WITH an eye-catching exterior and a snazzy cabin, smart's forfour Night Sky Proxy is intent on proving great things can come in small packages.
The Slovenian built rear-engined, rear-wheel drive, five-door city slicker looks like it wants to get somewhere in a hurry and isn't let down by the turbocharged, three-pot 90bhp engine which zips it around town with a real purpose helped by the smooth Twinamic six-speed automatic transmission.
Running costs are kept to a minimum with excellent fuel economy and low carbon dioxide emissions easing the strain on the household budget.
The ride is smooth thanks to an efficient suspension that soaks up most of the humps and hollows that make up the mean city streets these days.
The forfour is highly manouevrable. Under normal circumstances likening the attributes of any vehicle to a London black cab would be tantamount to motoring suicide but here the comparison is a plus as the turning circle of this smart car is only slightly worse than the legendary turn-on-a-sixpence taxi.
This is a massive bonus when it comes to squeezing into those tight parking spots or negotiating a U-turn out of a busy thoroughfare with the light and accurate steering requiring the minimum of effort.
Indeed making life easy is a running theme with this car as the rear doors open virtually at right angles making it a cinch to get passengers or goods into the back. The rear seats also fold flat creating a surprising amount of load space for a small car.
With the seats in place I still found the boot had enough room to cater for the weekly supermarket shop - adding a dash of practicality to a stylish mix.
The interior lives up to the maker's name with the spotlight taken by a natty 3.5-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system giving access to the Night Sky Proxy model's many treats.
There are the necessary connections for smartphones and music players while cruise control and electric windows are also included. The forfour I drove got a £795 optional premium package with a 3D navigation system and the handy facility of replicating your smartphone display on the touchscreen.
The dashboard is the location for a cockpit clock and rev counter which look as if they have sprouted out of the top like mushrooms.
The colourful seat fabrics, leather multi-function three-spoke steering wheel, comfortable seats and intelligent use of different textures throughout, indicate the quality of thought and care that has gone into the forfour. There are many nice touches such as the brushed stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs.
My one quibble would be with the small door pockets and the cubby holes for your bits and bobs which are a bit shallow so things tend to fly out of them if corners are taken quickly.
The controls are well laid out - including a neat sliding dial for the air conditioning - with everything logically located and so easy to see and use.
The wheel-at-every-corner exterior features a strong road-hugging design and cute face sporting honeycombe grille, square headlights and neat LED running lights while the rear offers an exhaust system boasting a nifty chrome-plated tailpipe.