Smart ForFour hatchback (2014-2019) - Interior & comfort
Interior quality has improved and the Smart ForFour is highly customisable
The interior of the Smart ForFour has the same youthful appeal as the car’s exterior and there's plenty of scope for customisation. The new car is also much better equipped than the old one.
Interior quality has been improved, but the extra sound deadening added to the Smart ForFour compared to the Renault Twingo hasn’t been totally successful – it’s still loud at motorway speeds due to a combination of engine and wind noise.
While it doesn’t give the car a particular sporty feel, the suspension on this Smart ForFour is much more comfortable than the Mitsubishi technology used on the old model. We’ll reserve judgment on the sports suspension until we drive a car fitted with it.
Smart ForFour dashboard
Despite its playful, toy-like looks, the Smart's dashboard is intuitive to use. Features such as a rev counter that sprouts from the dash top and prominent air vents are nods to the old ForFour, but the new car's interior is much brighter, with contrasting colours drowning out the darker plastics.
All the switchgear feels well built and is easy use, but there are some harder, cheaper-feeling plastics, too, such as those used for the rev counter and door panels. All the buttons are clearly marked, with most of them situated in an oval housing just above the gearstick.
Even the entry-level Smart ForFour comes with Smart's Direct-Steer system (which gives the car the tightest turning circle in its class) as well as daytime running lights, remote central locking, cruise control, a trip computer and electric windows. On most models you can choose contrasting colours for the ForFour's bodywork and the Tridion safety cell that frames it. The Passion model adds with a black grille, plus orange fabric for the interior. The black-and-orange seats can be swapped for black-and-white ones if you prefer.
The mid-range Prime model has different 15-inch alloy wheels and a black grille that can be swapped for a silver one. The interior is a much darker affair, with black upholstery and black leather seats, although the standard panoramic sunroof goes long way to brightening things up. Prime models also add a rev counter and heated front seats.
The Prime Sport model gets 16-inch wheels, a sports steering wheel along with aluminium pedals and a chrome tailpipe. Night Sky models get a retractable fabric sunroof which can be opened at speeds up to 62mph in around 10 seconds, while Brabus Sport versions have 10mm lower suspension and a thorough exterior and interior styling kit.
The Brabus Xclusive features bigger bumpers, 17-inch alloy wheels, twin exhausts and lowered sports suspension, while the inside is finished in a mix of leather and black mesh materials with contrasting grey stitching. Also included are foglamps with cornering function, LED & Sensor package, a reversing camera, ambient lighting, heated Brabus sports seats, JBL sound system and MirrorLink.
Smart was one of the first companies to let buyers tailor their car to their needs with a series of option packs. You have three equipment packs to choose from: the Comfort Package, Premium Equipment Line and Premium Plus Equipment Line.
The Comfort Package (around £300) includes a height-adjustable steering wheel and driver's seat, plus heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors.
The Premium Equipment Line (around £850) is an option that’s well worthy of consideration. It includes rear parking sensors, but more importantly a seven-inch touchscreen sat-nav system with Bluetooth phone connectivity plus USB and MP3 player ports.
The Premium Plus Equipment Line adds ambient interior lighting, automatic wipers and lights, a rear-view camera, plus LED daytime running lights and tail-lights.