Sunday, July 08, 2007

Cars of a Smart and Small Variety




Hey all--

Holly called on the 6th to inform me that there was going to be a SmartCar test drive opportunity at the IMA grounds on the 7th, so of course we simply had to go. No way around it. I've fallen in love with these things since a trip to France and have been hoping that they'd show up here in SUV land pronto. It now appears that they finally have. The cars will be available for next year! They're great on gas! They're easy to maneuver! You can park-em anywhere! They have more leg room than my Accord! You can change all the body panels for a SmartCar makeover! And darn it, they're cute as buttons, they are. It's like a driveable Rollerblade boot.

The line for test drives was two hours long. Much of it in the sun. The crew there had tents for us, and water too (Smart Water, so to speak, only minus the vitamins). Holly and I held up well. As we neared the front of the line, we got to inspect one of the display models. Over 40 mpg and a trunk big enough for your subwoofer so you can cronk out in the parking lot.

The meagerly airconditioned trailer had a rather disturbing video that looped constantly of a SmartCar in slo-mo collision with a full-size Mercedes. The idea I'm sure was to show that you wouldn't turn into tinned salmon if you got in a crash with big cars, but I wouldn't have minded a wee bit more of a focus on the thing driving through curvy roads in forests and mountains and driving under city lights in this or that exotic urban area. When the time came to actually test drive the things, it turns out that my license is expired. Bad bad bad. So, after all that time waiting in line, I could only test ride, rather than test drive. The ride is quite smooth, the seats comfy, and the top-of-the-line model has a cool roof that disappears, which was way nicer than my moonroof. I had no problem whatsoever in fitting comfortably. There is less headroom in my car. They aren't for everyone, but for city driving single folks like me, it'd be perfect. Every time I have to parallel park in Lafayette, I wish I had one. So who needs a hybrid car when you can have one-a-these?

6 comments:

Tammy said...

How can any of us care about a SmartCar when we don't know what you named that parakeet?

Davo said...

People. Some of them are so pushy.
After going through various options, including Ariel (considering a poet's final book as well as parakeets' sensitivity to gas/carbon monoxide poisoning, I decided that folks might think me too much of a Plath devotee), Raptor, Peep (people might think I actually like those nuclear by-products that are passed off as marshmallow treats), Moonbat (though that is a current fave), and Dosty, I think the one that is sticking is Bertie. Its close in sound to the triple-"Birdy" I use when I call out to it in the mornings.

--and did I read you right--that you don't c a r e about SmartCars?
How is that possible?

Tammy said...

I simply couldn't care with all the angst over the 'keet's name (or is that Keats?). Now, we can move on to enjoying thoughts of that tiny tiny car.

Kristen said...

Actually, Brian and I were getting worried that you had baked the bird or something...

And, um, I'm not nearly as excited about the cars as you are. I certainly would not have spent two hours in that kind of heat to drive a car!!! Sorry. They are cute though. Shame on you for letting your license expire! Bad Dave!

Brian Burtt said...

Ariel makes me think most of an impossibly-proportioned animated mermaid. Tell us more about his personality...

brian said...

I'm buying one...kinda like that car Steve Urkel used to drive on Family Matters.