Hi, everyone. Thought I'd introduce myself.
I just bought a Red/Black cabriolet less than two weeks ago. Unlike many (most?) of you, my wife and I were able to choose from a wide selection of smarts on the lot & in the "back room" at the recently-opened smart center Stevens Creek (Santa Clara, CA) and make an immediate purchase. Michelle and her colleagues were great to work with and we had the easiest, lowest-pressure dealership experience ever (and we've had lots of 'em).
I haven't really been driving for several years, following an interruption caused by some health problems, because (a) I haven't really had to and I hate the mess that auto-sprawl has made of our landscape and (b) during that period, my wife bought a Civic hybrid in which I just don't fit behind the wheel (I'm tall and wide). I've been "sort of" looking for a sensible, high-mpg vehicle to make some of my mostly-urban trips more convenient, but everything I tried that was sufficiently small and fuel-efficient just felt too crowded.
I had, of course, been aware of the smart, and I liked the concept, but I just assumed that the interior would have even less space than the compacts I'd investigated. Then, one day recently, I stumbled upon a video on the smart USA web site showing *really* big guys fitting comfortably in a smartie. Hmmm.
A few days later, I was with my wife when she stopped by her Honda dealer for routine something-or-other and they had a passion cab on the showroom floor (the dealership is owned by Penske). We both sat in it and knew, immediately, that we had to check this thing out, seriously. They told us about smart center Stevens Creek and, pretty soon, we zipped down the Peninsula and... just bought one.
I wasn't feeling very well that day, so there was no way we were going to drive two vehicles back home. No problem! Our very knowledgeable and helpful sales rep, Ryan, just convoyed up with a co-worker, the very next day, and delivered the car.
If you are anywhere near the South Bay/San Francisco Peninsula and shopping for a smart, by all means, stop in and see Michelle and her crew. You couldn't ask for a nicer, *smarter* car dealership.
So far, we love the cabriolet. It's exactly what I expected, only better.
We've been hearing the same cute and/or clueless comments you've all been reporting, read many of the reviews by car pundits who just don't get it, etc. But I'm also seeing quite a few other smarties on the streets around here, and getting smiles and waves from their drivers. Seems like there's a chance that many Americans may be able to understand that road boats and land rockets are *not* the future of urban personal transportation, after all.