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New Smart #1 vs used Tesla Model Y: practicality

You might be tempted by a brand new Smart #1, but a year-old Tesla Model Y for sub-£40k is hard to refuse. So, which of these electric SUVs should you choose?...

Smart #1 rear seats

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Most people will have plenty of space in both of these cars, but if people joke "How's the weather up there?" when they see you, it might be worth noting that the used Tesla Model Y offers front seat occupants a bit more leg and head room. On the other hand, the Smart #1 has the edge for rear leg room – at least when its sliding back seat is in its rearmost position.

The Model Y doesn't have sliding rear seats, but they do recline – as do the #1's – and fold in a useful 40/20/40 split. The #1's rear seats have a more conventional 60/40 split. 

Tesla Model Y interior back seats

The #1’s boot floor doesn’t adjust for height, but there is a sizeable amount of storage underneath for the charging cables and a few other odds and ends – there's also a small cubby space under the bonnet. That’s just as well, though, because the main boot compartment can hold a mere three carry-on suitcases unless you slide the rear seats forward. By contrast, the Model Y can swallow 10 carry-on suitcases between its front and rear boots.