Smart Forfour (2004 – 2006) Review

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Smart Forfour (2004 – 2006) At A Glance


+Funky-looking, versatile hatch with plenty of safety kit. Manual versions drive well. Four stars for the diesels, by far the best in the line-up.

-Slow gearshifts with the semi-auto. Not all second-hand ones will have a three-point seatbelt for the middle rear seat. Could have been a contender but arrived two years too late.

On average it achieves 93% of the official MPG figure

Why do all small cars have to be so boringly the same?

Polo, Fiesta, Yaris, Mazda 2, Clio, 206. Theyve all got an engine in the front and three or five doors. And theyre all basically boxes. The only exception is the Honda Jazz which is very clever inside, but still a five-door box outside.

This huge chunk of the car market badly needed shaking up. And heres the car to do it. The first sensibly priced five-door hatchback that screams fun, fun, fun.

The smart forfour isnt a single car. Its a proper range with five different engines to choose from, two different gearboxes and a simple yet clever interior.

Actually its forfive because there are five proper three point seatbelts in there and plenty of room for three big bums across the back seat. This slides backwards and forwards, Yaris-like, by about six inches, which is enough to give limo-like legroom at the expense of the shopping bags in the back. But theres still plenty of room, with a luggage capacity slightly better than cars like the new Fiesta. Unlike the Yaris, the seats also bi-fold to leave a big, fairly flat floor and up to 910 litres of luggage space up to window level.


Looking for a Smart Forfour (2004 - 2006)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Smart Forfour (2004 – 2006)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

28–68 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

Recovery firm wants to charge me £138 - should I pay?
"My 10 year old Smart Forfour lost its oil while driving recently. I stopped immediately and arranged for recovery to my local garage with my recovery provider. After a 10 day wait for a replacement sump the car was repaired at my expense. At the breakdown companies request I sent them a copy of the repair invoice to (I thought) prove that the car was repaired and roadworthy. To my astonishment they have now sent me a bill for £138 saying that this fault is damage to the underside of the vehicle and is something that could be claimed from my insurance company. Having paid for my recovery policy and for the repair to the car where do I now stand with respect to this unexpected bill from the breakdown company?"
Many breakdown policies do not cover damage; they only cover breakdowns. The same is true of the AA and RAC. But, of course, if you claim the £138 from your insurer this could cost you more than £138 in subsequent increased premiums.
Answered by Honest John
Is the Fiat diesel engine fitted to the Suzuki Swift reliable?
"Pleased to hear the Suzuki Swift 1.3 diesel has a chain driven camshaft. Apart from the DPF issue would you say the Fiat engine built in India is a reliable one? As good as a Mercedes-Benz diesel? I currently drive a SMART ForFour 1.5CDI which has a Mercedes-Benz engine under the bonnet. I've done 70,000 miles and the engine runs as good as the day it rolled off the Dutch production line - probably better, in fact. It's a great car with a great engine. It will break my heart to let her go but the mileage is getting on the high side."
That 3-cylinder chain-cam Mitsubishi 1.5 diesel was a great little engine. Sad that it was killed off. Mercedes-Benz now fits a belt cam Renault 1.5 diesel to its A Class and Citan. As I wrote before, the 1.3 Multijet is economical and good to drive but can be plagued with DPF problems.
Answered by Honest John
I want a comfortable, economical car to replace a Smart?
"I am about to get rid of a 10-plate Smart car and I am used to getting between 45 to 50mpg. I have a budget of around £3000 for a second hand car and am looking for similar MPG? I'd like something with a relatively nice interior. Interior is more important to me than exterior - I like an arm rest. I am in need of more space (for the family at weekends) than a Smart car can offer so I am now looking at a medium sized car. I do like big comfy cars but need the mpg. It should be an automatic, preferably, but that's not a deal breaker. I do around 500 miles a week, on a few country lanes but 99% on motorways - I'm not scared of a high mileage car as long as you think it can live on and survive that mileage for 51 weeks (I give myself a week of rest) a year for 2 to 3 years - so reliability is also important! I have been looking at roughly 8 to 10 year old diesels between 1.5-litres to 2.2-litres from Megane to Focus to Civic - pretty much anything that falls into that category."
Mitsubishi Colt 1.5 diesel or Smart ForFour 1.5 diesel (same 3 cylinder engine).
Answered by Honest John
I bought a Smart car two months ago which has an electrical problem - should the warranty cover this?
"I bought a Smart car on a 55 plate with 52,000 miles two months ago. It appears that the wiring loom has shorted out, affecting a number of systems. I don't know the full outcome yet but this will be expensive. The used car dealer provided a three-month warranty that does not cover this problem. Do I have any recourse under current law and does the limited warranty affect my rights? "
He has to warrant it for any fault either present or developing on day of sale for six months from date of sale:
Answered by Honest John

What does a Smart Forfour (2004 – 2006) cost?