Smart EQ Fortwo Review

Priced from £18,150 - £21,265

The Smart EQ is the perfect car for city driving – compact, easy to drive and pure electric. The limited range will be an issue if you need to do longer journeys, but at least it charges quickly.

  • Battery size: 17.6kWh
  • Miles per £:28.7
  • Battery warranty: 8 years / 62,000 mile
  • Emissions: 0g/km
  • Range: 83 miles

Tom Says

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5/10

“Urban disturbance with limited range. The EQ is a great little city car, but that’s all it is with a realistic 70-ish miles of juice available. Still, it’s only got a little battery, so if you opt for the 22kW home charger by bp pulse that’s part of the deal, you’re looking at a swift 40 minute charge time.”

Ginny Says

5/10

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“It may not be cheap but this cute, compact, two-seater is built for city-living where it’s modest range makes sense. You can whizz around town, saving money on parking, congestion charges and fuel and it’s tiny dimensions mean it’ll get you into the tightest parking spots every time.”

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You’re not going to buy a Smart for its practicality, but there’s enough room for two and a week’s shopping. 

  • Length:2,695mm
  • Width:1,663mm
  • Height:1,555mm
  • Boot space:190-260 litres

Practicality and Boot Space

As long as you are happy with just you and a passenger for company, the Smart is actually quite a spacious car, with plenty of head and elbow room. Long-legged drivers might find the raised floor a little intrusive, especially as the steering wheel doesn’t adjust upwards to get out of the way.

It’s also got three cup holders, although the one which is next to the back of the seats is more likely to become the home of your mobile phone, especially as it’s right next to the USB socket. This will leave the Smart’s other drawers and cubby holes free to keep all the chattels of modern life under control. 

The boot isn’t going to rival any Volvo estates of course, but even the cabrio should squeeze in a week’s supermarket shop or a small case. If you want to take longer loads you can fold the passenger seat flat, but this won’t be much use if you want to carry a pushchair as you’ll then not have anywhere to put the baby….

Technology

The EQ is far from being a stripped-out economy car, as it seems Smart knows urban customers will want a lot of tech packed into their city-friendly small package. As a result, the Fortwo comes as standard with kit such as TomTom sat nav, a phone app and Android Auto compatibility. Disappointingly, there’s no Apple CarPlay though, which seems like a whopping oversight for all those iPhone lovers.

Even though the Smart is one of the easiest cars to park, all models get rear parking sensors and all except the cheapest have a rear camera too. This might seem excessive, but it’s genuinely useful in the cabrio version as the visibility isn’t great out of the tiny back window. 

The ForTwo has a nifty new trick to help maximise the range too. Called radar-based kinetic recuperation, it uses the automatic cruise control to follow the car ahead and maintain a set distance in the most efficient way. By balancing the power and regenerative braking it is more efficient than a human, so you get a longer range.

Safety   

The Smart is safe than it looks, thanks to a strong passenger protection 'cell' and decent protection technology. No one would choose to have any accident, but it’s fair to say that the thought of smashing into something in a Smart is a bit scarier than in most cars. But actually, it is remarkably safe thanks to the efforts of the Mercedes engineers who designed it. A strong cell of steel surrounds the passengers and there is no engine in front of your legs, so the tiny bonnet solely there to protect you. If that doesn’t do the job, there are airbags all around, including for the driver’s knees. 

As a result of this, the Smart got a pretty decent four-star rating from the independent test organisation EuroNCAP back in 2014. The criteria has got stricter since then, but the Smart is still likely to do well, thanks to a decent amount of electronic accident prevention kit including a gadget which will apply the brakes automatically if it senses an impact is imminent. 

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