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Smart 1 verdict

2022 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3.8 out of 53.8

Written by Murray Scullion Published: 18 September 2023 Updated: 18 September 2023

Should you buy one?

For many drivers, the answer to this question will be an unequivocal yes. The Smart #1 is good to drive at normal speeds, loaded with clever technology and built exceptionally well. It’s also more comfortable than the sportier Renault Megane E-Tech Electric and Cupra Born.

We also like how much space there is inside for passengers, especially given its relatively compact exterior dimensions. Even tall adults have loads of leg and head room in the back and, although its boot looks small on paper, the ability to slide the rear bench forwards means it’s never impractical.

Performance for the standard version is more than adequate, while the Brabus variant verges on total overkill. And while the #1’s range might not be the best in class, it’s more than enough for most commutes and day trips. What’s more, if you are caught short, standard support for 150kW DC rapid charging promises to get you on the move again quickly.

The Megane E-Tech remains our favourite car in this class, although we’d seriously consider a #1 over a Cupra Born or Volkswagen ID.3. If you think the same way, we recommend opting for a Premium-spec car for the best results. It isn’t that much more expensive than the entry-level Pro+ model, but it has a slightly longer range and a lot more equipment. Brabus versions are simply too powerful for their own good, plus they have the worst range.

What we like  

It’s a bit different. The #1 is filled with interesting design and technology features, which really matters in a rapidly homogenising class of small electric SUVs. Even the standard car’s acceleration is strong and every version is a comfortable place to be thanks to its squidgy suspension, supportive seats and high levels of standard equipment. There are also loads of useful cubbies around the cabin and ample space inside for four lofty adult passengers.

What we don’t like 

The Brabus variant feels ridiculously overpowered when you start cornering enthusiastically, which means it isn’t the enthusiast’s choice you might think it is. The boot is on the smaller side for the class when you make use of all the rear legroom available and the software ranges from intuitive to annoying.