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2024 smart #1 Pro+ Review Singapore


The 2024 smart #1 is a premium electric compact SUV that is powered by single electric motor in rear wheel drive configuration. With a battery capacity of 66 kWh, the #1 has a range of up to 420km on a single charge, and is capable of 268bhp, 434Nm of torque, and a 0-100km/h time of 6.7 seconds. Other features include 19 inch wheels, a touchscreen infotainment unit with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, as well as a multi-function steering wheel.


Uniquely Designed for the Discerning



The smart #1 marks smart's proper entry into the Singapore car market with Cycle & Carriage as its distributor, and takes the form of a premium compact SUV. While not particularly rugged in its styling, its elevated ride heigh do indicate an inclination toward SUV classifications - though some might argue the car feels more crossover than SUV. Whatever you'd like to call it - it's quite clear that the #1 is a uniquely styled proposition, albeit gravitating a little toward to softer, more demure spectrum of SUVs.



Design is obviously a defining feature for the #1 and for smart as a brand. The fact that the brand is also new to Singapore, means that there is a sense of novelty that surrounds the shape and styling of the car. It's not for everyone I'm sure, but there is no denying that design wise, the #1 does not care about the points of parity set forth by other competitors in its segment. This is great for those who want a little more individuality and expression in their car purchase to stand out from the usual options on the market.


Larger than Expected Cabin



At first glance, the funky and unique styling of the #1 lends itself to appear impractical, and if you judge the car by its cover, you're likely going to have the impression that the car is small. While it is true that the #1 does not have a large footprint, the interior is actually roomier that you would expect. Due to the shape of the car, headroom is not a concern at all, and legroom is actually quite generous considering the overall length of the car.



Obviously, this legroom has to come from somewhere, and if you open the boot, you'll immediately understand that smart have taken space from the boot and allocated it toward better legroom in the cabin. The resulting boot is one that isn't much bigger than the average hatchback, which isn't competitive with its segment mates. However, this probably makes a lot of sense if you consider the demographic that are looking to buy a modern, electric, premium compact SUV with quirky styling. There are of course exceptions to the demographic, but it doesn't feel like this is the type of buyer who would be taking long road trips up north. For those reasons, a compromise boot for increased cabin space would seem like the "smart" thing to do.


Agile & Driver Oriented



Drive wise, the #1 again deceives with its appearance. It's quirky styling doesn't do much to inspire driving confidence, but get behind the wheel of the car, and you'll be glad to know that the car actually drives a lot better than its appearance would have you believe. A firm and plated ride along with large set of rubber for the car's size allow the #1 to feel planted through high speeds and corners, producing an acceptable amount of body roll, along with better than average handling dynamics. Overall, the car handles well, and the rear wheel drive configuration seems to add that little bit of street cred to the car's ability to work around a fast bend.



Although the Pro+ is marketed as smart's entry level option below the insanely quick Brabus variant, it's still a quick car in its own right. 268 bhp, 434 Nm of torque, and a 0-100km/h time of 6.7 seconds means that the Pro+ is plenty quick for Singapore's roads - an environment where even the Pro+'s power will likely be underutilised. Some might question the wisdom of making this quirkily styled lifestyle electric SUV so powerful, but its evident that smart sees itself catering to the driver oriented crowd. Whether the crowd agrees is another thing, but there is no denying that the Pro+ is a fun car to drive. It is full of life in its power delivery, and has the handling chops to handle that power. In all honesty though, a cheaper, much less powerful base variant would probably sell better, but perhaps this is more of an exercise in branding than one to generate outright sales numbers.


Who will it Appeal to?



Due to the quirky and modern styling of the #1, there is no doubt that the car will appeal to those who want something a little bit different from your usual options - and are willing to pay a premium for that differentiated ownership experience. It's lively and animated digital interface will also appeal to a younger crowd - or younger at heart crowd.



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