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
- Compact size
- Quick to charge
- Tight turning circle
- Only two seats
- Limited electric range
- Relatively expensive to buy
|Car type||Official range||Wallbox charge time||Fast charge time|
|Electric||70 miles||2hrs 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.
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.
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.
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.
In This Review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Smart EQ ForTwo Cabriolet is the only convertible electric car on sale, but the Coupe version’s compromises apply here, too
- 2Range, battery & chargingTopping up the Smart EQ ForTwo Cabrio’s batteries is easy, but the result is a limited real-world range
- 3Running costsAs with any small electric car, the Smart EQ ForTwo Cabrio will cost mere pennies to charge and run
- 4Electric motor, drive & performanceThe Smart EQ ForTwo Cabrio is great fun to drive around town, but the small batteries and limited range mean it quickly runs out of puff
- 5Interior & comfortPerceived quality is on par with other electric cars in this part of the market, but can’t match models from Mercedes
- 6Practicality & boot spaceIf you want a small electric convertible, there’s nothing else quite like the Smart EQ ForTwo. But be prepared to pack light, because practicality is limited
- 7Reliability & safetyThe Smart EQ ForTwo is a tough city car, with decent reliability and an impressive crash-test score