I find the new Smart car intriguing. By that I mean it is an impressive engineering feat, a welcomed relief in fuel economy, and even cute…in an adorable, dirty diapered, baby sort of way. But don’t ask me to ride in one. I’m intrigued, not suicidal. 

First, when I look at it, I have this vague, uncertain feeling it’s only part-way finished. Like right in the middle of assembly, the workers abandoned it for something else.  

Factory Worker: Hey, Boss, I have one-third of the car frame complete, but I’m waiting on a shipment of metal to finish the job.
Boss: (inspects the vehicle, rubs his chin thinking, and brightens with an innovative solution) Well, lunch time is in 5 minutes. Slap a back on it and call it done. 

Then some creative genius in the advertising department cleverly devises a marketing scheme that panders to a gullible public by dubbing this mighty midget of an automobile with an intelligent name and targeting it to an educated consumer. And at the end of the work day, he’s climbing into a Hummer. 

Even if I was convinced this enclosed scooter is totally safe, I’m still not sure I could endure the cramped space. Although on the positive side, the cabin is so snug looking a seat belt is probably optional. The windshield is 12 inches in front of your face and the rear window 3 inches from the back of your head. The only real purpose for even having windows is so everyone else can be entertained by viewing the claustrophobic terror on your face. 

I guess the engine is peppy enough to keep up with traffic though. I’m driving down the highway one day at 70 miles an hour in my Nissan Sentra—there’s a good 3 feet on either side of me so I’m feeling pretty secure. As I zip past a long convoy of semi-trucks traveling bumper to bumper, sandwiched between 2 tractor trailers is a guy in one of those little cars. Traveling 70 miles per hour between massive tons of steel with a foot of space on either side. Now I ask you: Is that smart?