At the time of the test, the advertising campaign for the last Smart versions with combustion engines is still running. While the last conventional models are still on sale, we are testing the electric Smart for the first trips. The demand for the compact Stromer remains high, the waiting times for buyers can be up to a year at local dealerships in Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg, depending on the equipment variant. With the facelift in spring 2020, the Smart will continue to establish itself as a compact, emission-free city runabout. We take a look at the concept and gimmicks of the popular two-seater model.
After the sparsely equipped first electric Smarts, you had to wait a long time for the 22 kW fast charging option. With the relatively small battery and the short range, fast charging has a significant advantage. With many charging points in metropolises like Hamburg, the downtime at public charging points is often limited to a maximum of 2 hours. With the rapid charging, the Smart can be fully charged while shopping or during a longer break and the range can be fully used again. The Smart is therefore a coherent mobility concept for pure city operation.
Parking space saver Smart
In its natural urban environment, the Smart shows its compact dimensions as an advantage. With its clear dimensions of 2,70 m long and 1,66 m wide, there is almost always enough parking space in the urban jungle. And once you are out and about in the little speedster, there are astonishingly many variants of the Smart in the metropolises of the world, which are conquering their parking space on the roadside in a wide variety of colors and equipment versions.
The not exactly cheap car for the parking niche has an astonishingly high number of fans. The basic concept of a compact and a go-kart-based compact car based on the driving concept, in the form of an electric car, is clearly superior in some respects to the version with a combustion engine. With its higher weight of 1085 kg, the Smart tends to have less rolling or jumping movements than its combustion counterpart.
It doesn't take much for contemporary mobility in urban areas. The electric motor on the rear axle delivers 60 kW and accelerates from zero to 60 km / h within five seconds, enough to be able to swim with the traffic. The outdated ignition lock for the starting process looks a bit antiquated, but as soon as you have turned the key, it is pleasantly quiet in the electric vehicle compared to the combustion engines.
Simple and compact
The instruments are playful and unconventionally arranged. A somewhat simpler structure would synchronize the Smart EQ with its simple functionality. The central question for users of electromobility and acceptance for new customers often lies in the question of a quickly rechargeable battery. With the current Smart, you have to calculate an additional charge of 840 euros for the 22 kW charging power connection. Based on our experience over the past few years and with a view to a good used car price, we can only recommend this extra.
With this performance, charging the battery with a capacity of 17,6 kWh means that it stays at the charging station for a relatively short time. There is now a sufficient charging infrastructure with 22 kW columns. Regardless of whether it is a supermarket or ADAC station, this option makes it worthwhile to charge it everywhere if the car is parked temporarily. And so an almost empty battery can be recharged for the next trips within an hour.
In the test period with relatively warm spring temperatures, up to 160 km with a full battery in ECO mode were announced in the display without consumers. This is put into perspective quite quickly, however, more realistic are 100 to 120 km distance to the next charging process. Once you get used to the concept with the relatively quick charging processes, charging in the short-haul range is only a minor matter and routine.
In the higher equipment levels, the Smart EQ has "radar-assisted recuperation" as standard. Cars in front are identified with the radar and recuperation is automatically increased in the event of a high speed difference. A small, most efficient driver assistant that can also be turned off if necessary. The efficiency of the system is difficult to assess subjectively and is secondary to the display. The discussion about this system in the forums varies widely, in practice the hardly noticeable effect is very small.
The future of smart
In view of the relatively high entry price, the smart driver can also make demands on quality. With the Smart, traditional elements are more in the foreground, such as a conventional steering wheel lock for starting, an automatic selector lever in the center console. The instrumentation rather indicates the long tradition with the internal combustion engine. For the future, however, Smart is planning an innovative realignment. The development of the future smart models will be implemented in a joint venture with the Chinese automobile and motorcycle manufacturer Geely.
In the cooperation, the global development of the smart EQ is to be promoted more strongly. In addition, production will take place in China in the future and global sales will start in three years: “According to the joint venture agreement, the next generation of smart electric models will be produced in a new, specially built electric car factory in China. Global sales are to begin in 2022. "(Daimler press release)
Smart fortwo - prices and equipment lines
The starting price for the smart fortwo is 21.940 euros including a 17,6 kWh battery. Since the introduction of the current ed 453 series in 2017, the battery pack has been included and can no longer be rented. You should definitely order the 22 kW fast charger mentioned above for 840 euros and the charging cable package, which costs 300 euros.
The equipment lines for the passion start at 1.390 euros and end with the high-quality equipment package Brabus style from our test for 4.350 euros. If you include the environmental bonus, the Smart is currently still one of the cheaper electric cars in the competition. In its price segment, however, it will have to face the concepts of the competitors e.go Life or the Sion from Son Motors.
Stadtstromer in action
In the test panel, we used the Smart EQ in close proximity with a well-developed public infrastructure with 22 kW fast charging stations. It can certainly be used for local transport and daily errands in the city. In practice, the chassis noises are clearly audible on uneven ground and the already small trunk mutates into a small storage space due to the cable package. The split tailgate is very practical for this, the rear window can be opened and loaded quickly. The media system does not meet the completely new requirements in terms of intuitive operation, but is equipped for everyday use.
In the mild spring of 2019 with outside temperatures between 10 and 20 degrees, the consumption fluctuated between 13 and 16 kWh per 100 km, depending on the load. When the battery was fully charged, the display showed a range of 160 km with the consumption switched off. In fact, the real achievable range between charging processes was around 100 kilometers. Based on driving experience, it is advisable to either have a good public charging infrastructure with 22 kW fast chargers available or, as an alternative, to invest in a wallbox at home.
For convinced smart fans, the EQ is a very agile and contemporary car in an urban environment. Parking spaces are usually easy to find and use in the narrowest niches and gaps in the big city. Due to the low battery capacity, a good charging infrastructure in the vicinity is the best prerequisite for untroubled driving pleasure. The Smart will be able to win even more fans for the future with a larger battery.
Practical test spring 2020
There are detailed tests and additional information in the booklet. Subscription under