Friday, June 6, 2008

Making the Smart Car Look Stupid

When the Smart Car came to the U.S., I was elated. I’m a huge fan of things that genuinely contribute to environmental sustainability, cut out the fat and get more efficient and things that save space. Naturally, the Smart Car looked like a Mecca at first glance. However, checking it out online, I discovered that while it did cut out the two back seats that rarely any of us without kids ever need, that was about it. It doesn’t get much better gas mileage than my Corolla, which has considerably more interior space, and it’s not much cheaper either. I thought it was supposed to be a bare bones vehicle that did everything smart, not a fashion accessory. If I can pay the same and get a roomier vehicle with the same gas mileage, there’s no reason to foot for the Smart Car than to LOOK smarter to the uneducated, or if you genuinely want to save the room, which the car does wonderfully. It kind of reminds me of those pseudo-intellectuals I knew in college who knew less but pretended to know more. In short, I’m at a loss for what’s so smart about the Smart Car. Moreover, when it comes to affordable cars, they’re taking the cake in India. The Tata Nano is set to retail for $2,500 in India once it rolls of the assembly lines. It’s got room for four, too. Now, that’s smart.

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