Today I test drove the not-yet-available DaimlerChrysler "Smart Fortwo" at the stop their roadshow made in the Wretched Little City. I explained to the pert young lady with the blonde ponytail drawn through the back of her SmartCar baseball cap who sat in the passenger seat and displayed the various features that "I don't need a big car like some guys who need to compensate for their shortcomings". Her lack of reaction let me know that I wasn't the first to trot this out.
The mileage has not yet been set by the government but it should exceed 40 per gallon. (C's Prius does better than that, but costs $7-10 thousand more). An all-electric model is planned, but the staff would not tell me when it would be available, no doubt afraid that some of us will skip the gas-powered one and wait for the plug-in version.
I'm on the waiting list, and I've decided to go with the metallic blue convertible with the black trim. The cab is comfy, not at all claustrophobic, and the car delivered what you'd expect of a 3 cylinder engine: a jaunty oneness with the pavement that made me feel like a character in an animated movie by Pixar. The trunk is big enough for only the two bags that C and I weekly schlep into NYC, but eventually, this car will stay in Fort Lauderdale and we won't need anything more than the subway during the months we spend in New York. Meanwhile, we dream of the many small parking spaces on the streets of the Upper West Side that will become doable.