Smart #1: A Premium EV with Room to Grow

Original Article by Eddie Cunningham

The Smart #1, a new premium electric crossover, has arrived with ambitions of redefining the brand's image. Co-owned by Mercedes and Geely, this model targets the mid-sized SUV market, competing with the likes of Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro, and VW ID.3. But does it justify its premium price tag?

Charging and Range Confidence

In a real-world test under less-than-ideal weather conditions, the Smart #1 impressed with its charging efficiency. A three-hour charge session boosted the range to 427km, alleviating range anxiety common among BEV owners. The Premium-spec model boasts faster charging and extended range, making it a reliable option for longer trips.

Design and Build Quality

The Smart #1 stands out with its substantial build and stylish design. It measures 4.2 meters long, 1.8 meters wide, and 1.6 meters tall. While the front design grows on you, the rear design and limited boot space (323 liters) leave room for improvement. Inside, the cabin is a mix of cheerful aesthetics and practical comfort, though some materials could be of higher quality.

Interior and Technology

A large central screen hosts interactive features, including a somewhat gimmicky AI-based voice control. However, the interface can be counter-intuitive, and the steering-wheel buttons are small and not user-friendly. Despite these quirks, the Smart #1 provides a pleasant driving experience with a flexible seating position and excellent visibility.

Performance and Handling

Powered by a 272hp motor, the Smart #1 delivers a crisp and agile drive. It handles well with comfortable suspension and minimal road noise, thanks to good insulation. The 19-inch alloys add to the car's robust appearance without compromising cabin quietness.

Practicality vs. Competitors

Despite its high specs and premium touches, the Smart #1's practicality falls short compared to rivals. The small boot and less intuitive tech features might be dealbreakers for some. However, its accurate range and efficient charging make it a strong contender in the electric crossover market.


The Smart #1 is a well-built, stylish, and reliable EV with a few areas needing improvement. Its premium features and efficient charging offer substantial benefits, but whether it's different enough from competitors to justify its price remains debatable.

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