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Smart EQ Forfour (2017 to 2022)

NOTICE: This car is still assessed using our previous Expert Rating Index calculations. We are currently rolling out a completely overhauled Expert Rating Index in early 2024, so this vehicle will be updated shortly.

Expert Rating

Smart EQ Forfour (2017 to 2022)

Not a current model


    The Smart EQ Forfour was effectively a four-door, four-seat version of the Smart EQ Fortwo. First launched as a petrol car in 2014, this electric model (initially known as the Forfour Electric Drive) joined the range in 2017.

    This was the second generation of the Smart Forfour. The first one appeared in 2004 as a joint venture with Mitsubishi, and was a short-lived dismal failure. This second attempt was a joint venture with Renault, as part of a collaborative programme between Smart’s owner Daimler and Groupe Renault, and shared much of its DNA with the (now also discontinued) Renault Twingo.

    As part of Smart’s switch to being an electric-only car company in 2019, the Smart Forfour Electric Drive was rebranded the Smart EQ Forfour as seen here.

    On the face of it, the EQ Forfour was tempting for those wanting to embrace electric motoring. Prices started from under £20k even before you factored in a Government plug-in grant, which was relatively cheap for an electric car.

    That was fine, reviewers pointed out, so long as you didn’t want to go very far – even with a facelift carried out in 2020 the car’s range between charges was quoted at 95 miles. But according to Autocar, that range that dropped to about 50 miles with less than very careful driving, which “could be hard to tolerate even for drivers who never stray beyond the city limits.”

    The car offered very little in the way of fast-charging either – using a public charger you could get to 80% battery capacity in around 40 minutes but the likely buyers would be those who travel not too far to and from work each day and can plug the car in overnight. A full recharge took around six hours on a wallbox at home – rivals offered much better options.

    The Forfour was fun to drive around town, with brisk acceleration and smooth progress. It “feels very nippy when pulling away from traffic lights and junctions,” said Carbuyer. Fit and finish of the interior, and its space for occupants also earned some praise from the reviewers. But not for their luggage – the boot was very small.

    No longer in production, the Smart EQ Forfour currently holds an Expert Rating of 41% from only 11 UK reviews. That’s a country mile behind the best small electric cars on the market, and one of the lowest scores for any small car we’ve analysed. The fact that there were so few reviews published during the car’s time on sale suggests that Daimler didn’t really want journalists driving it…

    EQ Forfour highlights

    • Affordable in EV terms
    • Smooth and refined around town
    • Swift getaway for nimble urban driving
    • Reasonable interior space

    EQ Forfour lowlights

    • Very poor battery range
    • Little in fast-charge options
    • Tiny boot
    • Surpassed by newer rivals

    Key specifications

    Body style: Small hatchback
    Powertrain: Electric motor, battery-powered
    Price when new: From £19,795 on-road

    Launched: Summer 2017
    Last updated: Spring 2020
    Discontinued: 2022

    Media reviews

    Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

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    Safety rating

    Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

    Overall score: 4 stars
    Date tested: December 2014
    Date expired: January 2021
    Read the full Euro NCAP review

    Adult protection: 78%
    Child protection: 77%
    Vulnerable road users: 65%
    Safety assist: 56%

    No safety rating

    The petrol Smart Forfour was tested by Euro NCAP back in 2014 and awarded a four-star rating, which was then extended to include the electric model in 2018. However, this rating expired in January and is no longer valid, as the EQ Forfour no longer meets the criteria for a four-star car in 2021.

    Eco rating

    Independent economy and emissions ratings from Green NCAP

    No eco rating

    The Smart EQ Forfour has not been lab tested by Green NCAP.

    The Green NCAP programme measures exhaust pollution (which is zero for an electric car) and energy efficiency. Electric cars are much more energy-efficient than combustion cars, so the EQ Forfour is likely to score very highly in Green NCAP testing if it ever takes place. Check back again soon.

    Reliability rating

    MotorEasy logo 600x167

    Reliability data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by MotorEasy

    No reliability rating

    As of August 2023, we don’t have enough reliability data on the Smart ForFour to generate a reliability rating.

    The Car Expert’s reliability information is provided exclusively to us using extended warranty data from our partner, MotorEasy. As soon as MotorEasy has sufficient data on the ForFour, we’ll publish the score here.

    Running cost rating

    Clear Vehicle Data logo close crop

    Monthly cost of ownership data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by Clear Vehicle Data

    Battery rangeAverageScoreVariationScore
    EV models74 milesC72 – 80 milesC – C
    Electrical efficiencyAverageScoreVariationScore
    EV models5.1 m/KWhA4.4 – 5.6 m/KWhA – B
    Insurance groupAverageScoreVariationScore
    All models15A2 – 17A – A

    The Smart Forfour is cheap to run on a daily basis, according to data exclusively provided by our partner Clear Vehicle Data. The car’s battery range is not that exceptional, but it is very efficient, and insurance costs are some of the cheapest around.

    Similar cars

    If you’re looking at the Smart EQ Forfour, you might also be interested in these alternatives

    BMW i3 | Fiat 500 Electric | Honda e | Peugeot e-208 | Renault Zoe | SEAT Mii Electric | Smart EQ Fortwo | Vauxhall Corsa-e | Volkswagen e-Up

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    The Smart EQ Forfour appeared on the surface to be an affordable electric car, but rivals offered much more, especially in range.Smart EQ Forfour (2017 to 2022)