Charge up the light bri­gade

Re­becca Chap­lin gets to grips with the new Smart Forfour Elec­tric Drive

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Kentmotors -

The Smart Forfour was the first time the brand en­abled own­ers to take more than two peo­ple in one of its cars. Now, you will be able to drive one of these four-seaters with an all-elec­tric pow­er­train. It gets the same en­gine as was un­veiled on its lit­tle sis­ter, the Fortwo, at the end of last year. With a range of up to 96 miles, it’s good, but it’s not quite up there with some of its ri­vals, so does it make up for this de­fi­ciency in other ar­eas?

The brand has taken this op­por­tu­nity to take some of the fea­tures and re­ally ex­ag­ger­ate the un­fa­mil­iar el­e­ments of this com­pact car. How­ever, in this lat­est facelifted ver­sion, some of the quirky in­te­rior has been toned down. The curvy and bul­bous look of this car re­mains though, with two-tone choices on the ex­te­rior. In­side is still de­cid­edly prac­ti­cal. In­stead of opt­ing for a pre­mium feel with con­cealed stor­age op­tions, ma­te­ri­als are de­signed to face a lot of short jour­neys and the stresses of peo­ple hop­ping in and out fre­quently. Space in the front is gen­er­ous and thanks to those stan­dard-sized doors, get­ting in is easy. Boot space is re­ally lim­ited – this is not the sort of car de­signed to take four peo­ple away for the week­end.

The elec­tric drive means power is avail­able al­most in­stantly, al­though you’re go­ing to want to try and re­sist the temp­ta­tion to plant your foot to the ground. With only 96 miles of range – at the ab­so­lute best – If you rarely drive more than 30 miles from your home and stay at city speeds for the ma­jor­ity of the time, the Smart Forfour Elec­tric Drive could be for you.

this is not a car for push­ing to the lim­its. The steer­ing can be light and a bit vague, too, but again, this is only re­ally some­thing that should af­fect you if you’re driv­ing it be­yond what it’s de­signed for.

Price is where the Smart Forfour and Fortwo Elec­tric Drive come into their own. Elec­tric mo­bil­ity can be ex­tremely pricey, but if you can af­ford the ini­tial out­lay, you can hope you make your money back in re­duced own­er­ship costs later. How­ever, com­pared with ri­vals, Smart is rel­a­tively cheap. At around £19,000 for the Forfour, and a few hun­dred pounds less for the Fortwo, these are very af­ford­able com­pared to ri­vals. At the mo­ment, you can charge at home, but it’s not par­tic­u­larly quick, tak­ing around six hours to charge to 80%. Later in the year, a fast charger will be avail­able, but cars re­leased be­fore that date won’t be com­pat­i­ble.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.