Smart #3 Review & Prices

The all-electric Smart #3 offers impressive interior space for a sleek SUV, but the boot is quite small

Buy or lease the Smart #3 at a price you’ll love
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RRP £32,950 - £45,450
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£412*
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wowscore
8/10
Reviewed by Darren Cassey after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Loads of assistance kit as standard
  • Really roomy interior
  • Efficient electric powertrain

What's not so good

  • Short range from entry-level model
  • Pretty boring to drive
  • Reversing camera judders
At a glance
Model
#3
Body type
Hatchbacks
Available fuel types
Electric
Battery range
This refers to how many miles an electric car can complete on a fully charged battery, according to official tests.
202 - 283 miles
Acceleration (0-60 mph)
3.7 - 5.8 s
Number of seats
5
Boot, seats up
370 litres - 4 Suitcases
Exterior dimensions (L x W x H)
4,400mm x 1,844mm x 1,556mm
Insurance group
A car's insurance group indicates how cheap or expensive it will be to insure – higher numbers will mean more expensive insurance.
33E, 36E, 34E, 41E
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Find out more about the Smart #3

Is the Smart #3 a good car?

This is the Smart #3, an electric SUV with a roomy interior and loads of standard equipment. It shares much of its mechanical goodness with the Smart #1 and Volvo EX30, but unlike those cars has a sleek, sloping roofline that makes it a touch more stylish and sporty-looking. A bit like swapping hiking boots for lightweight running shoes.

As well as those cars mentioned above, the Smart #3 is an alternative to other electric cars such as the Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV and Skoda Enyaq Coupe.

Where the #3 is a bit different to most alternatives, Enyaq Coupe aside, is its design. This is basically an SUV, but it has a coupe-like roof that slopes down at the rear to give it a sporty edge. It’s somewhat successful from the side profile but does look a bit gawky from the rear and not quite as cohesive as the more conventional #1.

Smart #3: electric range, battery and charging data

Range: 202 - 283 miles
Efficiency: 3.6mi/kWh - 3.8mi/kWh
Battery size: 49kWh / 66kWh
Max charge speed: 130kW / 150kW
Charge time AC: 5h 30mins, 10-80%, 7.4kW / 7h 30mins, 10-80%, 7.4kW
Charge time DC: 30 mins, 10-80%, 130kW / 30mins, 10-80% 150kW
Charge port location: Right side rear
Power outputs: 272hp / 428hp

Inside the smooth edges and curvaceous design continues. It’s a touch fussy in places but the overall minimalist look is effective The large tablet-like infotainment screen is really quick to respond, and while the videogame-like graphics take some getting used to, it works well overall. Except for the fact that the climate controls are buried within menus rather than quickly accessible, of course.

At least there can be no complaints about interior roominess. The seats are comfortable and while it looks like a fairly small SUV from the outside, it feels like quite a big one inside. Especially for those in the back, because there’s loads of legroom and impressive headroom even with that sloping roof.

Boot space is less impressive. At 370 litres there’s more than you get in the tiny #1 boot, but loads less than the Hyundai Kona Electric, Kia Niro EV and Skoda Enyaq Coupe.

It’s great that there’s loads of interior space even with the sloping roof, but you’ll find bigger boots elsewhere

Boot packed up and out on the road the Smart #3 is pretty comfortable and easy to drive. Some electric cars have a tendency to jiggle and shake over bumps in the road, but the #3 deals with all but the angriest of potholes well enough. Motorway refinement is decent too, but the #3 is not the most exciting car to point down your favourite twisty road.

Entry level versions of the Smart #3 have a smaller battery with an official range of just 202 miles. This makes it more affordable, but stepping up from the Pro trim brings a bigger, more advanced battery with a range of up to 283 miles. That’s fairly competitive with most alternatives, but a long range Hyundai Kona can go up to 319 miles.

If you like the sound of this sleek electric SUV, find out how much you could save with Carwow’s Smart #3 deals. You could also browse other used Smart models as well as the best leasing deals available right now. And if you want to sell your car online, Carwow can help with that, too.

How much is the Smart #3?

The Smart #3 has a RRP range of £32,950 to £45,450. Monthly payments start at £412.

If you’re looking for a relatively affordable electric car and you’re not too worried about range, the Smart #3’s entry-level Pro trim isn’t a bad place to start. It costs from just under £33,000, which is about the same as the #1 and Volvo EX30, though its 202-mile range only splits the pair.

Budget-allowing, stepping up to the Pro+ feels like better value, because although it’s about £4,000 more expensive than the Pro, it has a bigger battery with a longer range. High-spec Premium models cost just under £40,000 but can go the furthest between charges thanks in part to having a heat pump fitted. There’s also a 25th Anniversary model, which has a few changes, such as a sportier exterior design and no panoramic glass roof. It’s also only available in white and costs about £1,000 more than Premium versions.

Want more power? Go for the high-performance Brabus model. That starts around £45,000 and has two motors to increase performance.

Whichever version you go for, though, the #3 is well-equipped. You get almost identical safety kit across the range, with the only difference being some extra parking tech on top-spec models. You get the same infotainment system too, though top trims add a head-up display.

All this being said, if you need a bit more boot space in particular, it’s not a huge leap in price to the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro EV. However, the hugely practical Skoda Enyaq Coupe does command quite a premium, thanks largely to its bigger battery.

Performance drive and comfort

The Smart #3 is comfortable and easy to drive, but it won’t do anything to excite you

In town

Being electric, the Smart #3 is smooth and easy to drive, as long as you avoid the Sport driving mode, which makes the accelerator pedal a bit too sensitive. All-round visibility is surprisingly good, especially given how low that roof swoops at the back, and the windscreen pillars don’t get in the way of your forward view too much either.

The #3 handles bumps in the road pretty well, though you will notice a bit of a thud if you hit a pothole or speed bump too quickly. Meanwhile the turning circle isn’t great, so you might get caught out on a mini roundabout or two.

High-spec models like our Premium test car come with an automated parking assistant which makes parallel parking easy, but even basic versions come with all-round cameras and sensors, so you should be able to wiggle in and out of tight spaces fairly easily. The regenerative braking can also be set up to provide a one-pedal driving mode that will bring you to a complete stop without needing to touch the brake.

On the motorway

You don’t need to go for the high-power Brabus version if you want decent oomph for motorway slip roads and swift overtakes, because even the regular model has enough power to get you quickly up to speed.

At a cruise, the #3 drives smoothly and quietly, feeling nicely planted and secure. There are lots of assistance systems, from speed warnings to lane-keeping, which generally work as intended but can be frustratingly intrusive, with constant binging and bonging and tugging at the wheel. At least they’re easy to turn off, though that does rather defeat the point in having them. Standard-fit adaptive cruise control, which maintains your speed and distance to the car in front, is a nice bonus.

Wind noise and tyre noise are kept well under control, so the #3 is quite a relaxing thing to do big miles in, and the range – normally something that motorway driving tends to wipe out in electric cars – seems to hold up well.

On a twisty road

The Smart #3 handles well enough on a winding country road, but it will do little to excite you. You get decent grip through corners, but the steering doesn’t really give you any feedback about what the front tyres are doing, which quickly dents your confidence. The overly sensitive accelerator pedal in Sport mode makes quick progress less intuitive, so stick to the Normal settings for a smoother drive.

Again, though, performance is adequate enough from the regular #3 without needing to pay all that extra for the Brabus version. And if a stint in the equivalent #1 is anything to go by, while the extra motor’s extra kick will give you a giggle, it doesn’t feel any more capable in corners, which is where the real fun is.

If you want an electric car that’ll put a smile on your face on a twisty road, the Volvo EX30 does a much better job, despite sharing so much under the metal.

Space and practicality

The #3 is very spacious in the front and back of the cabin, but the boot is quite small and the ‘frunk’ is borderline pointless

The #3’s cabin is pleasantly roomy in the front, even though the centre console is deliberately set high up to divide the front into two distinct ‘cockpits’. Underneath that console there’s a huge, open storage space which will easily swallow a handbag or a small backpack, while up top there’s a small storage space which also houses the optional wireless phone charger and two USB-C sockets.

There are also two cupholders and a slim storage space for a mobile phone, and further back there’s a big storage box under the front seat armrest. The door bins are roomy, and will easily hold a large bottle of water, but they’re unlined so anything loose – keys, pens, coins – will rattle around endlessly.

The front seats are comfortable and supportive, and the worry that the little ‘rivet’ design set into the seat base might jab you in the bottom proves unfounded. The driving position is decent, with plenty of adjustability in the steering wheel, and electric adjustment for the seats as standard, but the seat does feel a touch high and perched up for taller drivers.

Space in the back seats

Space in the back is even better than the front. Headroom and legroom are excellent, even if there are tall people sitting ahead of you, and the standard panoramic roof lets in lots of light, which helps to compensate for the bulk of the big seats in the front, which do tend to cut off the view out for those sitting behind.

There is an armrest in the middle, rear air vents, two more USB-C sockets, seatback pockets, and more unlined door bins. The floor is flat, which helps to free up space for anyone trying to squeeze into the narrow middle rear seat, but the floor is quite high, so taller passengers will find that their knees are too high up for long-haul comfort.

All that legroom means that it’s really easy to fit even the bulkiest of child seats. The ISOFIX mounting points are simple to get to, and the covers flip up so there’s no risk of losing them.

Boot space

The price for good cabin space seems to be that the boot of the Smart #3 isn’t very big. At 370 litres it has more capacity than the #1 and Volvo EX30, but everything else looks cavernous by comparison. You get 466 and 475 litres in the Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia Niro EV respectively, while the Skoda Enyaq Coupe is the clear winner at 570 litres.

​​The boot floor is adjustable, which means you can set it up to have no loading lip if you’re trying to load in heavier items, and that gives you some space underneath to stash charging cables too.

Space expands to 1,160 litres if you fold down the rear seats, and they fold almost entirely flat in 60:40 formation, leaving only a slight rise up to the backs of the front seats. The roof is quite low at the back, though, which will make it difficult to load up bulkier items.

Those hoping to save on boot space by keeping a charging cable in the ‘frunk’, or ‘froot’ if you prefer, will be disappointed — there’s only a tiny 15-litre space under the bonnet, which is more or less useless.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The cabin has a cool design and there are soft surfaces in all the right places, but the climate controls should be easier to access

Smart has done a good job of making the #3’s cabin look and feel reasonably expensive, but it doesn’t quite match premium alternatives inside. There are a few too many cheap-feeling surfaces — such as the column stalks and those unlined door bins — for that.

Still, there are good aspects. The dash itself is trimmed in a contrast coloured plastic which looks and feels good, and the high-backed bucket seats do make things look at least a little more expensive. You also get soft materials on the doors and armrest so wherever you place your arm it should be pretty comfortable.

The infotainment system is hit and miss. To start with the hits, it’s really quick to respond to your inputs, and the graphics are crisp and clear, even if the quirky videogame-like aesthetic might not appeal to everyone. The voice assistant works well enough too, and can do plenty of things such as lower the windows or input a sat nav destination.

However, the complete lack of physical buttons makes some things unnecessarily clunky to do. For example, there are shortcut buttons for some climate control functions but simply changing the temperature takes a few menu presses. The reversing camera also has a terrible framerate, so it’s quite juddery and can be difficult to judge how quickly you’re approaching an obstacle.

There are no complaints about the shallow, 9.0-inch digital driver’s display, which works very well, and means you don’t get distracted by whatever else is on the big central screen when you just want to check your speed. The head-up display – only available on the Premium and Brabus versions – is excellent, too.

Higher spec models get a Beats audio stereo which sounds good, with nice deep bass, and there are four USB-C sockets in the cabin (two front, two rear) along with a wireless charging pad for more expensive versions.

Electric range, charging and tax

There are two battery choices for the Smart #3, and two power outputs to choose from. The entry level Pro model uses a 49kWh battery with a 202-mile range, paired with a single electric motor that makes a healthy 272hp.

All other versions use a 66kWh battery, which has a maximum range of 283 miles on the Premium trim. This and the Pro+ trim use the same electric motor as the entry level model, but you can also get a Brabus version that uses a twin-motor setup for 428hp, which drops the range to 258 miles.

We saw a respectable 3.6 miles per kWh in our time with the car, which would result in a real-world range of 176 miles in the small battery, and 238 miles with the big battery.

If range is a concern, consider the Hyundai Kona Electric and Skoda Enyaq Coupe, which both have claimed ranges in excess of 300 miles on some models.

The Smart #3’s maximum charge rate is 150kW for the big battery and 130kW for the small battery, but both will go from 10-80% in about half an hour. The 49kWh model takes over five hours to do the same charge at a 7.4kW home charger, while the 66kWh battery takes over seven hours.

There’s currently no Vehicle Excise Duty to pay because the Smart #3 is an electric car, and company car drivers should also favour EVs because of the rock bottom Benefit-in-Kind rate.

Safety and security

The Smart #3 scored the full five stars in Euro NCAP safety testing. Its highest score was 90% for adult occupant protection, but perhaps more impressive is its excellent 85% rating for safety assistance technology.

That’s perhaps no surprise, because you get loads of safety kit included as standard, such as lane-keeping assistance, front and rear parking sensors and a 360-degree parking camera. You also get a system that uses the car’s on-board technology to assist you when swerving to avoid an incident, and can tug at the wheel to avoid a collision with a car when changing lanes on the motorway.

All cars also get an advanced adaptive cruise control system, which not only maintains your speed and distance to the car in front, but also assists you from deviating from your lane.

Reliability and problems

Although Smart has a 25-year history, the #3 is a brand new model built in a brand new factory, so it’s very hard to get a handle on how reliable (or otherwise) it might be. All models get standard over-the-air software updates, which can be helpful in ironing out small bugs and electronic glitches, and the batteries and motors are shared with Volvo, Polestar and others so they’re likely to be fine. That said, there were some interior trim squeaks and creaks on our test car, something we also noticed on an early international drive and had hoped would be ironed out by the time the cars entered full production.

Smart’s warranty isn’t great – at three years or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first, it’s the minimum you’ll get from a car manufacturer in the UK. You also get an eight-year/125,000-mile warranty for the main vehicle battery, which is in line with what alternatives offer.

Smart #3 FAQs

The Smart #3 is built in Xi’an, China at a factory run by its part-owner Geely.

The Smart #1 and #3 are very similar, but the #3 has a coupe-like roof that slopes down more at the rear than the #1’s. The #3 is also slightly longer, wider and lower.

There are four trim levels called Pro, Pro+, Premium and 25th Anniversary. There’s also a high-power Brabus version.

Smart is half-owned by Mercedes-Benz and Geely, with the latter taking a 50% stake in the company, which was announced in 2019.

Buy or lease the Smart #3 at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £32,950 - £45,450
Carwow price from
Monthly
£412*
Ready to see prices tailored to you?
Compare new offers