2019 Volkswagen e-Golf vs. 2019 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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2019 Volkswagen e-Golf

Available Now!

2019 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

Available Now!

Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Volkswagen e-Golf are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The e-Golf has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The e-Golf offers optional Autonomous Emergency 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 e-Golf has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The e-Golf SEL Premium has standard Maneuver Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The e-Golf SEL Premium’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 e-Golf SEL Premium has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The e-Golf’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 e-Golf’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 e-Golf has standard Car-Net, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to 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 e-Golf and the ForTwo Electric Drive 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 and rearview cameras.

The Volkswagen e-Golf weighs 1076 to 1096 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.

Warranty

Volkswagen’s powertrain warranty covers the e-Golf 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 e-Golf’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the ForTwo Electric Drive’s (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

There are over 25 times as many Volkswagen dealers as there are Smart dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the e-Golf’s warranty.

Engine

The e-Golf’s electric motor produces 54 more horsepower (134 vs. 80) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (214 vs. 118) than the ForTwo Electric Drive’s electric motor.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the e-Golf gets better fuel mileage than the ForTwo Electric Drive (126 city/111 hwy vs. 124 city/94 hwy MPGe).

The e-Golf’s maximum EPA estimated driving range is 125 miles on a full charge, over twice as far as the ForTwo Electric Drive’s 58-mile range.

Brakes and Stopping

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

e-Golf

ForTwo

Front Rotors

11.3 inches

10.2 inches

Rear Rotors

10.7 inches

9” drums

The Volkswagen e-Golf 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 e-Golf has a standard Hydraulic 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 e-Golf stops shorter than the ForTwo Electric Drive:

e-Golf

ForTwo

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the e-Golf has larger tires than the ForTwo Electric Drive (205/55R16 vs. 165/65R15). The e-Golf’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ForTwo Electric Drive (205/55R16 vs. 185/50R16).

The e-Golf’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 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 e-Golf has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the ForTwo Electric Drive.

The Volkswagen e-Golf’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 e-Golf has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the ForTwo Electric Drive; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Volkswagen e-Golf has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Smart ForTwo Electric Drive has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the e-Golf’s wheelbase is 29.8 inches longer than on the ForTwo Electric Drive (103.5 inches vs. 73.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the e-Golf is 3 inches wider in the front and 3.2 inches wider in the rear than on the ForTwo Electric Drive.

The e-Golf handles at .83 G’s, while the ForTwo Electric Drive Passion Coupe pulls only .71 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space

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

The e-Golf has 48.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ForTwo Electric Drive (93.5 vs. 45.4).

Cargo Capacity

The e-Golf has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the ForTwo Electric Drive Coupe (22.8 vs. 9.2 cubic feet).

The e-Golf’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The ForTwo Electric Drive’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Ergonomics

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the e-Golf 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 e-Golf’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 e-Golf’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The ForTwo Electric Drive’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

Keyless Access standard on the e-Golf allows you to unlock the driver’s door, 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 e-Golf’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The ForTwo Electric Drive’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the e-Golf has a standard rear wiper. The ForTwo Electric Drive Cabrio doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the e-Golf SEL Premium detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The e-Golf SEL Premium’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.

The e-Golf’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The ForTwo Electric Drive doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The e-Golf SEL Premium’s Parking Steering Assistant 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 Golf was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 13 of the last 13 years. The ForTwo Electric Drive has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Golf as their 2015 Car of the Year. The ForTwo Electric Drive has never been chosen.

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

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