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Smart ForFour

Smart 454 ForFour

Smart logo1 Oct 2004

By CHRIS HARRIS

SMART moved closer to the mainstream with its ForFour light car.

Launched in October 2004, it is a joint development between DaimlerChrysler and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation. The RG Colt released in the same year is a fraternal twin.

So although it has the Smart DNA of distinctive styling, compact size and outstanding fuel economy, the ForFour complies with familiar small-car patterns with its front-wheel drive, transverse powertrain and a conventional five-door hatchback body.

The difference is in the styling, the amount of safety gear incorporated into the package and the fact it is powered by two minuscule, but quite gutsy, 1.3 and 1.5-litre four-cylinder engines.

It also embraces safety aspects unusual at this price level, including ABS and electronic stability control as standard.

The ForFour is equipped at one basic level, which is a slightly enhanced version of the Pulse model sold elsewhere.

The engines are closely related to the Colt’s, except Smart versions develop a little more power – 70kW and 125Nm for the 1.3, 80kW and 145Nm for the 1.5.

Two transmissions are also available – a conventional five-speed manual or a six-speed clutchless transmission that can be shifted via paddles on the steering wheel.

But despite its light-car size and packaging, the ForFour was hindered in perceived value, space availability and engine performance for being aimed at the larger Toyota Corolla 1.8, Holden Astra 1.8 and Mazda 3 2.0.

Equipment levels are essentially the same whether the 1.3 or 1.5-litre engine is specified, and includes dual front and side airbags, alloy wheels, power front windows, air-conditioning, CD player and remote locking.

The 1.5-litre version adds a little more, including a leather-rimmed steering wheel, trip computer and an upgraded sound system.

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