Smart #3

smart 3 review 2024 01 front panning
smart 3 review 2024 01 front panning

Having catered to more practical tastes when it first reappeared in 2023 with the Smart #1 compact SUV, the rejuvenated Smart brand is now bringing us something a little more stylish.

The promotional literature for the all-electric new Smart #3 actually goes so far as to describe it as “all-exciting”. Exciting or not, it is clearly a lower, more curvaceously appealing prospect than its range-mate, playing to a quite different crowd.

This is a second showroom Smart model we can use to continue to piece together how the brand is going to define itself under shared Geely/Mercedes ownership, then. Smart calls it an ‘SUV-coupé’ but, while it may be closely related to the #1, this is a car about which there really isn’t much ‘SUV’. It seems a lot more accurate to consider it a premium electric hatchback, rival to the likes of the Cupra Born, Tesla Model 3 and Volvo EX30.


The EX30 is also a platform relation of this car, whose mechanical layout and make-up the Volvo matches closely. As with the EX30, #3 buyers will be able to choose between one rear-mounted drive motor or two, rear- or four-wheel drive, and a cheaper lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) or longer-range nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) battery. We plumped for a single-motor, longer-range Premium-trim model to find out just what Smart can offer when it aims for stylish rather than sensible.

The range at a glance










The Smart #3 line-up takes in five trim levels. Only the first uses Smart’s shorter-range LFP battery instead of the bigger NMC one.

Pro cars get heated seats, parking cameras, adaptive cruise control and wireless device charging. Pro+ adds a glass roof, a powered tailgate and level-two lane keeping assistance, in addition to the extra battery capacity. Premium models also have adaptive matrix headlights, a head-up display and three-phase AC charging.

And then there’s the 25th Anniversary (sporty styling without twin motors) and finally Brabus (20in wheels, red brake calipers, two motors and 0-62mph in 3.7sec).