Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Yes, it has come to this

I printed up a bunch of these and am going to keep them in our new car.

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Car

What kind of car is that?
It's a Smart Passion Cabriolet, but most people call it a SmartCar.

Who makes it?

Where did you get your car?
At the Smart Dealership in Tysons Corner, VA. It's next to the Mercedes dealership on route 7. Tell Lance we said "Hi."

Is it a hybrid?
Nope, it runs on premium gasoline.

How much did your car cost?
Manners, please! OK, we're kidding, sort of. They start at about 12k but we got ours fully loaded, so we paid about 20.

What kind of gas mileage do you get?
The EPA got about 36. We drive conservatively and get about 40, but we drive on highways a lot.

Does it have a trunk?
Kind of. You can stow stuff behind the seat. About as much as two people can take on an airplane, both checked baggage and carry-on.

Do you have to peddle that thing?
Didn't your Momma ever tell you it's rude to make fun of people's cars? Our Mommas did.

Can I peek inside your car?
We'd really rather you didn't. If you'd like to see what the interior looks like, you can check out

How is it on snow?
Canadians don't seem to mind it.

Does it have a GPS?
No. But some people get aftermarket ones installed.

How many cylinders?
Three. It’s not a performance car, at all.

How fast does it go?
It tops out at about 90.

I hear you have to order SmartCars a year in advance?
We ordered it in April of 2007 and picked it up in April of 2008, so yeah, we did. The wait is about 12-18 months right now. We found out about the car from a friend of ours who loves cars. He recommended it.

How do you like it?
We love it!

Is this FAQ really necessary?
We know this is weird, but yeah, it kind of is. LOTS of people ask about our car. Sometimes several times a day. Sometimes they flag us down at stoplights or find us in restaurants. We want to answer questions, but we’re kinda shy and sometimes late for work.


epilonious said...

I forget... was I the friend who recommended it to you? It sounds like something I'd do.

Either way, it is really exciting and cool that you have one.

Anonymous said...

Awwww, no picture this time?

Jay said...


Anonymous said...

Because we have a dealership in Portland, this car has come up in numerous recent conversations that I've been a part of. The number one question I hear is, "What kind of safety rating does it have?"

I don't know if it's because I live in a region that still has more Tundras than Priuses (tho we see plenty of the latter), but it seems a legitimate concern. I think a place like DC or Boston would be really great for a SmartCar. Portland ... maybe if it was mostly for in town. I don't know about taking it to the beach or mountains, though. With all those Tundras and F150s coming up behind you.

PG said...

I figure I don't have to stress too much about the safety rating until I'm planning to put kids in the car. I don't think the Smart allows for baby seats. It is decidedly a vehicle for the childless, which means you're only taking risks with your own safety, and not of someone whose safety is entrusted to you.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I suspect that the answer to the safety rating question is rather complex; and therefore, not appropriate for a FAQ.

I would def. need a car I could put a kid in; not just my own, but my nieces and nephews with their myriad of booster seats and whatnot.

Unknown said...

Am I the only one to call BS on the smartcar? I love the concept and would buy one in a hearbeat, but 40mpg (at best) for a little two-seater is complete garbage. If you want to carry 4 people you need two cars so you'll be getting worse mileage than any non-SUV out there. I would get one of these if they could get 60, but I get 25-30 out of my sedan which I own so it's hard to justify dropping 14k or so to get a new car for that small of a mileage increase. This thing weights half as much as my car and has an economy-based engine while mine has a performance-based engine yet it doesn't come close to getting twice the mileage. How inefficient is that engine?

The other thing that nobody seems to mention is that this thing requires premium gas. Even if you drive 20k miles/year you will only save $1500/year on gas at $5/gallon and you'll have to deal with the problems of having a 2-seater.

Joel Monka said...

Brad, granting what you say still does not warrant "BS". To begin with, it is NOT inefficient- there is a certain minimum amount of fuel that has to be burned to move a certain mass at a certain acceleration... 40-50 MPG is approaching that minimum for a vehicle that's safe to drive, and capable of merging with traffic- heck, there are motorcycles that don't get much better than that.

2+modest luggage space is all singles or childless couples will need for 99.99repeating% of their driving needs. I've never had four people in my current eight year old vehicle, and can count on one hand the number of times I've had three. If you have a family, you'll buy a larger vehicle. Duh. The SmartCar isn't to replace the minivan you haul your kids in, it's to replace the second car you drive to work in.

iBeth said...

Thanks for these FAQs! I saw a smartcar the other day at a traffic light and I was wondering all of these things . . . plus about the safety rating. Since I have kids, I now know this is not the car for me, but it is cute!

Anonymous said...

Hey, you weren't by chance in Tyson's Corner around 12:30pm today, were you? I saw a little redish SmartCar on my way to dance class and thought of you s:)

(Been lurking for a while, I forget which other UU blog I found you through.)