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Tales from the Road…

European Styling Comes to the U.S. – Introducing the Smart Fortwo

By Laurel B. Miranda
Smart Fortwo
Wendy Klein Smart Fortwo, with Top Down

After living in Europe where Smart cars have been available for over a decade, Wendy Klein knew she wanted to buy the compact Smart Fortwo when she returned to the United States.

As an instructor and owner of a yoga studio in San Mateo, Wendy is conscious about how her choices impact the environment. One of the things she liked about the Smart Fortwo is that it is considered one of the most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered cars currently available in the United States, getting 33 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway, better than many hybrids.

Wendy also liked the Smart car’s ability to maneuver and park in an urban environment. The Fortwo is less than nine feet long (three feet shorter than a Mini Cooper); consequently, two or three Smart cars can fit into a single curbside parking spot -- but check your local vehicle code first!

After being on a waitlist for over a year and a half, Wendy was thrilled to finally receive her new Fortwo. She describes it as a peppy little car, with handling reminiscent of the Volkswagen Rabbit she drove in an earlier era.

Wendy acknowledges that the Smart car would not be a good choice for a long trip; its suspension system is more suited for quick trips around town. However, Wendy argues that her Fortwo is ideal for the majority of her driving, from dropping off her child at school to quick trips to the market.

As she drives around Hillsborough and Burlingame, the Fortwo brings smiles to the faces of the people as she passes. Even the UPS driver stops to waive at her as she drives by with the car’s convertible top down.

Perhaps even more satisfying for Wendy, however, is a trip to the gas station, where she can fill her tank for a mere $12. Now that is something we could all get used to!

Special Article Series on Environmentally Friendly "Green Cars"

Compliments of Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance