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Competition for Smart #1: A unique electric SUV?

With the #1, the Smart brand is breaking new ground. The search for competition is not that easy either. We try it with criteria such as size, performance, range and find out: The Smart #1 offers at least one combination of properties that is so far unique on the German market.

As soon as Smart enters the German market with #1 (it should be in a few months), the brand will finally take the step into adulthood. Gone are the days when the portfolio consisted exclusively of city fleas. The #1 is an even more compact, but mature electric SUV that is also powerful and comes up with advanced technical solutions. If you compare your data with those of other e-cars, you will quickly notice that the combination of its properties is quite unique on the German market.

If you sort the Smart #1 according to its dimensions, you will notice that the competition is either shorter or longer. It is seven centimeters taller than the Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric EV60 and twelve centimeters taller than the Opel Mokka-e. The new Kia Niro EV is 15 centimeters longer. With the VW ID.3, on the other hand, with its 4.26 meter long body, it fits pretty much exactly – but not with its significantly longer SUV version ID.4. The Smart #1 and the VW ID.3 are also pretty close when it comes to the wheelbase (2,750 vs. 2,765 millimeters). In terms of height, the newcomer towers above all the competitors named, the ID.3 even by a good 7 centimeters. The #1 is 1.64 meters tall. As mentioned: Smart grows up with this car.

Clearly heavier than its adversaries

Given these numbers, is it logical that the Smart, at 1,820 kilograms, is also clearly heavier than its adversaries? For comparison: a Smart EQ Fortwo weighs just 1,095 kilograms. But it also offers a few fewer seats. Another advantage is the luggage compartment of the #1, whose 411 liters in normal condition are only topped by the larger Kia. In addition, there is the front trunk, which with a capacity of 15 liters accommodates the charging cable.

The statement "he has the biggest" also applies to the battery. The battery cells add up to a capacity of 66 kilowatt hours, which should be enough for a WLTP range of 420 to 440 kilometers, depending on the configuration. Its values ​​of 50 kilowatt hours or 335 kilometers show that it is at least one league higher than, for example, the Opel Mokka-e. The rest of the competition gets a relatively larger range from their slightly smaller energy dispensers compared to the Smart #1. That seems plausible: those who are lighter and offer less resistance to the wind due to their lower body drive more efficiently.

Loads faster than the competition

When it comes to loading, the Swabian-Chinese co-production is ahead again.The Smart #1 pumps electricity into the battery at up to 150 kilowatts – no one else in this class can do that. The Mokka-e charges with a maximum of 100 kilowatts, the VW ID.3 Pro with a maximum of 120 kilowatts and the Renault Mégane E-Tech does not exceed 130 kilowatts. However, the loading speed that is possible on average, which is important for the customer, will only become apparent in practice. The Smart leaves AC charging stations and the home wall box faster than most of its competitors: Here it can charge with up to 22 kW – this is otherwise only available as standard on the Renault and as an option on the Opel. The VW sucks with a maximum of eleven kW AC power; what the Kia can do in this regard is not yet known.

The Smart #1 is a little closer to the Volkswagen in terms of drive layout than the other competitors: As is typical for Smart, the electric motor drives the rear wheels; this is also how it works with the ID.3. In the three other e-cars, the motor is in the front and acts on the front wheels. When it comes to the classic car quartet values, however, no representative of the market co-creators quartet can hold a candle to the Smart: With 200 kW (272 hp), this is twice as powerful as the Opel. The VW, Kia and Renault each break the 150 kW mark, but then keep a respectful distance.

Smart allows a top speed of 180 km/h

It is not yet possible to conclusively assess how the data will affect driving performance. Smart is yet to name a zero-to-a-hundred number for #1. When it comes to top speed, electric cars are usually limited early on. But its first SUV, which can reach a maximum of 180 km/h, Smart allows a higher top speed than the other manufacturers their products, which range between 150 km/h (Opel Mokka-e) and 167 km/h (Kia Niro EV). set the acceleration.

Even with its technical bonuses, the #1 should convey that it is not an automotive basic product. Take the interior as an example: the central touchscreen measures 12.8 inches, and the driver information display is 9.2 inches. With the option of two twelve inches, the Renault Mégane E-Tech is a bit larger on average in this respect. Software updates over the air are now de rigueur. The consistently designed connectivity ecosystem, which not only creates a virtual avatar of your own car, but also connects it to its users via a smartphone app and cloud data, makes the #1 quite unique.

Where does the Smart #1 fit in price?

The big question remains: When Smart grows up with the #1 - does that also apply to the price? The manufacturer has not yet mentioned this. It is likely that the newcomer will also be at the top of its competition in this respect. The Mokka-e, which costs at least 34,460 euros, is clearly smaller and weaker and therefore not a benchmark. The VW ID, available from 36,960 euros.3 Pro lacks the SUV attitude, which is always associated with a few thousand extra euros. The Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric already costs at least 41,700 euros in the EV60 version. But it is also smaller in terms of dimensions and engine power than the Smart, for which a base price of 45,000 euros would therefore not be a surprise.


At Smart, the same discussion is likely to flare up as once at Mini: Is a car like the #1 with this size, this weight and this driving force still a real Smart? However, the recent past of the British-Bavarian competitors proves without a doubt that the separation of the microcar niche also harbors great potential for economic success. Mini is also currently working with Chinese companies and will launch electric crossovers and SUVs in the not too distant future - but the larger models in the new Smart format will rather carry the technology of the corresponding BMW models (iX1). It is possible that the Smart #1 will then have an equal competitor at the latest. Then the question is: is German technology an advantage in this segment?


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