- Stylish aesthetics
- Impressive interior
- Efficient engines
- More expensive than rivals
- Not the most spacious
- Not great to drive out of town
Funky four-seater city car
The Smart ForFour is the second generation of the German manufacturer’s four seater city car. The first generation, built between 2004 and 2006 wasn’t a huge success for Smart, but the latest ForFour, reintroduced in 2014, and based on the same platform as the Renault Twingo, is a huge improvement. The ForFour is more expensive than a lot of its rivals, such as the Hyundai i10, and the Skoda Citigo, but its quirky design is sure to win a lot of buyers’ hearts. The ForFour is also great to drive around town, and with some super efficient engines on offer, it offers great day-to-day value for money.
Quirky design and generous equipment, though not the most spacious
The inside of the ForFour is sure to win a lot of fans, thanks to its unique design, and plethora of customisation options. It’s not the most spacious city car on the market however, but the generous equipment is pleasing.
The dashboard design of the ForFour is one of most striking available in a city car. The funky dials that pop out of the dash are a great feature, as they’re not only practical, they’re also unique to the Smart. Most city cars favour functionality over style, but the ForFour manages to combine the two. Scratchy plastics are the norm in this class, but the ForFour is a step up above, and feels well-built, and is pleasing to the touch. Controls are also intuitive and easy to use, so it won’t take long to get accustomed to the ForFour.
One area in which the ForFour disappoints is the amount of storage space on offer. The 185 litre boot capacity is among the smallest in the city car class, but there’s still enough room for a bit of shopping, or a compact, foldable buggy. There’s also plenty of seating flexibility, so if you want to carry large loads it’s pretty simple to increase the capacity. The low load lip also helps if you’re planning on carrying heavy items, so whilst the ForFour doesn’t offer the biggest boot, it’s still incredibly practical.
Equipment levels in the ForFour are impressive, even on the most basic models. The entry-level Passion trim comes with enough kit to satisfy most buyers needs, with climate control, electric windows, cruise control, and Bluetooth connectivity all featuring. It’ll probably be the best option for most buyers, but if you want the luxury of heated leather seats, and a panoramic sunroof, the Prime trim is also a great option to consider.
All in all the inside of the ForFour is an impressive package. The lack of storage space may look poor on paper, but the flexible seating arrangement makes the ForFour surprisingly practical. It’s stylish, well-constructed cabin is also a plus, whilst the generous equipment levels is a huge bonus.
Great around town, but not the finest out-of-town performer
City cars are built to be easy to drive around town, and the ForFour is no different. It’s tight turning circle and light steering make the ForFour ideal for weaving in and out of busy city traffic, and slotting into tight parking spots. Get the ForFour up to the national speed limit however, and things aren’t quite as impressive. There’s a fair bit of body roll through the corners, whilst the steering offers little in the way of feedback, so it’s not quite as impressive as the Seat Mii out of town.
Suspension and Chassis
Ride refinement in the ForFour depends on which model you choose to go for. The entry-level models equipped with smaller alloy wheels actually perform pretty well around town, ironing out even the worst of pothole-ridden road surfaces. Proxy trim models come with a stiffer setup that makes the ForFour uncomfortable, so they’re worth avoiding. Road and wind noise aren’t the quietest in the class either, so the ForFour isn’t the most refined motorway cruiser.
Gearbox options in the ForFour come in two guises. No matter which ForFour you choose to go for, you’re going to get a five-speed manual transmission as standard. That’s not a problem however, as it’s sharp, slick, and geared towards city driving, so it’s a perfect accompaniment to the ForFour’s on-road abilities. A six-speed automatic is also available, which increases fuel efficiency, and lowers emissions.
Two clean, efficient petrol engines
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your ForFour, you’ve only got the one fuel source on offer: petrol. That isn’t an issue however, as city cars are better suited to petrol power, and both engines are good for the environment and cheap to run.
City cars aren’t renowned for their blistering pace, and the engines on offer in the ForFour certainly don’t buck the trend. The most powerful engine in the ForFour range is the 0.9 litre turbocharged petrol engine, which produces 90bhp, and will accelerate from 0-62mph in 11.2 seconds. Those figures aren’t going to win the hearts of petrolheads, but it still feels surprisingly nippy about town.
Eco-friendly buyers will be delighted with the engines on offer in the ForFour range. No matter which model you go for, you’ll be getting a car with sub-100g/km of CO2 emissions. The greenest of the lot is the 1.0 petrol engine, which produces just 96g/km. That’s amongst the best in the class, and it’ll also come with a free road tax bill. This model is also the best option for money-savers, as it can achieve up to 67.3mpg. Both engines in the range are cheap to run however, so you’ll never feel short-changed.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your ForFour, you’re going to get a clean, modern, and efficient engine. The higher powered 0.9 litre petrol makes the most sense though, as it’s more flexible, and is only slightly more expensive to run.
Average NCAP results, but impressive standard safety kit
Like nearly every car in its class, the ForFour fell just short of achieving the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. Only the Volkswagen Up!/Skoda Citigo/Seat Mii triumvirate managed the full five stars, so the ForFour is still amongst the safest cars in the city car class. The ForFour scored 78% in adult protection, 77% in child safety, and 65% in pedestrian safety. No matter which model you choose to go for, you’ll get plenty of safety kit. Electronic stability control and the usual array of airbags both feature as standard, whilst the ForFour’s clever body construction makes it stiffer in the event of a crash.
Good value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Smart ForFour represents impressive value for money for buyers, no matter which model you choose to go for. It might be more expensive to buy than a lot of its rivals, but it certainly won’t cost a lot to run day-to-day. Fuel efficiency is high throughout the range, with no model achieving less than 65.7mpg, whilst sub-100g/km emissions make the ForFour road tax exempt.
Insurance groups for the ForFour depend on which model you choose to go for. The range starts in group 2 for the entry-level 1.0 Passion, and climb up towards group 9 if you’re tempted by the range-topping 0.9 Turbo Prime Premium Plus Auto. Whichever model you go for, you won’t be paying any more than you would for an equivalent rival.
Depreciation is a large factor with the ForFour, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Smart ForFour is undoubtedly one of the most stylish city cars that money can buy. It might be more expensive from new than the majority of its rivals, but its sharp interior, efficient engines, and generous equipment list make the ForFour an excellent option. If you go for a nearly new ForFour as well, you’ll be getting excellent value for money.
Buying a used Smart ForFour online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Smart ForFour for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used ForFour. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Smart ForFour online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Smart? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Smart ForFour, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used ForFour, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Smart to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.