European Smart Car Hits American Streets

Anyone that has traveled Europe knows that Smart Cars are nothing new. The tiny, trendy and energy efficient vehicles have nearly taken over the busy, narrow streets of European metropolises. Think of the sleek design of the Swiss watch company Swatch combined with the automobile precision of Mercedes Benz and you get a little taste of why these cars are so popular.

The European within me loves them. They’re cute, fun and nice to the environment, what could be better? This last summer when I was in France, many of my friends questioned why Americans were so behind that we didn’t have the infamous car cruising down our own streets. Well, good news Europhiles, the wait is over: Smart Car is making its American debut. But how will the miniature vehicle fare in the land of everything big? In Europe, a continent already known for smaller vehicles, even Smart Cars stick out. So put one of the bite-sized, candy colored cars next to a lane of large and in charge SUVs and the image might seem a bit humorous.

Size aside, some Americans are already sold. Smart USA started taking reservations for the Smart ForTwo at $99 a pop last year, and drivers tired of dumping their savings at the gas pump, or just wanting to drive something a little hipper, quickly jumped on the bandwagon. This week the car finally made it from the floor of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City (yes, the car really is a symbol of chic design) and onto American roads. The New York Times says Californians will be the big buyers. Priced between $11,600 and $18,000 it remains to be seen whether the car will take off here much like it did on the other side of the Atlantic.

Just like Swatch made watches into a fun and funky clothing accessory, Smart Car has made their vehicle into a life accessory. You’ll seem “greener” (think of all the gas you’ll be saving), more European, and best of all, if you get sick of the color, give Smart Car a call and you can get the replaceable door panels in a different shade to better match your eyes. Now it’s just a matter of learning how to drive your tiny Euro car next to the rough and tough American trucks and SUVs. Makes you long after those pedestrian-filled passageways of Europe doesn’t it?