Smart cars stack a tall, upright cabin on top of a chassis that’s short in the wheelbase, narrow in its track widths and necessarily quite crude in places – hence some obvious compromises in the way these cars have gone down the road for the past two decades.
Even here, with the longer wheelbase of the four-seater and a handy lowering of the centre of gravity brought about by the battery positioning, you can’t miss the dynamic quirks and shortcomings.
The steering is unusually low-geared and light at the rim. It’s that way as a gesture to make the car easy to manoeuvre around junctions and into tight spaces – but the Forfour doesn’t always feel that way because of the amount of arm twirling needed to make your way around a multi-storey car park or in and out of a parking space.
That 9.1m turning circle is certainly handy at parking time but doesn’t seem a massive improvement on what most city cars need when it comes to it. If anything, the car feels slightly less wieldy than the class average.
At higher speeds, meanwhile, you begin to feel the effect of the Smart’s rearward weight distribution: the stability-biased geometry settings of its chassis and the unsprung mass and coarseness of that rear axle.