Smart #1 2024 long-term test

So well, indeed, that Smart recently announced a new entry-level #1 Pro model with a smaller (49kWh) battery and fewer features. Our car is the Premium, the top trim available before you hit the speed-crazed Brabus, which adds a second motor for 422bhp, 400lb ft of torque and 0-62mph in just 3.9sec.

For £38,950, the 268bhp Premium gives you 273 miles of range (thanks to efficiency of 3.7mpkWh) from a 66kWh battery, 150kW fast charging, a 12.8in touchscreen, a heat pump (of huge importance given the British climate), a plush interior and a host of safety features and other (hopefully) helpful technology. It really does feel very Mercedes.

On face value alone, and with the current costs of EVs considered, it seems pretty good value to me. But it will be behind the wheel, over the coming months, where the all-important questions will be answered. One of those key ones: could this car replace a combustion-engined Mercedes A-Class?

First driving impressions are, well, mixed. The #1 is a hoot in the corners, it’s great around town and it just feels all-round composed. However, the strength of its regenerative braking (even in its lowest setting; it can’t be turned off) gives the car a one-pedal driving feel, which will take some getting used to.

Like its Swedish sibling, the #1 relies heavily on its touchscreen, so much so that it is even needed to adjust the door mirrors, and that means traversing three menus.  Those of you who have seen Matt Prior’s YouTube review of the EX30 will understand my frustrations.

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