The smart puts our diesel contenders to shame by emitting just 97 g/km of CO2. The fortwo used to be a regular in this section but slipped out of the Guide as the competition got their act together. Now smart have countered and are in a rare position of having both diesel and petrol models which emit less than 100 g/km.
At first glance the new fortwo is hard to tell apart from the original but there have been a raft of important changes under the skin. It is now slightly longer than before to improve pedestrian safety but it remains extremely compact at just under 2.7 metres in length making it perfectly at home in the city. The big news on the tech front is the addition of a stop/start system called micro hybrid drive (mhd) which stops the engine when the car is travelling under 5 mph and restarts it instantly when you want to go. This gets the fortwo under the magical 100 g/km.
Engine capacities are up from 699cc to 999cc but now only two of the variants have a turbocharger.
The semi-automatic gearbox remains but now has five rather than six gears, and whilst it is faster to shift than the old unit it still isn’t as quick as we would like.
Interior quality has taken a big step forward although some of the most appealing features have gone in the process, mostly notable the eyeball air vents. What you won’t miss is the fidgety ride that plagued the original which has thankfully been banished.
The new fortwo keeps the essence of the original but feels far more polished. In the process it has lost a little of its personality but we are happy to trade that for a far more convincing all rounder. It’s still not perfect though, with the semi-automatic gearbox top of the list. Either make it quicker still, or gives us a manual!