Smart Test #1 2023: Electric SUV in co-production

It is the first Smart of a nascent history, the model of the new era: the #1 is its name – that each one will pronounce as they want (but yes “hashtag one” if you work at Smart) – is the result of the joint venture between Mercedes and the Chinese manufacturer Geely.

Each one has, since the beginning of 2020, 50% of the shares of Smart. On the one hand, the German manufacturer took care of the design, interior and multimedia interface.

The other, it is in the Middle Kingdom that this small SUV is producedand that the SAE platform (which can also be found on the upcoming Volvo XC20), the landing gear and the mechanical part were developed.

But the latter has neither piston nor distribution: the new Smart is electric. It houses in its structure a battery of 66 kWh capacity powering a synchronous motor that drives the rear axle.

Note for later: a Brabus version, whose power increases to 315 kW (ie 428 hp) adds a motor to the front axle. There, in its “normal” version, the #1 is content with 200 kW (272 hp), and that’s not bad.

Equipped with a heat pump (of the Premium finish, €43,490), announces 440 kilometers of autonomy between two recharges and has a 22 kW on-board charger.

The #1 has all the qualities of an electric car, from quiet operation to instant throttle response. So, of course, it’s fun.

Despite its considerable weight (minimum of 1,788 kg), the “ouane tag axe” consumed only 18.1 kWh/100 km on average during our test. And it presents interesting performances.

But it will be necessary to be right when approaching the curves: its behavior on the road hesitates between agility and lack of rigor. Sufficiently supported by its shock absorbers, the Smart SUV indulges in some body movements and its rear end sometimes seems to want to pass in front.

Don’t worry too much though, electronic crutches keep watch and keep everyone on the lane, and this politically incorrect character trait can amuse novice pilots as well.

The set still lacks precision and the steering conveys very little information to the driver. It makes you wonder if Mercedes wouldn’t have done better to develop the landing gear.

Finally, if the 19-inch wheels contribute to the aesthetic character of this novelty, they also contribute to the lack of filtration at low speed, a pace at which the hashtag-one is firm.

smart #1

This small Smart SUV measuring 4.27 meters in length, which could compete with the Peugeot e-2008 and Hyundai Kona, but also and above all with the future electric Minis, is more of a car “to live in” than to drive.

His presentation also suggests a relationship with Mercedes productions. The panoramic roof, standardilluminates a possibly colored panel, which adopts ambient lighting adjustable in intensity and color.

Storage spaces are numerous and practical, while heated front seats integrate the basic allocation. The driving position is also pleasant, with wide adjustment ranges, to appeal to Europeans and Chinese, the only two markets targeted and affected by the #1.

The generous space at the front is flexible at the rear thanks to the a 60/40 seat that slides over 13 cm and whose back bends. This makes it possible to develop a modest trunk volume (313 liters), which can also benefit from the folding backrests providing a flat floor.

It remains an original multimedia interface, on its 12”8 touchscreen, not necessarily intuitive and a little confusing, but still easy to understand.

The system is equipped with hotkeys, but the set resembles that of Tesla: the interface is configurable as desired, can accommodate games and access to music platformsbut also update “over-the-air”, that is, without connection, like a smartphone.

In addition, it is with your own phone that you can unlock and access #1, which you do not start: it does it by itself, like a Tesla, without having to press any buttons.

Same American reference for vehicle configuration before purchase, which can be established online. But smart, that guarantees your vehicle for three years (including maintenance) and has only 50 points of sale in France, it also proposes to do so in concessions.

Still, the seller of a Mercedes or a Smart Fortwo, whose career is expected to end in 2024, is not the same as that of a #1. Since the creation of the joint venture, everything has been segmented: good accounts make good friends…

smart #1

Smart Test #1 – our opinion:

Original in appearance, this electric SUV has something to seduce with its smart, well-presented and richly equipped interior. Its autonomy and electrical part are very satisfactory. But its price remains high and, above all, its road services are below average.

We love

  • Original presentation and equipment
  • Modularity and equipment
  • Performance and autonomy

we love less

  • road exploration
  • firm comfort
  • Chest

Datasheet (Smart #1 Premium)

  • PROPOSED INTERVAL
    • Electric, from 272 to 428 hp, from €39,990 to €47,490
  • Tested version: Premium
  • From €43,490
  • Cons manufacturer average/during testing (kWh/100 km): 16.7/18.1
  • Range manufacturer/during the test (km): 440/350
  • COtwo(g/km)/bonus: €5,000 (2023)
  • Tax power: 5 HP
  • Country of manufacture: China
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Battery Warranty: 8 years/160,000 km
  • Motor: permanent magnet synchronous electric
  • Transmission: propulsion
  • Power (kW/hp): 200/272
  • Torque (Nm): 343
  • Battery: Lithium-Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese
  • Gross capacity: 66 kWh
  • Charging time:
    • 22 kW: 3 hours (10 to 80%)
    • 150 kW DC: 30 min (10 to 80%)
  • Weight in running order (kg): 1,788 kg
  • Length.xwidth.xheight. (m): 4.27×1.82×1.64
  • Wheelbase (m): 2.75
  • Turning circle (m): nc
  • Maximum speed (km/h): 180
  • 0 to 100 km/h(s): 6.7
  • Standard tires: 235/45 R 19
  • Test tires: Continental EcoContact 6Q
  • Chest for 5/for 2 (l): 313/nc
  • Front/rear elbow width (cm): 148/142
  • Rear legroom (cm): 66 to 79

no color option

Smart #1: Potential competitors

  • Hyundai Kona 66kWh, electric 150 kW, from €39,900
  • Renault Megane E-TECH EV60, electric 160 kW, from €40,200
  • Peugeot e-2008electric 100 kW, from €37,200

Smart news, seen by auto-moto.com:

Smart #1 Brabus: 428 hp for the sporty electric SUV!

Smart #2: A compact sedan in the pipeline after the SUV

Used Smart EQ Fortwo: our opinion, from 9,500 Euros

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