Smart #1 Review: A Stylish Electric SUV with Mercedes-Benz Design Flair

Smart #1 Review: A Stylish Electric SUV with Mercedes-Benz Design Flair

Originally born from a partnership between Mercedes-Benz and Swiss watch industry leader Swatch, Smart once enjoyed a strong following, particularly among young drivers in the Chinese market, thanks to its economic efficiency, compact design, and easy maneuverability. However, Smart faced challenges that eventually led to Mercedes-Benz seeking new ownership. Geely, a prominent Chinese automaker, seized the opportunity, resulting in Smart's global headquarters relocating to Ningbo, China. With the combined strength of Mercedes-Benz's expertise and Geely's aspirations, the Smart #1 was unveiled as an alluring electric SUV, targeting female consumers and generating significant buzz. In this comprehensive review, we delve into the Smart #1, offering an in-depth analysis of both its interior and exterior, along with its pros and cons.



1. Mercedes-Benz-Infused Stylish Design: The Smart #1's exterior design bears the unmistakable influence of Mercedes-Benz's renowned design team. Benefitting from this prestigious association, the Smart #1 presents an undeniably stylish visage. The front end features gracefully rounded lines, a striking chrome-accented grille, and triangular-shaped vents with distinctive triangular headlights. These design elements ensure high recognizability. The rounded contours add a touch of charm, setting it apart from competitors.

2. Dual-Tone Roof and Modern Details: Smart #1 embraces the dual-tone roof design trend, creating a floating roof effect. With concealed door handles and frameless doors, the SUV adheres to contemporary design aesthetics, making it highly appealing to the fashion-conscious consumer.

3. Consistent Styling from Front to Rear: The Smart #1's rear design complements its front end, and the taillights mirror the aesthetics of the headlights. This symmetrical design approach contributes to the overall appeal of the vehicle.



1. Contemporary and Minimalist Interior: Upon entering the Smart #1, you'll find an interior that masterfully balances modern aesthetics with minimalist design principles. The cabin showcases a harmonious black-and-white color scheme, enhanced by customizable 64-color ambient lighting. Craftsmanship inside is impeccable, and the interior avoids excessive clutter. The dashboard features a 9.2-inch fully digital instrument cluster and a centrally positioned 12.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The three-spoke steering wheel not only looks great but also feels comfortable in hand.

2. Innovative Infotainment: Smart #1's infotainment system stands out as a highlight. The centerpiece of the system is the "Smart Sense Planet," modeled after Earth, offering an innovative approach to in-car entertainment. Developed with a game engine, the infotainment system introduces a geometric, low-poly UI style. The voice assistant, presented as an avatar in the form of a small fox, adds a playful touch to the user experience.

3. Thoughtful Features and Configurations: The Smart #1 boasts a comprehensive list of features, including seat memory, advanced driver assistance systems, 23 high-precision sensors, battery preconditioning, remote start, Bluetooth key, and more. The attention to detail in both design and features is evident throughout the interior.


1. Entry-Level Model Lacks Features: The base model of the Smart #1 leaves much to be desired in terms of features. It lacks several advanced functionalities present in higher trim levels, such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, automatic parking, adaptive headlights, and even a rearview camera. These omissions diminish the Smart #1's overall value proposition, especially considering its relatively high starting price.

2. Limited Cargo Space: Despite offering ample rear passenger space, the Smart #1 falls short in terms of cargo capacity. The trunk's shallow depth is suitable for backpacks or a few pieces of luggage at best. For larger cargo loads, folding down the rear seats becomes a necessity, which might not be ideal for those with substantial hauling needs.


The Smart #1 is a compelling offering that combines style with electric efficiency, benefiting from Mercedes-Benz's design sensibilities. Its exterior design, shaped under the watchful eye of Mercedes-Benz, highlights the SUV's unique charm. The interior is a masterclass in contemporary minimalism, with thoughtful features and innovative infotainment.

However, the Smart #1 faces challenges, particularly in its base model, where critical features are absent despite its premium pricing. Moreover, there's a perceived disconnect between the Smart brand and its price tag, given its association with Geely rather than Mercedes-Benz. Nonetheless, for those captivated by its distinctive styling and heritage, the Smart #1 might find a special place in their hearts, albeit at a premium cost. The question remains: is the allure of the Smart badge sufficient to justify the price? Ultimately, the Smart #1's appeal may vary based on individual preferences and priorities, with some buyers willing to pay for its unique blend of style and design prowess.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.