Smart #1 Review (2023) | Autocar

Everything is nicely made from mostly pleasing materials. The driving position has plenty of adjustment, but tall drivers will wish for a longer seat squab. The rear seat is comfortable for adults and can slide and recline. Although the 313-litre boot isn’t huge, there’s some extra space under its floor, as well as a small frunk that will swallow a charging cable.

Don’t let the fact that the #1 is rear-wheel-drive fool you into thinking this is an exhilarating driver’s car. You will want a Born or 4 for that. Instead, the #1 is nicely balanced, with uncorrupted steering that’s geared medium-fast and has a reassuring weight to it, although no great deal of feedback.

The excessive body roll we noted on the launch seems to have been banished, as has the shortage of grip, the latter thanks to the fitment of some Dunlop Sport Maxx tyres.


The suspension is neither especially hard nor especially soft, and there’s good isolation from both noise and vibrations. It can feel a touch underdamped at times, but in general it’s really rather pleasant.

With 268bhp, the #1 is quicker than most of its peers – fun though not transformative. However, I hope the accelerator calibration can still be tweaked before launch. The regen has three settings: Standard, Strong and e-Pedal, but even Standard is pretty strong, the pedal travel that controls the regen is very short and there’s a slight delay to the retardation kicking in.

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