by Jay Morris--WKZO.COM Columnist--
I was talking to my wife last she says,” Did you see the smart car driving around the neighborhood? ” I said “yes” with a bit of disdain in my voice. She responded with “If I were single without kids I would buy one" I thought about what she said and I can't see why any man would ever want to buy one.
Let me just say I am not a real “car guy” I have owned some of the least cool automobiles ever made. My list includes the Ford Pinto Station wagon, the rotten early 80's Mustang 2, and the Pontiac T-1000. So for me this is not a testosterone filled rant about the undersizing of these smart cars.
First think about the logistics of fitting into one of those smart tin cans. I have a difficult enough time with leg room in my '96 Cavalier. I always seem to try to stretch out my legs out without the ability to move another inch or two. Compare that to a smart car, and I think I'd be hunched over like Mr. Incredible from the movie “The Incredibles”.
I curiously went to the Smart car web site to find all kinds of safety data, which says “The smart fortwo ( yes that is what they call their 2 seater) meets or exceeds all federal government crash test standards, including a 5-star side crash rating, and the highest scores for front and side crash worthiness and roof strength from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In addition, the vehicle’s safety management system is equipped with advanced crash avoidance (active safety) and crash protection (passive safety) systems that come standard on all models.” I feel nervous just driving next to a smart car, just the possibility of an accident, and I can imagine it crushing like tin foil in my hands.
I know these objections may not make sense to my wife, but her being 5' 2” and me being 6'1” may have something more to do with my overall dislike for this tin can on wheels. I can already feel how my knees would get crushed in the steering wheel every time I get into the car, only to try to move the seat back. Then realizing that it is back.