Smart Forfour (15 on) - Review

Review by Gareth Evans on
3.5
If the name seems familiar, that’s because the Smart ForFour did exist before. It didn’t do particularly well, with most buyers going for the smaller ForTwo instead.

Smart Forfour (15 on)
  • Practical features
  • Entertaining to drive
  • Low running costs
  • Very expensive
  • Rivals faster
  • Rivals more efficient

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Summary

Parkers Rating:

3.5 out of 5

If the name seems familiar, that’s because the Smart ForFour did exist before. It didn’t do particularly well, with most buyers going for the smaller ForTwo instead.

We’re expecting a step change here, though. The ForFour this time around only costs £495 more than its two-door relative, and that’s the primary reason the firm expects up to 80 percent of sales to go to the four-seat model.

It’s built alongside the Renault Twingo – a car we’re already very fond of – and shares much of its technology. Of course, Mercedes-owned Smart needed to put a ‘premium’ slant on things, so the ForFour gets 40kg of extra sound deadening in an effort to justify the higher price tag.

It’s also a rival for higher-spec version of the Volkswagen Up and the chic Fiat 500. We don’t think it’s quite as good as those cars, but there are some very practical touches that set the ForFour apart from its competition.

Pair of engines

From launch there’s just one engine available. It’s a 69bhp, 1-litre, three-cylinder petrol that allows the ForFour to cover 0-62mph in 15.9 seconds with a top speed of 94mph.

It’s mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, though we’ve also driven the clever automatic that’ll hit UK showrooms in mid-2015. A turbocharged engine should hit the range then too.

Three trim levels

You’ve got a trio of trims to pick – Passion, Prime and Proxy – but even at the lowest level you get 15-inch alloys, automatic climate control, ISOFIX child seat mounts in the rear and cruise control.

The removable cargo box and 50/50-split rear seats are also standard across the range.

Moving to higher-spec ForFours can garner features such as a panoramic glass sunroof, leather seating, sports suspension and larger 16-inch wheels. See the Equipment section for more information.

Great to drive

The beauty about the way the Smart drives is that its engine sits in the rear, over the rear axle like an old VW Beetle. This allows the front wheels loads of room to move, and hence the ForFour’s turning circle is absolutely tiny, making it perfect for inner-city driving.

To find out more about this entry into the incredibly popular city car segment, read on for the full Smart ForFour review.

Parkers Ratings

Overall

3.5 out of 5

Performance

2 out of 5

Handling

4 out of 5

Comfort

4 out of 5

Practicality

4.5 out of 5

Behind the wheel

3.5 out of 5

Safety

4 out of 5

Reliability

4 out of 5

Running costs

3 out of 5

Green credentials

4 out of 5

Buying new

3 out of 5

Buying used

3 out of 5

Selling

3 out of 5

Equipment

4 out of 5

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