Smart ForTwo Electric: a zippy car but the costs add up

Dec 6, 2012

What the motoring press is saying about the Smart ForTwo Electric drive

Price: £14,000

Pros: Responsive motor, great for city driving, small dimensions make it easy to park, choice to buy or rent the battery pack

Cons: Unadjustable driving position, infotainment system can't match rivals, expensive fast-charging options

3.5/5, Carbuyer
"You can take the name literally, as the ForTwo is designed to carry a pair of adults around a city comfortably and economically. To heighten its appeal, the Electric Drive has more power and pep, so it's zippy around town, while the ForTwo's small dimensions make it perfect for squeezing down narrow lanes and into tight parking spaces. It can even cope with the odd motorway stint, but its 90-mile range is designed for the daily commute in heavily populated places like London. Its rivals include the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, the Renault Twizy and Nissan Leaf."

3/5, Auto Express
"In theory, the ForTwo makes a perfect electric car. It's small and manoeuvrable, and has the same zippy handling as the petrol car. It's a shame a fast-charging point costs so much more on top, but the Smart's main problem is the Renault ZOE, which seats four, offers a much bigger boot and will cost roughly the same when it goes on sale later this year."

2/5, What Car?
"£13,500 (over three years) is a lot of money to be spending on a Smart car. Yes, your fuel bills will be much smaller than they would be with any petrol or diesel rival, and you'll be able to take advantage of various other incentives (included free parking and charging bays in some cities). However, the vast majority of buyers will be better off with a cheaper petrol city car, such as the VW Up Bluemotion. The Up also qualifies for free road tax, Congestion Charge exemption and is a much better car. Or if you're happy to spend the extra knowing you'll be doing the environment a big favour, then consider the Renault Zoe – due to arrive in October. Initial impressions are very promising, and prices won't be that much higher than the Smart's."

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