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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Smartcar is a Dumbcar

Carpooling with my fiancé in our Toyota Corolla, we spotted a "Smartcar" at a stoplight. Although interesting to look at, the idea behind it is idiotic:

  1. It only gets 33mpg in the city. While not awful, we get similar mileage from the much larger Corolla.
  2. It has room for two people and almost no cargo. In comparison, the Corolla is large enough for 4 people for short trips. Indeed, we feel comfortable planning a 3,000 mile trip (with a lot of luggage) later this year.
  3. It is simply too small. In a crash, size matters and the SmartCar has no room for error.
  4. Cost – For the price of a SmartCar, one can easily purchase a very well made Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris with money to spare. Both are larger, more practical and can match it in mileage. For just a little more, you can get a nicely appointed Civic or Corolla.

Bottom Line: The SmartCar is a vanity purchase for most people and almost always a bad idea.

1 comment:

Early Retirement Extreme said...

The good thing about them is that they are really easy to park (they fit sideways into a parking sport). Also, they work well in the narrow European city street. In the US, you're right. These benefits fall away. BTW I wouldn't worry so much about survivability of getting hit - not getting hit is more important (no idea how the smartcar fares here). This is why SUV death rates are actually higher than standard cars (or bicyclists) .. they may have a higher crash rating, but they crash more often.