This pair are Smart’s brand new ForTwo and ForFour, launched with Daimler claiming to have removed all the bad stuff from the original, while keeping the good.
The tiny car was a minor revolution when it first came out in 1998, and received a complete overhaul in 2007.
Now the third generation model arrives along with the relaunch of it’s four seated bigger brother, the first generation of which only lasted from 2004-2006.
The pair both get identical styling, with the body being lengthened by 0.8m to include the extra bench of seats.
The new face is a change from the original concept, the Smarts grow a more snubby, horizontal bonnet similar to Toyota’s IQ and squared off headlights.
Moving back it’s the same as before, the two tone design remains and the roofline on the ForTwo also stays the same. The ForFour gets gentle slope, to give it a more sporty look.
At the rear both cars sprout a larger bumper, which helps accomodate the rear axle, which has been pushed so far back it’s nearly housed in a trailer, and they both gain square, almost DS3 style, rear lights.
The tiny ForTwo is still as miniature as ever, just 2.69m from front to rear with the pushed out wheelbase coming in barely any shorter.
Those dimensions, coupled with the option of alloys almost as big as the car itself, give the new Smarts an almost buggy like appearance from the side.
As for the ForFour? It really is just a stretched ForTwo now, not that that’s a bad thing.
The look is cute, and a little more butch than the outgoing model, there is no denying that, but whether that will appeal across the board is yet to be seen.
Under that elongated bonnet comes a choice of two engines at launch, both with three cylinders. A 71bhp 1.0 litre petrol is joined by a turbocharged 898 cc motor, which will give the tiny car an impressive 90 bhp and 99lb ft of torque, mpg figures haven’t been released yet.
They will be joined next year by a base level version of the engine, producing just 60 bhp.
Both Smarts are rear engined and rear wheel drive, just like their predecessor, which they say means a better use of space.
The ForTwo has a 260-litre boot, up 30 litres from the outgoing model and 75 litres more than the ForFour, whose rear seats eat into the space.
However fold down that rear bench and things get a lot better, expect to fit a whopping 975 litres of stuff in with ease due to the brilliant split tailgate.
The interior is as extrovert as the outside, with two tone absolutely everywhere and rounded air vents poking out of the dash like a martian spy.
Smart call it “charming” but far from being all cutesy and no substance the pair both come with the now standard touchscreen with steering wheel controls also adding a touch of upper class.
The theme for the whole interior is the word Loop, and they have gone to town with round, as coloured detailing circumnavigates each instrument and the door panel.
Underneath Smart say both cars will “gently” understeer, but the party trick is the smallest turning circle of any car at 6.95 m (although, whisper it, that is bigger than the old model).
They have also loosened the old cars jarringly tight suspension, paying more attention than before to comfort on bumpy inner city roads.
It is packed with safety tech too, probably the most important in a slab sided city car being the crosswind assist, that will help guide the car back to a straight line on emerging from the shadow of a lorry.
Expect to see one parked sideways in a parking space near you from November.
|smart fortwo||smart forfour|
|Turning circle (kerb-to-kerb) (m)||6.95||8.65|
|Turning circle (wall-to-wall) (m)||7.30||8.95|
|Interior length (accelerator pedal to rear end) (mm)||2011.6||2707.3|
|Body space index (ratio of length to interior length) (%)||75||77|
|Luggage compartment capacity (behind front seats) (L)||260||730|
|Luggage compartment capacity (behind front seats to roof) (L)||350||975|
|Luggage compartment capacity (behind rear seats) (L)||–||185|
|Luggage compartment capacity (behind rear seats to roof) (L)||–||255|