This 5-door electric Smart might just be the best-looking hatchback on the market. Finally debuting in Malaysia, the all-new 2023 Smart #1 arrives on our shores in three variants – Pro, Premium, and Brabus, with prices starting from RM189,000.
Sitting on the same Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform as the Volvo EX30, the Smart #1 Pro and Premium measure 4,270 mm long, 1,822 mm wide, and 1,636 mm tall, with a 2,750 mm wheelbase.
Available in ten body colour options, all Malaysian versions of the Smart #1 come with 19-inch alloy wheels, a power tailgate and LED headlights. Meanwhile, the bespoke aero package gives the Smart #1 Brabus a more aggressive exterior appearance, a look that will appeal to those wanting a sportier cosmetic finish. Additionally, the illuminated side emblems on the more expensive Premium and Brabus models pulse while the vehicle is charging. As we reported earlier this year, the Smart #1 will finally land in local showrooms by the end of 2023.
In terms of performance, the Smart #1 Pro and Premium in Malaysia are equipped with a single motor setup that produces up to 272 hp and 343 Nm supplied to the rear wheels. Three drive modes—Eco, Comfort, and Sport—are included in Smart’s new electric vehicle to better meet driver needs.
Conversely, the 4WD flagship Brabus model packs a beefy 428 hp and 543 Nm thanks to a dual-motor setup. The Brabus has the same drive modes as its more reasonably priced Pro and Premium siblings, plus an additional Brabus mode that generates a synthetic engine note resembling the sound of an Italian V6 engine.
Smart #1 boasts between 315 to 440 kms in range
The manufacturer claims that the 49 kWh LFP battery of the entry-level Smart #1 Pro in Malaysia delivers up to 315 km (WLTP) but in reality, we feel a figure closer to 280-ish is more likely. In contrast, the Premium variant’s 66 kWh ternary (NCM) battery, according to Smart, permits range of up to 440 km (WLTP), which translated into the real world would equate to around 380km.
Because of its more potent dual motors, the Brabus has a shorter range of 400 km (more like 350km) even though it has the same battery capacity as the Premium variant.
Moving inside, the 2023 Smart #1 in Malaysia comes as standard with equipment such as a 9.2-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12.8-inch infotainment touchscreen head unit with Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, rear air-con vents, and a panoramic halo roof with electric sunblind. Safety features include ACC, autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot detection and 360 visual park assist among others.
This Smart #1 is definitely a looker and for the price should appeal to those wanting to get into a compact EV with loads of standard features and plenty of street cred. With the Brabus version as its flagship, the Smart #1 offers a rich variety of specs and colours to choose from with two or four-wheel drive and single or dual-electric motors.