I may be a fan of Formula One and fast sports cars but in reality I’m never going to own one myself. I’m way too practical for that! Monkey and I have been going on an adventure in a Smart ForFour recently, and I was pleasantly surprised by the experience.
Monkey and I would be off on a series of adventures in the Smart ForFour Prime 71hp. The car has a manual 5 speed gearbox, using unleaded petrol.
We racked up over 200 miles in the week we had the Smart ForFour, and the 35 litre fuel tank still had around 1/3 tank left.
I thought the Smart ForFour would be fine nipping around town, but how would it (and us!) fair on a longer journey? It was time to put it to the test as we spent a few days in Leicestershire.
I’m 5′ 6″ and found it very comfortable behind the wheel, plenty of leg room and it just didn’t feel at all cramped. I’m used to an eleven year old Peugeot 307, and if I’m honest I hadn’t expected the Smart ForFour to be so roomy for us inside.
Monkey had lots of leg room, there are also Isofix fixings for those with younger children. The doors automatically lock once the car is on the move.
There are literally 4 seats in this car, so you have no chance of getting 3 passengers in the back of the car. Obviously this isn’t an issue for us. There’s a nice storage area between the two back seats, great for drinks, snacks and kids ‘stuff’.
The panoramic roof was a hit with Monkey but it was great that we could have the two screens over too.
The engine is in the boot of the car, hence the small bonnet, but Monkey didn’t complain about the noise in the back and I didn’t really think about it at all.
I have to say that the climate control was fab, especially as the air-con in my car doesn’t work! This felt like luxury for me and my little traveller. The controls across the dashboard were easy to use and to read. I couldn’t quite understand the need for an analogue clock as well as the digital display. I’m sure there’s a reason for it, but it stumped me.
Parking sensors and camera aided parking – loved it, and am so missing that now the car has gone back. I didn’t get on with the automatic start/stop function and turned it off, but I’m sure given time I’d have learnt to love it as friends do.
As you all know I’m a bit of a techno phobe but even I could easily work the inbuilt satnav, I even managed to pair up my phone to make use of the hands free option. Something else I’m really missing back in my real world! One niggle with the satnav – I have a 10-2 driving position on the steering wheel and that meant I couldn’t see the righthand side of the satnav screen when I was driving. It’s not a major thing, but I think it would have annoyed me if the car was mine. I have small hands so I’m sure it must be a general issue.
The steering was light, I loved the size of the wheel and found steering comfortable. The car felt lighter than I’m used to, it does have crosswind assist but it still felt a little more moveable on the motorway on a windy day than I’m used to.
Charging points – 12 volt option as well as a USB point for an iPod etc. Being a bit of a fossil I really missed a CD player. We normally play Monkey’s music CD’s on long journeys and I’m not one for downloading music to my phone, and forgot to take my iPod with us. I know! But hey I’m getting ever closer to 50!
Features that I didn’t get to use but were great to have as standard – heated front seats heated rear window, tyre pressure monitoring system, cruise control, inbuilt frost warning, passenger seat can fold flat, breakdown kit, front seat belts have height adjusters
Now as Monkey and I were going on an adventure in a Smart ForFour the boot space was going to be vital. For light shopping trips and our overnight adventures we had more than enough boot space. For a monthly shop, no. Yes, you could put the seats down, but I’m not sure that personally I’d want to do that. But there was more space than I had expected.
Daddy P is 6′ 2″ and 17 stone, he wasn’t insured to drive the Smart ForFour and I think he might have struggled on a long journey as a passenger. He could sit in the front passenger seat with it set as far back as possible, but the seat base wasn’t quite as supportive for his large derriere as it could have been.
But if we had the Smart ForFour ourselves, it would be a car for me to drive and Monkey would probably be my only passenger.
My overall thoughts? I really liked it and to be frank, I was surprised by the car. It was really nice to drive, a dream to park and was nippy both around town and on the motorway. I found it very comfortable to drive, and after a 2 hour drive that also surprised me. Monkey loved it, he had space, a view of the sky if he wanted and was gutted when I handed back the keys. The zero car tax would certainly make me think of a Smart ForFour! I hadn’t expected to be taken by this car, and I was, I was rather sad to see it go after spending a week with it.
The Smart ForFour Prime 71hp is priced at £12,315.00 including vat at 20%, delivery charge and number plates. For more information on the car itself and retailers then please visit the Smart website.
disclaimer: we had the free use of the car mentioned in exchange for an honest review