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Smart Forfour 1.5 Passion

Broadcast dates : 13th February 2005
17th February 2005

The smart brand originated as a design co-operation between Swatch, the watchmakers, and Mercedes-Benz a few years ago.

This is the new ForFour, following the rather quirky two-seater city car and the controversial roadster sports cars.

The top of the range is a four-cylinder one-comma-five litre model, while a one-comma-three litre version is also available.

The interesting design follows the space-frame principle to some extent. Thereís a basic metal structure with liberal use of plastic on non-stressed parts to save weight.

The rear taillights are science-fiction stuff and fun.

Likewise the interior is funky but materials and equipment are of high quality, and thereís a surprising amount of space.

You can opt for lots of rear leg room or move the seat forward to open up enough luggage area for a couple of good-sized suitcases if you are traveling two-up.

The instrumentation is slightly retro, while the steering-wheel is ultra modern. Thereís a quality feel to the smart interior that is contemporary and reassuring.

With eighty kiloWatts and less than a thousand kilogramís in weight, the smart forfour has surprisingly sporty performance.

The free-revving engine is sourced from DaimlerChryslerís Mitsubishi division and it has a punchy mid-range power delivery too.

Miss South Africa 2004, Claudia Henkel with her 
Smart Forfour, one of her prizes

Unlike previous models this smart four-seater uses a conventional five-speed gearbox, although a paddle-shift model is available on special order. And the gearbox is a little beaut.

At R159 000, the Forfour is priced to compete with the standard Mini Cooper, and itíll run with the Cooper in a straight line, if not through the twisty bits.

Ideal for young upwardly mobile adults who see cars as fashion accessories, a statement of who they are on the social ladder.

Is it a smart choice? It has a surprising amount of substance to go with the knock-out looks. Just like Miss South Africa, you might well conclude.

Smart forfour 1.5 Passion
  • Engine: Transverse Four-cylinder petrol, 1 499cc
  • Power: 80 kW @ 6 000 rpm
  • Torque: 145 Nm @ 4 000 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 10,0 seconds
  • Top speed: 185 km/h
  • Fuel consumption: 7,5 litres/100 km (claimed)
  • Price: R159 000

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