Smart #3 goes on sale in China - starts at $29,700

Max McDee, 05 June 2023

Smart #3 officially launched in China with an attractive price and 4 trims available from the start. The larger SUV follows its smaller cousin Smart #1 with a similar design, and the two vehicles share the SEA platform from Geely, which underpins many other vehicles that we already know - Volvo, Lotus, Zeekr, and Polestar all use the same technology.

Smart #3 is 13 cm longer than Smart #1, and its wheelbase is 3.5 cm longer as well - that’s not a lot of difference on paper. In reality though, despite many similarities - the two vehicles are quite different. Smart #3 has a more sporty, rounded silhouette, while the Smart #1 is more of a city-oriented small crossover.

Smart #3 goes on sale in China - starts at $29,700

The cheapest version of Smart #1 is called Pro+ and starts at RMB 209,900 ($29,700). Unlike the Smart #1 though, the entry version of the Smart #3 comes with a single electric motor powering the front wheels. The motor has the same 200 kW (268 hp) power output and is coupled with the same 66 kWh battery pack, and the claimed range comes at 345 miles according to CLTC.

Next one up is the Smart #3 Pulse 4AWD - as you probably guessed already, it comes with two electric motors powering all four wheels. This version uses the same powertrain that Volvo XC40 Recharge Performance comes with, although in the Smart it is tuned to 422 hp (315 kW). The battery is still the same 66 kWh unit, and the starting price is RMB 239,000 or $34,000.

Smart #3 goes on sale in China - starts at $29,700

The Premium model is next in the lineup, and it is quite confusing. According to official data, it is only FWD with the same motor as in Pro+ and the same battery. Yet its CLTC range is the highest of all 4 versions - 360 miles. This version starts at RMB 255,900 ($36,000).

Finally, the top-of-the-range version is the Smart #3 Brabus. With the individual interior, aggressive colors, and larger wheels, this electric SUV will appeal to those who look for extra excitement. They may be disappointed though, if they want extra performance - the Brabus version has exactly the same drivetrain as the Pulse 4AWD model. Both accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds and both have the same range of 323 miles. As expected, Brabus is the most expensive at RMB 289,900 ($41,100).

Smart #3 goes on sale in China - starts at $29,700

It is interesting to see Smart favors the FWD setup in its bigger vehicle. All 4 versions have the stronger 200 kW motor powering front wheels, while the AWD models add a 115 kW motor to the rear axle - that’s exactly the opposite of Smart #1, even Volvo XC40 Recharge puts stronger motors at the back.

The Smart #3 is a 5-seat compact SUV, it looks attractive, and its interior carries the same theme we first encountered in the Smart #1 - t-bone dashboard separating the driver from the passenger, large 12.8” center display with infotainment powered by Snapdragon 8155 and of course, Smart Pilot Assist - an in-house developed Level 2+ ADAS.

While the Smart #3 is launching right now in China, the smaller Smart #1 is finally starting deliveries in Europe. Germany was first, and France is now getting the first units, with more countries to follow. According to the company, Smart #3 is coming to Europe next year, and as the production ramps up, the deliveries should become much quicker. As for European prices - well, we have no chance to see them as low as in China, but they should remain fairly attractive.


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