Smart #3 Review | Autocar - Latest Global News

Smart #3 Review | Autocar

While Smart no longer exclusively makes small cars, its current designers say it wants to offer the best compact car in every market niche in which it competes. The interior of the No. 1 certainly confirmed this strategy and so did the No. 3, although to a less conspicuous extent as expected.

Of course, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean a better package, but even though the No. 3 loses some headroom compared to the larger No. 1, the cabin is still quite spacious. There’s plenty of space in the front row for taller, heavier adults, although the car’s sporty-looking front seats weren’t found particularly comfortable by some of our testers. Their “integral”-style headrests are fixed and tended to protrude and hit some riders’ necks rather than supporting the head themselves, while their seat cushions lacked useful recline adjustment and thigh support.

There’s plenty of room for adults in the back row (which can’t be said for many electric vehicles in this price range) and accommodation that feels similar to that of a Tesla Model 3 – right down to the somewhat disconcerting proximity of the glass roof to your scalp.

Overall, the space in the trunk is respectable, if not more. A 370-litre capacity is enough to beat some rivals, but it has a somewhat shallow load space that can only accommodate bulky items after removing the ‘false floor’ (under which lies the car’s only truly useful charging cable storage). , because the “frunk” is small enough to be almost unusable).

The interior ambience has a very special glittering, plastic material sheen that reminds you of Mercedes – and that’s probably no coincidence. Large parts of the dashboard, center console and doors are covered in glossy gray plastic. In the case of our test car, it was structured and sturdy and pleasant to the touch, but whether you would find it appealing is subjective. However, the car’s broader standard of material quality and fit and finish is quite good.

A 12.8-inch infotainment touchscreen inevitably dominates the upper dash (see “multimedia system,” right), but is backed by a slim but useful digital instrument display behind the steering wheel and (at least on premium cars) a large head-up Behind it there is a display so that the driving instruments and navigation instructions always remain in your line of sight.

Multimedia system

Smart has at least tried to make the #3’s 12.8-inch touchscreen multimedia display navigable in landscape mode. A series of shortcut buttons along the bottom give you access to HVAC controls, driving modes and a selection of top-level vehicle system settings. More menu key combinations appear at the top, but there is no physical cursor controller for them.

So you dive two to three levels deep into settings menus with your arm outstretched in order to deactivate assistance systems that are reactivated every time you start the car, and you seem to have to jump back and forth between the screens a lot, even for simpler things. A user-configurable tiled home screen with frequently accessed settings is a glaring omission.

It’s also frustrating that the factory navigation system doesn’t have a north-up map display mode. It’s easy to program and follow, but doesn’t always recognize voice command targets. Mirroring for Apple and Android smartphones is included and works well.

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