Smart Car Scores Big on Cute

Tiny rides now trendy, even for big car people
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2008 9:45 AM CDT
Smart Car Scores Big on Cute
A Smart Fortwo car drives past PPG Plaza in Pittsburgh during the lunch hour Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2007. Company representatives were surveying onlookers for their thoughts on the miniature car.   (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Mercedes’ Smart cars are selling brilliantly—the US waiting list is 30,000 long—and the tiny two-seater's performance at the gas pump isn't the whole story. Yes, they’re the most fuel-efficient non-hybrids around, but only barely—some Hondas and Toyotas almost match their 33mpg. There's also the cute factor, the Washington Post reports. “The Jeep was stylish,” says one SUV convert, “but I never got the attention before that I get with this.”

"The Smart is the new green statement," says one market analyst, adding that the Prius is "old hat."  And another SUV convert likes the compact package. “You just feel so powerful in that little car, she says. “It’s like a Chihuahua must feel.” (Read more auto industry stories.)

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