The Frontal Cortex

The Smart Car Comes to America

If you fancy a very small car that gets 60 miles per gallon, or just fell in love with the cute Smart roadster while vacationing in Europe, then you’ll be happy to know that you can now reserve, for $99, a Smart car of your very own. How small are Smart cars? Small enough that they can be parked on the street with their front facing the curb. And while I’m not sure that I’m ready to drive a Smart car while being surrounded by Chevy Suburbans and Ford F-150’s, I’m glad American consumers will have a new eco-friendly alternative. The base model starts at $12,000.



  1. #1 cleek
    March 20, 2007

    i saw one of those driving around my neighborhood (near Raleigh, NC) last weekend. i wondered, for a second, if such a thing was even street legal – it’s sooo small… but, it had NC plates on it, so i guess it is.

  2. #2 JYB
    March 20, 2007

    Don’t forget about the air car!

  3. #3 Mark
    March 20, 2007

    Isn’t this the car that Consumers Reports said was the worst car they had ever tested?

  4. #4 Mike the Mad Biologist
    March 20, 2007

    I’ll buy it only if it comes with a really loud ‘oogaah’ horn….

  5. #5 Brian X
    March 21, 2007

    I’d like to think this is a good thing, but I’m not sure it fits American driving patterns. Europe and East Asia are pretty heavily settled, and that’s where you find cars like these. The United States is rather different — apart from the BosWash corridor, Chicagoland and other big metro areas, and parts of Florida and the West Coast, there’s mostly a hell of a lot of empty space tied together with mountains and corn fields. If you’re a driver that has to spend any great amount of time traveling between population centers, you’re going to want something a little more substantial than a Smart car, especially with the relentlessly inadequate passenger rail service in this country.

    Put it this way. If it succeeds, I won’t be surprised. If it fails, I won’t be surprised either.

  6. #6 tekel
    March 21, 2007

    Americans don’t want this car. It’s ugly and it’s slow. Maybe this would work in China, but not here.

    What I don’t understand is that Smart has a perfectly acceptible 2-seater sports car already in production: the Brabus coupe/roadster.

    they would sell a million of these in the US… so of course it won’t be introduced here.

  7. #7 Geoff
    March 21, 2007

    I forgot you guys didn’t have them. They’ve been in Canada for over a year now. They’re roomier inside than you’d expect.

  8. #8 Tim
    April 17, 2007

    A buddy of mine has one. He is in love with it. Whenever we go somewhere together he never lets me drive because he says that he has too much fun driving his smart car. It really is big on the inside too.

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