Yesterday on my way to the Philadelphia Airport to drop off Kathleen, Jimmy, and a couple of other relatives for a weekend trip to Atlanta, I saw two Smart ForTwos on the road in less than an hour.
I saw one in Newtown coming on to the Newtown Bypass. I saw another headed south on 95 toward Center City before the Franklin Mills Mall area. Neither of these cars were Philly CarShare vehicles.
I'm really surprised at how quickly I'm starting to see these cars popping up around here. We live in a fairly affluent community here in Bucks County, but I don't really consider this area as trend setting as places like Manayunk or Conshohocken, or some other place where more city-oriented people with money live in this area.
I guess the fact that I saw these Smarts is an indication that people with disposable income are reacting to gasoline prices, concluding that the price trend is a long-term phenomenon, and adjusting their capital spending accordingly.
These cars cost as little as $11,600 if you want a completely stripped down model. I would never buy one that's low on features because you don't even get a radio, but you can get something reasonably equipped for under $15,000.
My friend Ramona Morel used to own a Smart. I rode in it in Zürich a few times. I didn't feel unsafe in it on the highway there. I wonder what it would be like to drive one in the USA?I also wonder how much it would cost to insure in this country compared to something somewhat larger but still fuel efficient?