Smart Car sales skyrocket in Cary

CARY, NC It's called the Smart Car, and Triangle resident Don Hughes just purchased one. "I'm sure people will say - first of all they'll say, what is this? And they'll say, isn't it too small to be safe?" Hughes said.

According to experts - yes it is safe, earning top ratings for front and side crash protection despite its small size. The car is about eight-feet long, and three-feet shorter than the BMW Mini Cooper.

"Sales are spectacular," said Peter Hampson, general manager with the Smart Car dealership. "On paper, we're sold out for 2 years."

The dealership in Cary's been selling Smart Cars since January, about 75 are left on the lot and the waiting list is awfully long.

Don Hughes waited a year for his car, and with gas prices skyrocketing, the timing couldn't be better. "I'll be stopping at the gas pumps much less frequently," Hughes said.

The Smart Car gets 33-miles a gallon in town and 41-mpg on the highway which is less than hybrids. The car also only takes premium gasoline. As for the size, man say the car feels larger than it looks. In fact, we met a man 6'7" picking up his new Smart Car.

The Smart Car's base model costs approximately $13,000. The more popular model is $18,000.

The Toyota Yaris is supposed to get 29-mpg in the city and 37-mpg on the highway. The Honda Civic is expected to get 25-mpg in the city and 36-mpg on the highway. Both cars are a little bigger, but the gas mileage for each is a little less than the Smart Car.

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