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Toyota Prius vs Smart Fortwo (2019 Update)

If you are in the market for a new hybrid vehicle, you may be considering the Toyota Prius or the Smart fortwo. Here, we compare the two vehicles to help make your decision easier.

Cost and Gas Mileage

The Toyota Prius has a fuel economy of 53 miles per gallon on the highway, and 58 miles per gallon in the city, with a fuel tank that holds 11.3 gallons. The Smart fortwo has a fuel economy of 33 miles per gallon in the city, and 39 miles per gallon the highway. It has an 8.7 gallon tank. Because of its tank size and its fuel economy, the Toyota Prius will last longer between fuelings.

As for cost, the Smart fortwo’s base model MSRP is just over $15,575 with a Destination Charge of $925. The 2019 Toyota Prius base model has an MSRP of $23,770, with a Destination Charge of $920.


The Smart fortwo is smaller than the Toyota Prius. The Prius is 180 inches in length, while the Smart fortwo is 106.1 inches long. When it comes to width, the Prius is 69.3 inches wide, and the fortwo is 74.5 inches wide. The Prius has a wheelbase of 106.3 inches and the Smart fortwo has a wheelbase of 73.7 inches.


The Smart fortwo has a 3 cylinder engine, while the Prius has a 4 cylinder engine. The Smart fortwo has a higher torque, as well. As for horsepower, the Smart fortwo has 89 hp while the Prius has 121.


The Prius is a front wheel drive, and the Smart fortwo has a rear wheel drive. The Smart fortwo has a smaller turning radius than the Toyota Prius, which offers better maneuverability. You will be able to get in and out of tight spots easily.


The Prius seats five, while the Smart fortwo, as the name implies, seats two. The front seat of the Prius offers 42.3 inches of legroom, while the Smart fortwo offers 41.2. The backseat of the Prius provides passengers with 33.4 inches of legroom. While the Smart fortwo has no cargo space, the Prius has 27.4 cubic feet of cargo space and has a maximum payload of up to 825 pounds.


The Smart fortwo has a more generous basic warranty than the Toyota Prius. The Smart fortwo’s warranty is 4 year or 50,000 miles, and the powertrain warranty is 4 years or 50,000 miles as well.

As for the Prius, you will get 3 years or 36,000 miles and the powertrain warranty is 5 years or 60,000 miles. The Prius’s corrosion warranty is 5 years, unlimited mileage while the fortwo has an Electric Drive warranty of 4 years, 50,000 miles.


The Toyota Prius’s front seatbelts are height-adjustable; they will accommodate various heights. The Prius also has Active Headrests, which come standard. They are designed to help protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash in a rear-end collision.

Additionally, the Prius comes standard with a Pre-Collision System. The system utilizes forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and a collision is imminent, the system will automatically apply the brakes to help avoid the crash. The fortwo has an available collision warning system, as well, but does not have the automated brake feature.

The Prius has a lane departure warning, Intelligence Clearance Sonar to warn drivers of obstacles in front of or behind the vehicle, blind spot warning, a cross-path warning system, a driver alert monitor, and Safety Connect™, to help track down the vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The fortwo offers GPS, as well.

Both have front side, passenger, driver, and curtain airbags standard.

Previous 2016 Prius vs Smart Car Comparisons

Economy and efficiency are the two traits under the microscope as we compare two cars that take pride in their use of said attributes. This week we compare the 2016 Toyota Prius and the 2016 Smart fortwo.

They might be in two completely different weight categories as the Prius weighs 3075 pounds and the Smart only weighs 1984 pounds, but they are two models that preach a lot of the same values for customers looking into them.

The first of these values is fuel efficiency, a category in which the Prius holds a large advantage over the Smart.

Toyota’s hybrid has one of the most amazing fuel efficiency ratings in any weight class of cars. In its base 5-Door HB Two trim, the Prius consumes an estimated 54 mpg driving in the city and 50 mpg on the highway.

On the opposing lane, the lighter 2016 Smart fortwo 2-Door Coupe Pure consumes an estimated 32 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.

Unfortunately for Smart fans, this difference in fuel economy doesn’t proportionally translate itself to the engine department. The fortwo’s 1.0 Liter Premium Unleaded I-3 engine can make 89 horsepower and 100 net torque.

The Prius, on the other hand, can produce 121 horsepower and 105 net torque with its 1.8 Liter Gas/Electric I-4 engine.

Smart’s greatest advantage over the Prius is the maneuverability and practicality the fortwo’s size can provide the driver.

Looking for a parking spot isn’t that bad when you can settle for a spot small enough to fit your 106.1 inch-long car, as opposed to finding a parking spot large enough for a 178.7 inch-long Prius.

As for maneuverability; according to SmartUSA, the fortwo has the best-in-class turning radius at 22.8 feet.

“With a vehicle length of 8.8 feet, a width of 5.5 feet, and a Direct-Steer system with variable ratios, smart was designed specifically for urban traffic conditions, which make its unique handling ability both fun and practical.”

Both models also focus on driver safety. Toyota made its Toyota Safety Sense P technology available for the Prius. It consists of an active safety package that combines four essential safety features for a safe and comfortable drive. The Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Auto High Beams, and Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

Some of these features help ease the pressure on the driver and even make up for human mistakes, like the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, which according to Toyota:

“Scans the road ahead for potential vehicle collisions, while Pedestrian Detection scans for pedestrians who may inadvertently come into the travel path of Prius under certain conditions. If the system detects a potential collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian, an audio/visual alert and braking assistance are automatically activated. Should the driver not respond, this system may automatically apply the brakes.”

The Smart fortwo comes with standard eight airbags and a Crosswind Assist feature, which aids the light vehicle in staying straight during strong gusts of wind.

Pricing for the fortwo starts with the 2016 Smart fortwo Pure starting at $14,650 and goes all the way up to the Proxy trim starting at $18,480.

The cheapest Prius is the base 2016 Toyota Prius HB Two starting at $24,200, and the most expensive trim is the HB Four Touring starting at $30,000. 

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