Smart cars may be small, but they are tough. The Tridion safety cell protects occupants in the event of an accident; safety systems include Active Brake Assist with autonomous braking, Crosswind Assist and Electronic Stability Program. There’s also an iSize system for attaching child seats and a tyre pressure monitoring system. EuroNCAP gives the Fourtwo a four-star rating though they point out this didn’t include a dynamic (crash) assessment.
Electric power is smooth and instantaneous, so it’s perfect for city streets and traffic light getaways. O-62mph takes 11.5 sec in the Fourtwo and 12.7 in the Fourfour, but that understates the ‘fast out of the blocks’ feel you’ll get at urban speeds. Another bonus with the Electric Drive Smart is that the weight of the battery is carried low, so it handles well. The Four-two has a tiny 6.95-metre turning circle so can pull a U-turn in most sidestreets – and of course it can park nose in to the kerb.
Charging via the 7kW on-board charger takes around 3.5 hours
to reach 80%. There’s a dash-mounted Electric Drive instrument that tells you
how much charge you have left and a smart media system including 7”
touchscreen, Bluetooth, audio streaming and a Europe-wide navigation system.
The system can also tell you where to find the nearest charging station.
Verdict: There are now quite a few small electric cars to choose from but the characterful looks and upmarket interior of the Smart Electric Drive Fourtwo and Fourfour will continue to win over customers. And if you want an electric convertible two-seater, there’s only one game in town – the unique fourtwo Electric Drive Cabrio. All Electric Drive models are perfect for the cut and thrust of city streets – with the advantage that a ‘fill up’ costs just pennies.