33 photos of the Smart Fortwo microcar, inside and out

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:


7 thoughts on “33 photos of the Smart Fortwo microcar, inside and out

  1. “Because of all of these extra steps, you pay premium to be the first on your blog to drive one of these.”

    Hee hee, did you mean to say blog instead of block, or was that an honest mistake? Either way, that’s amusing. 😀

    The hubby and I have admired the Smart cars for a while, and we are excited to see them sold here in the US, but considering how very small they are (would be hard to get a week’s worth of groceries in the back), we keep going back and forth on whether or not we’d buy one over something like the Honda Fit, or a Scion for a secondary vehicle.

    I have seen one driving around here (western suburbs of Chicago) plastered with Subway branding. Not sure if it was actually a Subway delivery vehicle or perhaps someone won it for free, but has to drive around with Subway branding??

    Anyway, it’s a pretty cute car, and would be fine for my short commute in general. Just not for running regular errands like the weekly grocery run. And it’s still rather high-priced compared to other compact cars.

  2. Jona Titus says:

    SO glad you checked these cars out. I’ve been seeing them around myself and wondering what the heck they were and their costs. Sounds like when they get down to a resonable price they’ll be great commuter cars.

  3. Sujatha says:

    These have been around in Eurpoe for a while. We went on a 2 week trip of several countries in May 2004 and they were everywhere. And it made a lot of sense there considering that roads weren’t so big and parking spots were relatively smaller too.

  4. Mike says:

    Yep these are fairly popular on the continent (as we in the UK refer to mainland Europe), I remember visiting Rome and seeing lots of them. In terms of parking spots that they can fit into – I’ve seen them driven straight into a parking space i.e. headlights facing the pavement (or is that sidewalk?) and the rear of the car doesn’t extend into the road more than cars parked conventionally either side!

  5. They are indeed everywhere in Switzerland, and have been for quite a few years. It’s fun to think that the US are “discovering” them 🙂

    If you look at the French wikipedia article, you’ll see the idea was originally Swiss Swatch inventor Nicolas Hayek’s. He approached various car companies with his “micro-car” idea, was rejected a lot, of course, until the Mercedes group decides to pick up the challenge.

    The two-place Smart (to become the Fortwo) starts in 1998, but is not as revolutionary as Nicolas Hayek would have wanted and he steps out.

  6. Bradley says:

    The smart cars aren’t available in the U.S. yet unless you get one imported and converted to meet American standards. If you look at the smart car’s web page ( it shows that the price of the entry level car is less than 12K and the well equipped model is less than 14K. I have a reservation for a red with black frame. I’m very excited to be the first one on my block to have it. 🙂

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