Smart… But Practical?


I’m seeing them buzzing down the freeway more frequently lately, and although my sitings are increasing, they still surprise me when I seem them going by, especially if they’re in the carpool lane.

They’re Smart cars. Built for two and trendy, they’re a cute and cuddly fuel-efficient “green” car that is 95% recyclable. They have a small footprint. They seem very practical for the environment and look fun to drive, but I have my reservations about their overall usefulness. Here’s why I am not the right buyer for this vehicle:

Dogs? There’s no room for my dogs. In fact, there’s barely enough room to pack up my softball bag and head over to the ball field.

Family car? It won’t fit a family of four. In fact, it won’t accommodate a family of 3 – mom, dad, and baby in the child seat. It needs a sidecar.

Carpooling? If you want to drive the kids to school or soccer practice, you’re out of luck. There’s no room for lunches or backpacks. It’s definitely not a carpool car.

Visibility? They’re hard to notice on the freeway, at least in my experience, which is why I’m most often surprised when I notice one. They seem to appear suddenly, out of nowhere, and I’m a regular rear- and side-view mirror checker. I even turn my head prior to changing lanes, and I can still miss seeing them.

Road trips? Probably not. Can you see this little cell of a car parked at a highway rest stop next to an 18-wheeler? Yes, it gets great gas mileage, but how’s the long-distance comfort factor? Does it have cruise control?

Surfing? Where do you strap on the boards?

Skiing? There’s an interesting proposition. How does it handle in snow?

City? This is where this car belongs, in metro areas and college towns. It’s easy to park, gets great mileage, and then there’s that trendy style factor.

I am aware that some Smart car owners feel morally righteous that they’re doing something good for the environment in driving this vehicle, and it’s likely a trend that will become driving style over the next decade. Still, I won’t be driving one. My current car is paid for, gets decent mileage. and I can throw in my dogs, full camping gear, softball bag and three other people all at once and tie a kayak on top and hit the road. That’s what I call a car.


One response to “Smart… But Practical?

  1. bundesbedenkentraeger

    And that’s why there are different kind of cars. People who have no dogs and don’t want to carry all their stuff around maybe just don’t want to spend as much money as you do on gasoline (and believe me, in Europe, where these cars come from, this is a major issue. Not the environement, it’s the money).
    On the other hand I wonder if you have a slight misunderstanding of the room back of those two seats. It’s more than one would imagine. Certainly enough for two huge backpacks. And if that’s still not enough, how about this:
    De Benny

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