Been seeing one these occasionally on the ride in to work. They need to retire the ultimate driving machine tag line if they haven’t already. IMO, someone broke a few ugly sticks on this thing. The rear end looks particularly goofy to me, actually worse seeing in person…
I don’t like it, nor do I want one, but around here there are people who’d buy one just to be the first on the block. We have lots of wealth and status seekers here and exotic cars. There are even people who paid good money for Smart cars. Others drive golf carts, very similar.
I’m pretty sure that your words could have been applied to the Volkswagen Type 1 “Beetle” when they first arrived in the U.S. However, those strange looking, ugly really, underpowered little cars were a pretty big hit. In fact I wore out two of them.
Keep in mind that when the i3 came out, a 60 mile range on an EV was considered pretty good, as the only car around that could beat it was the Tesla Model S, and that started at around 20 grand more (that’s back when you could get a Tesla for under 70k).
I have always thought it was ugly, though. I sat in one at a car show once. I found the Leaf to be more comfortable and ergonomic. Almost made me think BMW wants to dabble in its Isetta history here.
One thing that makes the Smart Fortwo popular among your demographic is that they are popular cars to tow behind RVs. You don’t need a car dolly, and can get away with using an inexpensive utility trailer to haul them if you know how to strap them down safely thanks to a curb weight that is close to 2,000 lbs.
The i3’s that come on the market mostly seem to have been driven a couple thousand miles a year, more common in Seattle than down here although there is one on the market at a local dealer. $20,000 or less for the range extender model with low miles.
Remember the late 1950’s cars? The weird looking fins and all that? In 1960 that all changed. Back to a more classic style appearance. This reversion to classic style appearance in cars seems to happen every 30 years. 1960’s cars, 1990’s cars tend to look similar. Even 1930’s cars, like the Ford deuce coupe, considered by many still to be one of the better lookers. Maybe the 2020’s will return to the more conventional classic look. We can only hope. There’s still a lot of classic look sedans now of course. VW sedans have a nice appearance, many of the BMW 3 gasoline series are great looking.
Here’s my take on the i3, which has now pretty much faded into obscurity given the Tesla Model 3. I think you will find I was brutally honest about the looks. What I left out was the top of the dash is made from recycled plant material. And looks like it.