I’ve driven the new Smart #1 – it looks cute and drives great

THIS is the stupidly named Smart #1. 是的, that’s pronounced “Smart hashtag 1”.

Which is about five years too late to be considered trendy.

The Smart #1 is a premium SUV co-owned by Mercedes and Chinese giant Geely

The Smart #1 is a premium SUV co-owned by Mercedes and Chinese giant Geely

幸运的是, the car itself is bang up to date, because it’s a premium, electric baby SUV.

It’s double the size of the dinky two-seater made famous by Joey Essex . . . and almost double the price.

First up, a bit of housekeeping.

Smart is now co-owned by 梅赛德斯中国人 giant Geely. Merc is responsible for the styling, with Geely providing the electric gubbins and building the thing.

The entry-level Pro+ will cost around £35k and the pricxe for the nutty Brabus #1, with 422hp and 4WD, will start with a four.

Sitting somewhere in between is this rear-wheel-driven Premium spec. It has the longest range at 273 英里, faster charging, 平视显示器, leather seats and a Beats audio system.

Every model runs on 19in alloys and there are no options to be had, in an effort to make it simpler to buy online. 只是 15 minutes is all it takes, so the Smart people say.

The styling will divide opinion.

Key facts: 聪明的 #1

价钱: £35,000 est
电池: 66kWh
Power: 268hp
0-62时速: 6.7 secs
Top speed: 112 时速
Electric 范围: 260 英里
Emissions: 0g/km
Charging: 30 分钟
Out: 七月 2023

But it’s clean, bejewelled with LEDs, and will stand out positively in its uniquely soft and inoffensive way on the school run.

Inside gets better, 尽管, and more offbeat, with a huge moulded central structure extruding from the dash providing oodles of storage, phone-charging facilities and arm-resting/drink-holding opportunities.

The boot, 然而, is quite small at 323 litres.

But the rear seats, which give passengers impressive leg and headroom, do slide and there is a removable floor which boosts capacity, a bit.

There is a 15-litre “frunk” too – that’s a front boot if you were wondering.

The funky colour-coded dash is backlit and pimpable in 64 colour variations and it features two screens.

First is a small driver’s one, refreshingly simple and a pleasure to engage with.

The other is a big touchscreen that’ overloaded with widgets, a regrettable “inspiring planet” theme and a fidgeting cartoon fox avatar which takes me back to the 微软 paperclip – remember that irritating little nuisance?

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It’s also not 苹果 CarPlay or 安卓 Auto-compatible but I’ve been told by Smart’s tech guru that, by the time these cars land on British driveways – from July next year – they will be.

Frankly, they need to be.

Compatibility is key in the EV world and the ability to plug in and play without reading an instruction PDF is expected.

Gripes aside, #1 is swift, roomy and design-led enough to cause a family-friendly buzz. But that hashtag can do 1.

The Smart #1 has a funky dash, but the touchscreen is just a bit too overloaded with widgets

The Smart #1 has a funky dash, but the touchscreen is just a bit too overloaded with widgets
The car overall is roomy, cute, and drives great, though its name is unfortunate

The car overall is roomy, cute, and drives great, though its name is unfortunate