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Lease a Smart Forfour Hatchback 1.0 Passion 5dr

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Technical Data
Transmission Manual
MPG Combined 54.3
CO2 118 g/km
Fuel Type Petrol
0 to 62 mph 15.9 sec

The smart forfour is back. Did you even realise it had gone away? Andy Enright fills you in on the details.

Ten Second Review

The smart forfour is a citycar that really does work smarter. With the engine in the back, it's astonishingly manoeuvrable and delivers excellent fuel economy from either a 1.0-litre or a 0.9-litre turbo powerplant. The interior's agreeably funky and this time round it really does look like a stretched fortwo - because that's what it is.

Background

Some cars achieve huge success without being particularly competent. We're looking at you, Peugeot 206 and Citroen Xsara Picasso. Other cars look as if they've got all the firepower to mow down the opposition only to shoot themselves in the foot, a fair assessment of the original smart forfour. Launched to ride on the coat-tails of the ground-breaking smart citycar, the forfour ought to have done a lot better. It wasn't priced crazily, it looked good, it was built on rock-solid Mitsubishi mechanicals and it drove better than many people imagined. Especially the racy Brabus version which is well worth tracking down today. Thing is, it just never caught on and was ditched within two short years. Undeterred, smart is back once again with another crack at the forfour model. This time round the underpinnings are shared with Renault and the engine's gone from up front to out back. Will this radically different approach bear fruit?

Driving Experience

There really wasn't a lot of mechanical commonality between the old smart fortwo and the forfour, but this time round, the forfour is essentially a stretched fortwo, in this instance sharing around 70 per cent parts commonality with the Renault Twingo. Customers get to choose between 71PS and 90PS engines, the former a normally-aspirated 1.0-litre unit and the latter an 899cc turbocharged item. Unless you knew beforehand, there is little in the forfour's handling characteristics that suggests it's rear-engined. Neither of the two engines are particularly rapid, and both will require a bit of rowing along on major roads. The 71PS car gets to 62mph in a yawnsome 16.9 seconds, while the 90PS models take a more presentable 11.9s. Smart promises better refinement at speed compared to the Twingo thanks to additional soundproofing. Another piece of good news is that the hideous semi-automatic gearbox that plagued smarts for years has been ditched and in comes a slick five-speed manual 'box with a six-speed twin-clutch automatic following on its heels. The 8.65m turning circle means you'll have no problem diving back for a parking spot and the steering has been deliberately made very light to make city manoeuvring extra simple.

Design and Build

Whereas the old forfour really had to stretch to try to carry off the smart family look, this one couldn't really be anything else. It really does look like a smart fortwo that's been Photoshopped into something longer and shares the smaller car's pug-like front end and the hallmark tridion safety cell. There's a lot of shape in the flanks, from the swage lines near the door handles to the almost Volvo-like shoulder line that's most apparent as it melds into the rear light cluster. Look down and there's a genuine concavity to the lower door panels, smart going a bit further than sticking a curved detail on there as you'd get on a Renault Clio or Captur. The cabin features as many quirky touches as you can stomach and it's good to see smart pushing the boat out a bit with colours and textures, including a technical mesh finish. At the prices charged, this should be a car that feels premium and different to the usual citycar norm. It's still not huge inside, and the boot measures a mean 180-litres. The good news is that the rear doors open to 85 degrees (which makes getting in the back simple) and the rear seats fold completely flat, offering up to 975-litres of space.

Market and Model

The entry-level passion trim opens proceedings at just over £11,500, with the prime model commanding nearly £1,000 more and the proxy version priced identically. The passion is fitted with 15" eight-spoke alloy wheels, automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity and a choice of either an orange/black interior or a white/black interior. The prime features 15" five-twin-spoke black alloys and gets a panoramic glass roof with sun protection, as well as black leather upholstery, heated seats and lane-keeping assist. Additional dashboard instrument pods with a cockpit clock and rev counter are a returning smart staple. Upgrade to the proxy and you'll find 16" rims and a blue and white interior with Artico and cloth upholstery. It also gets the Sports Package which includes a sports leather multifunction steering wheel, suspension lowered by 10mm, rubber studded alloy sports pedals and an exhaust finisher in chrome. Should you wish to go further, the optional Premium package will ask around £800 of you and deliver rear parking assistance, a smart media system with navigation, a height adjustable steering wheel and heated, electrically adjustable door mirrors. Premium Plus is only offered on the upper two trims and includes all of the above, as well as ambient lighting, a 'coming home' lighting function, LED headlamps with a light guide, rain and light sensors and a rear view camera. That'll set you back around £1,3000, which seems far from exorbitant.

Cost of Usership

Choose a smart forfour with a manual gearbox and the 71PS engine, as most UK customers are expected to do, and you'll have a car which will return 68.9mpg on the combined cycle and emit just 93g/km of carbon dioxide. That's only 1.2mpg down on the two-seat fortwo and definitely redeems what we thought were slightly lacklustre numbers for the smaller car. Choose the 899cc turbo model and although it's a bit quicker, efficiency isn't dented too badly. Here you'll manage 67.3mpg and 97g/km. Where the car looks likely to score over its less charismatic rivals is in terms of resale value. The old forfour didn't set the market ablaze in this regard, but the more consistent brand identity of the latest forfour should see it home.

Summary

We're pretty impressed with the latest smart forfour. The pragmatic engineering that underpins it gives it some real advantages. No front driveshafts means that the wheels can be steered to a 45-degree angle, giving it otherworldly manoeuvrability. Packaging the engine in the back isn't a real issue for a citycar that's rarely tasked with heavy hauling duties. It's a car that looks and feels special inside but which hasn't been unrealistically priced. We'd like to get our hands on one of the dual-clutch automatics and put that through its paces, but for the time being, this smart forfour makes a convincing case for itself. If you prefer a citycar that is anything but the anonymous econobox, it's got a strong claim for your custom.

CO
0.413
CO2 (g/km)
118
HC
0.041
HC+NOx
Not Available
Noise Level dB(A)
71
NOx
0.009
Particles
Not Available
Standard Euro Emissions
EURO 6
Camshaft
DOHC
Catalytic Convertor
Yes
CC
999
Compression Ratio
10.5:1
Cylinder Layout
IN-LINE
Cylinders
3
Cylinders - Bore (mm)
72.2
Cylinders - Stroke (mm)
81.3
Engine Layout
REAR TRANSVERSE
Fuel Delivery
MULTI POINT FUEL INJECTION
Gears
5 SPEED
Number of Valves
12
Transmission
MANUAL
EC Combined (mpg)
54.3
EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies
Yes
EC Extra Urban (mpg)
60.1
EC Urban (mpg)
47.1
Badge Engine CC
1.0
Badge Power
71
Based On ID
Not Available
Coin Description
Not Available
Coin Series
Passion
Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07
2E
Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years
6
Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years
2
NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %
78
NCAP Child Occupant Protection %
77
NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09
4
NCAP Pedestrian Protection %
65
NCAP Safety Assist %
56
Safety Concerns?
Not Available
Service Interval Frequency - Months
12
Service Interval Mileage
12500
Special Edition
Not Available
Special Order
Not Available
Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage
999999
Standard manufacturers warranty - Years
3
Vehicle Homologation Class
M1
0 to 60 mph (secs)
Not Available
0 to 62 mph (secs)
15.9
Engine Power - BHP
71
Engine Power - KW
52
Engine Power - PS
Yes
Engine Power - RPM
6000
Engine Torque - LBS.FT
67
Engine Torque - MKG
9.3
Engine Torque - NM
91
Engine Torque - RPM
2850
Top Speed
94
Emissions Test Cycle
NEDC Correlated
Alloys?
Yes
Space Saver?
Not Available
Tyre Size Front
165/65 R15
Tyre Size Rear
185/60 R15
Tyre Size Spare
TYRE REPAIR KIT
Wheel Style
8 SPOKE
Wheel Type
15" ALLOY
Height
1555
Height (including roof rails)
Not Available
Length
3495
Wheelbase
2494
Width
1665
Width (including mirrors)
1875
Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)
35
Gross Vehicle Weight
1400
Luggage Capacity (Seats Down)
975
Luggage Capacity (Seats Up)
185
Max. Loading Weight
425
Max. Roof Load
Not Available
Max. Towing Weight - Braked
Not Available
Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked
Not Available
Minimum Kerbweight
975
No. of Seats
4
Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb
8.65
Manually adjustable door mirrors
2 speakers
Bodypanels in solid paint
TRIDION safety cell in black
Dashboard and door centre panel in black fabric
Dashboard and door centre panel in black fabric and grey highlights
Are the cars brand new? Yes.
Where do I pick up my new car? You don’t – we’ll deliver it to you, free of charge.
Will it have a warranty? Yes – a full manufacturer’s warranty.
Will I need to have a credit check? Yes.
Will I be charged for mileage? Only if you exceed your agreed mileage allowance.
Will I be charged for damage? Only if the damage exceeds “fair wear and tear”.

If you have any further questions, check out our FAQs page.

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Price
Transmission Manual Manual Automatic
Fuel Type Petrol Petrol Electric
Seats 5 5 5
Doors 5 5 5
CO2 122 g/km 147 g/km -
MPG 52.3 43.5 -
BHP 90 200 109
0 to 62 13.1 sec 7.3 sec 11.01 sec

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