The smart forfour model range offers a choice of 3 petrol engines which includes the 1.1 litre 3-cylinder with a power output of 75 bhp, the 1.3 litre 4-cylinder with a power output of 95 bhp and the 1.5 litre 4-cylinder with a power output of 109 bhp.
How It Drove - Performance
The smart forfour model range offers a choice of 3 petrol engines which includes the 1.1 litre 3-cylinder with a power output of 75 bhp, the 1.3 litre 4-cylinder with a power output of 95 bhp and the 1.5 litre 4-cylinder with a power output of 109 bhp. The 1.5 litre petrol engine also features in the forfour BRABUS and with a little help from the uber-tuning house, BRABUS GmbH delivers an impressive 177 bhp.
You have a choice of two 1.5 litre 3-cylinder diesel engines with power outputs of 68 bhp and 95 bhp respectively - the first time a diesel powered smart has been available in the UK.
The three petrol engines are the result of cooperation between DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi and the two diesel engines are built by Mercedes-Benz.
We tested the following engines: the 1.5 litre petrol (109 bhp) with the optional softouch plus - 6-speed automated gear programme, the 1.5 litre diesel (68 bhp) and 1.5 litre (95 bhp) both with 5-speed manual transmission as standard.
The 1.5 litre (109 bhp) petrol engine is the most powerful engine in the model line-up (excluding the BRABUS version) with a 0-62.5 mph time of 9.8 seconds and a maximum speed of 118 mph. It is smooth and refined with more than adequate power for safe overtaking and comfortable Motorway cruising.
Our test car was equipped with the optional softouch plus - 6-speed automated gear programme with kickdown & crawl function which allows you to drive the car as an automatic and is excellent around town although the gear changes can be jerky. The gearshift lever also allows manual gear changes, simply knock the gear lever forward to change up and backwards to change down. The kickdown function enables you to spontaneously change down a gear or two with the accelerator pedal. On the whole we found this system absolutely superb and very intuitive to use. The 1.5 litre (109 bhp) petrol model equipped with optional softouch plus returns 45.6 mpg on a combined cycle.
Both the 1.5 litre diesel engines are superb - the 68 bhp version was so quiet and refined it was easy to forget that you were driving a diesel apart from the inevitable start-up and idle chatter. Only when laden with 4 adult passengers did we find the engine underpowered although it does require you to work through the 5-speed gearbox to keep a steady speed. The 0-62.5 mph sprint is a respectable but not quick 13.9 seconds and it returns 64.2 mpg on a combined cycle.
If you require more performance we recommend the 95 bhp version which is more powerful shaving 3.4 seconds off the 0-62.5 mph time and has a maximum speed of 112 mph. The flexible diesel engine is certainly more responsive than the 68 bhp model but it is noisier and less refined.
We found the 5-speed manual transmission light and easy to use with a well-weighted clutch pedal.
How It Drove - Ride and Handling
Weighing in at less than 1,000 Kilogramme's the smart forfour offers a power / weight ratio of up to 11.3 Kilogramme's per kilowatt (9 kg per bhp) which is on a par with the extremely low ratio of the smart roadster and roadster-coupe.
The forfour is equipped with an agile chassis and combined with its wide and sporty track width (1,460 mm at the front and 1,445 mm at the rear) and firm spring and shock absorber settings you have a car with high levels of grip. The ride quality is very good and copes well with British road surfaces (or lack of them).
An optional sports package is available which includes a lowered chassis and wheels measuring 6.5 x 16 with 205/45 R 16 H tyres.
smart forfour Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||smart forfour BRABUS|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Euro NCAP Rating|
|Price (when tested on the 21/08/05)|