2016 Smart ForTwo

The 2016 Smart ForTwo is just as weird as its predecessor, but also better in almost every measurable way.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

Highly specialized for the city, the Smart ForTwo has been optimized for urban driving and parking.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

However, these optimizations can also be viewed as compromises for a large number of drivers.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

Smart seemingly wears these compromises like a badge of honor. "Smart drivers want to be different," says Annette Winkler, head of Smart.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The new ForTwo retains the compactness of the previous model. From nose to tail, the coupe measures 8.8 feet.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The short length makes the Smart uniquely parkable. ForTwo drivers have access to a database of "SmartSpots," compact parking spots that only the ForTwo can fit into.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The hatchback boasts seating for two and only two.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The engine, located at the rear of the vehicle, is a 0.9-liter turbocharged mill.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

Inside, the new 2016 ForTwo boasts more shoulder room than before and a unique interior design.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The instrument cluster seems to waste a lot of space. The red-on-white speedometer is indicated by a small red needle, which isn't exactly easy to read at a glance.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The tachometer and clock are located in their own pod near the A-pillar.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

Smart's dashboard tech offering is a simple one: slap a smartphone into a cradle.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The cradle connects to the dashboard via a powered port in the center of audio receiver.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

A smartphone app, Smart CrossConnect, handles functions such as navigation and audio controls.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The 2016 ForTwo is available with either a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The ForTwo has grown laterally for 2016. The new model is 3.9 inches wider than before.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The rear hatch opens into two parts, granting access to the storage space.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

Taillights are enlarged and feature new three-dimensional elements and LED illumination.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

LED daytime running lights are optional and frame the enlarged headlamps.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

Headlamps use standard halogen reflectors. This is, of course, an economy car.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The four trim levels — Pure, Prime, Passion and Proxy — each feature unique styling and features. The wheels are the easiest way to tell them apart at a glance.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

In widening the ForTwo, Smart was also able to increase the maximum steering angle of the wheels.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The wider coupe now has a tighter curb-to-curb turning arc of 22.8 feet.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

Most of the ForTwo's body panels are made of composite (plastic) which makes them very resilient to the bumps and knocks of city parking.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

A rear camera is available as an option, but the compact ForTwo doesn't really need one.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The wider body grants the coupe more interior space.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The steering wheel of our ForTwo Prime model was not adjustable, which made getting a good seating position tricky, but not impossible.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

A major annoyance in the cabin are the four spherical vents. They look easy enough to adjust, but getting them aimed properly was an ordeal.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The CrossConnect app handles navigation, but the driver also is free to use any third-party navigation app.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

Bidirectional communication with the car via the USB port allows the CrossConnect app to monitor and control certain dashboard functions.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The app can play back media stored on the phone, but it can also control the AM/FM radio tuner built into the dashboard.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

A 7-inch touchscreen navigation system is also available, but we weren't able to test this setup.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

The 2016 Smart ForTwo is currently available in the European market and will be arriving in the States in late September.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Smart ForTwo

US pricing starts at $14,650 with a $750 destination charge for the base Pure model with the manual transmission. The DCT is $990 more.

Published:Caption:Photo:Antuan Goodwin/CNET
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