Just can't get by the 35-40 MPG rating for such a small car,If it got 100MPG I could see it!!! My SL-500 gets nearly 30MPG and is a SAFE car. I'm sorry, but I just don't understand how an educated Human could drive one of these death-traps, I guess they(in their own mind) feel like there saving the planet. I'm sorry if this sounds HARSH, Just the way I feel!!!
I would agree that it makes no sense to buy a Smart with a gas engine because of the fuel consumption. There may be other factors such as parking space available or maybe someone just likes the looks of it.
The diesels we used to be able to get in Canada have MUCH better mileage and the new European MHDs that cut the engine when stopped, say at a light, improve the gassers mileage by about 13% in town for a mileage of about 53mpg.
Some of this may not seem important to those in USA where gas and diesel is still cheap. In Canada, we pay more, but in Europe fuel is much more expensive ($7.50/gal for diesel?)
Regarding safety - "Feelings" don't really count
The car has been engineered to be safe. It does have crumple zones and the driver & passenger sit in a reinforced steel cage with multiple airbags that have been engineered and shown to be safe in crash situations. This is not a F1 racer, but these days drivers even walk away from crashes at 200mph in those!
A lot of these cars have been sold, so I guess some like them! We have a 2006 diesel - just for mmy wife to run to the shops or golf course. Makes a lot of sense for us, at least until the next wave of mini-cars arrive.