Smart is the latest to join the fray with its five door, four seater forfour, a "small car" in the true sense.

There's a distinctive Smart DNA about its flanks and it has a "funky doo da" interior just like other Smart models sold here – fortwo and roadster.

Too much hard plastic though.

The funkster formula has lots of appeal and is a welcome change from generically styled stuff that rules the roost.

Boring obviously sells but the forfour might have enough "woohoo" value to change some people's thinking.

It deserves a look.

A progeny of the marriage between Daimler/Chrysler and Mitsubishi, forfour shares its platform, indeed its "philosophy" with the new Mitsubishi Colt. They are different cars with individual body styles and engines but if you drive the two back to back, there is an uncanny similarity between the two.You can also expect a lot of forfour in the new A-Class Benz.

Forfour looks fantastic and has a passenger cell featuring that special metal called Tridion. It's light and supposed to be super strong but I wouldn't like to test it. Some body panels are plastic.

The 1.3-litre manual was in a superb burnt orange duco with contrast black highlights that looks a million bucks.

It is priced up compared with other offerings in the segment selling for $23,990 plus on roads. Only one spec', the high range Pulse, is available in this and the 1.5-litre model.

Some necessities were missing from the test vehicle – rear power windows, electrically adjustable mirrors and other stuff you'd expect for the price.

On the other side of the coin is ESP (Electronic Stability Program) that selectively brakes each wheel for stability.

It delivers strong performance and incredible fuel economy though using premium unleaded. The 1.3 will whizz along sipping less than 6.0-litres/100km.

It's a four cylinder petrol model with 70kW/125Nm output.

As forfour weighs in at just under 1000kg, it has perky performance and is quite acceptable around town and on the highway though it's raucous at higher revs.

The five speed manual transmission is standard fare with a short throw between gears and slick action.

A six speed auto is available. Handling has a sportiness to it but can be caught out on bumpy corners. On the straightaway and despite the short wheelbase, it smooths out bumps OK.

The interior is impressively spacious even down to a sliding rear seat. It's attractive and functional and the sound system impresses in such a car.

Forfour is all about "stylin" but is well built and an honest performer with a weighty price for the market.