By on April 27, 2012

A reader sent us this photo, explaining the “success” of the Smart Fortwo in Canada. It’s not because of rising gas prices or Canadian small car love. The real reason is that the Fortwo is just so easy to park in the tight confines of Toronto!

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47 Comments on “Why Torontonians Love The Smart Fortwo...”


  • avatar
    replica

    Hopefully, no other cars can fit in the spots in front, or behind, the Smart.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      I was thinking the same thing. It looks like the driver parked right in the middle of 2 spaces keeping anyone other than another Smart driver from parking there

      • 0 avatar
        akitadog

        Sometimes people fail to take into account that things may have transpired before said persons came upon the scene.

        Case-in-point:
        I happened to be walking back to my car parallel-parked on a city street, and it turns out that I ended up walking directly behind the young couple whose Infiniti G37 was parked behind my GTI. I know this because I overheard their conversation that went something like this:

        -He: Oh my God! Why would someone park like that! There’s, like, all this space in front of that car, but they decided to get all up on my bumper! What is wrong with that person?! Unbelieveable!

        -She: Seriously! That’s totally UNCOOL.

        -Etc.

        So, my car was pretty close to the other car’s front bumper, and there WAS about 10 feet of space in front of my car, at the time I overheard this conversation.

        Of course, AT THE TIME I PARKED MY CAR, there was a crew-cab pickup with an extra-long bed parked in the spot in front of mine, which, gave me, really, about 1 to 1.5 feet off either bumper. It was definitely a tight fit and it took a while to get into the spot.

        When I got back to the car, the pickup was gone, replaced by some CUV, and the car in front of that one was also a different one, both of which conspired to create the awkward scene of me apparently trying to play “bumper-kiss” with said genius’ entry-lux lease-mobile.

        We happened upon the scene at the same time, and I politely interrupted their bewilderment, explaining that I couldn’t help but overhear, and did they consider that maybe the situation was a little different when the offending car parked in that spot? Maybe there was a good reason before we arrived here just now that the one car is on their car’s bumper. Did that ever cross their minds?

        All I got was a “Whuh?” accompanied by clueless looks, which were joined by two gaping jaws when I opened my car door, got in, put on my seatbelt, turned on the car, and drove off (yes, that whole time).

        My point? I seriously doubt the Fortwo owner was trying to be such a parking-spot-hogging jackass, and the chances are much higher that surrounding cars had shifted around with time, leading to such a bizarre-looking scene.

        It’s funny how the mind needs an explanation for something NOW (in my case, “That GTI driver is an a$$hole.”), even when all the facts aren’t in.

        EDIT: Ok, feeling a bit sheepish, and after further reading down below, I see that the Fortwo driver WAS trying to be a jackass… I stand corrected in this instance, but I believe my story is more the rule, and this situation is the exception to that rule.

      • 0 avatar
        don1967

        Funny how people get just as upset by a Smart car “wasting” space as they do by a double-parked Dodge Ram.

        I once saw some middle-aged dude go into a tirade because a motorcycle was occupying a parking space in a crowded lot. He looked like he was literally going to push it over, until I intervened and asked him where he thought the motorcycle *should* be parked.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    . . . or is it just that Canadians suck at parallel parking, eh?

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    I’ve driven around Vancouver and the Lower Mainland a bit, and if I can unfairly extrapolate from that (and can anyone stop me?), I can conclude that not only can Canadians not park, but they can’t even drive to begin with.

    Farkin’ terrifying, at least around Burnaby.

    • 0 avatar
      Contrarian

      Well, I’m not touching the “Vancouver lousy driver” issue with a ten foot Pole. Or Hungarian for that matter. But more broadly, I think the lousy driver moniker applies to a majority of North Americans in general. And while downtown T.O. can have some tight spots, it’s nothing compared to older European cities. I would say thet the Smart also gives the illusion of greenness for many urban yuppy types, although in reality they get no better mileage than some much bigger cars.

  • avatar
    dutch45810

    Hey, is that golf cart parked in a reserved bicycle spot?!?

  • avatar
    supersleuth

    I’ve seen a few of these things in the outer suburbs of Cleveland, where they make even less sense. I can only guess that they’re bought as some kind of weird, tasteless fashion accessory.

    • 0 avatar
      dutch45810

      Same here – considering that they have the basic utility of a motorcycle, and the fuel mileage of a Corolla, I just can’t fathom someone laying down $15k for one unless they’re just looking for a big iPhone dock.

      • 0 avatar
        Austinpowerless

        “basic utility of a motorcycle”?!”
        Well, I guess somebody, somewhere, has ridden a bike in more than a foot of snow; or carried home eight bags of groceries, or a flat screen tv. I’ve done all that with my Smart, and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have with any of the bikes I’ve owned.

        Look, I get that people on this site don’t like ForTwo’s, but c’mon–a motorcycle? That’s silly.

        (No iPhone dock, by the way–you’d think there would be …)

      • 0 avatar

        I think sales of the sMart car would be nonexistant, if people would be informed it only gets a maximum of 38 mpg or so on the freeway… REQUIRING PREMIUM GAS.

        You can buy a whole lot more of a car today, for a lot less money, and get the same or better gas mileage on REGULAR gas.

      • 0 avatar
        nikita

        I think the reason these things are so rare in Los Angeles is the weather. Motorcycles and scooters do have great utility where it doesnt snow.

  • avatar

    I can’t find a single good thing to say about the car, but am willing to entertain the possibility that the scene we’re viewing isn’t the same one that the driver walked away from. (He might have parked between two much closer cars that are no longer there.) It’s also possible that he’s a dick.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Well, the CDI option was offered for a while in Canada, which meant that as well as being extremely small, it also achieved extremely low fuel consumption. The gas engine isn’t bad, but no where as good as the CDI for economy.

    As for crazy drivers, my vote is for Quebecers. That’s why we haven’t gone through Quebec in years and now take the NY thruway from Maine to Ontario. I’d rather pay $20 or more in tolls than drive through Quebec for free!

    • 0 avatar
      Quebecer

      I am a Quebecer. I have travel all around the world, and no in Quebec we don’t drive like crazy. The only people who drive fast are some younth male adult (sometime, like everywhere certainly). I know we are not as polite as you, but the internet don’t serve to bash other people, this is really rude and not the place. Go out of amerique, to France for example, you will see what crazy driver mean. So you are not so polite after all.

  • avatar
    Steve65

    Let the cheap shots fly.

    Personally, I prefer viewing the world in a way that doesn’t automatically presume that everyone who isn’t me is dumber than a light pole.

  • avatar

    In Germany, we saw as many as three of those parked together perpendicular to the curb in a space designed for parallel parking of a single real car.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    The Indy dealer has one on display in the Fashion Mall (which also is the home of the local Fiat dealer).

    One day I watched for about 10 minutes (waiting on my wife, LOL).
    It seemed like most kids tried to topple it over, taking pics of such activity with their smartphones.

    • 0 avatar

      Nice kids!

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      How big were these kids? When I was 14 years old in the Netherlands, there were any number of cars that my classmates could shift from their parking space to the middle of the one-way street I lived on. When I was back in the states, my friends had no problem picking up my Festiva and leaving it on the sidewalk from time to time. While the Smart 4duh isn’t as light as the little cars of the pre-pansy days, you’d think people should be able to do whatever they want to them without needing special tools.

  • avatar
    mikey

    The “success” of the Smart Fortwo in Canada? Really?..Maybe in Toronto downtown. Certainly not here here in “905″ country.

    If you consider, just how long we have had the Smart,on the market, I would hardly cal it a success.

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    The first time I saw one of these, probably five years ago, was when I was in Toronto. To me, the car made a ton of sense, and I looked forward to its introduction in the US. I even put a deposit down on one. But smart failed to bring the diesel over, with its promise of 60mpg, and instead, they gave us the gas motor with its relatively crappy mileage. No sale.

  • avatar
    kenzter

    Ya know, it’s quite possible that when he/she parked the Smart it was reasonably parked, but the vehicles around it changed.
    Unless there is a meter or stripes defining the spot, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

    • 0 avatar
      carbiz

      Ha! There are no ‘meters’ or painted markings anymore. The city figured out long ago how to fleece driver’s for longer hours and with less effort. Electronic ATMs suffice for an entire block and the lack of markings make parking a free-for-all (except it ain’t free!)

  • avatar
    torontoscott

    Hey guys, Scott here, friend of Dereks, I took the photo around 3pm today on Bayview. It was a diesel.

    THe two Audi’s are owned by friends of mine who were with me watching this douche bag park while enjoying cigars on the patio. He was an arrogant prick. We gave him a good ribbing, I said his barber must be as accurate as his PDC…not five minutes after he left another subcompact did the same thing….he got abused…haha…Derek has the second pic.

    Cheers

  • avatar
    carbiz

    Look, being a Torontonian, I can see where this city has its strengths, but to submit that the 64th largest city in the world in the 2nd largest country in the world has issues with space or growth is laughable: all of Toronto’s troubles are self-imposed. Canadians are just better at ‘putting up.’
    Generations of myopic, Victorian planning (literally) stifled proper infrastructural growth here until the after WWII. Finally, the city got a series of planners and visionaries that foresaw the time when the city may shake off its sleepy image, and they began to build the expressways and subways that could have undone the earlier damage. Alas, Jane Jacobs cast her jaundiced eye upon the city and not only stopped expressways from being built, she taught the NIMBY crowd how to oppose EVERYTHING.
    Now, after nearly 40 years of building nothing, the city has the worst traffic in North America – possibly the free world. (Look it up: the 401 long ago surpassed the Santa Monica Fwy as the busiest highway.) It has become a sad joke.
    We Canucks are paying more than a $1 gallon than south of the border. You can darned well bet that influences buyer’s decisions! Although after a few years of these ‘Smart’ cars hurting my eyes, I still cannot suppress a smirk when I see one struggling on the highway.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @carbiz….I live in the east end of the GTA. For one reason, or another, I need to go into the city core three or four times a month. Every word you write, is so true.

    IMHO… Driving a Smart on our roads, and highways,makes no sense at all.

    However..”to each his own”

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    he parked it wrong. Isn’t it supposed to be turned 90 degrees so two more Smarts can be parked alongside him?

  • avatar
    22_RE_Speedwagon

    I got stuck behind a Zenn for the first (and likely, last) time yesterday. Thanks Canada.

  • avatar
    bmmr

    I actually have two friends that acquired Smart cars in the last few weeks.. They lease for less than $200.00 a month in Canada

  • avatar
    torontoscott

    Cool, they can then afford the health care if they park like that…lol

  • avatar
    mikey

    @torontoscott…..No, no, no. We have “free” health care, don’t you know.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @torontoscott…..No, no, no. We have “free” health care, don’t you know

  • avatar
    Turkina

    This is when you get your pickup truck with a bull bar, nuzzle up behind the Smart Car, and give it a gentle shove for a couple of car lengths :) Oops! My bad!

  • avatar

    For people outside of the US, at places where (parking & driving) space really is an issue, the Smart still is a viable solution.
    There, the Smart is used in a variety of businesses (police, plumbers, PC- and pizza services), as well for private purposes (it is one of the cheapest and smallest convertibles available). You can also have it with a Diesel engine.
    Why should I use a huge white van, possibly with an V6 or V8 engine, to deliver services or relative small items to customers living in those notoriously picturesque narrow streets?
    So, there are different usage patterns. Nobody is forced to buy such a car by government regulations. Those, who do might simply have a different usage pattern in mind.

  • avatar
    torrnado

    i have had a 2009 brabus for almost a year and it’s the single most fun car i’ve owned. it corners like a slot car and despite the transmission shifting slower than my grandmother on codeine, it’s perfect for san francisco. parking is a breeze given the number of garages with 6′ between them that nothing except a motorcycle/scooter or a smart fortwo could fit within.

    i just don’t get all the opinionated people who feel the need to continually bash the car. if you don’t like it, DON’T BUY IT…but do we have to listen to your opinion just because you don’t like it?


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