I remember attending the World of Commodore 2004 and falling in love with a small commuter vehicle seen while going out to eat one night in Canada. At the time, there was no need for a commuter vehicle, and the idea passed on.
Fast forward to 2010. With this new position and our new location in the country, I will be commuting 30 minutes to work each day. Since the Ford F350 truck is not known for great gas mileage (and, diesel tends to be more expensive than gasoline), I once again thought of that commuter vehicle.
After some research (including a test drive of one in Omaha while enroute to Sioux Falls), I was able to purchase a used model with all of the options I desired.
The vehicle? It’s a Red 2009 Smart ForTwo Cabriolet:
The photo shows it with our RV in the background. It gets ~41MPG, weighs less than 2000 pounds, will indeed fit in the bed of the pickup, and can go at least 80MPH (Interstates in SD are 75). The convertible option is truly non-essential, but some would say the entire car fits that description. My 6’2″ frame fits comfortably in the vehicle, with plenty of legroom. The kids fight over who gets to ride in the passenger seat, and it has been nicknamed “Smartie” already. It does seem fitting that the Brain family would own a “Smart” car.
Obviously, it’s no match for the worst of Winter in Sioux Falls, but those are days when the truck will justify itself as a commuter vehicle.