I had an appointment today to bring my Subaru Forester to the dealer for its 32K service. Although the dealer offered me a ride home, instead, I put my mountain bike in the back of the SUV and rode it home (in morning rush-hour traffic – crazy!!!!).

At one point I needed to go to the grocery store and was preparing to ride my Electra Amsterdam (with its large saddlebags). But a friend offered to let me try her Smart Car; an offer I eagerly accepted since I’ve never been in one.

What a blast; I’m beaming ear to ear. First, this thing is huge inside; it had no problem swallowing up my 6 ft 250 lbs. plus frame with lots of head and legroom left over. The wide-opening doors made entry and exit easier than in any conventional car I’ve ever been in. The seats are well-bolstered and European sports-car firm. Very comfortable; I could easily envision even a long road trip.

The engine is, of course, rather anemic and it noticeably loses power at each shift point. These shift-points also come way too early on the torque-curve; a concession to fuel economy I suppose. Potholes (for which Montreal is famous) make the poor thing bounce like a Mexican jumping bean, and your kidneys take a walloping despite the great seats.

I once described my wife’s Toyota Yaris as a go-kart with four seats, but this Smart Car really is a go cart!!! Great fun, terrific styling; a perfect commuter car.

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