Smart Forfour cars, the hatchback version of the Smart Fortwo range of trendy, fuel-efficient city supermini cars, were sold new to UK buyers between September 2004 and 2007. The first in the range to offer rear passenger seats, the Forfour was designed to appeal to the mass market and proved to be enormously successful. Additionally, Smart Forfour sales helped to rescue the brand from financial disaster.
A joint effort between new owners, Daimler Chrysler and Mitsubishi, the Forfour was based largely on the Colt/Asti platform, and initially came in a choice of three cylinder 1.1, and four-cylinder 1.3 and 1.5 petrol engines. Two versions (68bhp and 95bhp) of the 1.5 litre dCi diesel engine followed, along with a sporty Brabus model with an impressive 177bhp turbo-charged diesel engine, which reached showrooms in May 2005.
Labelled by WhatCar? as 'the best car Smart has built', it offered an enticing combination of practicality and fun styling, along with a bigger boot, robust build quality and good fuel economy (upwards of 50mpg). It also featured a five-speed manual gearbox, which many preferred to the highly unpopular sequential gearbox of the traditional SmartCar range. Critics also praised its solid handling and steering, which were a marked improvement on the first generation Fortwo range (2004-7).
However, price turned out to be a major stumbling block for many consumers, along with higher servicing costs, especially when compared to similar superminis, including bestsellers such as the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Renault Clio. As a result, Daimler Chrysler discontinued the Forfour in 2007.
Despite this, second-hand Smart Forfours continue to command a premium on the used car market, mainly due to their rarity. Their Euro NCPA four star safety rating, compact design, timeless good looks and fuel efficiency do, however, continue to play a role in keeping resale prices buoyant.