Drivers of the new smart fortwo will immediately notice the enhanced comfort as against the predecessor model. This is thanks to the new automated manual five-speed transmission, the longer wheelbase and the wider track. But that's not all – comfort also includes the feeling of spaciousness. The smart fortwo offers spaciousness comparable with a standard-size saloon.
Customers who took a seat in the predecessor model for the first time were surprised how easy it is to get in and out and just how spacious the smart fortwo is inside. The passenger seat is positioned 15 centimetres further back than the driver's seat to give the passengers optimum shoulder room.
Comfort also means feeling comfortable and being in a good mood when on the road. The smart ensures this, especially in city traffic. smart drivers have no problems finding a parking space, and this provides for stress-free driving. The automated manual five-speed transmission removes the need for clutchwork. A tap on the shift lever is all it takes to change gear.
The safety seats with integral seat belts have undergone considerable further improvement compared with the previous model and have been given a different look. The sides are well contoured and offer pleasant lateral support. The high quality upholstery has a silk-gloss finish. Leather trim is available as an option.
Even longer objects can be easily transported: a lever on the inside of the passenger seat both reclines the backrest and enables it to be folded forward to a horizontal position. A pull ring under the seat enables fore/aft adjustment (230 millimetres).
The changed shape of the instrument panel offers improved ergonomics, more clarity and a greater feeling of spaciousness. The suspended arrangement of the instrument panel conveys lightness and makes the interior of the new smart fortwo just as unique as that of the previous model.
On account of US crash regulations the instrument panel runs straight. It is framed by two bows on the left and right-hand sides that represent a visual continuation of the structure of the tridion safety cell and support the upper and lower wings of the instrument panel. The lower wing also serves as a knee pad that offers knee protection in the event of a crash.
The added elements such as the external-mounted air vents (that are now cylindrical rather than spherical) and the analogue clock and rev counter on the dashboard (standard for pulse) have been retained.
The driver can see the centrally positioned speedometer through the two-spoke or sporty three-spoke leather steering wheel. The large display shows the fuel level (left), the gear engaged, the coolant temperature (right) and the odometer. The daily mileage is shown below this. The driver can switch between this and the exterior temperature indicator at the touch of a button. LEDs are now used for the indicator lights.
The control unit for heating, air conditioning and ventilation has a central, ergonomic position at the top of the centre console and is framed by two further air vents. Slide controls regulate the fan levels (1-4) and the temperature of the air conditioning (18-26 degrees Celsius) (a standard feature for passion).
A control that can be rotated by 360 degrees distributes the air to where it is needed. The air flow rate has also been greatly improved in the new smart fortwo.
It is 20 percent higher than in the predecessor model – like the performance of the air conditioning.
The large audio unit is located below the heating and air conditioning controls. Customers can choose between a standard CD radio or one with a CD changer for six CDs. Large buttons and a clear layout make operation child’s play. In addition, a sound system with a subwoofer and MP3 connection is available.
The designers used the central space on the lower wing of the instrument panel for further ergonomically positioned control buttons, for example for the seat heating, front fog lamps and central locking.
Like the predecessor model, the new smart does not have a continuous centre console from the floor to the instrument panel. This additionally creates a spacious and "airy" atmosphere instead of visually separating the driver and passenger.
The ergonomically shaped gear knob, the two steering column control stalks and the interior mirror have been adopted from the predecessor model. smart drivers will also be familiar with the location of the ignition lock behind the shift lever – typical of smart.
The previous smart fortwo had room for six drinks crates. These also fit into the new smart - but that's not all as the luggage compartment capacity has increased from 150 to 220 litres (in accordance with VDA).
Customers who want to load their car to the roof even have 340 litres of space available. Four folding plastic boxes for supermarket shopping also fit comfortably behind the seats.
The level loading space is particularly user-friendly with no edges to get in the way of the level surface. The folding rear door is a further advantage and this can be used as a surface to put things on.
Furthermore, the twin-section tailgate requires very little room to open in tight parking spaces. Longer objects can also be transported in the new smart fortwo by
simply folding the backrest of the passenger seat forwards into a horizontal position.
The passenger can use a spacious storage recess in the instrument panel. Alternatively, special detachable bags are available for the storage recesses.
A lockable glove compartment can be ordered as an option.
The developers were able to make the best possible use of the bottom section of the tailgate. Drivers of a smart fortwo cabrio know that the roof bars can be stored here. However, this space was not previously used for the coupé. A cover now opens to provide eight litres of additional stowage space (not in the 45 kW variant) that is perfect for storing all kinds of odds and ends.
The designers have also put a lot of thought into how customers can best carry out simple servicing work for themselves, for example refilling the windscreen washer fluid. Two levers in the grille release the front lid which can be secured with two holders in front of the bumper. The washer fluid, light bulbs, coolant and brake fluid are then easily accessible.
The rear window of the smart fortwo coupé (like the cabrio's flap) can now be opened with an electric push button switch located in the handle recess above the licence plate. This also allows remote unlocking using the key. The push button switch just needs to be pressed for approx. 1.5 seconds. Should the battery in the key be empty, the driver’s door can also be opened mechanically.
In the pulse and passion variants the new smart fortwo features a transparent panoramic roof made of polycarbonate. This covers an area of 1.1 square metres,
half of which is transparent.
The polycarbonate has a scratch-resistant exterior and interior coating which also gives the roof a slight tint. 100 percent of UV rays are kept out. A black sunblind made of polyester that is easy to move backwards and forwards offers additional sun protection if required.
Much longer maintenance intervals
In addition to low consumption, the low running costs make the smart fortwo the most economical car there is. The maintenance intervals are now even longer. For example, the 52 kW variant now only needs to be inspected every two years or every 40,000 kilometres. In the meantime, an oil change is all that is needed. The "oil service plus" is recommended - a brief vehicle check instead of a full inspection.