Microcars are becoming the new 'it' to cars. These commuter cars started over 50 years ago in Europe and made their way to the United States. The most popular of the microcars in the US have been the Volkswagen Beetle and the BMW MINI. However, look out for the 2nd invasion of microcars to the US this year, and especially in 2008. Recently you can see many microcars in many movies like the Da Vinci Code & the Italian Job. With the rise of fuel efficiency, global warming, and people becoming more "Green", these microcars are a good match for the environment next to hyrbid fuel cell cars. Plus, some of these microcars are hyrid fuel cell cars. Most of this microcars only fit 2 people, so it is hard to have a huge carpool, but they still look cool. Watch out for the Smart car in 2008. They are coming to the US and they are probably one of the coolest microcars with a reasonable price (white car in above picture). Their highest model starts at $17,000 all the others are just under $14,000. However, actors like George Clooney have gotten his hands on the red car pictured above called the Tango. In the Tango, the passengers sit in tandem. However, if you are ready to 'Tango' with the George Clooney's car, get ready to spend around $108,000. The Tango T600 is structured with carbon fiber, fiberglass, and stainless steel frame. The T600 has 2 electric motors that pushes this car to reach 60mph in 3.9 seconds and with a top speed of 150 mph.
The microcars are also becoming an easier wheelchair accessible car where the passenger can just open up the back of the car, roll into the car, and drive. There is no front seat, the passenger owner wheelchair is the front seat. The wheelchair locks into place where the passenger is centered in the car, and in front of a joystick to drive the car.
WE have had Smarts in Canada for a couple of years now. They were very “faddy” for awhile, but quickly lost momentum. As well, the Smart is strictly diesel, instead of hybrid or electric. Why are they rather niched here in Canada?
– Expensive, and I mean expensive! A 2-door Yaris from Toyota is about the same price, is a wee bit bigger, gets comparable gas mileage, and you can fit more in it.
– Very small. You cannot fit two bags of groceries in the wee hatch at the back.
– Horrible to drive in winter conditions. So many people who have bought them in the summer park them for the winter. Ten centimentres of snow stalls them.
This is a car that is great for urbanites, but as a commuter vehicle, not very practical. Until these cars become more affordable, or have a little bit more room (which kind of defeats the microcar purpose) I won’t buy one.