Smart EQ ForTwo Cabrio review

The Smart ForTwo Cabriolet is something of a modern classic – and it’s the only convertible two-seat electric city car money can buy

Smart EQ ForTwo Cabrio
Overall rating

3.0 out of 5

Price
£24,645 - £25,795
Fuel Type:
Electric

Pros

  • Great fun to drive
  • Strong image
  • Well priced

Cons

  • Skoda Citigo is cheaper
  • Limited practicality
  • Short range
Car typeRangeWallbox charge timeRapid charge time
Electric74-82 miles2hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)55mins (0-100%, 22kW)

Smart has been an electric-only brand since 2020, with its range of compact cars offered exclusively with zero-emissions power. The iconic ForTwo is the best-known of the lot, and remains available in coupe or Cabrio form, while the four-seat, four-door, ForFour version has now been discontinued. The new Smart #1 SUV is set to represent a new beginning for the brand, which could see the ForTwo and ForTwo Cabrio retired, but for now they’re still the cheapest EVs on showroom floors. 

All badged with Mercedes’ EQ branding, every electric Smart currently on sale uses the same 80bhp motor and 17.2kWh battery; in the ForTwo Cabrio, this combination is enough for a claimed range of up to 82 miles. Performance is decent but nothing spectacular, with 0-62mph taking 11.9 seconds. It’s best to stick to the city, though, as the top speed is just 81mph, and that short wheelbase can make it a bit fidgety on the motorway.

The good news is that the Smart ForTwo is great fun to drive, especially around town. Its turning circle is tighter than a London Taxi's, and it has the sort of zippy response that makes hitting gaps in traffic a doddle. It’s very light and drive goes to the rear wheels, giving the feeling of you being pushed, rather than pulled – just as you would in a high-end sports car. While the idea of a convertible car in the city is undoubtedly appealing, bear in mind that you might end up noticing fumes from lorries and buses a lot more.

Charging speeds for the ForTwo are a little slow compared to many modern electric cars, as it's limited by the 22kW on-board charger. That's as fast as it'll charge, even if you plug in to a 50kW or 100kW public charger, so it’s best to invest in your own home wallbox and charge overnight if possible. Recharging from 10-80% at a public charger takes 40 minutes.

There is a companion app for your phone. Called EQ Control App, it lets you check how much range you have left, schedule charging times, pre-set the climate control and find charge points all from your phone or Apple Watch.

The ForTwo has style on its side – a recent redesign gave it an upmarket look that sets it apart from its more humdrum rivals – and while the interior is fairly plasticky, it still feels well made. Unfortunately, all Smart models use a somewhat disappointing infotainment system that’s shared with older Renault models. Fortunately, it has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity so you can bypass Smart’s system.

The Cabrio is only available in two trim levels in the ForTwo range: premium and exclusive. A set of 16-inch alloys is standard on all, but the design varies depending on the trim level you go for. Standard kit includes heated seats and a rear-view camera, while stepping up to exclusive adds leather seats, ambient lighting and full LED headlights, among other stylish touches. Edition one cars (which were available at launch) are altogether more sporty looking and set off by a styling pack from Mercedes tuner Brabus. 

Naturally, all Cabrio models get a power-folding soft-top that can be stowed in 12 seconds. The trade-off for the option of wind-in-the-hair motoring is a reduction in refinement at higher speeds (even with the roof up), but this won’t matter to those who spend most of their time driving in town.

Price aside, no matter which version you go for running costs will be low; there's no road tax to pay, and every version falls into the 2% company-car Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax band until the 2025/26 financial year. Charge at home off peak and topping up the Smart’s batteries will cost just a few pounds. 

Reliability should be good, despite parent company Mercedes’ poor showing in the 2022 Driver Power satisfaction survey. With fewer moving parts than an internal-combustion car, there’s very little on the electric Smart to go wrong, while the high running costs often associated with flashy Mercedes are clearly no cause for concern here.

Choosing the ForTwo Cabrio is a real exercise in heart over head – it makes much more sense to pick one of its larger, more practical rivals, most of which also offer a much more useful range. Our favourites include the MINI Electric and Fiat 500 – the latter is even available in convertible form, if your heart is truly set on a drop-top EV. 

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