The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

I Still Want a Smart Car

I like weird cars. And, after 10 years of living in the District without a car, I find myself sitting in the suburbs thinking about getting a car again. The thing is, I don’t want any kind of car. My preference is for small, fuel efficient cars. And in that category I tend towards hybrids or even electric cars like the the Reva NXG I posted about a while back or the Corbin Sparrow, which I had a brief obsession with a few years ago.

And last year I posted about my desire for a Smart Car. Now I find out via DCist that the Smart Car may be available in the states soon.


DaimlerChrysler, which shelved an earlier plan to bring its Smart mini-car brand to the United States, plans to announce on Wednesday that it will introduce the tiny, two-seat vehicle to the American market early in 2008, according to several executives at the company.

The German-American carmaker is calculating that with stubbornly high gasoline prices, mounting concerns about global warming, and waning interest in sport-utility vehicles, consumers in the United States will welcome a car that is no larger than a good-sized riding mower.


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“Now is the right time to go to the U.S.,” said a senior executive at DaimlerChrysler, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans were not yet public. “The world, and the U.S., has changed in the last two years.”

But I’ll have to wait at least until 2008. Much as I love the new place, I definitely miss the accessibility of everything in the city, and being able pop the kid in the jogging stroller and take off somewhere if the mood struck me and the hubby was using the car at the moment. And maybe I’m thinking of it because I’m sitting here thinking of an errand I could run if (a) I had a car or (b) the place I’d like to go were closer.

I guess the reality is that, with one kid and another in the works, we’ll probably have to become a two car family sooner or later. Maybe by then the kind of car I like to have will be available here. Until then I guess I can always call a cab, or sign up for FlexCar or ZipCar. Of course, either of the latter two option means I still need a way to get to the car.

Oh well. I’ll wait.


  1. I love the Smart Car!!! I was in Rome in May and they are everywhere. I shot pics of them all over the city. I want one 🙂

  2. I’m really quite happy with my odd-looking Scion xB. The mileage is good (30 ), and yet unlike a Smart car, it’s not cramped.

    I’ve driven in one of those while I was in England. If you’re 6’2″ or over, it’s a real trial.

  3. I saw one of those Sparrow thingies last year:

    It certainly got a lot of attention.

  4. Wolf and I would love something like this, but getting up our driveway would be impossible.

  5. The Smart Cars are already available in the US from ZAP ZP (NYSE). A California based company who is also planning on brining a Brazilian made car to the US, the Obvio! 828, that is a hybrid that can run on any combination of ethanol and gas. Zap is also the only car company who is selling a Chinese manufactured car in the US the 100% electric Xebra city car.

  6. ZP is the ticker for Zap World. The stock has droped a lot in the last two weeks. This is a great time to buy….Buy and hold for a year… you’ll double your money…..