Sally and I first saw Smart cars in the Netherlands in 2007, and they made quite an impression. The streets in Amsterdam are really very narrow, making small cars a necessity. We expected that, but were amazed at the variety of makes and models we saw. Our favorite was the Smart car. Sally took my picture beside one in the Amsterdam airport.
In the past few weeks our thoughts have again turned to the Smart car. Evan is taking his Civic to Omaha, and so Sally and I were slated to be down to one car. We've thought about various options for a commuter car, including neighborhood electrics and the hybrids, but everything we've considered has been either somewhat impractical or too expensive.
Then, a couple weeks ago, Sally started talking about Smart cars again. We did a bit of research and some on-line searches, finding a number of new and "pre-owned" vehicles in our price range. All this culminated in our purchase, yesterday, of a 2008 Smart Passion Coupe (Happy Valentine's Day, Sal! How's that for "Passion"?).
Sally, Evan and I drove our Smart car back to Spokane last night, and then took turns coming up with excuses to drive it today. Since it is barely a two-seater, we had to alternate who got to go, and who got to drive. On one trip Sally and I were waiting at a stop sign when a Prius drove by. The driver practically did an "Exorcist" style, 360 degree rubber neck staring at us. I loved it! Here she had spent $20,000 plus for a green car, and got one which runs cleanly, but uses all kinds of resources in the construction of its battery, which has to be disposed of eventually....
The German designed Smart is built in a green factory, uses recycled materials in its construction, and is said to be about 95% recyclable in toto.
I'm glad so many people are buying Priuses instead of Dodge Ram Mega cab duallies. And I'm glad we've got our little Smart car. It's nice to compete in the arena of minimal impact, isn't it?