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Smart Coming to the US in 2007!

By JLP | June 28, 2006

For those who care about saving money on gas and helping the environment at the same time, you will be interested to know that Smart is coming to the US in 2007. Here’s what the tiny two-seater looks like:

Smart

It is EXTREMELY small but would be great for a single person who just needs something to zip around town in. I wouldn’t really have a use for one since my wife and I have three kids, but I could see how some people would really want one.

This came via Jalopnik. Also, for more information, check out this section.

Topics: Cars, Miscellaneous | 11 Comments »


11 Responses to “Smart Coming to the US in 2007!”

  1. Rob Says:
    June 28th, 2006 at 1:34 pm

    Good luck when you get into an accident. I would be scared to death in one of those things. Frankly, I can’t see how anyone would want one.

  2. Brian Says:
    June 28th, 2006 at 2:48 pm

    Heard about these on the radio this morning…have to agree with the previous poster, I wouldn’t drive this thing on the Interstate, but it would be ideal if your commute is in stop-n-go traffic every day.

  3. Foobarista Says:
    June 28th, 2006 at 4:18 pm

    I actually think this sort of thing could work; lots of people – including us – have a car primarily for single-person commuting and another bigger car/SUV/truck for hauling or carrying the family. The commute car rarely carries more than one or two people, so if it were big enough to hold a single 250 pound American man comfortably along with a few cubic feet of storage for groceries, it could do quite well in urban areas.

    The mistakes most of these designs make:

    1. They aren’t not built for a “person of girth” – ie, most Americans. If you aren’t tiny, don’t bother.

    2. They do stupid things like make a trivial four-door version with attempts at “rear seats”. The rear seats aren’t big enough for adults or a kid much beyond 5 years old – the only possible practical use is as a baby-seat platform. So, why not just put in some sort of shelf purpose-built to hold a baby-seat and baby gear? Or simply don’t bother and have lots of legroom in front and carrying space in back?

    3. They are as expensive – or more so – than regular cars. If it’s gonna be small and cramped, and I’m buying it to save money on gas, it’s gotta start cheap. Or I’m buying a Prius, which is fairly large inside compared with most econoboxes.

  4. JLP Says:
    June 28th, 2006 at 5:06 pm

    Guys,

    Thanks for the comments. No, I would not be comfortable hopping in one of these to take the 680-mile journey to visit my family in Kansas. However, if it were affordable, I see nothing wrong with having one to commute back and forth to a job or to run errands.

  5. Personal Finance Blogger Says:
    June 28th, 2006 at 8:55 pm

    No thanks, it’s bad enough in our Honda Civic with all the huge SUVs and trucks around…

  6. John Says:
    June 29th, 2006 at 4:36 am

    I’m not sure, but I think the safety record is quite good, because the body is hyper-strong. And the price is like $11,000. I want one.

  7. Leslie Turek Says:
    June 29th, 2006 at 9:30 am

    This car is really only useful as a second car. Even though it would be perfect for a majority of my driving, several times a month I need a car that can carry a lot of stuff and/or people. So what would I do then? But for couples with two cars, it would make sense as the second car, I think.

  8. sam Says:
    June 29th, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    It would be an OK car for someone who mainly commutes and rarely leaves the city limits. I wouldn’t want to be in one on one of my jaunts across the intermountain west. I was driving across Wyoming last week on I-80. The traffic was about two thirds long-haul trucks, with the rest passenger vehicles. Speeds started at 75 mph and went up from there. Not a good place for a small, slow commuter car.

  9. Stephen Mirsky Says:
    June 29th, 2006 at 6:09 pm

    You mentioned saving the environment which is not true with the Smart. It happens to be a heavy polluter (even with it’s 3 cyl engine). 20 hours of labor has to go into each Smart coming over to put in necessary emissions equipment that isn’t used in the European market. It did pass emissions in most states but a few of the strictest like CA or NY it failed miserably.

    It’ll be a niche car for people who want an image, like Prius drivers.

  10. Mighty Bargain Hunter » R4TW of 26 June 2006 Says:
    June 29th, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    [...] AFM with a picture of the Smart Car — coming soon to the US! Hopefully the tires won’t be this expensive. [...]

  11. Emily Says:
    August 15th, 2006 at 12:22 pm

    Ok, I saw one today getting off the freeway here in Los Angeles… I was shocked stunned and wow!!! It fit right between the two lanes of traffic I was so caught off guard! Interesting!

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