In-depth Reviews

Smart ForFour owner reviews

"The latest Smart ForFour is small enough to be a cinch to drive in town and its personalisation options will make you stand out, but it’s not a great motorway car"

Carbuyer Rating

3.1 out of 5

Used car deals
Owners Rating

3.1 out of 5

50%of people would recommend this car to a friend.

Owner Rating

  • 3reviews
  • 4reviews
  • 4reviews
  • 2reviews
  • 1reviews

Common Problems

  • Other (3 cases)
  • Electrics, Engine, Other (2 cases)
  • Electrics, Other (1 cases)
  • Brakes, Electrics, Engine, Gearbox / clutch, Suspension (1 cases)
  • Electrics (1 cases)
  • Engine, Other (1 cases)
  • Engine, Gearbox / clutch (1 cases)

Owner Review

4 out of 5

Version

1.0 Passion

Year of registration

2016

Average annual mileage

0 – 4,999

Owned

2 - 3 years

Bought Car

New

Typical MPG

48
Review
I've had many smarts over the years, and this one has lost a little of the older generation's charm. As a city car, though, it is excellent. Easy to park due to turning circle, 1.0 is peppy when revved, and good visibility. The motorways are not its most natural environment, but it general sits at the limit comfortable enough. Decent spec, Bluetooth, on board computer, climate and cruise control as standard, which is great. It is surprisingly practical too, passenger seat folds flat, so long loads are easy. Interior is funky, even in black. And, we got such an amazing deal on it, it barely makes a dent in monthly outgoings! Bad points? Steering is very communicative, and can feel a little nervous at speed. The rear drums have rusted and look pretty bad, will need to get that fixed under warranty. Otherwise, it's a decent like car. I'd like the turbo with auto next time.
Reliability

5 out of 5

Not missed a beat, and it's on 20k.
Performance

3 out of 5

It is not fast, there is no denying it. But, for what it is designed for, to dominate the city, it is more than capable. Steering could be better to give more confidence in corners.
Running Cost

4 out of 5

Mpg is not bad, averaging around 48. More if driven slower.

Owner Review

1 out of 5

Version

London Edition

Year of registration

2018

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

30
Review
I've had problems with my Smart from day 1. The handover process was poor, it's had a flat battery and gives false dashboard alarms. My main concern, though, is that I'm getting only 30mpg versus the specified 64.1. Also I can only get 27 litres at best into the fuel tank when its specification says 36 litres. It's been back for software upgrades, testing etc for a total of 7 weeks since new. Mercedes say it is working to specification but I'm still getting less than 50% of the specified economy figures. So far I've found it expensive to buy and very expensive to run!

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

0.9 turbo. Passion

Year of registration

2016

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

1 - 2 years

Bought Car

New

Typical MPG

50
Review
After around 12,000 miles in the Smart ForFour, including regular trips of over 200 miles, we are very happy with the car. For such a compact design the car does very well for its size and the clever back seat arrangement with wide-opening rear doors means surprisingly large items can be carried. Being a lightweight car means the 0.9-litre turbo engine is easily able to cope with both normal and motorway driving use. Economy has been very reasonable, with an overall 50mpg being achieved. Cross winds can be felt on the steering but nothing to worry about and the headlights are poor. Otherwise a really impressive car.
Reliability

5 out of 5

No reliability issues.

Owner Review

1 out of 5

Version

edition 1

Year of registration

15

Average annual mileage

10,000 – 14,999

Owned

2 - 3 years

Bought Car

New

Typical MPG

35
Review
You get what you pay for. The rear windows just pull away from the rubber seal and are easily broken into. Engine management light causing the car not to start. Car misfiring due to faulty exhaust sensors. Clutch has to be ridde to keep the car from stalling. Starter Motor failure. Start Stop leaves you stranded at traffic lights as engine cuts out and remains dead. Interior cheap and damages very easily. The holders for parcel shelf are very cheap design and fell off the minute we opened the boot. Rear central column is tatty and comes loose very easily. Door panels rattle and exhaust is prone to banging on cold starts. I've had alarm issues where it goes off for no reason, too.

Owner Review

4 out of 5

Version

1.3 Passion

Year of registration

2005

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

More than 5 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

45
Review
You don't see too many of these cars on the road, so it's nice to be different. It drives and handles well, is economical and fairly practical. Didn't sell well in its day, hence the very short production run. Today, as a cheap run around, you'd be hard-pressed to find something in its class as good. Passion trim has all the extras including the glass roof which really lights up the cabin.
Reliability

4 out of 5

Alloys were replaced under warranty (corroded). Rear o/s quarter light glass and window replaced under warranty (poor fitting, resulting in water ingress). Throttle sensor replaced after failing.
Performance
A bit slow witted if kept in full auto. Much better if you drive manually.
Running Cost
Economical, cheap to insure, and service (avoid Smart dealers - expensive).

Owner Review

3 out of 5

Year of registration

2018

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

1 - 2 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

39
Review
Going from a Jeep Renegade to a small Smart Car I expected to see a decline in quality but this car really has me torn on opinion. I have an Automatic version. I really appreciate the ability to flick between sport & eco - makes a difference when joining the motorway. Handles quite well on icy roads too which is surprising for a rear wheel drive. So now onto the cons - - When you open the boot it rains on you - there is no protection from the downpour of waterfall that will greet you - prepare to get wet. The driver has nowhere to store anything - would be useful for a small pouch or draw. - Washer fluid I feel I need offsite training for - Literally have to take the bonnet off - Really not user friendly. Wipers are positioned so you have a continual drip on the drivers vision - Really not designed well! - The boot gets hot! Do not put your frozen shopping in there as the engine is underneath. - Sat nav needed an update and it meant that it wouldn't actually turn off - had to go to the Mercedes and sit for hours so the car didn't get a dead battery. - Panoramic sunroofs - Be careful as I have a glass sunroof but it doesn't actually open....... seems wholly pointless. All in all a good car but cheap alternative with plenty of design faults.

Owner Review

2 out of 5

Version

1.0 Passion Stop/Start

Year of registration

2017

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

New

Typical MPG

38
Review
I'm unhappy with this car. I get a very poor 38 mpg (in comparison my Meriva manages 40mpg). The suspension is knocking at 8,000 miles, there's no torque or acceleration, the clutch isn't smooth and is jittery, the rear brake drums are rusting. The driving position is best described as a knees touching ears, and there's a non-existent luggage compartment. The dashboard has no room to stick a mobile phone holder and the power socket is behind drivers seat – too far away for anything useful. It's a bit of disappointment as I love the design. I like the suspension, though – it's possibly best in the class and smooth like silk.
Reliability

1 out of 5

Unreliable
Performance

1 out of 5

Very uneconomical, parts and labour are expensive
Running Cost

1 out of 5

Most expensive micro car to run

Owner Review

1 out of 5

Version

Passion

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

1 - 2 years

Bought Car

New

Typical MPG

40
Review
Good points: It looks cute and can get into small parking spaces. Bad points: Mine has had revving and pulling problems. It broke down and was taken to the workshop. They fixed it initially but it still has an intermittent fault. Smart says it doesn't, but it surges and lurches in second gear. I had it serviced again and they say its okay, but I know it is not. It makes the first 5 minutes of my journey unpleasant, lumpy and disconcerting. Economy is only 40mpg which is bad for such a tiny car. There are strange uncovered electrics under the front seats. The rear-mounted engine gets very hot so you can't put food shopping in the little boot. You have to use the tilting rear seats for storing items you don't want to cook en route. I would not recommend - I reckon that's why you don't see many.

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

Prime sport

Year of registration

2016

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

New
Review
Great little car and with great offers available, it feels solid I feel safe in it and would make long distance journeys as well as town trips. There's plenty of space and options and they last. You could buy a cheaper car but the quality isn't there, nor all the features. Has the Mercedes build feel about it

Owner Review

4 out of 5

Version

1.0 Prime

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

More than 20,000

Owned

1 - 2 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

39
Review
Its a lovely car, however the seats are too hard for my back and I personally think it's not quick enough especially when joining motorways! But the turning circle helps with parking and steering is nice and light.
Reliability

5 out of 5

Very reliable
Performance

3 out of 5

It drives well and gear change is relatively smooth. Suspension is not that great on certain bumps.
Running Cost

5 out of 5

300 miles on a full tank if you drive sensibly

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

Prime

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

Used
Review
I bought this car because I needed 4 doors...but not very much space. I also like that it is quirky and there are not that many out on the road yet. Normally I only make short journeys within my town and tend to make most journeys on A-roads for up to an hour and a half at a time. It has been brilliant and is thoroughly enjoyable to drive. If you want a car for longer journeys or just want that little extra power (although around town it is plenty nippy) then you can always get the higher horsepower engine. It is fun - my model has a lot of quality extras, my favourite is the black leather seats and, most importantly for Britain, heated seats. I haven't had a back ache since I got this car! I hate sunroofs but this has a glass roof which I can cover from the cabin if I like - it makes the car feel very roomy. I also love the rear wheel drive and the responsive steering, plus the turning circle is fantastic. I can turn with ease into the tightest spaces and 3-point turns are a thing of the past. The engine in the back of the car is novel, but I love it and I love to hear the engine roar in the rear! I only fill up at the pumps once a month...much better economy than my new Fiesta. The service from Mercedes has been fantastic (as one would expect) I really have no complaints as the car completely suits my needs. My suggestion to anyone interested in a Smart; take this car out on a thorough test drive, know what you want from the car and see if it fits your needs...I'm very glad I bought this car. (n.b. this is not my first new car, so I am not in a new car rookie in fuzzy awe, I've had lots of new cars of all sizes and makes. I hope this review helps someone make an informed choice.)
Reliability

5 out of 5

So far no issues. The engine still sounds good and is performing well.
Performance

5 out of 5

Has been awesome, it's quite nippy, I can rush off from traffic lights if I need to, it has alerted me twice to slow down - with the anti collision warning - both times it was when people stepped out in front of the car last minute...so far it has 'done what it says on the box!'
Running Cost

5 out of 5

My goodness the petrol goes a long way, I have taken several trips to other cities this month and I still have almost half a tank left! Seems to be doing around 300 miles a tank +/-

Owner Review

3 out of 5

Version

1.0

Year of registration

2015

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

46
Review
Overall impression is of a great concept apparently let down by insufficient depth of engineering and manufacturing quality, resulting in a close relationship with Smart customer service within weeks.

Owner Review

1 out of 5

Version

2015 NA Prime 1.0l

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

5,000 – 9,999

Owned

1 - 2 years

Bought Car

Used

Typical MPG

39
Review
Have been driving it for a year now and I can honestly say I hate it, for the following reasons: Fuel economy tops out at 45mpg driving like a saint in the spring with AC off long distances tucked in behind a lorry (Miles on trip comp / fuel put in), otherwise its high 30s to low 30s in the winter. Second gear is poorly ratio'd you basically have to rev the nuts out of it to go smoothly. The warm-up in winter just under powers the car making hills and joining motorways a scary experience. Dipped headlights are a joke, barely see 6m in front of you and the boot drips on you when opened, while the switch for the panoramic roof looks like its been installed by "your mate". The auto engine turn off at stop doesn't work unless specific conditions are met, ie engine warm, cabin at temp, battery at level etc meaning it don't work unless driven for 5miles etc in the winter. The eco computer is impossible to stick to, "change up gear so you do then you slow down 'cos engine cant manage" the trip eco feed back is biased for low score, I can drive a few miles above 90% then brake for traffic light change and straight down to 50%. They put the USB media slot accessible from the rear seat so the first toddler tantrum any thing plugged in gets ripped out, and the SD slot also gets played with meaning your maps stop working for about 10mins while it reboots. The engine has leaks a lot of heat in to the cabin, summer time you have to have AC on full other wise any one in the back gets cooked. In winter you have to remove coats for same reason. I wish I had bought the Fiesta eco plus or splashed a little more and got a BMW 1 series. So basically don't buy this car if you drive in Winter, have any hills near you, your trips are less than 10miles, you are looking for fuel economy, drive at night, you have young children or want to pull out on to a 60+mph road. On the plus side the turning circle is cool and the ride position is good (like driving a van) and the sound system is good.
Reliability

4 out of 5

Not broken down but the low tire pressure light keeps coming on when its cold even though the pressures are good. When frost on car couldn't open boot until driven a few miles.
Performance

2 out of 5

When engine warm its acceptable and does 70+ easily, eventually. When engine cold/winter its almost dangerously slow to pull out on to traffic.
Running Cost

2 out of 5

Expensive to buy and doesn't come close to the stated "on paper" 72mpg more like 34(winter)-42(summer)

Owner Review

5 out of 5

Version

1.0 passion

Year of registration

2015

Average annual mileage

0 – 4,999

Owned

Less than a year

Bought Car

New

Typical MPG

48
Review
Pre-reg deal saving the equivalent of the 20% vat, the only problem has been with the bonnet alarm switch being too short, setting off the alarm but a small piece of plastic and double sided tape cured it. The only real gripe is the orange warning light for the front airbags is off-putting at night, but the blue led on some other models is much easier on the eye. I used the car fully loaded for a trip to Scotland and doing "motorway" speeds still managed to get avg. speed 62mph / 44 mpg . Around town it is more than adequate just ignore the change up arrow, it is set too low and can lead to labouring the engine by changing up too early. The car does what it was designed to do with very low running costs and brilliant ease of access (I have dodgy hips) it carries us and the two dogs plus luggage for long distance when needed and I do not pay the government any road tax to use it.
Reliability

5 out of 5

Only had a problem with a switch due to " plastics ". Makers need to learn different plastics have different expansion rates due to temperature, this caused the switch fault.
Performance
Needs aftermarket air intake/filter mods to make it even more nippy but is still better than the Twingo in standard form.
Running Cost

5 out of 5

0 road tax and low insurance group coupled with excellent mpg figures make this a very cheap car to run. This should offset an initially higher purchase price.

Most Popular

BMW X5 xDrive45e hybrid SUV review
BMW X5 xDrive45e hybrid SUV
16 Nov 2020

BMW X5 xDrive45e hybrid SUV review

Updated 2020 Audi SQ2 now available to order
Audi SQ2 SUV
17 Nov 2020

Updated 2020 Audi SQ2 now available to order

Ford Kuga Hybrid joins range as third electrified Kuga
Ford Kuga
17 Nov 2020

Ford Kuga Hybrid joins range as third electrified Kuga