How smart is the Smart car?

4:24 PM, Feb 1, 2008   |    comments
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Lined up along-side cars in a parking lot, it takes a closer, second look to notice the unusually small car that hardly fills a parking space. "It's 8.8 feet long, 5.1 feet high, and 5.1 feet wide," said Gene Backer of the Bloomington Smart Center. As tall as it is wide, right around 5 feet, the smart car is a perfect fit for small car enthusiast, "The engine's in back," and KARE 11 engineer Craig Wolfe. "Underneath the other cover and there she is," Wolfe displayed the engine. The one liter clicks without a clack at one week old. "I first saw the cars in England in 2004 in December," Wolfe said. He was so taken by its simplistic luxury, he took pictures of the car while on vacation. Back home he searched them out on the internet and finally, two weeks ago the car came to him, when a Smart car dealership opened in Bloomington. "We do a demonstration, they test drive the car and then what we do is make a reservation with Smart USA," said Backer. Unlike other dealerships, you cannot buy a car off the showroom floor, they're all sold. What you can do is add your name to the reservation list and wait, or you can go online and for a few thousand more than retail nab a new one. "I know I'm the fifth one to drive out of the dealership with one, so I know there's at least four others on the road somewhere," Wolfe said. Many more are lined up at the dealership, all tagged hold or sold. "It's the right car for the right time, fuel prices, congestion in the cities, parking," Backer said. At 40 plus highway miles per gallon, able to fit in the smallest of parking lots, what Europe has had for years is here, you just may have to wait for yours.

By Jeffrey DeMars, KARE 11 News

(Copyright 2007 KARE TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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