Smart #1 Review: Performance, Efficiency, and Impressive Range in a Pricey Package

Read the full article by Philip Hedderman here.

The new Smart #1, a collaboration between Mercedes and Chinese car giant Geely, marks a significant departure from the original Smart Fortwo. This new offering is a fully electric, properly-sized city car that targets millennials, young families, and first-time EV buyers.

The Smart #1 is comparable in size to a VW Polo, measuring 4.2 meters long, 1.8 meters wide, with a 2.7-meter wheelbase. It boasts a spacious interior with a clever sliding 60/40 rear seat that increases luggage space from 273 to 411 liters, plus an additional 15 liters in the front trunk for charging cables. The minimalist interior features soft-touch materials, faux leather, ambient lighting with 64 color options, a 9.2-inch digital driver display, a 10-inch head-up display, and a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

Available in four trim levels – Pro, Pro+, Premium, and Brabus – the Smart #1 offers power outputs ranging from 268 to 422bhp. It is powered by either a 49 or 66kWh battery, providing a range of up to 440km on a single charge. The high-performance Brabus version, which accelerates from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds, offers a thrilling driving experience, although its weight affects grip and agility on twisty roads.

One of the standout features of the Smart #1 is its highly accurate range estimation. The tested range of 400km proved to be precise, making it one of the most reliable EVs in this aspect. However, this performance and precision come at a price, with the Smart #1 starting at €37,479, and the Brabus version costing €54,170, including grants.

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