The Smart ForTwo Cabrio Electric Drive is the smallest convertible – and smallest electric car – you can currently buy, but it’s rather expensive and not what you’d call practical
The Smart ForTwo Cabrio Electric Drive is a convertible version of the smallest electric car currently on sale. It’s a drop-top two-seat alternative to the likes of the larger Renault Zoe that makes an ideal city runabout if you do lots of short journeys and have somewhere to charge it overnight.
It doesn’t just look like the standard ForTwo on the outside, the Smart ForTwo Cabrio Electric Drive comes with an almost identical interior, too. You get an equally simple cabin and dashboard layout with a decent number of soft plastics, but some hard brittle surfaces.
Every Smart ForTwo Cabrio Electric Drive comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with all the equipment you need, including Bluetooth connectivity, a USB connection, satellite navigation and Android smartphone mirroring. It’s pretty easy to use, and the screen is clear and bright enough to read in direct sunlight.
You might struggle for headroom if you’re more than six-feet tall, but at least the Smart’s short, wide body means you won’t be short of shoulder room. You can forget about back-seat legroom – as its name suggests, the Smart ForTwo Cabrio Electric Drive comes with only two seats. If you regularly carry more passengers – and don’t necessarily have to have a convertible – you’ll be better off with the four-seat Smart ForFour Electric Drive or an even larger Renault Zoe.
So, the Smart ForTwo Cabrio Electric Drive isn’t the best small car for carrying passengers, but how does it fare in terms of boot space? Well, the load bay is the same size as in the standard ForTwo Electric Drive, as well as in models powered by a conventional petrol engine. Flip the passenger seat down and you get a little more space to carry longer items, but very slightly less than in the standard Smart ForTwo. A weekly shop will fit, but a large suitcase is a tighter squeeze if you don’t want to fold the front seat down.
Even the most observant will struggle to tell the Electric Drive ForTwo Cabrio apart from the standard car. Your bank balance will notice, though - it’s quite a bit more expensive
You won’t be considering a compact two-seat electric car if you plan to carry large loads, however. Chances are you’ll be more interested in what it’s like to drive around town. Well, the Smart ForTwo Cabrio Electric Drive’s tiny size and light steering make it a doddle to manoeuvre and dead easy to park. It isn’t quite as comfortable as most other small cars over bumps, however, and the tiny Smart gets buffeted around at motorway speeds – especially if you overtake a large lorry. You do get automatic emergency braking and crosswind assist as standard to help put your mind at rest, though.
The Smart ForTwo Cabrio Electric Drive’s 100-mile range means it’ll have no trouble driving to and from work on a single charge if you have a fairly short commute. Charging it up from empty takes around seven-and-a-half hours, so plug it in overnight and it’ll be ready to go in the morning.
If you’ve got somewhere to charge it, then, the Smart ForTwo Cabrio Electric Drive makes a good city runabout – especially if you’re looking for a convertible and only carry a single passenger – but other larger electric cars are more practical and can drive further between charges.