Michelle Gent’s POV of the Smart Forfour Electric Drive
 
I’m not going to be telling you all about the engineering and specs perspective on the car, I don’t do that kind of thing. There are others in the team that are far better at that stuff.
 
A few years ago, my daughter wanted a new car and she decided to test drive a Smart car. It was one of the first and by then, was a little old and 
 
when she said that she didn’t like it, I was overjoyed and my words were something like: “Good! Now, let’s go home!”
 
I tried not to allow that past experience colour my judgement for the new Smart Forfour and I’m pleased with myself that I managed to remain neutral for the test. ‘Think like Switzerland’ was my mantra.
 
The Smart Forfour is small, attractively small. I liked it immediately, even though it was partly green.
 
 
Inside is right up to standard for what I’d expect from Mercedes. Leather seats, soft-touch covering to the dash etc. The driving position was immediately comfortable, with little adjustment necessary. Basically, I could get in and go.
 
The instrument pods are a little futuristic but fit with the car’s essence – the feel of the vehicle as a package.
 
Everything I’d expect from the interior gadgets and devices were there, large, touch-screen infotainment system, Bluetooth and sat-nav.
 
The ‘smart control’ app gives access to functions such as pre-entry climate control from your smart phone – just think, the car is already warm as you get in to take the kids to school! – A timer on that function is a simply awesome idea, as is the charging timer so you can set it to charge using ‘Economy-7’ or off-peak electricity.
 
 
The gearstick, indicators and wiper stalks were all easily within reach and I got a feel for the car almost instantly – that is important to me personally as I’m a bit finicky and can take an instant dislike to a car if it doesn’t feel right straight away.
 
 
30 minutes is not long enough to get a really good feel for a car, but I did my best.
 
The Smart Forfour is a ‘proper’ four-door and I like that. Though the car is small, compact even, it doesn’t feel cramped (and I’m not a tiny person). The car is built around a strong ‘safety cell’ which adds confidence in the safety of the vehicle (it does what it says on the tin). Additional safety aspects, such as brake assist, crosswind assist, hill start assist and five airbags just put your mind at rest where the passengers are concerned.
 
The gadgets and meters are easy to read and I’m sure I’d find them all very useful once I got to know them and their functions, but as I said, 30 minutes to get to know the Smart Forfour.
 
Zero Road Tax is a definite benefit, as is the London Congestion Charge exemption and the possibility of free or subsidised parking.
 
Time to take it for a drive.
 
I like automatics and this one is beautiful to drive! I was delighted by the power delivery and I can see how great this car would fit into my life if I had unlimited cash to spend on everything I wanted.
 
Of course, the massive house with stables for the unicorns and people to clean up after me would come first, but the Smart Forfour would definitely be on the list.
 
The Smart Forfour would be perfect for nipping about as an everyday run-about, shopping and school-runs – especially with 4-door convenience.
 
You may not think cruise-control would be important in a daily short-run run-about but think about it… Putting the car’s cruise-control on at 30 MPH and not worrying about speed limits is a great advantage.
 
The 99 mile range is more than adequate and with charging stations becoming the norm rather than an unusual occurrence, I think we’ll be seeing more of these great little cars.
 
Up to 30 MPH the Smart Forfour accelerated far quicker than I had imagined it would manage – yes, I was impressed! Up to 60 MPH didn’t pose any kind of problem at all apart from the road noise – which suggests to me that town use would be the perfect environment for this car.
 
Pollution control in more towns will mean these electric cars will soon be the only way of commuting and I really don’t see a problem with that.
 
Although charging wasn’t necessary for the 30 minute test-drive, I can see it could be a problem if you forget to charge it – it takes 6 hours to get from 20% charge up to full.
 
A Fast-charge box is available for home-charging (which reduces the time down to 3.5 hours). I can see it being a real advantage if other outlets adopt the Fast-charge boxes.
 
The Smart Forfour for me is a winner.

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