2019 Chevrolet Volt vs. 2019 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Volt Premier offers optional Forward Automatic Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The ForTwo Electric Drive offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The Volt Premier’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Volt offers optional Park Assist to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, for the Volt Premier in front of the vehicle. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The Volt’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Volt’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Volt has standard OnStar®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Volt and the ForTwo Electric Drive have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The Chevrolet Volt weighs 1136 to 1180 pounds more than the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” to “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Volt the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The ForTwo Electric Drive has not been fully tested, yet, but doesn’t qualify for 2017 “Top Pick.”

Warranty

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Volt 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Smart covers the ForTwo Electric Drive. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the ForTwo Electric Drive ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Volt’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and 50,000 miles longer than the ForTwo Electric Drive’s (6/100,000 vs. 4/50,000).

Chevrolet pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Volt. Chevrolet will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance during the first 12 months. Smart doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the ForTwo Electric Drive.

There are almost 115 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Smart dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Volt’s warranty.

Engine

The Volt’s 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 69 more horsepower (149 vs. 80) and 176 lbs.-ft. more torque (294 vs. 118) than the ForTwo Electric Drive’s electric motor.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Volt is faster than the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive:

 

Volt

ForTwo

Zero to 60 MPH

7.5 sec

9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83.9 MPH

77.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Volt’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel and a full charge is 435.7 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The ForTwo Electric Drive’s range is only 58 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 3 hours. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 16 hours and 30 minutes.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Volt’s brake rotors are larger than those on the ForTwo Electric Drive:

 

Volt

ForTwo

Front Rotors

11 inches

10.2 inches

Rear Rotors

10 inches

9” drums

The Chevrolet Volt has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the ForTwo Electric Drive. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Volt has a standard Intelligent Brake Assist to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

The Volt stops much shorter than the ForTwo Electric Drive:

 

Volt

ForTwo

 

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Volt has larger tires than the ForTwo Electric Drive (215/50R17 vs. 165/65R15). The Volt’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ForTwo Electric Drive (215/50R17 vs. 185/50R16).

The Volt’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the ForTwo Electric Drive’s standard 65 series front and 60 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Volt has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the ForTwo Electric Drive. The ForTwo Electric Drive’s largest wheels are only 16-inches.

The Chevrolet Volt’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Volt has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Volt’s wheelbase is 32.4 inches longer than on the ForTwo Electric Drive (106.1 inches vs. 73.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Volt is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 5.5 inches wider in the rear than on the ForTwo Electric Drive.

The Volt Premier handles at .86 G’s, while the ForTwo Electric Drive Passion Coupe pulls only .71 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

The front grille of the Volt uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Volt has standard seating for 5 passengers; the ForTwo Electric Drive can only carry 2.

The Volt has 44.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ForTwo Electric Drive (90.3 vs. 45.4).

The Volt has .9 inches more front legroom, 8.3 inches more front hip room and 8.5 inches more front shoulder room than the ForTwo Electric Drive Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

The Volt has a much larger trunk than the ForTwo Electric Drive Coupe (10.6 vs. 9.2 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Volt has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

The Volt’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them. Smart does not offer a locking feature on the ForTwo Electric Drive’s standard power windows.

The Volt’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The ForTwo Electric Drive’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.

Keyless Open and Start standard on the Volt allows you to unlock the doors, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Volt has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The ForTwo Electric Drive only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Volt Premier detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Volt has standard extendable sun visors. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Volt Premier’s standard rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Volt Premier offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Volt Premier’s Automatic Parking Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

The Chevrolet Volt outsold the Smart ForTwo by over 14 to one during 2018.

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

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