Last week, we were lucky enough to be invited to the world premier of the new SMART ForTwo and ForFour cars in Berlin. It didn’t take us long to decide that this would be a great opportunity to not only visit one of our favourite cities, but to witness the second coming of the pioneer of the ‘city car’.
I have to admit that when it comes to cars, I generally prefer those that aren’t necessarily too environmentally friendly and a real pain when it comes to parking. With that said, I was more than pleasantly surprised when I was presented with the 2015 models of the ForTwo and ForFour SMART cars. SMART, which is a member of the Mercedes family (a bragging right in its own sense) was first introduced to the motoring world at the end of the 90’s. Famed for their size, their equipment and most importantly, their safety, SMART cars have since gone on to become a global ‘giant’ in the micro car market.
We have seen the rise of city-bike hire services in the UK in recent years. Borris bikes in London, Citybike in Liverpool and Nextbike in Glasgow. On paper, these seem like a great idea but realistically, without having stations throughout the cities, it really isn’t that feasible (no matter how good it is for the environment)! In Berlin, however, they have the Car2go. This is quite simply the automobile version of the bikes. The idea? Rather than worry about taking your own car somewhere or relying on a taxi, you are able to jump in to any Car2go (6000 cars throughout 12 European cities) and get yourself from A to B that little bit quicker. Who provides the cars for? SMART of course! Why? Because they are perfect for city driving. This service isn’t unique to Europe though and although it never quite took off in the UK, it is immensely popular in some North American cities.
Harbouring the original dimensions, the latest model of the ForTwo retains what made it so unique when it was first put to market all those years ago. At just 2.69m long and 1.66m wide, the ForTwo makes outstanding use of it’s restricted space. There is a 999cc engine available which makes for a particularly economical drive in higher gears, even when in urban traffic. There is also a turbo model available which has a 898cc engine.
In terms of ‘the bits’ that make the car that little bit more enjoyable, the ForTwo model comes with LED lighting, remote central locking, cruise control, electric windows and an LCD display as standard. Other models include leather interior and heated seats.
As with its little sister, the ForFour has retained its original size, measuring 3.49m in length and 1.66m in width. What I personally found impressive about this model was its boot space. Assuming you have bought the ForFour as you required a bigger car for work, your family or whatever the reason may be, you would not be disappointed with how much you could actually squeeze in to such a compact car. This proves that the engineers have well and truly utilised the limited space they have available.
Inside the car, there was more than enough leg room in both the drivers and passengers seats. The seats are sporty looking and the interior is fresh and modern. There are a variety of packages available so you can build the car that you want to drive away in, not what someone in a factory somewhere thinks you might want. The same applied for the exterior. There are quite simply thousands of paint and model options so that you can choose what best reflects you as an individual.
The new SMART models will be available in the UK from next year and are expected to retail from 11,000 euros for the ForTwo and 11,600 euros for the ForTwo. I can honestly say that if you are in the market for a micro car, something with mounds of character that is incredibly practical at time the same time, then it is well worth holding out for these to be released. You won’t be disappointed with the quality of car you will be getting at a very competitive price.