Test review DrivOlution smart #1 BRABUS

Test report

Testverslag DrivOlution smart # general view

In 1998, the first smart, the smart fortwo, was introduced to the public. The concept of an (extremely) small city car was developed by Mercedes-Benz in a partnership with Nicolas Hayek, founder of the Swatch Group, as a response to the ever-increasing traffic jams in cities. 25 years later, we are introduced to the smart #1 (read hastag 1). And no it is no longer a small city car but an SUV and fully electric. The new smart #1 is the product of the joint venture of Mercedes-Benz AG and Geely Holding. The last one is no stranger in the EV landscape. Geely's portfolio includes Volvo, Polestar, Lotus, Smart and ZEEKR. The joint venture with BRABUS dates back to 1999. The name BRABUS is no stranger to car enthusiasts. Since 1977, the BRABUS brand has specialised in bespoke refinement and maximum individualisation. BRABUS focuses mainly on the Mercedes-Benz range. The smart #1 BRABUS is the highest-performance version of the smart #1. 

We were allowed to test drive the smart #1 BRABUS version. Traditionally, the focus during testing is on consumption and driving range.

General information

  • SUV
  • Number of seats 5
  • Mass in running order 1.975 kg
  • Price test vehicle 47.995,- euro
  • Tow hitch possible yes (braked 1.600 kg - unbraked 750 kg


  • BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle)
  • Battery type Lithium-ion
  • 66,0 kWh Battery capacity (62 kWh usable)
  • Power 315 kW (428 hp)
  • 584 Nm torque
  • AWD
  • EV Dedicated Platform Geely SEA2

Consumption/driving range (WLTP)

  • Combined consumption 17,9 kWh/100 km
  • Combined driving range 400 km
  • Driving range city 514 km

Charging information

  • Onboard charger 22 kW
  • Port location leftside rear
  • Charge Power AC 22 kW
  • Charge Power DC 150 kW max.
  • AC : no charges
  • DC : two charges

Test track (103 km)

  • Non-urban (42 km) 15,4 kWh/100 km
  • Highway (40 km) 19,7 kWh/100 km
  • City (21 km) 14,3 kWh/100 km
  • Combined 16,5 kWh/100 km

Test results (533 km)

  • Non-urban 16,2 kWh/10 km
  • Highway 18,2 kWh/100 km
  • Urban 14,3 kWh/100 km
  • Combined 17,1 kWh/100 km

Test data

Test drivers

Johan Stevens

533 Testkilometers


SAE2 (Sustainable Experience Architecture) platform.

It is a modular electric vehicle platform developed by Geely Holding. The platform is planned to be used for the brands in Geely Holding's portfolio along with the Smart joint venture with Daimler AG. The recently proposed Volvo EX30 and ZEEKR will also use this platform.

Battery capacity and power

The smart #1 features only one 66 kWh battery pack of which 62 kWh is usable. 

Four versions 

You have a choice of four versions for the smart #1: the Pro+, the Premium, the Launch edition and the BRABUS. The first two are rear-wheel drive, the BRABUS is all-wheel drive. They all use the same battery pack. The Pro+, the Premium and the Launch Edition are powered by a permanent magnet motor (PMSM). It produces an output of 200 kW (272 hp) and maximum torque of 343 Nm. The BRABUS is the most powerful version with a maximum output of 315 kW (428 hp) and 584 Nm of torque. To achieve this power, the BRABUS has a second electric motor on the front wheels. The distribution is 115 kW on the front axle and 200 kW on the rear axle.

Driving modes 

You have a choice of four driving modes:

  • Eco - if you choose this mode, you choose to save energy and efficiency.
  • Comfort - the standard mode for your daily use. Comfort mode is the default driving mode when you start the vehicle. Here you choose a comfortable driving experience. 
  • Sport - this mode offers you a better dynamic experience and better sport characteristics. Your power pedal reacts faster during accelerations. 
  • BRABUS - the top in driving experience. This is where the performance of the smart #1 BRBAUS comes out best. And the sportiest sound.

The sound produced by the smart #1 BRABUS depends on the driving mode selected.

Braking energy recovery

Here you can choose between standard and strong. Even in standard, regeneration is fairly strong. You determine the degree of deceleration and regeneration by the one-pedal driving principle. You use the power pedal to accelerate and decelerate. 

Energy distribution

Through the central touchscreen, you get a perfect overview of where the energy goes. It is displayed as a percentage. The following information is displayed: the percentage of energy that goes to driving, air conditioning use, lighting, sound system and others. Handsome!


The results - general

We added a total of 533 km to the odometer of the smart #1 BRABUS and divided this over 14 recorded trips. To measure is to know so it is interesting to take a look at the results. The on-board computer notes an average consumption of 17.1 kWh/100 km. Based on the usable battery capacity of 62 kWh sufficient for a driving range of 363 km. This at an average outside temperature of 11 degrees.

The results - by road type

  • Most of the trips were made on the highway (6 out of 11, 60%): yielding an average consumption of 18.2 kWh/100 km. Good for a driving range of 341 km*.
  • Outside the city, on secondary roads, we did 3 trips (30%). The smart #1 BRABUS recorded an average consumption of 16,2 kWh/100 km. If you can maintain this consumption then you can cover 383 km*.
  • Only once did we venture into city traffic: here we stranded on a consumption of 14.3 kWh/100 km. In terms of driving range, this means 434 km*.

The results - by driving mode

Not surprisingly, Eco driving mode is our favorite. This, of course, has everything to do with DrivOlution's DNA.

  • 10 out of 14 trips we chose Eco driving mode. It yielded a combined consumption of 16.6 kWh/100 km.
  • Comfort driving mode (2 out of 14 trips) yielded a consumption of 17.8 kWh/100 km
  • Once we opted for the Sport driving mode and once the temptation, was great to choose the BRABUS driving mode. It yielded consumption of 18.7 kWh/100 km (Sport) and 19.6 kWh/100 km (BRABUS), respectively.

Clearly, the choice of driving mode affects consumption. Moreover, you operate the power pedal differently in the BRABUS driving mode than in the Eco driving mode. It's a choice between efficiency and sportiness. 
*The stated driving range is a theoretical calculation based on the usable battery capacity. This is always a snapshot in time. All kinds of factors such as weather conditions, use of climate control, topography, traffic density and your own driving style can influence this.

Test track

Consumption results

What does the smart #1 BRABUS do on our test track? After 103 km, we recorded an average consumption of 16.5 kWh/100 km. With a usable battery capacity of 62 kWh, this consumption will get you 376 km*.

Let's look at the results over the different parts of the test course:

  • the non-urban drive (42 km) yields a consumption of 15.4 kWh/100 km. That gets you 403 km* on a charge;
  • the highway trip (40 km) accounts for consumption of 19.7 kWh/100 km and a driving range of 315 km*.
  • the city drive ends with consumption of 14.3 kWh/100 km. If you can maintain this consumption, you will get 434 km*.

Driving range evolution

The driving range fluctuates according to consumption. We start with a driving range of 262 km and SoC of 66%. After the non-urban drive, the driving range drops to 219 km (SoC from 66% to 55%). The driving range after the highway trip drops from 219 km to 167 km (SoC from 55% to 42%). After the city drive, the range dropped from 167 km to 145 km (SoC from 42% to 36%). In total, we lost 117 km of driving range on the test track.

*The quoted driving range is a theoretical calculation based on usable battery capacity. This is always a snapshot in time. All kinds of factors such as weather conditions, use of climate control, topography, traffic density and your own driving style can influence this. 
We strive to drive as efficiently as possible by making maximum use of cruise control (constant speed) and by anticipating traffic situations as much as possible. The speed on motorways is 110 km/h. Energy consumers (such as air conditioning) are switched off when weather conditions permit. Moreover, we choose the most efficient driving mode (Eco).

Charging and driving range

Charging information

The smart #1 BRABUS features an internal onboard charger of 22 kW. The maximum fast-charging capacity is 150 kW. The charging port is on the left at the back. Personally, I prefer the right side (is safer). Smart #1 recommends charging up to 90% for the daily trips and up to 100% for longer trips. This is to keep the battery condition optimal.


We hooked up the smart #1 BRABUS to the charging station twice. Each time, due to circumstances, we charged DC (Fast Charger). Detailed information about the charge times can be found in the graph below. When fast charging (DC), we always charged to a maximum of 80%. 

Driving range

The maximum charged driving range is 322 km and this at an SoC of 80%.

Preheating battery 

In the smart #1 BRABUS, you can enter the address where you are going to charge via the navigation. This way, the battery is brought to the ideal temperature for charging. The advantage is that this speeds up charging.

Charging curve - constant

The charging curve is relatively constant during fast charging.

Information charging process - for the driver

Being able to follow the charging process more closely is an added bonus. Via the instrument panel and the touchscreen, you get information about the remaining charging time, the charging speed (in km/h), the voltage.

Obviously, the charging time depends on the SoC (State of Charge) at the start of charging, the outside temperature and the temperature of the battery.

Drive and comfort

Driving - what mood are you in?

Driving depends on which cap you put on. The smart #1 BRABUS lets you choose between a rather soft driving style or a dynamic/sporty driving style. Both are perfectly possible. Roadholding is fine. During the test week, we mainly aim for an efficient driving style and the emphasis is less on sportiness. With the power available in the smart #1 BRABUS, this is not always obvious. The temptation to push the power pedal more vigorously is sometimes strong.

9.2-inch full-HD digital instrument panel 

It has been mentioned many times and we find it in the smart #1 as well: the days of the "dashboard" built around the driver are disappearing more and more. In its place, we get an instrument panel in front of the driver that contains necessary information such as selected driving mode, driving range, battery SoC. It continues to become ordinary. The instrument panel in the smart #1 is nicely built in though and it is clearly readable.

12.8" full-HD central touchscreen with 1920 x 1080 pixels

For the rest of the functions like climate control, radio, navigation, you have to rely on the central touchscreen. This too takes some getting used to to find everything back. Adjusting the mirrors is also done via the touchscreen. 

10-inch head-up display (HUD)

The HUD is clearly readable. It increases safety as you have all important information in your field of vision. 

ECARX - AI assistant with fox avatar, with more than 60 animations

Meet the "fox avatar". ECARX transforms vehicles into seamlessly integrated information,communication and transport solutions. ECARX is shaping human-car interaction by rapidly improving the core technology of smart mobility. Together with smart and based on the Mercedes-Benz design concept, ECARX has developed a smooth, efficient and enjoyable user experience that expresses the smart brand, on a system that can run global apps and content;

BRABUS - design elements

When you opt for BRABUS edition, your expectations are a bit higher. And this not only in terms of performance but also in terms of design. The interior includes BRABUS sports seats, BRABUS headrests, BRABUS name on the steering wheel, BRABUS interior colours, BRABUS pedals.

Space inside - fine

The rear seats are horizontally adjustable in a 60/40 split, pass-through hatch for long pieces of luggage (such as skis) in the middle of the rear seat as standard.

Finish - Mercedes level

The finish inside is of high quality and here you can clearly feel the Mercedes-Benz influence.

All-round visibility - exemplary

All-round visibility in the smart #1 BRABUS is phenomenal. You have few blind spots, for example when turning right.


The smart #1 BRABUS is equipped with the latest and most intelligent assistance systems. Here is a brief overview: adaptive cruise control with stop & go function, lane departure assistant, blind spot detection, traffic sign recognition, highway assistant with lane and queue assistance, automatic parking, parking sensors, adaptive high beam, 360-degree camera.

Most systems work properly. However, some are set a little too sensitively and this is sometimes a little disturbing. Staying vigilant is the message! After all, these are driving assistance systems.

Driving range simulation (km) based on trip consumption (kWh/100 km) and trip lenght (km)

The driving range simulation is a theoretical indication of what is possible in terms of driving range and this is based on the realised trip consumption (kWh/100 km) and the usable battery capacity (kWh). Obviously, this is always a snapshot in time. Many factors can influence the consumption and the corresponding driving range. 

Comparison WLTP/test results Drivolution

Comparing test results on consumption and driving range with the WLTP figures, we score better on consumption but less on driving range.

Testverslag DrivOlution smart # back view

The new smart #1 clearly aims at a different target group than the previous smart. The city car has given way to an SUV. Moreover, it is aimed entirely at the electric market. Tastes differ, of course, but in terms of design this smart #1 is successful. Moreover, it offers enough space and the finish is of high quality.

Your driving style will play an important role when it comes to consumption and range, especially if you opt for the smart #1 BRABUS, our test vehicle. By the way, this version offers you a perfect mix between sportiness and comfort. The test results are more than decent if we take into account the period of testing. In summer, we will clearly see different results.

This smart #1 BRABUS meets fully our expectations. We are already looking forward to the smart #3.

More information on the smart #1 BRABUS as well as the other models can be found here De nieuwe smart #1: Creëer een betere morgen | smart BE
Special thanks to smart Europe GmbH and Mannès | Mercedes-Benz & smart Official Dealer (mannes.be)
 for providing the test vehicle.
Photos: Newsroom smart
Publication of these figures may only be made with the express approval of DrivOlution.