The Smart Forfour certainly makes light work of town driving. It has more than enough poke from the turbocharged 0.9-litre triple to pull out of junctions and get up to the speed limit swiftly.
Its new dual-clutch DCT auto 'box is a revelation compared with the horrendously jerky five-speed semi-automatic of the previous version. Upshifts are almost seamless in auto or manual mode and it's possible to double-tap the steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles and make the Forfour drop two ratios in quick succession.
However, it's possible to confuse it; in auto mode and heading onto a motorway slip road, for example, plant your foot and the DCT will ponder whether to drop down a gear or not. For the most part it's a responsive transmission, though.
The 89bhp turbocharged motor also emits a pleasing, lively engine note which encourages you at every ideal opportunity to chase the 6000rpm redline. Although the engine delivers its 100lb ft of torque at 2500rpm, it's all out of puff by 5500rpm, meaning you have to make a concerted effort to keep the engine in this sweet spot in order to make decent progress.
Cracking 0-62mph in 11.9sec, it doesn't feel especially quick from standstill, but once up to speed, in-gear performance is decent for a city car; it's as quick around town as you'd ever realistically need a city car to be.
That said, motorways have to be tackled with the patience of a saint, as you're all too aware of the lack of power when pulling out into the fast lane to overtake slower traffic. Still, the Forfour was happy enough cruising at an indicated 75mph speed limit on a restricted German autobahn.
The Smart has well-weighted steering and a slightly quicker rack than expected. There's little body when pushing on, but the tyres cry for mercy too easily through twistier bends. Brake pedal feel is frustratingly vague, too.
Inside, there's plenty of space up front with generous leg- and headroom. The seats themselves are comfortable enough, but are rather flat and offer little side support. Perceived quality is mostly good, especially around the dash and air vents, but the centre console feels surprisingly cheap to touch.
At 185 litres, boot space with the seats up is smaller than that of the Volkswagen Up, but it was still big enough to swallow a small suitcase and two bags on our test. The rear seats can also be folded flat with ease, boosting space to 985 litres.