While you’ll pay for the privilege, the cabrio is the way to go, especially if you live somewhere where the weather is nice enough to make the most of it. (Not that anyone who lives in places where blizzards are expected ought to consider an electric smart, anyway, considering the range-killing effects cold temperatures have on EV batteries.) Not only does the canvas roof slide—you can slide it back halfway through its travel to turn it into a proportionally-giant sunroof, or push it back all the way for full cabrio action—but the twin roof beams connecting the A- and B- pillars can be removed with ease. There's even a special holster for said beams in the trunk...though locking them in there reduces the trunk space even further, leaving barely enough room for a large fanny pack.
Ah, yes—the price. Here's the thing: The smart fortwo 2018 года мелькнул в презентации daimler electric Smart can be a steal, if you're willing to sacrifice. The base model—the ForTwo Electric Coupe in "Pure" trim—starts at,900. The federal tax credit knocks,500 off that, and state breaks can save even more. Live in Colorado, and that base price drops to,400; in California, America's largest electric car market and the place where Mercedes held the test drive, it'll ring up at,900. But again, that's for the base model...and it's very, very basic. That gets you steel wheels, manual mirrors, and a rather cheapo interior. (Synthetic leatherette is an option, as is an armrest.) Better-equipped trims, which add things like more colorful interior options and extra cupholders, start at,390 and,740. Opt for the cabrio (which only starts at mid-level "Passion" trim), and you're staring down the barrel of a,100 starting price, while the top "Prime" trim begins at,100. Add in destination and any options, and boom, you've got yourself a,000 Smart car.
At that price, the electric Smart is priced neck and neck with the Nissan Leaf—which, while hardly the state-of-the-art in EVs, does go nearly twice as far on a charge, packs standard niceties like heated seats, and, y'know, room for more than daimler two people and a small backpack. And since that model is about to be replaced with a more powerful version packing far more range, you can probably find a Nissan dealer offering a sweet deal on the outgoing Leaf.
That said, the Leaf doesn't pack nearly the charm of this rolling ladybug. It's not just the wide-eyed face or the oddly endearing top-heavy proportions; it's the satisfaction of sliding into a spot too tight for any other car on the road, the puckish glee of making a U-turn in the middle of a city street, or the unexpected thrill of flooring the accelerator and both feeling and hearing the wind blast past your face. Spend a few hours fiddling around with this little car, and it's hard not to be won over at least a little...even for cynical automotive journalists who spend their lives trying to discern the purpose of and value in every vehicle on sale.
So maybe that's who the Smart ForTwo Electric cabrio is for. Not people who buy cars with their heads, necessarily...but folks who buy them with their hearts.
Base price (price as tested): ,100 (,390)
Powertrain: 17.6 kWh lithium-ion battery connected to three-phase synchronous motor, 80 horsepower, 118 pound-feet of torque; direct-drive transmission; rear-wheel-drive
Fuel economy: 112 mpg-e city / 91 mpg-e highway
0-60 MPH: 11.7 seconds
Top speed: 81 mph
Notable-but-missable interior feature: The climate control—an old-school slider, but with a magnifying lens to make the numbers of the temperature you've chosen look larger.
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