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Smart cars coming in January. Would you buy one?

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These things are tiny. Ever seen one? They can parallel park lengthwise. Or widthwise. Whatever. Nose to the curb, is what I’m getting at. I’ve seen them all over Europe and they look like life-sized Micro Machines.

They’ll be sold here in January for just under $12,000 and they’re supposed to get 40 miles to the gallon.

At nine feet long and 1,800 pounds, you’d think that it’d crumple up like a beer can if it got hit by something bigger (which is just about everything) but company officials claim that it’s “basically built like a race car, with the steel cage technology that protects the occupants.” It’s apparently supposed to be able to grab four out of five stars in government crash tests (it’ll be tested once it’s on the market).

I’d like to test drive one just to see if I’d actually fit in it (I’m 6′ 4″) and to check out how it handles. I think $12,000 is kinda steep for half a car, though. On the flip side of that coin is how great it’d be to be able to parallel park my ass off all around the city of Boston. If this thing could break the $10,000 barrier, I think we’d see them all over the place here.

Mini to the max: Will the Smart car grow on U.S. drivers? [CNN]

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