I’ve been seeing these tiny little cars – Smart Fortwo, made by Mercedes, but still rare in the U.S. – around Beaverton the last little while, and I’ve noticed that the Carr auto dealerships have been carrying them on the lots. I happen to be at Carr Subaru this morning, getting my 2002 WRX its 60K service, so while I was waiting, I meandered out onto the lot, and took some pictures. They have two of them, a black one and a dark green one, conveniently parked next to a Mini Cooper for size comparison.
I was talking to one of the service writers about the Smart cars, and he said that so far, they’re being imported by a private party, “americanized” for safety and emissions, and resold through dealerships. He said a guy bought 30 of them, and all of the service, etc. is handled through a private third party, not the dealership. Because of all of these extra steps, you pay premium to be the first on your blog to drive one of these. They’re selling for $27,000. Even though they’re cute, and get 60MPG on a tiny 3 cylinder 0.7 liter engine, that’s still pretty steep. Once an official dealership network has been established, the price should go down. The service writer said that they’re expected to sell for $16,000 next year.
You can see all 33 photos I shot, interior and exterior, in this photoset on Flickr. Here are some of the more interesting ones: