated seats and a lane-keeping assistance system.
The Prime Sport trim replaced the Proxy trim level in the summer of 2016, and features a perforated leather steering wheel, lowered sports suspension, chrome exhaust and black 16-inch alloy wheels. We reckon this or Prime is the model to go for – there's only a couple of hundred pounds in it.
Top of the range is the Brabus Sport model, which is only available with the more powerful engine. Brabus models come with 17-inch alloy wheels, a Brabus body kit, a sports steering wheel and brushed stainless steel pedals.
A range of customisable options come in the form of three packs: Comfort, Premium, and Premium Plus. The £295 Comfort Package includes a height-adjustable steering wheel and driver's seat, plus heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors.
The Premium pack (£845) is a box that's worth ticking. It includes rear parking sensors, but more importantly an excellent seven-inch touchscreen sat-nav system with Bluetooth phone connectivity, MirrorLink (to display smartphone apps with compatible devices) and USB and MP3 player ports.
The Premium Plus pack (£1,345) adds all the features of the Comfort and Premium packs along with ambient interior lighting, automatic wipers and lights, foglights, a rear-view camera, plus bright LED daytime running lights and tail-lights.
The ForTwo’s infotainment system is (much like the car itself) fun, stylish and colourful. It’s not a case of style over substance, though, as the graphics and controls are clear and easy to understand despite the relatively small screen.
The sat nav uses TomTom mapping, so it’s quick at finding destinations and gives clear instructions once on the move. Although route guidance isn’t displayed on the second screen that sits between the dashboard dials, we were seriously impressed with the ForTwo’s technology.