SMART

SMART FORFOUR ELECTRIC HATCHBACK 60kW EQ Premium 17kWh 5dr Auto [22kWch]

Fuel

FuelElectric

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph12.7s

WLTP - Pure Electric Range

Electric Range78 miles

We're now well used to the idea of an all-electric smart fortwo. But what if you want all of that car's urban advantages but need more than two seats? That's where this forfour EQ model comes in.

PLUG & PLAY

smart's all-electric EQ formula also includes its five-door forfour model. Jonathan Crouch checks it out.

Ten Second Review

We're now well used to the idea of an all-electric smart fortwo. But what if you want all of that car's urban advantages but need more than two seats? That's where this forfour EQ model comes in.

Background

The advantages of all-electric cars are well documented, but they can be expensive to buy. That's been part of the enduring appeal of smart's fortwo EQ model which, after government grants, can be yours for just under £17,000. It only has two seats though, which for some urban folk will be unreasonably restrictive. These people may well like the idea of being able to get a five-door 'forfour' version of the same car for less than £500 more. Smart is banking on that anyway. The brand has been offering battery-powered models for a decade now and here, it's delivered its most sophisticated technology yet.

Driving Experience

Around town, this smart's driving characteristics are agile and lively, aided by an ultra-small turning circle. And on the open road? Well how does the thought of 0-60 in 4.8 seconds grab you? Okay, it's 60km/h but, thanks to 160Nm of torque in something this light, it's still respectably quick. 0-62mph takes 11.5s on the way to 81mph flat out. It's certainly brisk enough to be able to sidestep the brake pedal and catapult the little forfour off the line. That it does so without anything in the way of engine noise is even more impressive, the merest whirr of the uprated 60kW (82hp) electric motor accompanying a scarcely perceptible whine from the one-speed transmission. It's all very serene and makes city driving rather stress free. On the highway, you can theoretically reach an 81mph maximum, but this does rather chew the battery's range which, when driven a bit more sedately, can be eked out to up to 100 miles. An indicator on the dashboard lets you know how efficiently you're driving. Needless to say, you'll be tempted to gun it everywhere. It's too much fun not to. With all of the batteries mounted in the sandwich floor, the forfour electric drive has an admirably low centre of gravity and probably corners better than its petrol sibling. The lithium-ion battery's underfloor position is both thermally stable and good for crash protection.

Design and Build

No practical compromises have been made with this forfour model to incorporate the electric drive layout, so the recipe is much as it was in the (now discontinued) petrol version of this car. The forfour really does look like a smart fortwo that's been photoshopped into something longer and shares the smaller car's pug-like front end and the hallmark tridion safety cell. There's a lot of shape in the flanks, from the swage lines near the door handles to the almost Volvo-like shoulder line that's most apparent as it melds into the rear light cluster. Look down and there's a genuine concavity to the lower door panels, smart going a bit further than sticking a curved detail on there as you'd get on a Renault Clio or Captur. The cabin features as many quirky touches as you can stomach and it's good to see smart pushing the boat out a bit with colours and textures, including a technical mesh finish. At the price charged, this should be a car that feels premium and different to the usual citycar norm. It's still not huge inside, and the boot measures a mean 180-litres. The good news is that the rear doors open to 85 degrees (which makes getting in the back simple) and the rear seats fold completely flat, offering up to 975-litres of space.

Market and Model

There are three trim levels on offer to smart forfour EQ customers - 'passion advanced', 'pulse premium' and 'prime exclusive'. The base 'passion advanced' version costs from just over £18,535, once the government's generous £2,500 Plug-in car grant is taken into account. That puts this smart against tough competition. An all-electric Renault ZOE would cost not much more - and would give you more interior space - but obviously, it wouldn't be as small and nippy as this fortwo. Smart also offers two-door fortwo coupe and fortwo cabrio variants with the same battery powertrain. With the "smart control" app that comes with the car, lots of electric drive information can be accessed via smartphone, tablet or PC and functions such as pre-entry climate control or intelligent charging can be conveniently controlled remotely. Two programmable departure times can be entered in, meaning that intelligent charging and pre-entry climate control do not always need to be re-set for frequent journeys. Options include a 'winter package' with a heated steering wheel and the 'electric drive design' package that gives the vehicle an expressive look with tridion safety cell and door mirror caps painted in exclusive electric green. Were I a purchaser, I'd want to talk to my smart retailer about the cost of adding a wall charging box at home to decrease the total charging time from seven to six hours.

Cost of Ownership

Once you've found the upfront list price of this car, the savings just keep coming. So there are no road tax charges to pay, no congestion charges, no bridge tolls, very low maintenance costs, tiny company car tax levies and only the cost of your electricity to pay, variable of course based on your supplier and the time of day you charge. To give you some idea here, smart reckons that owners will be shelling out an average of between £1.60 to £2.40 in electricity charges every sixty miles or so, meaning that 6,000 miles would cost you only around £250 in 'fuel'. And, as long as you're buying your electricity from a renewable source, a warm and fuzzy green conscience comes as part of the deal. There's a three year warranty as standard, which you can extend to five years if you wish. This model now has a powerful 22kW on-board charger as standard, which has made possible a quick charging time of less than 40 minutes (from 10-80% charge). With the "smart control" app, the charging process can be conveniently monitored remotely, the app also including many more functions such as intelligent charging.

Summary

We quite like the idea of the smart fortwo EQ model, but we can't really see why you would buy one when this five-door forfour variant costs just £500 more and gives you so many more ownership options. Either way, you get a charming piece of technology that works extremely well, drives nicely and seems a perfect technological fit. In some ways, it's more convincing than a rival Renault ZOE at doing the citycar thing and makes vehicles like the Peugeot e208 and the Vauxhall Corsa-e look rather over-priced, though it can't match the operating range of models like that. If you only need a car for short town trips, that may not matter. A wider network of recharging points in car parks and service stations would be needed for vehicles like this smart forfour EQ model to really take off. That and further incentives to make electric cars more attractive to consumers. This smart appears to have the basics just about right though, and in urban areas particularly, it makes real sense.

  • Heated rear window
  • Dark tinted heat insulated glass
  • Rear window wiper with intermittent wiper control and automatic wipe/wash function
  • Comfort front windscreen wiper with intermittent wiper control and automatic wipe/wash function
  • Power windows with convenience opening and closing

  • Active brake assist forward collision warning system with autonomous braking function
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Electronic Stability Programme
  • Hill start assist

  • Cruise control with speedtronic variable speed limiter
  • Electric power steering
  • Crosswind Assist
  • Rear Park assist with acoustic warning and reversing camera
  • Acoustic presence indicator

  • 22kW onboard charger with rapid charging function
  • Owners manual and service booklet in English
  • Instrument display with battery charge status display and power display
  • Instrument cluster with multifunctional 3.5 inch colour TFT display and on board computer
  • Exterior temperature indicator with frost warning

  • Driving mirrors in tridion colour
  • Electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors
  • Door mirror with aspherically curved mirror glass on the driver's side

  • Charging cable for household socket
  • Charging cable for wall box/charging stations

  • smart Media-System - 9" multi touch display, Bluetooth audio streaming/hands-free, Android Auto/Apple Car Play, DAB Radio, AUX/USB interface

  • 85 degree opening rear doors
  • Body colour radiator grille
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Panoramic glass roof with sunblind
  • Body colour door handles
  • Roof antenna
  • Lockable service cover

  • H4 halogen headlamps with integrated LED daytime driving lights
  • Manual headlamp range adjustment
  • Third brake light featuring LED technology
  • White side indicators

  • Automatic climate control

  • Grey headlining
  • Charge cable bag
  • Brushed stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs
  • Lockable glove compartment
  • Storage compartment in rear doors
  • Height adjustable steering column
  • Dashboard and door centre panel in black fabric and accent trim in black/grey
  • Manually operated rear side windows
  • Ruffled pockets on front seat backrests
  • 12V socket with cover in centre console
  • 3 spoke leather multifunction sports steering wheel with anthracite bezel and grey double stitching
  • Black leather gearshift knob
  • Fabric upholstery with white double stitching
  • Storage compartment in doors with net
  • Interior door opener in matt chrome
  • Load lashing eyes in luggage compartment
  • Stowage net on centre console
  • Centre console with roller cover and folding front centre armrest

  • Boot lighting
  • Driver/front passenger reading lights
  • Luggage compartment lighting

  • Winter pack with heated rear seats - ForFour

  • Airbags - driver and front passenger with manual deactivation on the front passenger
  • Height adjustable seatbelts for driver and front passenger
  • Crash sensor for activation of hazard warning lights
  • Airbags - kneebag for driver
  • Seat belts - Three-point, with seat belt tensioners and belt force limiters
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Airbags - side airbags for driver and front passenger
  • Airbags - windowbags front driver and front passenger
  • Rear belt status indicator in overhead control panel
  • Retaining strap for securing items on the front passenger seat

  • Ready space seat-Swivell cushion,removable cargo box,2 cupholder/retractable stowage comp,rear backrest folded 50/50,cargo position 12degree
  • Front passenger seat with through loading function with fully folding backrest
  • 2 rear head restraints
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Front head restraints
  • Backrest adjustment with one-touch function for driver and front passenger
  • I-size child seat attachment system for front passenger with manual airbag deactivation

  • Central locking with radio remote control + visual locking verification signal and immobiliser
  • Drive lock - automatic door locking when driving
  • Folding key with remote control (Second key with fixed bit)

  • Single speed transmission

  • Driver/front passenger sunvisors with ticket holder
  • Driver/front passenger sunvisors with vanity mirror

  • Summer tyres

  • 16" 5 twin spoke alloy wheels painted in black with high sheen finish

  • Breakdown kit with air compressor and sealant back

  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes): 510
  • Battery Charge Slow kW: 3.1
  • Battery Charge Slow Percentage: 10-80
  • Battery Charge Fast Time (Minutes): 198
  • Battery Charge Fast kW: 7.2
  • Battery Charge Fast Percentage: 10-80
  • Battery Charge Rapid Time (Minutes): 40
  • Battery Charge Rapid kW: 22
  • Battery Charge Rapid Percentage: 10-80
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge kW: N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Percentage: N
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 62000
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 17.2
  • NEDC Electricity Consumption kWh/100 km: 15.9
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb: 125
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 17
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 3.7
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb: 78

  • Noise Level dB(A): 66
  • CO: N
  • HC: N
  • NOx: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • CO2 (g/km): 0
  • Standard Euro Emissions: N

  • Engine Code: N
  • Cylinders: N
  • Cylinder Layout: N
  • Number of Valves: N
  • Camshaft: N
  • Fuel Delivery: N
  • Catalytic Convertor: N
  • Engine Layout: N
  • Compression Ratio: N
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): N
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): N
  • CC: 1

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: N
  • EC Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Combined (mpg): N

  • Coin Series: Premium
  • Coin Description: 60kW EQ 17kWh 22kWCh
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 2
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 6
  • Service Interval Mileage: 12500
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 56
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • Badge Power: 82
  • Badge Engine CC: 0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 9E
  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False

  • Engine Torque - MKG: 16.3
  • Engine Power - KW: 60
  • Engine Power - RPM: 4000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 118
  • Engine Torque - NM: 160
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 3500
  • Engine Power - BHP: 82
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 12.7
  • Top Speed: 81

  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP

  • Tyre Size Front: 185/50 R16
  • Tyre Size Rear: 205/45 R16
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 16" ALLOY
  • Wheel Style: 5 TWIN SPOKE
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False

  • Width (including mirrors): 1875
  • Height: 1554
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 3495
  • Width: 1665
  • Wheelbase: 2494

  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1200
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 1570
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): N
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 185
  • No. of Seats: 4
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: N
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: N
  • Max. Loading Weight: 370
  • Max. Roof Load: N
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 975
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 9.05

  • TRIDION safety cell in black: Included
  • Bodypanels in solid paint: Included
  • Bodypanels in metallic paint: £325
  • TRIDION safety cell in white: £225
  • TRIDION safety cell in lava orange: £225
  • TRIDION safety cell in cool silver: £225
  • TRIDION safety cell in cadmium red: £225
  • TRIDION safety cell in graphite grey: £225
  • Bodypanels in special solid paint: £250

  • Bodypanels in metallic Steel blue: £325
  • Bodypanels in metallic Graphite grey: £325
  • Bodypanels in metallic Cadmium red: £325
  • Bodypanels in metallic Lava orange: £325
  • Bodypanels in metallic Cool silver: £325

  • Bodypanels in Black: £0

  • Bodypanels in special solid White: £250

  • Fabric - Black with white double stitching: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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