The 2016 Smart ForTwo is just as weird as its predecessor, but also better in almost every measurable way.
Highly specialized for the city, the Smart ForTwo has been optimized for urban driving and parking.
However, these optimizations can also be viewed as compromises for a large number of drivers.
Smart seemingly wears these compromises like a badge of honor. "Smart drivers want to be different," says Annette Winkler, head of Smart.
The new ForTwo retains the compactness of the previous model. From nose to tail, the coupe measures 8.8 feet.
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.
The hatchback boasts seating for two and only two.
The engine, located at the rear of the vehicle, is a 0.9-liter turbocharged mill.
Inside, the new 2016 ForTwo boasts more shoulder room than before and a unique interior design.
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.
The tachometer and clock are located in their own pod near the A-pillar.
Smart's dashboard tech offering is a simple one: slap a smartphone into a cradle.
The cradle connects to the dashboard via a powered port in the center of audio receiver.
A smartphone app, Smart CrossConnect, handles functions such as navigation and audio controls.
The 2016 ForTwo is available with either a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox.
The ForTwo has grown laterally for 2016. The new model is 3.9 inches wider than before.
The rear hatch opens into two parts, granting access to the storage space.
Taillights are enlarged and feature new three-dimensional elements and LED illumination.
LED daytime running lights are optional and frame the enlarged headlamps.
Headlamps use standard halogen reflectors. This is, of course, an economy car.
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.
In widening the ForTwo, Smart was also able to increase the maximum steering angle of the wheels.
The wider coupe now has a tighter curb-to-curb turning arc of 22.8 feet.
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.
A rear camera is available as an option, but the compact ForTwo doesn't really need one.
The wider body grants the coupe more interior space.
The steering wheel of our ForTwo Prime model was not adjustable, which made getting a good seating position tricky, but not impossible.
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.
The CrossConnect app handles navigation, but the driver also is free to use any third-party navigation app.
Bidirectional communication with the car via the USB port allows the CrossConnect app to monitor and control certain dashboard functions.
The app can play back media stored on the phone, but it can also control the AM/FM radio tuner built into the dashboard.
A 7-inch touchscreen navigation system is also available, but we weren't able to test this setup.
The 2016 Smart ForTwo is currently available in the European market and will be arriving in the States in late September.
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.