What makes the Smart Car so smart? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

What makes the Smart Car so smart?

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May 14, 2008

Albany --  Because of these higher gas prices, people are looking for ways to get more for their money. That's why an Albany teenager bought a Smart Car. You know, a tiny little car that turns heads and racks up the gas mileage.

Eighteen-year old Chris Capegreco's new car gets a lot of looks along Gillionville Road. It's different and nearly half the size of most cars on the road.

 "People look, the only people who don't look are people busy on their cell phone," Capegreco says.

It's a Smart Car. Not, intelligent smart, well maybe it is, after all it has a great safety rating, a three liter engine behind the driver's seat, and gets 45 miles per gallon.

It's one of the main reasons Darton College bound Chris purchased the eight foot, eight inch car, that and it's economical. "The base price of this model is $11,500 and this one also has some upgrades on it, so it was a little more than that."

Those upgrades include a radio, CD player, and air conditioning, but you can put as little or as much as you want on this car, making it as expensive or as cheap as you want, and they've become pretty popular.

"The waiting list is around 12 months, after about 8 months they'll send you an E-mail to configure your car," Capegreco says. "You can change anything you want on it you can change pretty much anything you want to and then it takes three months to build it and deliver it."

So far Chris has found only one flaw and it isn't that he can't haul what he wants, he's taken his dog to training class, or keeping up with traffic, he's had the car up to 90 miles per hour, it's that it takes higher octane gas.

"The bad part about it is you have to buy gas with a minimum octane of 91," he said.

It still costs Chris less than $30.00 to fill up the eight gallon tank, which will get him to Atlanta and back. Chris says it's "Worth every penny."

As gas prices continue to climb Chris says more people are stopping him, wanting to know where he got it, and how many miles a gallon he gets.

Just today the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Smart car the highest ratings in front-end and side impact crash tests.