Smart Forfour (2014–2019)

What's good

The rear-engine, rear-drive layout makes for a very tight turning circle, ideal in tight town driving. 

Easy and relaxed to drive.

Easy to get in and out of the front seats.

Refined for such a small car.

Remains compact despite being 800mm longer than a ForTwo.

4 Star Euro NCAP Safety Rating: 78% adult protection; 77% child protection; 65% pedestrian protection; 56% safety assist.

Spare parts for Smarts from italy: www.rdmricambi.it

What to watch out for

Steeply priced compared to cars like the Volkswagen Up or Skoda Citigo.

Steering is a little on the light side at higher speed.

71PS engine lacks punch.

No CD player and the control panel for e.g. radio, SatNav, etc is operated by touch, not by knobs. Quite distracting when driving, and if hands are cold it won’t respond.

19-8-2017: Report of 2016 Smart Forfour 0.9 Turbo Proxy Premium Plus, bought used in March 2017, suffering a strange breakdown on the M1 northbound. "Deafening crack from the car simultaneous with the computer/satnav shutting down and a deafening clattering noise from the engine. Driver put hazard warning lights on and sounded the horn which she could not hear due to the noise from the engine. As the hard shoulder was in use due to congestion she pulled over as far as she could and turned off the ignition and removed the keys. The engine did not shut down and the sound continued. She took her handbag and fled the vehicle to behind the crash barrier where she phoned the AA, then Smart Assistance. Shortly afterwards two Highways Officers arrived and advised me to stay away from the car due to the potential danger posed by the vibrating and still noisy engine. As the hard shoulder was live due to congestion the vehicle was recovered by Nick from J A K Recovery in Toddington who disconnected and reconnected the electrics and on re-booting the computer found the car to be working fine. Owner was advised that even though it was now ok it would probably break down again in the near future and as Nick had “worked on” the car and I was blocking a live lane the car would still have to be towed to the recovery yard and pay £150 towing fee to Highways Agency. Car was subsequently taken to Smart HQ in Milton Keynes, diagnostically tested and driven 50 miles with no fault found.

20-3-2018: Report of failure of "turbo actuator" of 2016 Smart Forfour at 5,000 miles. Owner told on 1st February there is a Worldwide shortage of turbos for the 90TCe engine. Car still not fixed. By 22nd March 2018 turbo finally arrived.

20-7-2018: Report of clutch problems since new with 2015 Smart ForFour. Dealer adjusted it during the first year, but kept sticking down and sometimes will not go into gear. Smart now saying that at 19,000 miles it needs a new clutch. They will only look at it if owner agrees to pay labour and then if they find it’s wear and tear it’s not covered under warranty.

14-11-2018: Report of problems with infotainment system of 2018 Smart ForFour 0.9 Twinamic Dual Clutch Auto Prime Sport Premium Plus. Touch screen became unresponsive so took it back for replacement. They replaced the screen and subsequent to this lost the DAB radio. They apparently pushed a software update to it which now has fixed the radio, but the satnav does not now recognise the SD card. They have suggested replacing the screen/head unit again and have not fixed it. The car is currently still with the garage and they are suggesting a new wiring loom is required and it can take up to two weeks to order as is chassis specific.

12-3-2019: Report that new Smart ForFour electric has a real world range of only 60 miles.

20-4-2019: Report of 2016 Smart ForFour, biught used 2 months previously, spontaneously combusting under a car cover while parked after being left for 3 weeks.

Recalls

25-09-2017: R/2017/245: HANDBRAKE MAY NOT HOLD. Due to possible loosening of the adjuster lock nut, parking brake lever travel may become excessive and the parking brake may not be fully applied. If the vehicle is not parked in accordance with handbook instructions it is possible the vehicle could move. Fix: On affected vehicles check and where necessary replace the adjuster lock nut. Build dates: 01-04-2014 to 31-01-2016.

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