You’ve Been Spunk’d: 2017 smart fortwo cabrio
As we see the world today, it’s all about individuality. However, that’s not always the case – people want to be distinctive, yet falls to the demands of fashion and technology trends – in the end, lose what we thought made us so special. The Smart ForTwo, while quite small, makes a huge impact in this mainstream world. Because while it may be a funny little thing to see sprinting through the streets, this little two seater cabrio has something no other car maker has – spunk!
Smart is all about making your car, your own – the body panels can be painted different colors, like our samplers White over Midnight Blue Metallic. The grille can come in three different color options and if don’t like the wheels, why not upgrade them to these 16-inch black alloys. It’s all about what you want and your flavor. There are three levels of cabrio spunkiness to fit your price point: Passion starting at $18,900 with the Prime in the middle then to the top of the range Proxy, featured here, starting at $20,900. But if you like you’re smart to fit your bubbly lifestyle, it does come at an added cost – our sampler after adding the $350 Midnight Blue Body Panels, $100 Bright Blue and White Interior, $100 Smartphone Crade, $100 Armrest, $100 16-inch Wheels, $120 Dashboard Mounted Instrument Cluster, $250 Proximity Warning and $990 for the six-speed dual-clutch automatic, our Smart ForTwo Cabrio set us back $23,660.
Before you laugh, and roll your eyes, the Smart ForTwo is easily persuasive after only five minutes from behind the wheel. While the engine may not even be quite a liter – it’s turbocharged. And sure, the numbers aren’t very exciting on paper, 89-horsepower and no matter how hard we mashed our foot to the floor, getting to 60 mph was like watching dial-up internet connect. Ask your parents what that means. Let’s remember though, the Smart ForTwo is not about performance – it’s a city car – we don’t care about 0-60 – we care how it feels at low speeds. And might I say, it’s a bit frisky. If the heart desires, a five-speed manual is a standard feature.
The engine is a .9-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine. It packs a good bite being connected to that dual-clutch transmission. The turbo spool is spry on the tip of acceleration and by using the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters the transmission never seems to fight back – the dual-clutch is always ready and waiting for the next move. With the engine mounted in the rear and the top down, you can hear everything that is going on – you can hear the air being sucked in and the exhaust do a cute little gurgle that makes you go d’awww, it’s pretending to be a sports car.
Because the Smart ForTwo only has a 73-inch wheelbase it changes direction like a mouse on Adderall. If it gets overly excited, it can even chase its own tail with a 22-foot turning radius. The steering is direct and confident – making it exciting to spin around. The chassis is well composed – driving around town feels nothing like driving a car that is as big as a shoe box. While the car can be jittery over bumps it does maintain a smoothness comfort level. With it being such a small car, it doesn’t feel as such – it has plenty of confidence to overtake slower drivers – it feels solid on the road and maintains proper mannerisms of a normal car.
Our car in question took being a two seater coupe to another level by being a cabrio convertible. It takes about 15-20 seconds for its top to drop and if you really want the convertible experience, the side pillars can be removed and stowed away in a rear trunk compartment. It’s a relatively easy process to achieve but does get annoying after a while.
The interior is all about being retro. Smart did an exceptional job with the ergonomics and the finishes throughout. There’s smurf blue fabric on the dash and door panels, there’s gauges sprouting out of the dash like a carrot stick ready to be plucked and an old fashion temperature dial that has to slide around – how nifty is that? To our surprise the interior is quaint and spacious. The seats are heated and provide proper comfortable support.
The Smart ForTwo is all about being modern – so it has a ton of luxury features that you’d want like automatic climate control, central automatic locking and auto up/down driver and passenger side windows, Bluetooth connectivity and collision alert. If you really want to get smart, the Smart ForTwo takes phone connectivity – by using the Cross Connect Smart app – it turned our phone into the Smart ForTwo’s infotainment system having navigation, radio functions, and car feedback such as speed warnings that beep every the speed exceeds over 5 mph.
There is the elephant in the room however, functionality. The Smart ForTwo isn’t exactly an easy car to live with on the day-to-day routine. While it may get 35 miles to the gallon, the 8.7-gallon tank only allocates 150 miles of driving distance, there is very little storage, if you use the smart phone cradle it looks stupid, and if you have to go to the grocery store, I hope it’s for dinner and not for the week.
People may laugh at the concept of the Smart ForTwo. In actuality it’s a surprisingly fun little tote around town car that can easily put a smile on your face. So we say let them laugh, cause the jokes on them – you’ve been spunk’d.
|2017 Smart ForTwo Cabrio:||$18,900|
|As Tested (including Options & Destination):||$23,660|
|0.9-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged – 89-Horsepower, Six-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission – 0-60MPH: ±11.0 seconds|
|EPA MPG: 33/38/35 (city/highway/combined) – SSB Average: 27 MPG’s – Fuel Range: ±150 Miles|