In January 2008, three different Smart Car models become available for purchase in the United States. Mercedes-Benz produces the Smart Car in Europe. In 2005, a company named Zap got approval from the US Department of Transportation to produce these cars. However, Mercedes-Benz now has approval to sell the Smart Car in the United States, as well.
In Europe, the Smart Car MPG is rated around 60 MPG. Though the United States has more stringent emissions standards, the Smart Car MPG has remained close to this amount. Though the Smart Car companies have been working toward getting a higher MPG, currently the Smart Car MPG remains around 60 MPG.
Smart Car MPG
The Smart Car MPG is one of the most alluring aspects of this unique car. Though when first brought to the United States, the EPA rated the Smart Car at approximately 37 MPG, more testing has brought that amount to 60 MPG. In Germany, Volkswagon is working on a version of the Smart Car that is projected to get 100 MPG. However, this 100-MPG Smart Car is still in the concept stages. It may be several years before this higher MPG car is available.
Smart Car Competition
In the time that the Smart Car has been produced in the United States, several other companies have been considered competition for the Smart Car. Though these cars are considered competitors, only the Toyota Prius gets a similar MPG as the Smart Car. The base manufacturer price for the Toyota Prius is $21,000; whereas, the base manufacturer price for the Smart Car is around $12,000. This difference in price makes the Smart Car more affordable for those who are looking for a better MPG to compensate for the higher gas prices.
Currently, the Smart Car only comes with seating for two. At one point, Mercedes-Benz offered a four seat Smart Car. However, this version was discontinued due to lack of interest.
Smart Car Advantages
The Smart Car MPG is one of the biggest advantages for the Smart Car. The Smart Car is a gasoline electric hybrid. Though the 1 liter, 61 cubic inch engine may seem small, the top speed is electronically controlled at 90 MPH.
At a little over 8 feet long, the Smart Car is small. However, the rear storage area has at least 8 cubic feet of storage space. Plus, the passenger seat folds down for even more storage space. The Smart Car accommodates luggage, golf clubs, or skis without a problem. This makes the Smart Car perfect for trips to the airport, or a golf or ski weekend.
The Smart Car comes in three versions. There is the Smart Car fortwo Pure. This car is the base model of the Smart Car series. The Pure comes with a 5-speed manual transmission. Even though this is a base model, it still comes with the electronic sensors with weight detection to protect a child in a car seat that is placed in the passenger seat of the car. Also included is a remote locking system and leather steering wheel.
The Smart Car fortwo Passion Coupe includes all the above, plus air conditioning with climate control. Alloy wheels and power windows come standard, but an AM/FM CD player is optional. The metallic paint comes standard, instead of as an option like the Pure.
The Smart Car fortwo Passion Cabriolet includes an in-dash MP3 compatible 6 disk CD player standard. This version is the convertible of the Smart Car line. The convertible top is fully automatic with a glass rear window.
Each version of the Smart Car still gets the exceptional Smart Car MPG. The options simply add to your enjoyment of the Smart Car experience. Even the base Smart Car fortwo Pure version has an optional AM/FM radio with 6 CD changer, though this option does not come standard.
Smart Car Safety Features
The Smart Car has an electronically controlled airbag system that recognizes if there is a child seat in the passenger seat of the car. If there is a child seat, the air bags are turned off. However, you will want to verify that the airbags are actually off by looking at the indicator light.
The Smart Car comes with an electronic stability control program, an anti-lock braking system, and both front and side air bags. Additionally, the construction of the Smart Car includes a steel bubble or cell that helps redistribute any crash energy to keep the passenger area safe during a crash. Though the vehicle is small, the wheelbase will also help absorb crash energy. The doors come off to make it easy for rescue workers to get to anyone in the passenger compartment. With Electronic Brake Assist and Cornering Brake Control, you can stay more in control of your car no matter what is happening around you.