Home » Watch The Smart ‘#1’ Electric Crossover Perform Poorly In The Moose Test

Watch The Smart ‘#1’ Electric Crossover Perform Poorly In The Moose Test

Km77 Smart 1 Topshot 2

It’s not shaping up to be a great week for the Smart #1 (“hashtag one”). This small, tall vehicle sold under the Daimler umbrella just produced a dismal showing in the moose test. What year is it? Okay, so this new electric crossover did a much better job of keeping the shiny side down than the original Mercedes-Benz A-Class, but compared to the updated post-recall Mk.1 A-Class, the Smart’s showing in the moose test is rather embarrassing.

If you aren’t familiar with the moose test, it’s an ISO standardized handling test in which a car makes two quick, consecutive lane changes to avoid an imaginary obstacle in the road. The driver releases the throttle before making the first lane change, swerves to a lane with a 3.5 m (11.48-ft.) offset, then swerves back into the original lane without hitting any cones. It’s pretty simple and a great simulation of avoiding vehicles reversing into traffic, stationary objects, and indeed moose.

Km77 Smart #1 1

The moose testing team at Spanish automotive channel km77 recently had a go in Smart’s new baby, the Smart #1 (pronounced “hashtag one” for some reason). This Chinese-built electric crossover is part of a collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and Geely, with Mercedes-penned styling draped over Geely’s SEA2 platform. What’s more, km77’s test example is the Brabus version with dual motors, a combined 428 horsepower, and a claimed zero-to-62 time of 3.9 seconds. Rapid stuff.

A high-performance variant of a car with a low center of gravity should do well on the moose test, but there are a few mitigating factors at play here. First up is the set of Continental EcoContact 6 tires, which prioritize low rolling resistance over outright handling. These tires finished precisely mid-pack in a 2022 comparison test of 16 15-inch summer tires by German automobile club ADAC, and km77 believes that a more performance-oriented tire may have offered a better result. Then there’s the stability control programming which looks not great at all. In km77’s first moose test attempt, the eco-friendly tires and loose stability control contributed to catastrophic oversteer. Have a look.

Well, that could’ve gone much better. The team at km77 eventually guided the Smart #1 through the moose test with a sad maximum entry speed of 65 km/h (40.4 mph), a woeful figure for any modern car, let alone one with this much power. For context, the Volkswagen Tiguan crossover managed an entry speed of 77 km/h (47.8 mph), the BMW 3-Series also managed 77 km/h, and the Hyundai Ioniq 5 electric crossover completed the test with an entry speed of 80 km/h (49.7 mph).

[Editor’s Note: Honestly, the car looks fairly oversteer-y, and though I realize that may not be ideal for everyone, it looks fun to me. I’m not sure I myself would fret too much about these test results. -DT]. 

While this is a lot better than the rollover brought on when moose testing a launch variant of the original Mercedes-Benz A-Class, a test by km77 of an updated Mk1 A-Class on the same tarmac with the same testing team puts things into perspective. This car is an A-Class Evolution model with sports suspension, it’s a 207,000 km example that sat on cheap dampers and cheap off-brand tires for the test.

The result was a solid completion of the moose test with an entry speed of 75 km/h (46.6 mph), a full 10 km/h (6.2 mph) faster than the brand new Smart #1. That’s a respectable pace considering the cheap tires, and made even more impressive when you take a closer look at the A-Class’ response to the test. While it exhibited nautical body roll and the driver really used all the tarmac, the old Mercedes showed safe balance partially attributed to its stability control calibration. A good driver shouldn’t have much trouble completing an emergency double lane change in this thing.

[Mercedes’ Note: There is a reason for the “hashtag” name and it’ll make you groan. Smart has indicated that the name refers to viral social media posts. Basically, it’s supposed to be trendy. I should also note that the failure of the A-Class to complete the moose test also led to an emergency redesign of the first-generation Smart Fortwo, which was birthed from the same development program as the A-Class.]

So what does this mean for the Smart #1? Well, it might be time to go back to the drawing board on stability control calibration. In addition, it might be worth sacrificing a bit of range on the Brabus model in exchange for grippier tires that offer more secure handling. The Smart #1 is hardly the only EV to disappoint in the moose test (the BMW i4 was several km/h slower through the moose test than its ICE 3-Series platform mate), but it’s one of the more egregious examples.

(Photo credits: km77.com)

Support our mission of championing car culture by becoming an Official Autopian Member.


Got a hot tip? Send it to us here. Or check out the stories on our homepage.

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit

22 Responses

  1. [Editor’s Note: Honestly, the car looks fairly oversteer-y, and though I realize that may not be ideal for everyone, it looks fun to me. I’m not sure I myself would fret too much about these test results. -DT].

    I used to be a sponsored semi-pro competition drifter. I used to drive my competition car to events, welded diff and everything. I love oversteer. Oversteer is fun.

    Unexpected oversteer during an emergency is not fun. Normal drivers can’t be expected to apply opposite lock half way through swerving to avoid a crash.

  2. I always thought the “Moose Test” was a roof-structure thing, like when you hit a moose you knock the legs out from under it and 1,400 pounds of moose come crashing down on top of you. I think the Volvo ads in the 70’s had a big-assed Volvo truck resting on top of a 240’s roof to prove their point.

      1. SAAB actually devised a moose test dummy for the test mber mentioned. So it may be a Swedish thing (yes, SAAB autos also have reinforced A pillars to handle moose collisions). I remember visiting Newfoundland on a motorcycle and was told by a local to turn in when the sun sets because of moose. Apparently, the motorcycle will survive a crash but I won’t because of the moose’s height (its chest will clear the handlebars).

    1. Under the partnership that Daimler has with Geely, Mercedes-Benz provides design and some unspecified engineering know how while the vehicle rides on a Geely platform and is built in China.

      In other words, it’s a Geely that calls itself a Smart and looks like an MB.

  3. Ok, so maybe it took out the elderly couple on the sidewalk. But it avoided the moose.

    And then it took out the kid sitting on the curb on the other side of the road.

    But–and I can’t stress this enough–it avoided the moose.

  4. I’m interested in the topic of low rolling resistance tires. What are the braking and handling trade offs? Is greasing the contact patch (arguably a critical function in a vehicle) a good idea for some extra range?

    Perhaps this would be great for your suspension engineer to deep dive on?

  5. The people who put the # on the phone dial pronounced it octothorp. Then in America for some reason it became the pound key. I don’t know what the British call it since they have £ to call pound already.

    1. Remember, this is a professional driver (at least I assume it is) performing a test he should be very familiar with. I don’t think the average Joe Sixpack would handle things quite as well. YouTube is full of examples of “enthusiasts” losing it in their performance cars.

Leave a Reply