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Aug 26, 2015
Böblingen. Man's best friend: 9.5 million Germans own one or even two dogs. But travelling by car together – like now in the holiday season – can be fraught with difficulties. If the four-legged friend has short legs or is old, jumping into the car becomes an arduous climb. smart has the solution with the readyspace seats in the forfour: the entrance height can be lowered by twelve centimetres in next to no time. Passenger Fido, ready for boarding!
The clever, lowerable "readyspace" reversible cushions were actually invented to facilitate the transportation of bulky items at the rear of the smart forfour. But the dog owners among the drivers of the small car quickly realised that the readyspace seats help Fido and his fellow dogs to board the vehicle much more easily and without excessive physical effort. The level surface lowered by 12 centimetres is also ideal for a dog basket or a rug. The standard vent windows ensure fresh air during the journey. And as the cushions on the rear bench can be swivelled by 180 degrees they remain clean and well-maintained despite transporting a dog. Additional advantage as a standard feature: the rear doors of the forfour can be opened by almost 90° for even easier access.
This facilitates getting in and out of the smart forfour for both man and dog, as boarding the forfour is much easier on the severely stressed joints of many breeds of dog than with many other cars.
"For small or older dogs in particular climbing into a car can often be very arduous", says vet Heike Lieberknecht from Birkenau near Mannheim in South Hesse. "Lots of dogs particularly like sitting right behind their owner. The lower position means that all passengers are well protected, also in the event of hard braking or even an accident. But please still make sure that your dog always wears a seat belt".
And the shorter the special dog seat belt, the safer. With an appropriate adapter, standard models can simply be latched into the smart's belt buckle. A dog crate that also fits on the rear bench of the smart forfour and facilitates boarding for the animal is a further safe transportation option for Fido and his chauffeur.
Typically smart: extremely good utilisation of space and excellent manoeuvrability
Short overhangs, minimal length, high steering angle: the smart forfour has everything it takes to manoeuvre elegantly into any parking space – and around every corner, too. And the four-door car turns almost as compactly as the previous fortwo. Its statistics are 8.65 m (kerb to kerb) and 8.95 m (wall to wall).
And because the strengths of the short length are really only shown off when optimum use is made of the space available, it boasts excellent space efficiency. The smart engineers have developed the body space index (BSI) to describe how efficiently space is used. This describes the ratio of interior to exterior length, whereby the interior length is measured from the accelerator pedal in unused position along a horizontal line to the rear end, as a simple means of comparison between different vehicles. At 77% the smart forfour attains a top rating for this criterion.
And the four-door car not only has space for four people, it also has impressive loading capacity. The rear seat backrests can be folded down to produce a level load surface of at least 1285 x 996 mm with a cargo volume of up to 975 litres – the benchmark in its segment. The loading length with the front passenger seat backrest folded forward is also exceptional, at 2.22 metres.