3.5 out of 5 3.5
Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

City car cheekiness at a premium price

Smart Forfour (15-19) - rated 3.5 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £10,370 - £20,735
Used price £3,955 - £15,630
Used monthly cost From £99 per month
Fuel Economy 43.5 - 47.9 mpg
Road tax cost £0 - £165
Insurance group 1 - 30 How much is it to insure?


  • Practical features
  • Easy to manoeuvre
  • Low running costs
  • Premium chic appeal


  • Expensive to buy
  • Rivals are quicker
  • Not the most efficient
  • Electric Drive has limited range

Smart Forfour rivals

4.4 out of 5 4.4

Written by Gareth Evans on

Full price and spec details of 2020 Smart EQ Fortwo and Fourfour here

If the name seems familiar, that’s because this is the second-generation Smart Forfour. The first one – based on the same underpinnings as the 2004-13 Mitsubishi Colt – didn’t sell particularly well, with most buyers opting for the smaller Smart Fortwo instead.

This time around it’s all change. It’s built alongside – and was developed in conjunction with – the Renault Twingo, sharing much of its technology including engines and transmissions. With the Smart Fortwo effectively a shortened version of the same package, this Forfour is effectively a more practical four-seater version (hence the name ‘for four’), and is the brand’s most popular model in the UK.

Smart Forfour static exterior

As well as the Twingo, the diminutive Forfour competes against various other models in the competitive city car segment, but given the Smart’s premium pricing, the Fiat 500 and the Volkswagen Up are its most obvious rivals.

Small yet expensive

Mercedes-Benz-owned Smart needed to put a premium slant on things for its city car, so the Forfour gets 40kg of extra sound deadening over the Twingo to help dull the sound of the engine under the boot floor in an effort to make it more refined, justifying the higher price tag.

A variety of styling and interior trim finishes add further embellishments to the Forfour’s appeal with a raft of two-tone colour schemes inside and out.

Buy into Smart’s Tailor Made service through the Brabus tuning division and a world of seemingly limitless hues and trim materials is opened up to you. Just be aware that personalisation to this degree isn’t remotely cheap – and there’s the possibility you could be lumbered with a car that’s difficult to sell on afterwards.

Petrol and electric power

Mainstream Smart Forfours have a choice of two Renault-sourced petrol engines: a non-turbo 1.0-litre unit producing a modest 71hp and a turbocharged 0.9-litre motor serving up 90hp. Each has a claimed fuel efficiency of over 43mpg.

Both send power exclusively to the rear wheels with a choice of a five-speed manual gearbox or an optional six-speed twinamic dual-clutch automatic.

The Electric Drive model – later rebadged EQ – joined the range in 2017, with a 17.6Kwh battery pack and distinctive green bodywork. Powered by an 82hp motor producing 160Nm of torque, it responds with alacrity up to 40mph and has a range of 96 miles. By design it’s an automatic, achieving 62mph in 12.7 seconds.

Two standard trim levels

Opt for either of the two petrol-powered engines from the mainstream Smart Forfour range and you’ve a choice of two trim levels: Urbanshadow and Prime

Even at the lowest level you get 15-inch alloy wheels, 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.

Electric Drive models come in Prime Premium and Prime Premium Plus trim, with the latter featuring ambient lighting, automatic windscreen wipers and rear-view camera.

Excellent urban manoeuvrability

The beauty about the way the Smart drives is that its engine sits in the rear, between the back wheels and beneath the boot floor. 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.

On more open expanses of road the Forfour feels stable and balanced but doesn’t deliver huge amounts of fun for enthusiastic drivers.

Rural and city drivers may find much to love in the Electric Drive, as it effortlessly deals with the short journeys that are the least appealing for internal combustion engines.

Read on for the full Smart Forfour review

Smart Forfour rivals

4.4 out of 5 4.4