Gayle Boggess of West Des Moines, a proud owner of a 2009 Smart Passion Coupe, has heard it all before from gawkers and so-called car experts.
“Is that electric?”
“What kind of mileage do you get?”
“I wouldn’t want to get in an accident in it.”
Then she politely points out to the naysayers that her Smart Car runs on gasoline and averages about 36 mpg in town and a little more than 40 mpg on the highway. Not to mention that it received a four-star crash rating (thanks in part to its roll cage), fits in spaces other automobiles cannot, and that it houses a surprisingly accommodating interior.
“When I show them how much room there is in it and how I can get six bags of groceries in the back they say, ‘Wow,’ ” says Boggess, who commutes to her downtown Des Moines job by bus to save wear and tear on her Smart Car.
Smart Car, smarter owner.
Boggess says she was inspired by her father’s decision to buy a Smart Car before she bought hers. She was in the market for a fuel-efficient, safe car.
“Like father, like daughter,” she says. “He is very safety-minded, so if he thought it was OK, it was OK by me.”
Though Boggess and her husband also own a van, she says that they mostly drive their Smart Car around town and on long trips, like those to Omaha where they bought the car used in 2010 to have its oil changed every 10,000 miles. The only drawback to owning one, she says, is that there is not yet a Smart Car dealer or mechanic in the Des Moines area.
“The upside is that we plan a weekend getaway around it,” she says.
The small car has a 1.01 liter, three-cycle engine that features a manual transmission with an automatic gear shifter. It also boasts lightweight, plastic panels to keep its weight down and its fuel efficiency up and a moonroof.
“It’s a comfortable ride and a lot of fun because it drives like a sports car. Also, I don’t have to parallel park anymore,” Boggess says. “I enjoy driving it.”Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”