3.3 out of 5 3.3
Parkers overall rating: 3.3 out of 5 3.3

The electric-only Smart has been refreshed and relaunched for 2020

Smart EQ Fortwo Coupe (18 on) - rated 3.3 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £20,350 - £24,995
Lease from new From £151 p/m View lease deals
Used price £8,980 - £17,515
Used monthly cost £224 - £437
Fuel Economy 3.5 - 4.8 miles/kWh
Insurance group 10 - 13 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Great in cities, with a brilliantly-tight turning circle
  • Quick to recharge and cheap to top-up with juice
  • Nippy off the mark, great away from the lights

CONS

  • Limited range will be a killer if you want to go further
  • It really needs more boot room for shoppers
  • Infotainment set-up is subpar

Smart EQ Fortwo Coupe rivals

Written by Anthony ffrench-Constant on

The arrival of EQ badging signifies the end of all but electric power for the new Smart range, which will continue to feature the Fortwo in both Coupe and Cabriolet guises, and the four door Forfour.

Accepting that the Renault Twizy is, effectively, a quadricyle, pricing from just £16,850 on-the-road - including the £3,500 Plug-In Car grant (PICG) - makes the Fortwo coupe the cheapest electric car you can buy in the UK.

However, the Fortwo's closest-priced rivals, the Skoda Citigo-e iV and the SEAT Mii Electric both offer double the number of doors and seats unless you plump for a Forfour, and easily more than twice the range in either case. And once you start specifying your Smart with a few extra toys the modest price difference can be all too easily absorbed...

What's new about the 2020 Smart Fortwo?

Externally, the new smart has endured the mildest of facelifts, basically comprising added blobbiness and a bafflingly vast radiator grille now sufficiently enlarged to suggest the rumbling presence of an air-hungry V8 within.

It really is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it refresh – at least until you get around the back. Up front are tweaked headlamps, which now incorporate the front indicators, a more prominent grille – that’s either smiling or gurning depending upon your perspective – and a wider front bumper with neat air-smoothing slots in the outer edges.

Round the back the changes are far fewer, but the glitzy tail lamps smack a little of being aftermarket specials. Elsewhere there are new alloy wheel designs and a fresh palette of colours for both the bodywork and Smart’s hallmark Tridion exoskeleton.

Successively swish grades add goodies such as larger wheels, a panoramic sunroof, LED headlamps, heated leather seats and, for Edition One variants, pointless Brabus trim.

Simple range structure isn’t that simple

Smart now just offers the electric EQ models, which suggests the latest line-ups are easier for buyers to get their heads around. We’re not so sure.

Firstly, there are four trims to choose from: standard, Passion, Pulse and Prime, but each of those is available with an Advanced, Premium or Exclusive package that includes bundles of different extra-cost options. Essentially that’s 12 different combinations before you start deciding on what colour to have and whether to have the Tridion frame in a contrasting colour.

What's it like inside?

On board, though, life is better. There's no hint of scrimping about the full-sized seats, which are comfortable, if a tad firm, and, benefiting from seat and steering wheel height adjustment, the driving position's fine.

A new dashboard has been ruthlessly assaulted with a giant ice cream scoop to house tidy instrumentation, a seven-inch touchscreen, Renault switchgear and - a nostalgic nod to smarts past - a single crab eye-stalked dash-top dial awash with electric powertrain status information.

In the practicality stakes, seating for two is not matched by luggage space for same; the 260 litres available good for just the one squashy weekend bag and reinforcing the Fortwo's fundamental remit as a city car, with range to match.

What's it like to drive?

In a nutshell – it's one for the city only. If you know where you're going, though, driving the EQ is a doddle, even if it may not often put a smile on your face. The sixpence-shaving, Black Cab beating turning circle is, however, a riot - just as well, though, because that woefully slow and heavily lagging sat-nav requires its all too frequent deployment...

Read on for the full review of one of the UK's cheapest electric cars

Smart EQ Fortwo Coupe rivals