A partnership which seems made-in heaven between the German auto overlord Mercedes-Benz and the Chinese EV behemoth Geely (which also owns Volvo, Polestar and Lotus), smart’s latest line of electric vehicles has been nothing short of impressive. Now with the smart #3, the company has set its eyes on the premium SUV segment.
Priced from only £32,950, the #3 (we are still not the biggest fans of this trend of nomenclature) will be the second model in the he relaunched smart range, following the critically acclaimed #1. Its sales are expected to start early next year.
What do we know about smart #3 so far?
Back in March, ev.tips reported that designs of the new SUV coupé had been released by the manufacturer, revealing a very trendy car in the shape of a modern coupé. At the front, it featured a slim LED light array in a bulbous “shark nose” bonnet, having a whiff of the Kia EV6 or thereabouts. The back end had a wide C pillar and a steep rear window, maybe a bit reminiscent of a muscly VW ID.4.
Now that smart has launched pictures of the physical version of the car (a hot orange model atop the beautiful cliffs of Mallorca — is the car prettier or the view, you decide), we can say smart has refined its initial designs and gone on about the car in a more practical and driver-friendly way.
Speaking of practicality, the smart #3 boasts a 370-litre boot, expandable up to 1,160 litres by folding the rear seats. A panoramic halo roof connects the cabin to its surroundings creating a light, spacious atmosphere.
It’s not just all about practicality though. Given Mercedes’ influence in the designing process, #3 also has improved aerodynamics and performance to flaunt. A lower centre of gravity and stiffer stabiliser bars on both front and rear axles help the body of the car roll better when tackling corners at high speeds. A lower seating position further enhances the connection between driver and vehicle, making for a more sportier experience.
What are the trims on offer?
Now coming to the trims, smart is offering four options for the #3 — Pro, Pro+ (available for #36,950), Premium (£39,950) the limited-edition 25th Anniversary (£40,950), and the top of the line Brabus (available for £45,450), with significantly more power and torque, but at the expense of some WLTP range, although not much.
The company said that each line offers its own unique appeal, with peak power ranging from 200 kW to 315 kW (Brabus), acceleration from 5.8 to 3.7 seconds (Brabus), and range from 202 (Pro) to 283 miles (Premium and 25th Anniversary).
With smart #3, the experienced manufacturer with many talented people involved in the team seems to be going for the same formula which it tried and tested, and came out with flying colours with its #1.
When we reviewed the #1 at ev.tips, we were blown away by how well equipped, surprisingly spacious, swift and safe the compact SUV was. And not just that, the #1 is also funky and delivers an entertaining drive. In fact, we thought it was simply one of the best electric vehicles in the £35-£40,000 price bracket.
And not just us, the EV went on to be crowned as the “Best Small SUV” at the 2023 What Car? EV Awards in August this year. The award completed a trio of accolades presented to the #1 by one of the UK’s most trusted automotive consumer advice publications. Having finished first in class and second overall in the 2023 What Car? Safety Award earlier this year, the #1 was also bestowed with a prestigious five-star rating by the title last Spring.
So are we excited about smart #3? Yes, of course we are! In fact, we have been awaiting its arrival ever since its European debut at the IAA Mobility in September this year. So stay tuned for a full review sometime in the near-future.