Skip advert
Advertisement

Smart EQ ForFour electric (2017-2019) performance, top speed, motor

The EQ ForFour offers nippy acceleration and is easy to drive, but it's no electric 'driver's car'

Overall rating

3.0 out of 5

Performance, motor & drive rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£22,295 - £23,445
Fuel Type:
Electric
0-62mphTop speedDriven wheelsPower
12.7s81mphRear82bhp

Having lost ground to rivals when it comes to range and running costs, the Smart EQ ForFour wins back a few points with the way it drives. In fact, the electric four-seat Smart is rather more appealing than its petrol-powered stablemates, with sharper responses and greater stability in corners.

Advertisement - Article continues below

It shows less of an objective advantage over its electric rivals, but feels more special than the Volkswagen e-up! and has a greater sense of fun than the Renault ZOE.

Smart EQ ForFour electric motor, 0-62mph and acceleration

The Smart EQ ForFour's electric motor produces 81bhp; plenty for such a diminutive car. In fact, thanks to the way an electric motor delivers all its power the moment you put your foot down, the Smart feels a lot more sprightly than its 12.7-second 0-62mph time suggests.

Smart also quoted a 0-37mph time of 5.5 seconds, which is more relevant to urban driving conditions, showing that the EQ ForFour gets away from a standstill smartly enough to stay well ahead of buses and other city-bound traffic. What's more, a progressive accelerator makes it easy to meter engine power so you can creep forwards smoothly when the traffic grinds to a slow crawl.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The EQ ForFour doesn't feel out of its comfort zone outside the city, either. Although its acceleration peters out towards its top speed of 80mph, the same is true of its petrol equivalent to a far greater extent, and EQ drivers will never feel apprehensive when a sudden burst of speed is called for, such as when overtaking a lorry or joining fast-flowing traffic.

Advertisement - Article continues below

With a single-speed gearbox, progress is smooth and easy; all you need to do is point the car in the right direction, choose your speed, watch the road for hazards and obey traffic laws. Although there's no semi-autonomous driving mode, the EQ makes for such a relaxed driving experience you're unlikely to grow fractious behind the wheel.

With such impressive behaviour at higher speeds, it's a real shame that this drains the battery so quickly. It means the EQ ForFour is better suited to brief trips on free-flowing urban dual-carriageways than prolonged motorway journeys.

Handling

Not only does the Smart EQ ForFour feel more eager than its petrol stablemates, its handling is more assured, too. The tall, upright car seems very settled on the road, perhaps a consequence of its heavy batteries and electric motor weighing it down.

When you encounter a winding road, you'll find the electric Smart less prone to body lean than petrol models, thanks to how its extra weight is positioned low in the car's body. Stability is also helped by the stiffer suspension fitted to support those bulky batteries, the side effect being a rather firmer ride than petrol Smart passengers will experience.

Don't confuse this firm, planted behaviour for a sporty character, though – the front tyres are narrower than those of the powered rear wheels, and are of a low-friction design that favours fuel efficiency over grip. It means that carrying too much speed into a corner will have you ploughing straight on with the tyres squealing – safe as long as there's no oncoming traffic, but rather untidy.

Spirited driving lends no more feel to the rather lifeless steering, either, and there's no sensation that you're reaching the limits of grip. If you're planning to have fun on a country lane when driving a Smart EQ, it pays to take corners slowly and use that nippy acceleration between them.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Where can I buy hydrogen and where is my nearest hydrogen filling station?
hydrogen filling station
Your questions answered

Where can I buy hydrogen and where is my nearest hydrogen filling station?

A guide to where you can find hydrogen fuel stations for filling up a hydrogen fuel-cell car in the UK
11 Apr 2024
Audi RS e-tron GT gets big improvements and welcome changes
2024 Audi RS e-tron GT - front tracking
News

Audi RS e-tron GT gets big improvements and welcome changes

Audi’s flagship RS e-tron GT electric sports car gets an upgrade in cutting edge tech and a performance boost
15 Apr 2024
​Top 10 best small electric SUVs 2024
Top 10 best small electric SUVs Cover Photo
Best cars

​Top 10 best small electric SUVs 2024

Small electric SUVs provide low running costs, decent practicality and are more affordable than larger models, so they’re very popular. Here are the b…
8 Apr 2024