By JASON DAWE
The original two-seater Smart car was a motoring milestone. Its tiny dimensions and radical styling made it one of the most recognisable cars on the road. But as DaimlerChrysler, the owner of the brand, soon found out, innovation in itself does not make you money. With the financial losses mounting at Smart, the manufacturer hoped the introduction of a larger, more practical four-seater model would put the accounts back into the black.
Introduced to the UK in September 2004, the Smart Forfour was 50% longer than its little brother, giving it not only rear seats but also a reasonable boot. That extra length also transformed the car’s road manners: gone was the choppy ride caused by the ultra-short wheelbase, replaced by the sense that you are driving a proper grown-up car.
While there are some visual similarities with the Fortwo, the Forfour shares more than half of its components with the Mitsubishi Colt. It also comes with a much more traditional lineup of engines. Out went the 600cc turbocharged unit found in the Fourtwo and in came a range of three petrol and two diesel engines.
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