The new Smart #3 is not only the largest Smart ever, it also focuses specifically on the Volvo EX30. And it could be quite difficult…
The Smart #3 may be on the same platform as the Zeekr X and the Volvo EX30From the outside it doesn't look like much. He does show clear family traits with the Smart #1. Only the #3 is longer and lower and the design is less cartoonish. Instead of a high roof planted on the pillars like a cap, the #3 has a coupe-like roofline with a sloping rear window.
Can't wait for a direct confrontation between the #3 and the EX30?
With its length of 4.40 meters, the Smart #3 surpasses its little brother by 13 centimeters and the Volvo EX30 by no less than 16.7 centimeters. Also looking at the wheelbase, the #3 has the largest: 2.785 meters. This means it has 13.5 centimeters more between the front and rear axle than the Volvo. In terms of height, the Smart #1 stands out: 1.63 compared to roughly 1.55 meters for the other two.
On the inside, the Smart #3 looks exactly like the #1. The most striking feature of the interior is the high tunnel console, which is connected to the dashboard like a suspension bridge, creating a T-shape. Unlike the Volvo EX30, the Smart #3 not only has a large central screen, but also a small instrument cluster in front of the driver's nose. Very pleasant. From the Premium version you also get a head-up display.
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A number of other details also make it seem as if Smart has cut back on costs less than Volvo. For example, the 15-liter frunk feels more solid and the controls for the electric windows are simply in the doors. And we have nothing against vegan, as long as it isn't leather. And indeed, in the Smart #3, the back and buttocks are caressed by real leather. The soft upholstery materials with beautiful stitching on all doors and the dashboard also stand out positively.
When we saw the dynamic roofline, we were a little concerned about the space in the back seat. Unjustified, as it turns out, because even passengers of 1.90 meters and a little taller do not get stuck. Not with the knees, nor with the head. This is due to the long wheelbase and because Smart has omitted the cover of the panoramic roof on the #3. That makes the big Smart a great family car.
The #3 once again confirms that Geely's SEA2 platform is a good basis. Just like its brethren, the #3 is a pleasant driving car that combines nice, firm suspension comfort with a good dash of dynamism. The entry-level engine already produces 272 hp and 343 Nm and guarantees serious performance. The hundred sprint is over in 5.8 seconds and even with the intermediate accelerations you will leave stubborn ICE fans in their BMWs and GTIs behind you in despair. Even on a winding road, as we experienced in Mallorca. The cornering stability is impressive and at the limit the rear axle sometimes steps aside, but the electronic watchdogs quickly help the car get back on track.
From the Pro+ version you have a 66 kWh battery with a fast charging capacity of 150 kW. That doesn't set standards, but it's just fine. Thanks to the 22 kW AC charger - also from the Pro+ - charging from 10 to 80 percent does not need to take longer than three hours. Provided you have the right wallbox or a suitable public charging station, of course.
Smart states a WLTP consumption of 16.3 kWh/100 km, which with the 66 kWh battery pack would give a range of 455. During our driving impression in Mallorca, we noted an average power consumption of more than 17 kWh. This would make the range approximately 380 kilometers. For most consumers, this is just fine, also because you only have to connect the car to the fast charger for half an hour to get the battery level from 10 to 80 percent.
For caravan fans, we can report that the #3 can tow a braked trailer of 1600 kg, which is not bad for a compact SUV.
During the driving impression we occasionally felt the urge to wave at Chinese leader Xi Jinping. So we felt like we were being watched by all the security systems. We know that these warnings are mandatory by the EU, but on many cars they are more subtle and easier to turn off. We were unable to do this with the speed warning. Because the traffic sign recognition sometimes thinks that we are on the parallel carriageway, this is extra annoying.
Unfortunately, Smart has gone along with the trend of removing many buttons, meaning you have to operate and set basic functions such as the mirror adjustment via the screen. This also applies, for example, to the setting for regenerative braking. That remains inconvenient.
You'll be fine in the back if you are above average tall, but in the front it's a different story. Drivers and co-drivers with a height of 1.90 meters are having unwanted knee sex with the high 'tunnel console'.
The first Smarts #3 will be on display in the showrooms of fourteen Mercedes dealers in mid-December. As with the Volvo EX30, the cheapest version of the Smart #3 is a showroom lure. The #3 Pro costs 37,330 euros, but then you get the small 49 kWh battery pack and a 7.4 kW on-board charger. A heat pump is missing and the WLTP range is 325 kilometers. Fast charging is possible with a maximum of 130 kW.
From the Pro+ (42,330 euros) you have the larger battery pack and the range increases to 435 km. However, here too you have to make do without a heat pump. As far as safety equipment is concerned, you don't have to bite the bullet in the two cheapest versions. Adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistance and blind spot detection are all on board.
The Premium equipment adds adaptive high beams and an automatic parking function, as well as a head-up display and a nicer interior, with partly leather upholstery. Its range is 455 kilometers and with a taxable amount of 44,990 euros, it just qualifies for the SEPP scheme of 2950 euros. The recommended consumer price (including preparation costs) is 46,055 euros. For an additional 500 euros, Smart temporarily supplies the 25th Anniversary Edition, which can be recognized by, among other things, white with red accents on the outside and inside.
The top version is the lightning-fast Smart #3 Brabus with two electric motors. They deliver 427 hp and 545 Nm to the asphalt via all four wheels. The Brabus stands on 20-inch wheels and has a 'letterbox' in the nose. After a short four-wheel spin it shoots to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds. Completely unnecessary of course, but still funny. It costs 50,895 euros. A lot of money, but if you want an equally powerful car with a combustion engine, you need a triple-digit piggy bank.
If I had to choose from the quartet of Smart #1, Volvo EX30, Zeekr I find it more attractive than the #1 and the Zeekr – with the exception of the wheel design. In the back it is much more spacious than the Volvo and its trunk swallows more luggage (370 vs. 316 l). The ergonomics are also better and it has a higher-quality interior.
Another advantage of the Smart is the extensive color palette. With the Volvo you can choose from only five colors, including two shades of gray, white and black. Of course, these boring man's choices are also in the #3 brochure, but you can also order it in red, orange, bright yellow and two shades of blue.
For myself, I'm still unsure between dark blue and red. Although… I would do that now, a car made in China kopen?
This post was last modified on November 28, 2023 7:20 pm
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