Earlier in the week, I heard that Keeler Smart Center Latham was hosting a Smart Car test drive at Crossgates yesterday and today. I found out about it through Keeler’s tweets encouraging people to stop down. So yesterday, Rose and I stopped down to check it out. I had always wanted to drive one of the Smart cars, but never had the chance.
I had seen them for years before they came to the states a few years ago. In my travels to Europe, and at Lime Rock in Connecticut. The car at Lime Rock was most likely brought to the states and converted to US EPA standards. That was way back in the late 90s or early 2000s, long before they began importing them for sale here.
Recently, I had seen them on the road here and there in the Capital District, and even see one up the street at a neighbor’s house every day. It is bright yellow. You can’t miss it.
Two of the people at the event were marketing reps for Smart USA, and I also met John Sterrett from the Latham Smart Center. He went with me on my test drive. Great guy! We discussed the Smart car as well as sports cars and motorcycles. Who could ask for a better co-pilot? I got to drive the Smart ForTwo Passion Cabriolet in Blue Metallic and Rose drove the Smart ForTwo Passion Coupe in Red.
Here is the common misconception about these cars – they are incredibly roomy inside. The car had lots of legroom and quite a bit of headroom. There was even a decent amount of storage behind the seats for luggage or groceries, whichever you may be hauling. They come equipped with a 1.0 L, 71 HP, 3 cylinder engine. It’s not the fastest car you will ever drive, but it will pay off at the gas pump, as they get 41 miles per gallon according to the Smart USA website. With gas now back to over $3 a gallon, that plays a huge factor in many people’s decision of which new car to buy.
The other question a lot of people ask is about the safety of such a small car. The Smart ForTwo cars have a very high 5-star safety rating per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That is pretty impressive in itself. I would feel very safe in this car. heck, it can’t be any worse that being on a motorcycle in traffic. At least people might see you in the car.
The event is going on tomorrow as well. Make sure you stop down and check them out. Sorry about the crappy pics. All I had with me was my cell and was shooting into the sun. I tweaked them a touch in Photoshop to make them little better. See ya soon!