Big SUVs and large pickups might be dominating the US auto market these days, but hope springs eternal for smaller rides.
Daimler rolled out one of the most familiar micro-cars in the late 1990s, under the Smart brand. The idea was to offer ultra-compact transportation to city dwellers. And the vehicles are still around. I sampled a sassy convertible in 2016.
Of course, these vehicles haven't exactly caught on: only about 100 of the gas- and electric-powered vehicles sell per month in the US.
But on paper, very small city cars still make sense, and a new player, Electra Meccanica, recently asked me to sample its all-electric three-wheeler, which can cover 100 miles on a charge and is aimed at commuters and urban inhabitants.
The Solo seats just one and costs $15,000. The Smart Fortwo has a base price of less than $19,000, although the drop-top I tested came in at $24,000.
Given that there are so few micro-cars out there, I figured it might be worth it to compare the two, although it isn't entirely fair. The Smart is, after all, a proper automobile with four wheels. I also dared to take it on the highway, while I only drove the Solo for a few hours, in Manhattan.
With that in mind, each vehicle has its virtues. Read on to learn more about them.
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