The Smart ForFour Electric Drive is a battery-powered city car that’s a doddle to drive and will be cheap to run. Sadly, it’s quite expensive to buy and alternatives are more practical
The Smart ForFour Electric Drive is an electric version of the ForFour. It’s an alternative to the likes of the Renault Zoe that’s easy to drive, cheap to run and very manoeuvrable – ideal if you do lots of city driving.
It looks pretty much identical to the standard ForFour on the outside and comes with the same rather drab black interior. There are plenty of hard black plastic trims but at least everything’s simply laid out and easy to use.
The same goes for the seven-inch infotainment screen. It’s not the best in the business but it’s easy to read and comes with smartphone mirroring for Android phones so you can use your own media streaming and satellite navigation apps through the car’s built-in screen.
Sadly, the ForFour isn’t quite as spacious as a Renault Zoe. There’s enough room in the front seats for tall adults to get comfy but there’s only space in the back for two kids or small adults. In comparison, the Renault can carry three adults in the back – providing they don’t mind rubbing shoulders.
ForFour is pretty optimistic, to be truly accurate, Smart should have called this the ForTwoAndTwoKids
The Smart’s boot is also underwhelming. It’s much smaller than the Renault’s and its narrower opening and taller floor makes it more difficult to load. You can flip the back seats down if you need to carry very long items, however.
The Smart’s impressive manoeuvrability means it’s easier to drive around town than the Renault and its light steering and narrow body mean you can park it in the tightest of parking spaces. You sit higher than in the Zoe, too, which gives you a better view out over the road ahead and stops you feeling too exposed driving past tall trucks on motorways.
Unfortunately, the Smart can’t match the Renault’s range, but each seven-and-a-half hour charge fills its batteries with enough juice to drive for around 100 miles. This will be more than enough for the daily commute but you might want to consider a petrol or diesel alternative if you do lots of longer journeys.
As a result, if you stick to the city and you’re looking for a small car that’s easy to drive and very cheap to run, the Smart ForFour could be well worth a look.
And, if you want to see some of the alternatives, have a look at our list of The top 10 best electric cars on sale and, if you need to drive into the capital, cars that are exempt from the London congestion charge. On the other hand, if you just want something that’s great around town and aren’t bothered what powers it, try one of The top 10 best city cars.