Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Right, let’s begin by answering the burning question: how many miles will you get out of a Smart EQ Forfour on a full charge? Smart says 78 miles officially, which isn’t great when you consider the equivalent figures for the Mini Electric and Renault Zoe – 145 miles and 245 miles.
Things get even more bleak when you consider real-world range, which we expect will be significantly lower. The smaller Smart EQ Fortwo managed just 57 miles (instead of its official 81 miles) in our Real Range tests, which replicate real-world driving on a mix of roads.
The Forfour feels less adept at motorway speeds. Its rate of acceleration drops off markedly the nearer you get to the top speed of 81mph, and the car drops further behind the pack when it comes to handling and comfort.
The Zoe tackles bumps surprisingly well for something so little, but the Forfour jiggles and jostles around over pretty much every imperfection the road throws up. It's mainly just annoying, but becomes rather uncomfortable over sharper speed bumps, although it feels more settled the faster you go.
The Zoe and Volkswagen e-Up provide greater dynamism along twisty roads, with more direct steering and less body lean. The Forfour's light steering and compact proportions make it a more nimble city car than the Zoe, though.
All electric cars offer near-silent acceleration, due to their whispering electric motors, but as you pick up speed in the Forfour all that quietness is undone: the shrill wind noise and copious road roar become wearing over a long trip.