Smart Car…Is it really?

If you haven’t heard, Daimler-Chrysler has officially brought the new Smart ForTwo model to the USA.  It seems like a good idea.  With fuel prices skyrocketing with no end in sight, why not bring a super compact, efficient automobile to America.  They’ve been selling the Smart Car in Europe for about a decade now and it’s been reasonably successful.

I thought it was a pretty good idea as well.  What’s there not to love?  You get German engineering, great fuel economy, and it’s got to be one of the easiest cars to park.  However, once I looked at the spec sheets and comparable “normal” cars, I had my doubts.

Smart or Not?
Base Price Powerplant Performance Fuel Type Seats EPA
Smart ForTwo $11,590 1.0L, 71HP, 3 cyl, 5 sp auto 0-60, 14.1 secs Premium 2 33/41
Nissan Versa 1.8S $12,990 1.8L, 122HP, 4 cyl, 6 sp manual 0-60, 9.5 secs Regular 5 26/31
Toyota Yaris $11,550 1.5L, 106HP, 4 cyl, 5 sp manual 0-60, 9.48 secs Regular 5 29/36
Honda Fit $13,950 1.5L, 109HP, 4 cyl, 5 sp manual 0-60, 9.0 secs Regular 5 27/34
Scion xD $14,550 1.8L, 128HP, 4 cyl, 5 sp manual 0-60, 8.4 secs Regular 5 27/33
Ford Focus $14,395 2.0L, 140HP, 4 cyl, 5 sp manual 0-60, 8.3 secs Regular 5 24/35

The problem I have with the Smart car is that I expected more.  I’m not saying that the mileage isn’t great.  An EPA rated 33/41 for a non-hybrid is pretty awesome, but when you take into consideration that it only seats two and requires premium fuel, you start to furrow your brow a little.  Maybe it’ll make up in sheer price?  The price is pretty low at a base MSRP of just $11,590, but then your eyes look down the list and you see that the Toyota Yaris is around the same price, has more power, better performance, seats five, drinks regular fuel, and still manages to get 29/36!

2 thoughts on “Smart Car…Is it really?

  1. The one thing that caught my eye was the Smart is a 5sp auto and the others are all manuals. Use auto trannys for the others and see what you get

  2. I think using the auto tranny for the others will certainly drop the MPG rating by 2-3 miles per gallon at most. Which is still not to bad considering the other cars don’t require Premium gas and can sit more than just 2 people. Although, I think the smart car would be awemoe for city folks who need to parallel park a lot.

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