In July, we had the chance to test two of the three smart #1 variants, primarily to assess their top speed on an open track. However, we didn’t have the opportunity to evaluate the ADAS system or conduct real-world driving tests, limiting our insights into the battery electric subcompact crossover SUV.

Recently, thanks to smart Malaysia, we got behind the wheel again, focusing on testing the ADAS and experiencing real-world driving.

Let’s begin by introducing the three available variants in the Malaysian market: Pro, Premium, and Brabus. The Pro variant serves as the entry-level option, while both Pro and Premium variants offer almost identical ADAS features, including:

  • L2+ ADAS Category/Level
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Autonomous Emergency Brake (AEB) – City/Urban
  • Autonomous Emergency Brake (AEB) – Pedestrian/Cyclist
  • Front Collision Mitigation Support (FCMS)
  • Rear Collision Mitigation Support (RCMS)
  • Emergency Lane Keep Assist (ELKA)
  • Lane Keep Assist (LKA)
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Lane Departure Prevention (LDP)
  • Lane Change Assist (LA) Automated
  • Lane Change Assist (ALCA)
  • Evasive Maneuver Assist (EMA)
  • Front Cross Traffic Alert (FCTA)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Door Opening Warning (DOW)
  • Blind Spot Detection (BSD)
  • Speed Limit Information Function (SLIF)
  • Driver Performance Monitoring (DPM)
  • Highway Assist (HWA)
  • Traffic Jam Assist (TJA)
  • 360 Visual Park Assist

The key difference lies in the Pro variant’s Automatic High Beam, while the Premium variant offers a higher-end Adaptive High Beam, Full Autonomous Parking (FAP), Parking Emergency Brake (PEB), and Autonomous Parking Assist.

Pro, Brabus and Premium variants

The Pro variant, with a smaller 49kWh LFP battery, provides a WLTP-rated range of 315km on a single charge. In contrast, the Premium variant is equipped with a larger 66kWh battery, offering a WLTP-rated range of 440km. Both variants utilise the same 268hp, 343Nm electric motor, taking 6.7 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h, and are configured with a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) setup.

Additionally, certain features like automatic headlight levelling, lighted front grille or door handles, welcome light, luminous side logo, and a kick sensor for the motorised tailgate are available.

Inside, the Pro variant exhibits a few feature reductions, such as leatherette seats and the absence of ventilated seats for the front occupants. Moreover, the 10-inch head-up display is replaced by a more basic 5-speaker audio system instead of the 13-speaker Beats Audio System.

The third variant, the Brabus variant, offers all the features present in the other variants and an additional option: the ability to switch from RWD to all-wheel-drive (AWD). This variant prioritises high performance, boasting a rapid 0-100km/h acceleration time of 3.9 seconds. It features a Dual-motor All-Wheel-Drive powertrain with 422hp and 543Nm of torque, providing excellent handling and traction and a practical WLTP range of 400km.

Our driving experience with the Premium and Brabus variants in real-world conditions was a delightful blend of a Mini and a Mercedes EQB, owing to the cars size and high-quality build. The car exudes a sense of quality, both in its interior and exterior design. Sitting inside gives you the impression of driving a Mercedes, with ambient lighting offering 64 available colours and different combinations for the top and bottom.

Despite its compact appearance, the smart #1 is surprisingly spacious, measuring 4,270mm in length and 1,822mm in width, with a wheelbase of 2,750mm. Even individuals with broad shoulders and long legs can sit comfortably without any struggle. For added comfort, there’s dual-zone auto air conditioning with rear vents, an N95 air conditioning filter, and chilled center armrest storage.

Moving on from the specifications, our journey commenced at Menara Affin, heading to the Sungai Besi Expressway. Along the way, we extensively tested the reliability of the ADAS system. The lane change assist feature, in particular, made lane switching feel seamless and safe, especially in Kuala Lumpur traffic.

However, in the Brabus variant, switching lanes manually is exhilarating and fun, thanks to its ample power. Whenever possible, we took advantage of this power, ensuring to adhere to speed limits. Moreover, the cars design provides maximum visibility, enhancing the driving experience.

With the Brabus variant, you can activate a virtual exhaust sound through the Beats speakers, amplifying the excitement of acceleration and adding a touch of fun to the electric vehicle driving experience.

In terms of speed limits, the car detects speed limit signs and warns you if you exceed them. With the Brabus variant, expect frequent warnings due to its potential for quick overtaking, making it an enjoyable city car. You definitely won’t be bullied by Myvi’s anymore. As a matter of fact, we managed to get a few “King of the Malaysian roads” to get out of our way.

The technology incorporated is impressive and convenient, featuring Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and even a built-in navigation system. The heads-up display provides crucial information, allowing you to keep your eyes on the road.

During our testing at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, we tried the Autonomous Parking Assist. However, this system proved somewhat flawed, often prompting us to park manually as it struggled to detect available spaces efficiently. It seems more suitable for use in locations with minimal traffic, such as shopping malls.

Heading back on the highway, we switched from the Brabus to the Premium variant. Returning to Menara Affin during peak traffic hours, the ADAS system of the Premium variant proved effective in detecting potential dangers on the road. While the Premium variant is slightly slower than the Brabus, it offers comparable performance without compromising on speed.

Though no official pricing confirmation is available, smart Malaysia estimates a range of RM200,000 to RM250,000 for these variants. Bookings have been steadily coming in, although the exact number remains undisclosed.

If you’re keen to experience the smart #1 firsthand, you can do so at Menara Affin, TRX, from 12th to 14th October 2023, between 9am to 6pm, on a first-come, first-serve basis.

smart Malaysia recently made the formal announcement that reservations for the smart #1 were now available. It is available in the Malaysian market in three distinct models: Pro, Premium, and Brabus. These models are designed to cater to different preferences and needs of consumers in Malaysia.

The Brabus model stands out as the sporty variant within the lineup, showcasing distinctive design elements. These include an aero kit comprising a vented bonnet, an aggressive front bumper, and a rear spoiler.

It features 19-inch ‘Dynamo’ alloys, exclusive model badging, and eye-catching red brake callipers, further accentuating its sporty appeal and performance-focused design.

Step inside, and you’ll see that the centre infotainment screen, which is 12.8 inches in size regardless of version, controls practically everything. It has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8155 processor, a CPU and chipset built for the gaming sector, and its home screen is loaded with visuals and information.


Proton and smart Automobile inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) during the 2023 China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO), an annual trade show fostering economic collaboration between China and ASEAN nations. This agreement follows the signing of a comparable document in 2022, marking 20 months since the initial agreement that designated Proton as the official distributor of smart vehicles in Malaysia and Thailand.

The initial Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) focused on assessing the possibility of Proton selling smart’s electric vehicle (EV) range in ASEAN. The latest agreement delves deeper, aiming to investigate the viability of locally assembling smart vehicles at Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant. This indicates a step towards potential local production and integration of smart cars within the ASEAN region.


smart Malaysia has made the official announcement of opening bookings for the smart #1. This announcement coincides with the signing of an enhanced Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between smart and Proton, which occurred in Nanning, China.

Prospective buyers can now reserve the smart #1 by placing a refundable RM1,000 booking fee through the Hello smartApp, marking the beginning of their smart car ownership journey. The first 501 pre-order customers will unlock exclusive #1 Early-Bird perks, including RM1,001 in charging credits via the Hello smart App upon delivery of their smart #1. These credits empower owners to enjoy a seamless charging experience, integrating with over 70% of available public charging locations.


Malaysians recently got to experience the launch of the smart #1 and we had the opportunity to test out both the Premium and Brabus trims. Now, smart is releasing thorough details about the European smart #3 SUV and introducing a new special edition model with standout and exclusive features in advance of IAA Mobility 2023 in Munich.

We now have the specifications for the Smart #3 SUV. The more powerful Smart #3 Brabus has a fearsome 422hp thanks to two electric motors, one on each axle. The standard model has 268hp produced by a single electric motor. The standard Smart #3 sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in only 5.8 seconds, while the Brabus model completes the same task in just 3.7 seconds.


smart Malaysia has provided a unique behind-the-scenes experience of the highly anticipated smart #1 at its headquaters in Subang Jaya recently.

smart’s first production model in the family of its all-electric vehicles (EVs), the smart #1, was on display at the two-day event. EV aficionados who had been anxiously anticipating this day were the target audience for this event, which was designed to satisfy their enthusiasm and expectation.


Edaran Otomobil Nasional Berhad (EON), the automotive retail division of DRB-HICOM, has been named an official smart Malaysia dealer by Proton New Energy Technology Sdn Bhd (PRO-NET).

Following a signing ceremony with Hap Seng Smart earlier this month and the addition of EON to the smart Malaysia stable, PRO-NET has now hired five additional dealerships. Five more dealership appointments will be made public in the near future.


Malaysia will be among the first Asian markets (outside China) to get the smart #1 later in the year when PRO-NET starts selling it. The #1 is just the first of a range of models from smart – a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Geely. Next in line will be the #3 which has been presented for the first time at Auto Shanghai 2023 today.

Where the #1 is a SUV, the #3 is a SUV coupe, a sleeker derivative for those who prefer a sportier image. Mercedes-Benz Design has the responsibility for the exterior and interior of the smart models, while Geely provides the Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) modular platform engineered specifically for EVs.


The smart brand was once in Malaysia, around 20 years ago, when DaimlerChrysler Malaysia (now Mercedes-Benz Malaysia) marketed it, but it was poorly received. Though its small size – which could only take two – was appreciated in European cities, it was too small for Malaysians who could get more seats and more space – for less money.

So smart faded away from the market and a decade later, declining sales in other markets also saw Mercedes-Benz, which owned the company, rethink its strategy for the brand. With the auto industry rushing towards electrification, it was logical for smart to also go in that direction. In fact, it had already started electrification earlier but needed a new generation of models developed from scratch as electric vehicles (EVs).

This led the German carmaker to team up with the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in a new joint venture company which would use the smart brand, which still retained its trendiness. It looked like a smart (no pun intended) move as Mercedes-Benz would offer the design expertise while Geely would provide its Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) modular platform engineered specifically for EVs. Thus smart gained a ‘second wind’ and has been quick to roll out its first product, the smart #1.


A year after beginning a new model era with the smart #1, smart has now released preliminary design details of its next model, a SUV coupe which will be called smart #3. Like the smart #1, this new model has also been designed by Mercedes-Benz Design, the German carmaker being a partner in the company together with Geely.

To be displayed at Auto Shanghai 2023 next month, the smart #3 (hashtag 3) has another interpretation of the brand’s visual identity, this one being even sportier. The exterior form is defined by athletic curves and shaped by organically connected lines like the smart #1.



Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on YouTube