smart #3 tested ahead of 21 May unveiling, here’s our verdict

smart #3 preview 01

Recently, smart Malaysia conducted a preview session for its latest model, the smart #3, exclusively at the Pro-Net headquarters. We had the opportunity to get a closer look and even test drive the smart #3 on the Proton test circuit in Shah Alam. But first, a little background.


For those who are uninitiated, smart is now owned by Geely and Mercedes-Benz, focusing solely on producing fully electric vehicles (EVs) at the moment.

The smart #3 is not just a sportier coupe version of the #1; it comes with several technical differences. Firstly, it is built on the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform shared with the #1 and several models under the Geely group.

In broad terms, the smart #3 is longer and wider than the #1 but lower, with approximately an 80mm difference between the two. Therefore, theoretically, the smart #3 is expected to offer more stable handling, right? We’ll discuss this further.

Unique features of smart #3

One distinctive feature of the smart #3 is its curved coupe-style roof, unlike the straight roof of the #1. The roof of the smart #3 has unique color play on the A-pillar and C-pillar, giving it a ‘floating roof’ effect.

Other features include front and rear LED lights, flush door handles, frameless windows, and illuminated logos. The smart #3 is also more aerodynamic than the #1, with a drag coefficient of 0.27 (0.29 for the #1).

Specification details

The lineup offers variants similar to the smart #1: Pro, Premium, and Brabus. The Pro variant has a 49kWh battery, while the Premium and Brabus variants come with a 66kWh battery.

The Pro and Premium variants have a single rear electric motor with an output of 272hp and 343Nm of torque, achieving 0-100 acceleration in 5.8 seconds.

On the other hand, the smart #3 features two motors on the front and rear axles, delivering a total power of 428hp and 543Nm of torque.

As the #3 Brabus is an AWD vehicle, its 0-100 acceleration is much quicker, around 3.7 seconds. The maximum speed for all variants is 180km/h, with a driving range of approximately 455km for Pro and Premium, and 415km for Brabus.

Initial impressions

So, how was the initial drive of the smart #3? From our experience on Proton’s high-speed oval track, the smart #3 accelerates smoothly.

The Premium variant reaching 100km/h in 5.8 seconds is more than sufficient. Imagine cruising this smart #3 on the highway; a smooth acceleration means easier lane changes and smoother traffic flow. Agree?

We also tested the dynamics at Pro-Net’s provided dynamic section, including figure-8, slalom, and straight-line acceleration. The smart #3’s chassis felt sturdier and agile due to its stiffer springs, shock absorbers, and anti-roll bars compared to the #1, giving it a sportier character.

The technical changes seem crucial and complement the sporty appearance of the #3. Turning in the figure-8 felt stable, with smooth torque delivery at low speeds.

This makes it suitable for everyday city driving by regular motorists. Among our experiences, the slalom tested the chassis stability, tire grip limits, and power delivery. The smart #3 easily reaches grip limits due to its rapid torque delivery, following your right foot’s commands.

However, the safety systems and strengthened chassis ensure the car remains in control and assists the driver in navigating through various situations. Body roll is noticeably reduced, making the smart #3 more nimble and agile when changing directions while accelerating and braking.

Overall, the smart #3 exhibits a distinct character compared to the #1, suitable for young buyers seeking an enjoyable EV for daily driving. Stay tuned for our extensive daily test drive report in both city and long-distance driving once we receive the smart #3 test unit shortly.

In the meantime, you can visit the Malaysia Autoshow 2024 from May 22 to May 26, 2024, as the smart #3 will make its debut appearance there. smart Malaysia representatives will be at Hall A2 (Premium Hall), MAEPS, Serdang.

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