The Forfour Electric Drive’s powertrain gives it relatively strong and typically smooth performance where it really needs it.
It doesn’t match bigger and more expensive battery cars for outright torque or easy acceleration, and among the rivals offering markedly more instant pulling power is the e-Up.
Still, there is a decent turn of speed here, more than you’ll find in some city cars, up to the kind of pace that you’d imagine city cars will see only rarely.
The 13.2sec the Forfour needs to hit 60mph from rest is almost 4.5sec less than was required by the related 1.0-litre Twingo we tested, and the electric Smart beats its petrol-powered cousin by a similar margin from 30-70mph.
The 1.0-litre Viva is narrowly quicker than the Smart over both measures, though. That’s hardly a surprise, because, from the Forfour’s driver’s seat and beyond about 50mph at least, you wouldn’t say the car felt swift.
When straining along a motorway slip road or pulling out to overtake above 60mph, the Smart is quite plainly slow and feels almost vulnerably so at times.