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N/A $14,650 - $20,900

7.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.6
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 7.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.1
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Smart Fortwo Review

The 2017 Smart Fortwo sits near the bottom of the subcompact car class. It has an underpowered engine, limited space, and a poor predicted reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

  • Maneuverable, easy to park
  • Good fuel economy
  • Weak engine
  • Harsh ride
  • Small cargo space
  • Low predicted reliability rating

2017 Smart Fortwo Overview

Is the 2017 Smart Fortwo a Good Used Car?

Unless you simply need a car that’s easy to park on tight city streets, it’s best to avoid the 2017 Smart Fortwo. Available as a coupe or convertible, the Fortwo is an incredibly small car with a tight turning radius, making it perfect for navigating city streets and parking spaces. Other than that, however, this Smart car doesn’t have much going for it. Its meager engine power and harsh suspension will make you want to avoid rough roads and highways, and its small cabin further limits the car’s practicality. It also earns the lowest possible predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 26 Smart Fortwo reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2017 Smart Fortwo?

There are almost 20 listings for the 2017 Smart Fortwo on our site, and the average list price is $15,500. However, the Fortwo’s prices can range from $10,500 to $19,900, depending on the model and its condition, mileage, location, and features.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Smart Fortwo Cost to Own?

The 2017 Smart Fortwo’s five-year estimated costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs are about $18,600, which is on the low end for the class. For example, five-year cost estimates come out to about $24,800 for the 2017 Chevrolet Sonic, and $21,600 for the 2017 Toyota Yaris.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Smart Fortwo?

For the 2018 model year, Smart discontinued the gas-powered Fortwo, replacing it with an all-electric model. There’s also an all-electric version of the 2017 Fortwo, but we do not have pricing data for this model.

The 2018 model starts at nearly $25,400, which is about $5,500 higher than the highest price you’ll likely find on a gas-powered 2017 Fortwo. The 2018 model gained a standard rearview camera, but its features and styling are otherwise the same as the 2017 model’s. Whether you choose the gas or all-electric model, the 2017 Fortwo will save you considerable money.

For about the average price of a used 2017 Fortwo, you can purchase a higher-ranking new subcompact car like the 2018 Kia Rio (starting at $14,000). The Rio was fully redesigned for 2018, and it has a good number of standard and available features, including a user-friendly infotainment system that can be upgraded to a version with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. The Rio also has an excellent predicted reliability rating and agile handling. For just a bit more than the 2017 Fortwo’s average price, you can get the 2019 Honda Fit (starting at $16,200). It offers great gas mileage, an abundance of storage space, and numerous tech features. We named the Fit our 2018 Best New Car for Teens.

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Which Model Year of the Smart Fortwo Is Best?

The Smart Fortwo was fully redesigned for the 2016 model year and carries over unchanged for 2017. Buying a 2016 will save you some money over newer models, and you won’t miss out on any features.

How Reliable Is the 2017 Smart Fortwo?

The 2017 Fortwo has a predicted reliability rating of two out of five, which is the lowest score that J.D. Power gives out.

Read more about Fortwo reliability »

2017 Smart Fortwo Recalls

As of this writing, the 2017 Smart Fortwo has one reported recall for a failing left front axle steering knuckle. Make sure this issue is resolved before purchasing.    

See more information on Smart Fortwo safety recalls »

Which Used Smart Fortwo Model Is Right for Me?

Available in coupe and cabrio (convertible) body styles, the Smart Fortwo comes in four trims: Pure, Passion, Prime, and Proxy. The base Smart Fortwo Pure (coupe only) comes as scantly equipped as any modern car possibly can, and it’s not available as a convertible. It doesn’t even come with basics like a tachometer or a clock.

Most shoppers should start with the Smart Fortwo Passion trim, available as a coupe or a convertible model. It adds features like a height-adjustable driver’s seat, heated and power-adjustable side mirrors, a center console with an extra pullout compartment, and a retractable cargo cover. The cabrio model includes a power-retractable canvas soft top.

The Smart Fortwo Prime adds a few more convenience and comfort features like leather upholstery, heated seats, a sunroof, fog lamps, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a tachometer, and a clock. The Smart Fortwo Proxy trim includes an eight-speaker JBL sound system, blue and white fabric upholstery, and a sport-tuned suspension with a lower ride height.

See 2017 Smart Fortwo trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Smart Fortwo Warranty

You may want to consider purchasing a certified pre-owned vehicle. Based on our research, Smart has one of the most service-rich CPO programs available. Smart’s certified pre-owned vehicles receive the balance of the original new-car warranty. For 2011 or earlier models, that’s two years or 24,000 miles; for 2012 or later, that’s four years or 50,000 miles. Once the original warranty expires, Smart offers either a one- or two-year warranty (depending on the model) good for up to 1,000,000 miles. Each Smart CPO car must pass a 124-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Smart warranty page carefully.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Fortwo?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2017 Smart Fortwo the highest rating of Good in both the moderate overlap front and side impact tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2017 Fortwo an overall safety rating of four out of five stars. It also received four stars in the frontal and rollover crash tests, and five stars in the side evaluation.

The Fortwo comes standard with Crosswind Assist, which stabilizes the car from gusts of wind when travelling at high speeds. Forward collision warning and rain-sensing windshield wipers are available. Most rivals offer a rearview camera, but the 2017 Fortwo isn't available with one.

See Fortwo safety scores »

2017 Smart Fortwo Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Smart Fortwo or 2017 Fiat 500?

The 2017 Fiat 500 and the Smart Fortwo have a few of the same drawbacks: weak engines, disappointing cabin materials, poor predicted reliability ratings, and a shortage of space. However, the 500 is available with two stronger engine options, and even though its rear seats are small, they exist. The Smart Fortwo can only seat two. The Fiat also comes with more standard features, including a 5-inch touch screen. Neither car is a compelling buy, but the Fiat is slightly better than the Smart. 

Which Is Better: 2017 Smart Fortwo or 2017 Mini Cooper?

The 2017 Mini Cooper is the better car, but it’s also a lot pricier than the Fortwo. With the Mini, you’re paying for superior performance and a richer interior than the Smart. The Cooper has comfortable seats and many more standard features than the Fortwo. The Mini also offers lively handling and a distinctive, sporty design to match. Like most subcompact cars, neither the Cooper nor the Fortwo can hold much cargo or comfortably seat occupants for very long. However, the Mini Cooper has three more seats than the Fortwo, and unlike the Smart, it has a good predicted reliability rating.    

Compare the Fortwo, 500, and Cooper »

2017 Smart Fortwo Performance

How Does the 2017 Smart Fortwo Drive?

The 2017 Smart Fortwo is powered by a 0.9-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine that generates a measly 89 horsepower. That’s not much power, and you’ll likely have to mash the accelerator quite frequently. Cabriolet (convertible) models feel even pokier. The engine also sounds jittery and unrefined when the car is idling. Rear-wheel drive and a five-speed manual transmission are standard. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is available. Both transmissions earn praise for smoothness and timely shifts. The all-electric Smart Fortwo has a 17.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and 60-kW motor that generates 80 horsepower.

The Fortwo is a decent car for people living in busy cities. Its sharp steering minimizes body roll and allows you to quickly change lanes, and its small size and tight turning radius make it easy to navigate into a tiny parking space. Although the Fortwo has a better suspension system than the previous generation, the ride is still too firm to be comfortable. A lowered suspension is available for even nimbler handling, but the ride quality worsens.

Does the 2017 Smart Fortwo Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2017 Smart Fortwo coupe with the automatic transmission returns impressive gas mileage for the class: 33 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. The all-electric Smart Fortwo coupe achieves 124 MPGe in the city and 94 MGEe on the highway. For more information, check out What is MPGe?

Read more about Fortwo performance »

2017 Smart Fortwo Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Smart Fortwo Seat?

The 2017 Smart Fortwo offers plenty of room for two occupants to stretch out. Even tall adults will find ample head and legroom inside, though the seats lack cushioning and support for longer drives. Forward and side visibility are good. However, the Fortwo has sizeable rear blind spots because of the rear pillars. Visibility only gets worse in convertible models with the top fully lowered (it folds onto the rear trunk lid). The cabin features modern styling, but its materials are mostly low-grade plastics.

How Many Car Seats Fortwo in the 2017 Smart Fortwo?

The Smart Fortwo does not include full LATCH connectors for attaching child safety seats. Instead, the passenger-side seat belt has a designated function for securing a car seat. A top tether anchor is also available as a secondary attachment point, and it’s located behind the seat on the luggage floor. Local laws dictate whether a child can ride in the front seat with a car seat. While it’s technically legal in some places, doing so is not recommended according to Mercedes-Benz, which manages Smart cars in the United States.

2017 Smart Fortwo Features

Standard features include automatic climate control, cruise control, power windows and door locks, an AM/FM radio, and Bluetooth. A premium JBL audio system is available, as well as a smartphone mounting cradle that allows you to charge your phone, use navigation, and control audio functions with a Smart app. However, using this app for these simple car functions can be a chore.

See 2017 Smart Fortwo specs »

Read more about Fortwo interior »

2017 Smart Fortwo Dimensions

Smart Fortwo Cargo Space

The Fortwo has just 9.2 cubic feet of cargo space, which is very small for the class. Storing the removable roof and apparatus reduces usable space, but the passenger seat can fold flat for additional room.

2017 Fortwo Length and Weight

The 2017 Smart Fortwo is 8.8 feet long, and it weighs 2,050 pounds.  

Where Was the 2017 Smart Fortwo Built?

The 2017 Smart Fortwo was manufactured in France by Mercedes-Benz.

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