The 1.0-litre 70 feels quite pedestrian by the standards of the class, particularly below 2500rpm, and you have to keep the revs up to avoid stalling when you pull away. However, once you get used to it, the engine is fine for town use, but on faster roads its lack of power makes keeping up with traffic hard work, and overtaking tricky.
The addition of a turbo to the slightly smaller 0.9-litre 90 makes it much sprightlier. It picks up smartly from low revs and has a wide spread of power. If you venture out of town, and to open roads and motorways, it has enough punch to get up to speed and cruise at a steady 70mph with ease, making it the one we recommend.
For something sportier there’s the Brabus version. This uses the same 0.9-litre engine, but boosted to 107bhp. While acceleration is brisker, it’s far from quick, so we’d recommend going for a Mini Cooper instead.
Opt for the 80bhp electric model and it offers smooth, zippy acceleration off the line, which is very useful around town – although it doesn’t feel quite so urgent as the acceleration you get in the smaller Fortwo. Once past 40mph it doesn’t build speed with the same conviction but it’ll happily sit at 70mph without fuss.