With its compact electric motor tucked away at the rear there’s no radiator and therefore no need for a big grille. Which is another way of saying it’s clearly an EV from the moment you clap eyes on it. The shape is smooth and aerodynamic with concealed electric door handles, frameless doors, and a distinctive floating ‘halo’ roof. As there’s no bulky combustion engine to accommodate there’s plenty of interior space for its size, as well as a 411-litre boot at the back and small ‘frunk’ under the bonnet. The Brabus version is distinguished by its aero-spec 19-inch wheels, sporty body kit, bonnet vents and red accents.


All electric vehicles have excellent acceleration from rest – it’s down to the way electric motors can deliver maximum torque from a standstill. The Smart #1 steps smartly off the line, with a 0-62mph time of 6.7 seconds and a top speed of around 112mph delivered by the 264bhp rear electric motor. Drive modes include ECO, Comfort and Sport, and you can tweak the steering and regenerative braking to suit your personal preferences. Performance freaks will be interested in the dual-motor, four-wheel drive Brabus version, which can blast you from 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds. Whichever model you choose, the Geely-supplied platform has a 66kWh battery with a range of up to 273 miles (248 for the Brabus) and can charge at up to 150kW at a rapid charger, so you can get from 10 to 80 per cent battery in under 30 minutes. Just time for a coffee and a check of your emails, then.


For once, here’s a car that doesn’t have the default Apple CarPlay or Android Auto as standard, though both are optional. Instead, the big, central 12.8-inch touchscreen comes with its own inbuilt navigation system and apps, including a friendly little fox avatar in the corner of the screen who can operate the sat nav or controls via AI-based voice control. The Smart #1’s computing architecture includes dynamic over the air updates, which means that more than 75 % of all ECUs in the car can be updated remotely. In front of the driver there’s a 9.2” full HD digital instrument cluster, and 10’’ Head Up Display (HUD).


Smart’s parent brand Mercedes-Benz has always enjoyed a high reputation for safety and the Smart #1 comes with seven airbags, plus the ADAS driver assistance package. This includes adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, active lane keeping system, blind spot assist, highway and traffic jam assist, auto parking assist and adaptive high beam assist.