Smart EQ ForFour Review

The Smart EQ forfour has punchy electric power in town and is a great car for tight urban streets. Its alternatives are cheaper and more practical, however.

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6/10
wowscore
This score is awarded by our team of
expert reviewers
With nearly 60 years of experience between them, carwow’s expert reviewers thoroughly test every car on sale on carwow, and so are perfectly placed to present you the facts and help you make that exciting decision
after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • Punchy, silent performance
  • Tight turning circle
  • Striking looks

What's not so good

  • Small boot
  • Expensive to buy
  • Tight rear space

Smart EQ ForFour: what would you like to read next?

Overall verdict

Things that make a lot of sense: drinking coffee in the morning, avoiding reality TV shows at all costs and building city cars that run purely on electricity. OK, so the first two are detabale, but the third certainly isn’t. 

EVs help improve local air quality, they’re zippy to drive from a standstill and silent with it, all of which can be said of the pure-electric Smart EQ forfour. However, it applies to its alternatives, too, such as the Skoda Citigo-e iV, VW e-Up and Renault Zoe. 

The Smart’s look has changed a bit over the years but its same basic cheeky face remains despite a new grille and bumper. There are now more alloy wheel and colour choices than ever, too, allowing even more personalisation.

Inside the Smart EQ forfour’s dashboard has a funky design that changes slightly depending on which model you buy. Most of the plastics higher up are of decent quality, but some of those lower down and the Smart’s switches feel cheap.

Smart’s touchscreen infotainment system is poor too. Its sat-nav truly is one of the worst on sale and the screen is laggy to use. Happily, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard so you can mirror your smartphone instead. Phew.

The Smart forfour is much more interesting to look at than other EV city cars of the same size, but if you often use the back seats or fill the boot there are better choices.

Mat Watson
carwow expert

The forfour will seat, well, four people, funnily enough. However, the high seat positions and lack of wheel reach adjustment means the driving position won’t be for everybody, while the back seats are extremely tight for adults. Storage options inside are few and far between and the boot is also comically small.

Every forfour is powered by a 17kWh battery, which via a motor offers 81hp, a 0-62mph sprint of 12.7 seconds and a modest 70-mile range. Charging to 80% via a 22kWh fast charger takes less than 40 minutes, but a full charge at home using a 7kWh wall box will take more like four. 

That home charge will cost you less than £3, which is around £7 cheaper than fueling the average petrol car over the same distance. 

Although the forfour’s sprint to 62mph is pedestrian, it gets to around 40mph in less than five seconds, so feels urgent away from lights. It feels very manoeuvrable in town, too, but you’ll feel more lumps and bumps in the road than in an Up or Citigo. 

Motorway journeys aren’t the most comfortable, either, and its light steering and bumpy drive remove much of the fun when cornering hard. 

As such, it’s best to keep the Smart EQ forfour in an urban environment where it excels – bumpiness aside. It’s worth investigating the similarly priced and more spacious EV Citgo-e and e-Up first, but if you love the looks and don’t need the space then it’s worth a look. 

Check out our Smart deals page for the very best prices. 

How practical is it?

Four can come along for the ride in the Smart EQ forfour, but those in the back will be cramped and you won’t be able to bring much luggage, either. 

Boot (seats up)
185 litres
Boot (seats down)
975 litres

The Smart forfour will seat, well, four people, funnily enough. However, the high seat positions and lack of wheel reach adjustment means the driving position won’t be for everybody, while the back seats are extremely tight for adults.

Storage isn’t particularly plentiful inside the forfour, with fairly small door pockets in each door, a poky glovebox, small net against the centre console on the passenger side and small cubby just ahead of the gear selector that also houses a couple of cupholders. 

The forfour’s tiny boot is only really good enough for a couple of carry-on cases plus some extra small bits and bobs. 

You can’t fold down its rear seats, either, so that’s your lot. Skoda electric Citigo is much more practical in this area.

What's it like to drive?

The Smart EQ forfour has been designed for the city and is great there. Anywhere else, it starts to feel out of its depth. 

If you live in town and are often on your own or with one other in the car the Smart EQ forfour is such an easy thing to live with day-to-day.

Mat Watson
carwow expert

Every forfour is powered by a 17kWh battery, which via a motor offers 81hp, a 0-62mph sprint of 12.7 seconds and a modest 70-mile range. Charging to 80% via a 22kWh fast charger takes less than 40 minutes, but a full charge at home using a 7kWh wall box will take more like three hours. 

That home charge will cost you less than £3, which is around £7 cheaper than fueling the average petrol car over the same distance. 

Although the forfour’s sprint to 62mph is pedestrian, it gets to around 40mph in less than five seconds, so feels urgent away from lights.

The Smart EQ forfour feels very manoeuvrable in town thanks to its tight turning circle and light steering, but you’ll feel more lumps and bumps in the road than in an Up or Citigo. 

Motorway journeys aren’t the most comfortable, either, and although that light steering and bumpy drive remove much of the fun when cornering hard. 

As such, it’s best to keep the Smart EQ forfour in an urban environment where it excels.

What's it like inside?

The Smart EQ forfour is fun to look at, but some of the quality on offer isn’t great while its infotainment system is feeling long in the tooth

Next Read full interior review
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RRP £20,785 - £23,085 Avg. carwow saving £5,941 off RRP
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