Smart EQ ForFour reliability & safety

Smart EQ ForFour reliability is unproven, and although it's well equipped, its safety rating is so-so

Smart is closely affiliated with Mercedes, and its cars are sold alongside models that wear the three-pointed star at larger Mercedes dealerships. The two brands haven't always enjoyed equal reputations for reliability, though.

The EQ ForFour hasn't been individually crash-tested by Euro NCAP, but ratings for the petrol ForFour apply. That model received a four-star rating when tested in 2014, since when additional features such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) have become standard.

Smart EQ ForFour reliability & problems

Too few Smart owners participated in our 2018 Driver Power satisfaction survey for the brand to appear in the results, but its performance in previous years has been chequered to say the least – notching up a last-place finish in 2013.

Reliability has been a concern for previous generations of Smart, but the latest models appear to be rather less problematic. The EQ ForFour is a little harder to judge, though, having been on sale for less than two years, and being on the road in relatively small numbers even now. Smart build quality has certainly made a step forward in recent years, though.

Safety

The Smart ForFour was crash-tested alongside its Renault Twingo mechanical twin when the two cars went on sale in 2014. It was awarded a four-star rating, having scored fewer points than other small cars such as the Volkswagen up!. The Renault ZOE, meanwhile, had received a five-star crash safety rating the previous year.

The Smart EQ ForFour has yet to be tested in its own right, though, and has autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard that the ForFour lacked at the time of testing. However, driver-assistance features such as lane-keeping assistance and active cruise control haven't yet been introduced to the range, and lane-departure assistance is found only on the options list.

A driver's knee airbag is fitted in addition to front, side and window airbags, and the mandatory electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes have a sidewind assist feature.