Smart EQ ForTwo Cabrio review
|Car type||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Electric||74-82 miles||2hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)||55mins (0-100%, 22kW)|
Smart is Mercedes’ electric city-car spin-off brand and the ForTwo is its most iconic model – previously offered with tiny petrol engines, but now exclusively powered by electric motors. Sitting alongside the four-seater ForFour and two-seater ForTwo in the range is this convertible version of the latter, known as the ForTwo Cabrio.
Badged EQ, all electric Smarts use the same 80bhp motor and 17.2kWh battery; in the FourTwo, 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.
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, which would be a perfect recipe for a sports car if its wheelbase wasn’t quite so comically short.
That wheelbase means ride quality leaves something to be desired; bumps aren’t dealt with very well and things can get bouncy on poorer roads. The trade-off is great agility at low speed.
Charging speeds for the FourTwo are a little slow compared to some of the competition, 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 50 or 100kW public charger, so it’s best to invest in your own home wallbox and charge overnight if possible.
The ForTwo has style on its side – a recent redesign gave it an upmarket look that sets it apart from its more humdrum rivals, while the interior is fairly plasticky but still feels well made. Unfortunately, there’s a rather disappointing infotainment system that’s shared with some older Renault models – it has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, but isn’t the most responsive system on the market.
The Cabrio is only available in the top three trim levels in the ForFour range: pulse premium, prime exclusive and edition one. A set of 16-inch alloys is standard on all, but the design varies depending on the trim level you go for; stepping up to prime exclusive adds leather seats, ambient lighting and full LED headlights, among other stylish touches. Edition one cars 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.
Choosing the ForFour Cabrio is a real exercise in heart over head – it makes much more logical sense to pick one of its cheaper, larger, more practical rivals, most of which also offer a much more useful range. Our favourites include the Renault ZOE, SEAT Mii electric and Volkswagen e-up! – but none of those have the top-down appeal or city-slicker charm of the Smart.