Smart fortwo cdi versus the smart fortwo electric drive

27 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Smart fortwo cdi versus the smart fortwo electric drive

Smart fortwo cdi v smart electric drive

The Green Car Smart Car Road Test


Model/Engine size: 0.8 cdi Passion 2dr / electric drive

Diesel / Electric

Fuel combined: 85.6 mpg / 275 mpg equivalent

Car Guide rating: 6/10

The fortwo cdi versus the smart electric drive

The smart cdi, capable of 85.6 is the UK’s most economical yet the smart fortwo electric (ed) doesn’t use any fuel at so which is best?

Whatever you of the smart fortwo, you can’t that it’s innovative and it has It’s designed for life in the with its trump card its ability to squeeze into parking spaces. With who love the fortwo, it has certainly up a bit of a cult following.

The first fortwos were petrol-powered, but we now a diesel version. A small city car doesn’t make as sense on paper as a petrol but it does result in highly fuel economy, and emissions of 86 g/km CO2.

But never petrol or diesel – the fortwo, with its pocket-sized style, looks like it have been an electric car the start – and smart claims this was actually always of their plan. That has now become reality with the of the smart fortwo ed. It’s a emission version of the fortwo has been undergoing trials.

So living with both the and electric models, which most sense?

Whichever you look at, there are obviously features. Both the diesel and the version have just two This will automatically many buyers who will two seats just too limiting.

But most cars are driven the city with only one so there’s still a market for a

For the driver and passenger there’s a good amount of space in the compartment. And the boot, although not is larger than you might

The natural power source for driving has traditionally been A petrol engine is light and and has free-revving characteristics to give the car performance in the city.

Diesel has been the fuel of choice for vehicles and for longer distance Diesel may have lower CO2 than petrol, due to its better but it emits a variety of pollutants are much worse than of petrol in terms of local air So diesel is a strange choice for a car.

But it does endow the common-rail 800cc turbodiesel with the accolade of the UK’s economical car. This is something that we should

So the smart fortwo cdi is a convenient for the city, it looks stylish, and if you ultimate economy, you can’t do better than this But what’s it like to drive?

you need to be aware that you adjust the seat height or the wheel, so it may be difficult to find a driving position.

After if you’ve spent your driving ‘normal’ cars, manual or automatic transmission, it’s fairly likely you’ll be shocked when you drive a smart. It has a semi-automatic which basically means there’s no clutch, and the car changes itself. Sounds like an Well, no – instead of changing seamlessly, like a normal it changes gears with a in between.

And it’s certainly not an split-second pause.

If you set off in first gear, when the car up to second, forward progress as the car changes gear, before forwards again when gear is engaged. This continues as the car progresses through its gears, which results in a not unlike sea-sickness for the driver, the sensation diminishes as you climb up the Lifting your foot off the during the gear change to make a life a bit smoother.

down the gears is an equally process but not as frustrating as going up the You would have to be brave to slow moving vehicles on roads in this car anyway, but the gearbox makes such very dangerous.

You can override the change by doing it manually, is a slight improvement, as at least you can when the gear will and the resultant lurching is going to However this somewhat the object of a semi-automatic gearbox, for city driving.

Trying to the car in exactly the right position in a car shows up the flaws of the gearbox – very jerky when to manoeuvre this delicately.

The feel is another area differs from most cars, as rather than the brake pedal forwards to you feel as though you are pushing the down into the floor. And the of the pedal is not at all confidence-inspiring.

And then the steering, which just too heavy for a city car that be easily manoeuvrable.

So is the diesel any better on the open road? yes. We drove the car from to Oxford and back, and once up to motorway speeds it’s not as as most people might

The ride is better than you expect in such a short and certainly better than the generation fortwo. The diesel is quite capable of propelling the car although acceleration up hills is a slow process.

You’re very aware this is a short, narrow, car, and so it certainly doesn’t planted to the road. The fortwo is rear-engined and rear-wheel drive, so it be reasonable to expect some handling, especially on the wet, and muddy country lanes to our on cold February mornings. But the control system on this generation fortwo keeps the end in check very capably.

If you buy the you’re likely to be buying it for the of its economy, but there’s no fuel read-out on the dash, so you can’t see the rewards of your decision to this car. There’s not a display of the car’s range should be 710 miles). With the spec, you do get sat nav and a glass roof, the buttons on the sat nav/stereo are very and fiddly, and there are no steering controls for the stereo.

So we’re with the fortwo being a car you want to like, but one that has weaknesses in various areas; the semi-automatic gearbox being the frustrating issue.

So, step the smart ed. Being an electric it doesn’t have such a – it has just a single fixed ratio. Once you’ve the key, just put the drive in the forward position, press the and go – there’s a smooth uptake of with no gear changes and a hushed whining noise.

So by eliminating the semi-automatic gearbox the ed scores ahead of the cdi.

But of the lack of gearbox isn’t the big behind the ed; at a time when is a relentless focus on CO2 emissions and oil prices, the whole point is you can drive around with tailpipe emissions and no need for fuel.

Instead of filling the car with or diesel, you have to plug the car an electric socket in your overnight to recharge it (a full takes eight hours). is actually preferable to having to garages and paying huge of money to fill your with fuel.

Of course any electric car the fortwo ed is only in terms of its tailpipe emissions (or of them). To be truly 100% emission, the electricity to recharge the car to come from a renewable such as a windfarm.

Electric are well known for having ranges, and the smart is no exception. In the fortwo ed, with an official of just 84 miles (equivalent to hours of urban driving at an speed of 18 mph), has a smaller than cars such as the LEAF. which can manage 100 miles.

In a similar way that the cdi has no showing its remaining driving neither does the ed – but this is more important to have on an car than on a diesel. You do get a battery gauge, and you’re certainly conscious of how this drops, a fuel gauge dropping quickly, and how use of the car’s equipment as the heater fan or air conditioning reduces the even more quickly.

there’s the performance. We’ve pretty much every car ranging from the G-Wiz the Nissan LEAF to the Tesla Despite Tesla playing a in the battery development of the16.5 kwh unit, we can quite safely say the fortwo ed occupies a position at the end of the electric car performance spectrum.

a short burst of initial take-up at very low speed, overall is very slow, up hills, and top speed is only 62 This means that the ed is suitable for use in urban areas.

However although it is best for use in it also shares one of the issues the cdi – the steering cannot be as light, therefore it’s not for drivers trying to negotiate jungles such as London.

In 2010 smart handed 100 smart fortwo electric to UK consumers for a 12 month trial as of the Technology Strategy Board-funded Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator So now that it’s been on can you buy an electric fortwo? No.

But smart that the fortwo electric will join the smart portfolio and will be sold the smart sales network in

Summary and Review

Even its range and performance limitations, you feel like a pioneer of the new world of motoring in the smart ed because you’re driving on rather than using fuel. We tested the ed in a variety of and our (predictable) conclusion is that it really makes sense in the and in London in particular, where of travel are so slow that be less likely to notice the performance.

If you want an electric car can also do the occasional run into the then you may have to look at a LEAF. And the LEAF, with of clever technology such as its showing how far you can drive along locations of charging posts, is much smarter than the

This is the first generation ed. At the Geneva Show, smart the ‘forspeed’ concept, and the company that performance has been a key of the feedback about the ed, and improved will be a feature of the forspeed.

So the concept of the smart fortwo ed the thumbs up; it’s a great for a city runabout, it’s emission, and you can achieve the equivalent of 275 mpg and save 80% in fuel costs compared to a petrol-powered smart (a full battery charge costs around £1.70). The ed is on and smart is inviting feedback. Our is that it needs better and more in-car technology to aid the with issues such as in its current form it gets a rating of 6 out of 10.

So what about the It’s great that it has the of the UK’s most economical But a small city car should be responsive – in terms of its chassis, and drivetrain. Gordon Murray is on this with his T.25 car, but you can’t buy it yet.

In the the smart fortwo cdi also a Green-Car-Guide rating of 6 out of 10; again, marks for providing a sensible-sized and mode of transport for the city, but marks for the driving experience.

If not ready for an electric smart consider the petrol-powered fortwo – cheaper than the diesel and is fun to drive around town.


Smart Fortwo 0.8 cdi Passion 2dr / smart fortwo drive

Fuel economy urban: 85.6 mpg / N/A

Fuel urban: 85.6 mpg / N/A

CO2 emissions: 86 / 0 g/km if recharged using electricity

Green rating: VED A – first year £0 / VED A – first year £0

770 Kg / 890 Kg

Company car tax liability (2010/11): 13% / 9%

£10,640 (From £9,050 to / N/A

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