They didn’t like it. At all.
The Smart Fortwo could do for Midtown gridlock what Mr. Bloomberg’s successful bans on smoking and trans fats did for New Yorkers’ health: after a few miles in this anemic two-seat tomato can, drivers will sprint to the subway and abandon the surface streets for good.
Even if you can endure the loud engine, awful transmission, and clumsy steering, you don’t even get much fuel economy:
Its E.P.A. rating is just 33 miles per gallon in town and 41 on the highway. I averaged an unspectacular 33 m.p.g. over a week of driving.
And at about $14,000 for a midrange model, it’s not even a good value.
It’s hard to beat a basic, non-hybrid Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla for overall value and real-world (not EPA) fuel efficiency. And they’re both far nicer and more versatile cars than this.