October 21st, 2006 by William

Would You Drive a Smart Car?
DaimlerChrysler is hoping you will. It looks like the Smart Car will be invading US shores some time in 2008. The US spec version will be a little bigger than the current offering in Europe to meet US safety standards and it will be selling under a different name as many foreign cars marketed in the US do. But overall it will be the same tiny, practical, fuel efficient, cute Smart Car. Major metropolitan areas will obviously be the target audience for the diminutive auto. But
will Americans buy into the European less-is-more automotive experience? I for one think they will.

There are plenty of people out there packed into cities who want something cheap, easy to park, and fuel efficient; like a motorcycle. However these same folks do not want to risk life and limb riding a two-wheeler. As soon as people start seeing Smart Cars backed straight into a curb in a parallel parking spot, they will have to have one of there own.
The Toyota Yaris, a vehicle in the same small-car ballpark as the Smart Car, will be good barometer for future Smart Car sales.
Actually, a company called ZAP is already offering Smart Cars, which they “Americanize” themselves, to the US public.
smartcar by zap

So get ready America, the Smart Car is coming.
-Bill Mertz

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2 Responses to “Would You Drive a Smart Car?”

  1. valeca Says:

    I see these things on the road, and all I can think about is how they’d fair in a wreck. I know, morbid, what can I say. I don’t think I’d be inclined to get myself one of these, mainly because I have 3 kids, and I just don’t to have to play the slingshot effect just to ferry everyone around.

    And, they look like half of the car is missing.

  2. William Says:

    My answer to the accident question is always: Small cars are more likely to be able to avoid an accident with a good driver. With shorter stopping distances (better brakes) and more agility it is easier to stop or swerve before being collected in the accident. But I probably just say that to feel safe in my own small car.

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