Smart #3 review

Category: Electric car

The #3 is a sleeker and slightly sportier version of the Smart #1 electric SUV

Smart #3 front left driving
  • Smart #3 front left driving
  • Smart #3 rear cornering
  • Smart #3 interior dashboard
  • Smart #3 boot open
  • Smart #3 interior driver display
  • Smart #3 right driving
  • Smart #3 overhead cornering
  • Smart #3 rear driving
  • Smart #3 headlights detail
  • Smart #3 rear lights detail
  • Smart #3 interior
  • Smart #3 interior infotainment
  • Smart #3 interior front seats
  • Smart #3 interior back seats
  • Smart #3 front left driving
  • Smart #3 rear cornering
  • Smart #3 interior dashboard
  • Smart #3 boot open
  • Smart #3 interior driver display
  • Smart #3 right driving
  • Smart #3 overhead cornering
  • Smart #3 rear driving
  • Smart #3 headlights detail
  • Smart #3 rear lights detail
  • Smart #3 interior
  • Smart #3 interior infotainment
  • Smart #3 interior front seats
  • Smart #3 interior back seats
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What Car? says...

Your first reaction to the Smart #3 might be: "Why wasn’t it called the Smart #2?" And that's understandable.

After all, the #3 follows the slightly smaller but less sleek Smart #1. We suspect the answer is that the car maker already has a "2" in the form of the Smart EQ Fortwo.

Naming strategy aside, the #3 joins the range as a coupé electric SUV. It promises a slightly sportier drive and a sleeker roofline that doesn’t significantly compromise practicality. It’s longer and wider than the #1, with a 60mm lower roofline, 20mm lower ground clearance and an extra 35mm between the front and rear wheels.

You can choose from the same range of trim levels and battery sizes, from the entry-level Pro, with its smaller battery, to the high-performance Brabus variant. 

The #3 (pronounced "Hashtag Three") doesn't have many direct rivals, but you might also be considering the Skoda Enyaq Coupé, the Volvo EC40 (previously the C40 Recharge) or the Peugeot E-3008.

Read on to find out how the Smart #3 compares with the best electric SUVs and how we rate it in all the important areas...


The Smart #3’s slightly sportier approach is designed to attract a younger audience than the #1. Whether or not that works out, it’s a brilliant electric car, with zippy performance, a smart interior and relatively swift charging capabilities. The boot is on the pokey side, but there's little else to fault. Our pick of the range is the Premium.

  • Great to drive
  • Plush, high-quality interior
  • Great safety rating
  • Small boot
  • Slightly choppy low-speed ride
  • Efficiency could be better
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The range of power outputs available for the Smart #3 mirrors those of the #1. That means, unless you go for the Brabus version, you get a 268bhp electric motor driving the rear wheels.

Thanks to improved aerodynamics, the Smart #3’s zippy official 0-62mph time of 5.8 seconds is quicker than the #1’s 6.7 seconds figure, while also bettering what many more expensive alternatives can manage, including the Skoda Enyaq Coupé and the entry-level Tesla Model Y RWD.

The performance-focused Brabus version remains hilariously quick. You still get 422bhp delivered via twin motors for four-wheel drive, but the 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds makes it 0.2 seconds quicker than the Smart #1 Brabus. Indeed, it matches the Mercedes-AMG EQE 53 – and that costs nearly triple the price.

The #3’s improved aerodynamics benefit the range too, with some versions officially travelling an extra 10 miles on a full charge over the equivalent #1. That gives the Pro+ model an official range of 270 miles from a full charge of its 62kWh (usable capacity) battery, while the Premium – which has a slightly more efficient motor – can officially manage 283 miles.

Meanwhile, the Brabus can travel up to 258 miles. As with the #1, you can tow up to 1,600kg with the #3 – the same as the Kia EV6, which was our electric Tow Car of the Year for 2023.

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If you don’t plan to travel too far away from a charger, there's a smaller 47kWh (usable capacity) battery available on the entry-level Pro model, which brings an official range of 202 miles.

Despite the 20mm lower ground clearance, the Smart #3 rides smoothly over bumps most of the time, with only a slight choppiness at low speeds.

The Smart #1 feels more alert and sportier than rivals at low speeds, and the #3 feels even more composed, thanks to a reduction in body lean when cornering.

The well-judged steering has a natural response and a reassuring amount of weighting in the heaviest of its three driving modes. You have to push hard through a series of bends to make the #3 lose any of its composure.

While the #1 Brabus sticks to standard suspension (and 19in wheels) and struggles to contain its body movements, the #3 gets stiffer suspension and 20in wheels to deal with its extra power. Our test car came with grippier Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, which can be added as an option.

As a result, the #3 Brabus keeps body movements far more tightly controlled. You don’t pitch back and forth when pressing on (like you do in the #1 Brabus), and there’s very little body lean in corners. The trade-off is a busy low speed ride that struggles to completely settle down even at higher speeds.

As with the #1, refinement remains a strong point, with just a bit of road noise on the motorway and the occasional suspension thump at low speeds disturbing the peace for occupants inside.

The brakes are the only real disappointment. While it's quite easy to stop smoothly, the pedal needs a good stamp from high speeds.

You can also slow down through regenerative braking, with the stronger of the two settings able to bring the car to a halt. However, the response takes some getting used to because there’s a slight pause between you lifting off and the braking force kicking in, which can make for jerky progress.

Driving overview

Strengths Good high-speed ride comfort; agile handling; quick performance; Brabus gets tweaked suspension 

Weaknesses Slightly choppy low-speed ride; braking response takes getting used to

Smart #3 rear cornering


The interior layout, fit and finish

To help give it a sportier feel over the Smart #1, the seats in the #3 are 22mm closer to the ground. Whether you prefer that or will be down to personal preference, but otherwise the driving position is tough to fault, with plenty of steering and electric seat adjustment to help you get comfortable.

The Smart #3’s front seats come in a sportier design and support you in all the right places, although some may be less keen on the fixed headrests.

The rear window isn’t as tall as the one in the #1, meaning you don’t see quite as much behind you in the rear-view mirror. However, forward and over-the-shoulder visibility are good, and all versions come with front and rear parking sensors, and a 360-degree bird's eye view camera.

The #3’s dashboard is almost the same as the #1's, with the biggest difference being three circular centre air vents rather than twin oval ones.

That means you still get a bright 9.2in digital instrument panel, while Premium and Brabus versions have a head-up display that projects your speed and other information onto the windscreen in your line of sight.

There’s also a big, 12.8in touchscreen infotainment system sitting in the middle of the dashboard that is responsive to inputs. The #1’s fox avatar has been replaced by a cheetah for the #3, but it doesn’t really add to the user experience. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring are standard.

The #3's interior quality is impressive. There’s plenty of style, but it's backed up with plenty of soft-touch materials and plastic that feels upmarket and of good quality. The switches are nicely damped, while plenty of ambient lighting in the air vents and around the dashboard brighten up the interior at night.

Interior overview

Strengths High-quality interior; crisp displays

Weaknesses Some basic features are hidden in the infotainment system

Smart #3 interior dashboard

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Space in the Smart #3 is good all round, and up front there’s plenty of leg room and head clearance for a 6ft tall occupant.

Storage space is generous, with two cupholders, large door bins, a storage cubby under the armrest, a generous space below the centre console and a place to wirelessly charge your phone.

Meanwhile, a six-footer sitting in the back won’t be brushing their hair against the panoramic glass roof. Leg room remains generous, too. While the lowered seating position leaves you sitting with your legs more outstretched than in the #1, the extra 35mm between the front and rear wheels makes up for it.

The almost flat floor (common to most electric SUVs) makes life relatively comfy for someone sitting in the middle seat.

The rear seat back splits 60/40, so it's not as versatile as the 40/20/40 split you get in a Peugeot E-3008 but there is at least a ski hatch in the middle so you can poke long items between two passengers. The #3 does lose out on the sliding rear seat function that boosts versatility in the #1, though.

The #3 has a 370-litre boot, which gives you a usable amount of space, but not as much as the #1 (411 litres with the seats slid fully forward) or the Volvo EC40 (413 litres). If you need to lug around even more luggage, have a look at the Audi Q4 e-tron (535 litres), e-3008 (520 litres) and Skoda Enyaq Coupé (570 litres).

There's some underfloor storage for charging cables plus a 15-litre front boot under the bonnet. A powered tailgate is standard on all trims.

Practicality overview

Strengths Spacious for all occupants; lots of storage space

Weaknesses Small boot

Smart #3 boot open

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

If the Smart #3 seems like an appealing choice, it’s worth noting that the list price is only slightly higher than an equivalent #1, and it's cheaper than its key rivals (the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron, Peugeot E-3008 and Skoda Enyaq Coupé). 

The #3 is predicted to lose its value at the same rate as the #1, which is similar to the E-3008 and Enyaq Coupé, and far slower than a Volvo EC40.

The entry-level Pro trim, with its smaller battery, helps make the entry point more affordable, while a fastest charging speed of 130kW means a 10-80% top-up can take less than 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, the rest of the range (the Pro +, Premium and Brabus) with the 62kWh (usable capacity) battery can charge at a slightly higher 150kW, so a 10-80% top-up still takes about half an hour. By contrast, you'd be waiting about 45 minutes for the same charge in a BYD Atto 3, Honda e:Ny1 or Kia Niro EV.

There are four trims for the #3: Pro, Pro+, Premium and Brabus. Entry-level Pro comes with 19in alloy wheels, a panoramic roof, LED headlights, heated front seats and climate control.

Pro+ adds wireless phone-charging and faux-leather upholstery. Our preferred Premium trim adds a heat pump, additional ambient lighting, a head-up display and a 13-speaker Beats audio sound system upgrade.

The Brabus adds sportier touches, with larger 20in alloy wheels, red brake calipers and ventilated front seats lined with grippy suede material.

The #3 was awarded the full five-star rating by safety experts at Euro NCAP when they tested it in 2023. Every version also comes with lots of safety equipment as standard, including automatic emergency braking (AEB), blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist.

Every #3 comes with a three-year, unlimited mileage warranty, while the battery has its own eight years/125,000 miles warranty.

Costs overview

Strengths Well equipped; competitive price; fast charging capability; generous safety equipment

Weaknesses Nothing major, but the warranty period could be longer

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Smart #3 interior driver display


  • The #3 is very similar to the Smart #1 but has a lower roof and mildly tweaked suspension, making it sleeker and a bit sportier. Both are electric SUVs.

At a glance
New car deals
Target Price from £32,950
Swipe to see used car deals
RRP price range £32,950 - £45,450
Number of trims (see all)5
Number of engines (see all)2
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)electric
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / No mileage cap
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £66 / £91
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £132 / £182
Available colours