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.