There is a general trend of the next generation of vehicles getting larger than their predecessors. Compare the average size of a hatchback from 20 years ago to its equivalent today, and its clear to see. Well, we have a similar but different example in this case. Smart has now gone from producing city cars to compact SUVs. The Smart #1 is not the first electric car from the brand, the lacklustre EQ holds that title. The Smart #1 can actually tow, and it has a pretty decent towing capacity of 1,600kg to boot.
Table of Contents
Key Smart #1 Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – 1,600 kg (Both Versions)
- Availability – Early 2023
- Price – Starting £35,000 (#1) > £42,000 (#1 Brabus)
- Range (EV Database) – 215 miles (#1), 210 (#1 Brabus)
- Estimated Towing Range (50%) – 105 miles
- Maximum DC Charge Rate – 150 kW (Long Range)
- Rapid Charge 10% to 80% – 28 mins
- Check Used Smart #1 Specs
Smart #1 HP & Torque
- #1: RWD with 268 HP and 253 lb-ft of torque
- #1 Brabus: AWD with 422 HP and 401 lb-ft of torque
Smart #1 Towing Capabilities
I was a little surprised that the Smart #1 would be rated to tow, but I was very surprised to see the actual rated towing capacity of 1,600kg, especially for an EV of its size.
The #1 is obviously very large if you’re comparing it to previous Smart city cars. However, as a compact SUV, its actually very compact if you compare its dimensions to the wider market from options such as the Skoda Enyaq, VW ID.4, Hyundai IONIQ 5 or KIA EV6, for instance.
However, the 1600kg towing capacity that both versions of the Smart #1 possess is comparable to all of those larger compact SUVs, and in the case of the Skoda and VW, its actually a lot greater than their towing capabilities.
When it comes to the power output figures, for both versions of the Smart #1, the figures are more than respectable and a bit nuts frankly, with the #1 Brabus and its 422HP. So sufficient power/torque to pull 1,600kg? Yep, easily more than enough, but what about the range?
Both versions of the Smart #1 have a battery with a usable capacity of 64kWh. This is where as an electric tow car, the viability of the #1 falls a bit flat, with a real-world towing range average of about 100 miles.
However, in a worst-case scenario of towing a large trailer with poor aerodynamics up a hill, into a headwind, and its cold and raining, you won’t be looking at a towing range of 100 miles, it would be significantly below that figure.
Smart #1 Review
So as the video review from WhatCar states below, the Smart brand is now in shared ownership between Mercedes and Geely, who now also own Volvo/Polestar. This is likely the reason why the power/torque figures of the #1 line up with the Volvo XC40 Recharge and the Polestar 2.
Build quality and the materials used in the Smart #1 seem to match its price point. After all, the #1 for its size is priced as a mid-premium option, its not aimed at the budget market.
The driving feel/ride comfort seems to be reasonable. The Smart #1 Brabus is obviously very fast, but the handling/dynamics don’t appear to match the performance on offer.
My Thoughts On The Smart #1…
The Smart #1 is definitely worth considering in the compact SUV segment of electric cars if you can put up with its shortcomings, those being its average range and below-average storage capacity.
Power from both versions of the Smart #1 is respectable or far more than you probably need when it comes to the #1 Brabus. Likewise, the 150kW rapid charging rate is respectable.
The Smart #1 won’t bump the Kia EV6 out of my best electric tow car list, as while it can tow the same amount for a similar price, its notably down on storage, range, and the Smart #1 cannot match the Kia on rapid charging speeds as very few electric cars can.
So, in summary, I’m very happy to see the 1,600kg towing capacity on the Smart #1. If some larger capacity battery packs come out for the car in the future, it would make it a more viable electric tow car.