2018 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive vs. 2017 Ford C-MAX Energi

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the ForTwo Electric Drive and the C-MAX Energi have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems and rear parking sensors.


The ForTwo Electric Drive comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes free 24-hour roadside assistance. The C-MAX Energi’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.


J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Smart vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Smart 30th in reliability. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 31st.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the ForTwo Electric Drive gets better fuel mileage than the C-MAX Energi (124 city/94 hwy vs. 104 city/87 hwy).

The ForTwo Electric Drive’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 58 miles on a full charge. The C-MAX Energi can only travel about 20 miles before it has to start its internal combustion engine.

Tires and Wheels

The ForTwo Electric Drive’s optional 205/45R16 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the C-MAX Energi’s 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the ForTwo Electric Drive’s turning circle is 16.2 feet tighter than the C-MAX Energi’s (22.8 feet vs. 39 feet).


The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1500 to 1550 pounds less than the Ford C-MAX Energi.

The ForTwo Electric Drive is 5 feet, 7.5 inches shorter than the C-MAX Energi, making the ForTwo Electric Drive easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The ForTwo Electric Drive is 6.5 inches narrower than the C-MAX Energi, making the ForTwo Electric Drive easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the ForTwo Electric Drive. The C-MAX Energi doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

The ForTwo Electric Drive’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The C-MAX Energi’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Servicing Ease

The ForTwo Electric Drive uses a reverse-tilt hood for easier service access. The C-MAX Energi uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the ForTwo Electric Drive to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Ford doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the C-MAX Energi.


The ForTwo Electric Drive’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The C-MAX Energi SE’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the ForTwo Electric Drive offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The C-MAX Energi doesn’t offer cornering lights.

On extremely cold Winter days, the ForTwo Electric Drive’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The C-MAX Energi doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Model Availability

The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Ford C-MAX Energi isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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