DaimlerChrysler Malaysia is set to go after the premium compact car segment, intending to capture 35-40% of the segment with the new Smart Forfour.

The Smart Forfour comes in 1.3 and 1.5 litre variants and they are priced at RM101,931.15 and RM116,918.25 respectively.

The Smart Fortwo did not really do very well as Malaysian’s tastes in the compact car segment is not really suited to two-door or two-seater cars. The high price of the Fortwo did not really justify being able to bring only the driver and a passanger around.

The new Smart Forfour would be able to compete with the Honda Jazz and Suzuki Swift who have proven that the four-door four-seater formula works in the premium compact car segment.

The Smart Forfour’s 1.3 petrol engine makes 95hp and the 1.5 litre engine makes 109hp. These figures are ample to give the Smart forfour a zippy driving experience. There are also turbodiesel variants. Fuel consumption is rated at 5.9 litres per 100km, and service intervals are every 20,000km or roughly 12 months. Economical!

The car also comes with safety features like dual frontal airbags and dual side airbags. It also comes with ESP stability control and an anti-lock braking system. The car also has a panoramic sunroof.

A unique feature belonging to both the Smart forfour and Smart fortwo is the owner exchangeable body panels. There are 18 different colour combinations to choose from. Kind of like Nokia’s Xpress-On covers for their handphones. The owner can change the panels to whatever colour they want themselves in the comfort of their garage.

I’ve already seen the Smart forfour in Malaysia in SS2 on Saturday night. Managed to snap a picture of it. It looked really cute, but the dual-colours of the body panels gives it a unique look and needs a little getting used to for me.