Smart ForTwo Electric Drive at Urban Stage, London
The cabin is a nice place to spend time when you're at a standstill, and the high driving position puts you somewhere between regular cars and SUVs. Used exclusively in a city environment, it makes a lot of sense.
Especially in London.
All Smarts (the Brabus performance model excepted) are exempt from the Congestion Charge, meaning no £10 ($16) per day charge. They're also Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax) exempt, and the electric drive takes the cost-cutting a step further, since it'll cost a pittance to "refuel", even compared to the miserly diesel model.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a car better suited to congested European streets.
In the United States? With larger and more car-friendly cities, greater commuting distances, and cheaper energy costs, the gem starts to lose its sheen. Throw in the fact that wherever you live, the Smart is lease-only with a minimum down-payment of $2,500 and monthly payments from $599, and it becomes much harder to make a case for the car.
So is the Smart Electric Drive the perfect city car?
Unfortunately, no: It isn't.
But with a new model in the pipeline that will hopefully right the current car's wrongs, and be available for purchase as well as lease, you never know--that verdict might change.