Life with a Smart Car

The Smart Car is looking better and better with each price increase at the gas station. We here at the Edmond Outlook have been wondering what it would be like to own a Smart Car, so we contacted Edmond resident Rebecca Johnson to find out.

Q: What’s it like driving your car at 70mph?
A: On really windy days, it can be challenging. Fully loaded, it only weighs 1800 pounds, so on windy days it needs your full attention-no cell phone and definitely both hands on the wheel. Otherwise it’s great, even at 70mph, and fairly smooth. With the windows down, it feels like a fun, comfortable, sporty ride.

Q: Do you get many stares or inquiries about how Smart you are?
A: Yes and yes. People drive up beside me and smile, give a thumbs-up and ask as many questions as they can at stoplights. Some have slowed down long enough to take pictures with their cell phones. The best one was while driving on the Kilpatrick Turnpike, when a Ferrari drove up alongside me. The driver checked out our car, smiled, gave us a big thumbs-up and then left us in her dust. Shouldn’t the envy be the other way around?

One man asked what kind of car it was. I said, “A Smart Car.” Not realizing that I was being serious, he said, “I realize that, but what is the make of the car?” I said, “It really is called a Smart Car; the model is a Fortwo” (a Smart Car for two people). He laughed and replied “Oh! But who makes it?” It’s a Swatch design manufactured by a subsidiary of Mercedes.

Q: What is your favorite thing about the car?
A: Aside from the fuel economy issue… my favorite thing is that the air conditioner will cool down the car in less than one minute.

Q: Least favorite?
A: Not being able to hear anything over the air conditioner.

Q: Could a 6’ 2”, 220-pound man fit inside?
A: Yes, but his passenger could weigh no more than 280 pounds. There is a 500-pound weight capacity limit.

Q: What’s it got underneath the hood?
A: The hood? No hood-the engine is in the rear. But seriously, under the “hood” it has a 3-cylinder, 1 liter, 70hp gas engine and a 5-speed automated-manual transmission. However, in the space above the engine there is room for more than 10 full bags of groceries.

Q: Since it is smaller than most vehicles , do you ever feel the car sort of bow-up when parked next to a motorcycle?
A: Of course; but occasionally the Smart Car has a bit of horsepower envy.

Q: Would you recommend this car to a friend?
A: YES! Then we could share the same parking space.

Q: What was your first car?
A: A Datsun 200SX, probably not much bigger than the Smart. I’ve gone full-circle.

Q: What’s the stereo like?
A: It’s definitely not about the stereo. However, there is a 6-CD changer, with a digital screen and two decent speakers. Not exactly concert hall sound quality. But who cares when the air conditioner is on? When I want real sound, I drive the Audi.

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