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In-depth reviews

Smart EQ ForTwo Cabrio (2014-2019) review

The Smart EQ ForTwo Cabriolet is the only convertible electric car on sale, but the Coupe version’s compromises apply here, too

Overall rating

3.0 out of 5

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

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Quick to charge
  • Tight turning circle

Cons

  • Only two seats
  • Limited electric range
  • Relatively expensive to buy
Car typeOfficial rangeWallbox charge timeFast charge time
Electric70 miles2hrs 45mins (0-100%, 7.4kW)55mins (0-100%, 22kW)*

*with optional 22kW on-board charger

The Smart EQ ForTwo comes in two flavours, but the Cabrio version is unique. It’s the only mass-produced convertible electric car on the market – and with few rumours of further models, it looks like it may stay that way for some time.

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As such, the EQ ForTwo Cabrio has few direct rivals. It can be compared with the ForTwo Coupe, of course, as well as cars like the Volkswagen e-up! and Renault ZOE, but none is available with more than a sunroof to let in a little extra light. For electrified wind-in-the-hair thrills, the EQ is in a class of one.

The Smart’s dinky dimensions make it the perfect city runaround. The range and predicted charge times will keep most models within city limits, too; a 70-mile range means it has limited appeal for long-distance drivers.

That said, if you have the infrastructure, it can charge to 80% full in as little as 40 minutes. You’ll need a home wallbox or public charger for that, but a three-pin domestic plug can do the same job in around six hours.

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The electrified Smart ForTwo first went on sale in 2016, but was updated two years later with the latest EQ branding. There are three trims to choose from, but basic cars offer all the kit most buyers might need.

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That includes seven-inch touchscreen infotainment and 15-inch alloy wheels, while the Premium Plus package adds things like ambient lighting and automatic windscreen wipers. Top-of-the-range cars are badged ‘Nightsky’ and come with a sporty Brabus bodykit.

Prices are high, but it’s worth bearing in mind that every version is eligible for the £3,500 Plug-In Car Grant. All models are exempt from road tax and the London Congestion Charge.

Yet everything else seems to pale into insignificance when you realise just how easy the EQ ForTwo is to drive. The short dimensions and large glasshouse make it incredibly easy to see out of, simplifying parking for even the most nervous drivers. The fact you can lift the lid in seconds only adds to its appeal.

But beware, those after an electric car suited to motorway driving may need to look elsewhere. While the EQ will do 80mph flat out, it runs out of steam well before that; high-speed driving will see the car’s range plummet, too.

If you want a small electric city car with a removable roof, the Smart EQ ForTwo Cabrio is in a class of one. But don’t let that put you off; it’s a talented car in its own right.

For a more detailed look at the Smart EQ ForTwo Cabrio, read on for the rest of our in-depth review.

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Richard is editor of DrivingElectric, as well as sister site Carbuyer.co.uk, and a regular contributor to Auto Express. An electric and hybrid car advocate, he spent more than five years working on the news and reviews desk at Auto Express and has driven almost every new car currently on sale.

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