July 21, 2008

The “Cute” Car

Posted in Pain at the Pump tagged , , , , , , , at 11:51 pm by Katharine Lackey

If there’s anyway to make a man not want to buy a car, it’s by calling it “cute,” which the Washington Post did in its article “Life in the Cute Lane.” The article discusses the trend many dealers of the smart car are seeing — drivers coming to the lots with their SUVs and leaving with the smart car, a small, European-style automobile that only has seats for two people.

Once you get past the headline, the piece details what makes the smart car a smart buy for Washington suburanites. In this fast paced city with ridiculous amounts of congestion, having a car that gets 33 miles per gallon city and 41 miles per gallon the highway makes sense (especially when paying $4+ at the pump).

However, the smart car is not for everyone (myself included) and the Post even points out,

If gas were to reach $5 a gallon, every 10,000 miles would save Smart drivers only about $200 or $300 over a comparably priced Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris, which come with back seats.

Many would think this teeny tiny car would not be safe, but it did rate well, earning for its size, top marks in front- and side-crash protection and acceptable ratings for rear-impact protection against whiplash.

Another downfall of the car is its ride — apparently not very smooth, according to the Post.

While this car may be popular in Europe, which has smaller streets and parking spaces, I don’t think it will really latch on in the US. My bet is that the hybrid Prius and similar models will hold their corner on the market over the smart car.

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1 Comment »

  1. Jim Lackey said,

    Hey, I don’t think the word “cute” would scare me off. Mini-Coopers are cute too.


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