The Smart is coming to the United States. Smart, part of Mercedes, is a tiny car that you’ll often see in Europe. The car holds two people and two bags.
I rented two of these in Italy in 2002. When I called Avis to reserve a car, they didn’t even offer the Smart because they just assumed that Americans wouldn’t want something this tiny.
I loved it. It was great on the narrow roads and you can park it anywhere. It even made it up the hills in Tuscany.
It’ll be interesting to see how it does here. The Detroit News reports that 20,000 people have put down $99 deposits.
I can see it being really useful in cities like New York and San Francisco where parking is tight and environmental concern is higher. The car is expected to get 40 mpg. It’d be a great addition to the fleet of carsharing services like Zipcar and Flexcar.
The base version will go for about $12,000. A convertible version will also be available.