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Smart

Smart is a German automotive brand, established 25 years ago in 1994.

The company is a division of the automotive corporation Daimler AG and operated under the ownership of Mercedes-Benz.

How popular is Smart in the United Kingdom?

Smart isnt’ the most popular brand in the UK, most likely due to appealing primarily to parking-challenged city-dwellers; there are only 96k of their vehicles on the roads of the UK today.

Showing steady growth, however, since their introduction to the UK market in 2003, the trend would suggest that we’re likely to see more of these eccentric looking tiny cars as time goes by.

Smart: Quirky little microcars and subcompacts

Owned by Mercedes-Benz, Smart cars fit into the market you’d expect on first glance. They’re a fun and funky little city car; they’re solid, middle of the road machines, designed to be as versatile as they look.

A Smart car will never fool anyone that it’s a hi-end, luxury vehicle. There’s plenty of glossy plastic and groovy fabrics, yet in the cockpit, you’ll find up-to-the-minute touchscreen media options at the controls. They do come at an inflated price for the small city car market, but by nature of their unique design—there’s nothing quite like them.

Smart cars are cheap to run—but not so cheap to buy

Your Smart ForFour will be more expensive by comparison than its rivals: the Fiat 500, Skoda Citigo, Kia Picanto or Hyundai i10—yet it’s rather hard to pitch the Fortwo against anything because there isn’t anything on the market quite so small. Only the Renault Twizy comes to mind, and that’s barely a car at all.

Once you’ve got one though, your Smart car will cost next to nothing to run with their tiny wheels and low weight. The electric models perform even better with a fuel equivalent of 87mpg.

Smart’s reliability and reputation

Smart didn’t feature as one of the brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018 that we’ve been using to draw comparisons of reliability against other marques—but checking the user reviews gathered by the AA it would appear that most owners have very few problems and that their reliability scores are generally high.

Recent Smart recalls and reliability issues

Various recalls have been made on Smart models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.

14/10/2017 – Smart ForTwo, Smart ForFour (2017)

The strength of the left front steering knuckle may be insufficient

29/09/2017 – Smart ForTwo, Smart ForFour (2014–2015)

As a result of the weakening of the braking rope wrench adjustment knob, the hand brake lever travel could be prolonged gradually

24/06/2016 – Smart ForFour (2014–2015)

The anchorage for the rear seat backrest may not be sufficiently resistant

10/06/2016 – Smart ForTwo (2014–2015)

At high vehicle speed, combined with strong wind, the plastic front service hatch can detach from the vehicle and fall into traffic

05/06/2015 – Smart ForTwo (2014)

The steering mechanism screws used for some vehicles may break

All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.

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