2019 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive vs. 2019 BMW i3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the ForTwo Electric Drive and the i3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive higher (10 out of 10) than the BMW i3 (7 to 10). This means the ForTwo Electric Drive produces up to 11.8 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the i3 every 15,000 miles.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the ForTwo Electric Drive has larger standard tires than the i3 (F:165/65R15 & R:185/60R15 vs. 155/70R19). The ForTwo Electric Drive’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the i3 (F:185/50R16 & R:205/45R16 vs. F:175/55R20 & R:195/50R20).

The ForTwo Electric Drive’s standard 165/65R15 front and 185/60R15 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series front and 60 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the i3’s standard 70 series tires. The ForTwo Electric Drive’s optional 185/50R16 front and 205/45R16 rear tires have a lower 50 series front and 45 series rear profile than the i3s’ 55 series front and 50 series rear tires.

Suspension and Handling

The ForTwo Electric Drive has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The i3’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The ForTwo Electric Drive has a standard front stabilizer bar, which help keep the ForTwo Electric Drive flat and controlled during cornering. The i3’s suspension doesn’t offer a stabilizer bar

The ForTwo Electric Drive’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The i3 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the ForTwo Electric Drive’s turning circle is 9.6 feet tighter than the i3’s (22.8 feet vs. 32.4 feet). The ForTwo Electric Drive’s turning circle is 11 feet tighter than the i3s’ (22.8 feet vs. 33.8 feet).


The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 900 pounds less than the BMW i3.

The ForTwo Electric Drive is 4 feet, 4 inches shorter than the i3, making the ForTwo Electric Drive easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The ForTwo Electric Drive Coupe has .1 inches more front headroom and .7 inches more front legroom than the i3.


The ForTwo Electric Drive has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The i3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 i3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Model Availability

The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the BMW i3 isn’t available as a convertible.

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

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