The smart car is really only good for 100% city driving. I have seen many of these driving down the highway, desperately trying to keep up with traffic and fighting to stay on the road in crosswinds.
The Smart is a great city commuter, but definitely not safe or suitable for speeds over 45-50 MPH. The biggest issue I had with them was price. So little for so much, plus a very short warranty. I looked at the Smart in 2007 and ended up buying a fully loaded Mustang for the same money. If the Smart sold for $5000 or so, they would be a very appealing car for urban dwellers. As it is, few people will pay the price of a real car for a golf cart.
I don't think at 70mph you would realise full fuel economy. Maybe your motorways don't allow 55-60 mph, but that is where I get my best numbers (65mpg).
As for safety, I have been in a head on collision in my first smart at a combined speed of about 40 mph. I suffered a slight bruising on my left shoulder from the belt. I drive my smart (2006 fortwo cdi) on the highway to work every day. It maintains 65-70 mph and does move around some in wind. So I guess if you want to eat a big mac and shave while texting, you shouldn't get a smart because you need to actually drive it.
Maybe the real question is if you hated your first smart so much, why the second one?
Go to a smart dealer and check one out. I'm not saying buy one, but actually go and sit in it. Test drive it. It's a real car with all the same real car stuff that every other two seat car has.
Sorry, but the Smart definitely does not have "the same stuff" that "every 2-seater" has. It has 400+ less horsepower than Corvette, about 10 feet less length than most cars, less weight, and less safety than most mopeds. Having looked at Smart and seen the outrageous price, I came away amazed that a company can ask that kind of money for a golf cart. The Chevy Cruze Eco costs less than the Smart, seats 4 comfortably, is far safer and gets 50 mpg. If I were a wealthy golfer, the Smart would make an excellent choice for carrying me around the greens. As it is, my $20,000 will be spent on a real car.
I just got an opportunity to see the new Scion (Toyota) iQ. It is billed as a "Four-passenger Smart Car". Well, I guess you could call it that if the two rear-seat passengers are gerbils. It looks remarkably like the Smart ForTwo (in other words it's ugly as mud and looks like a golf cart). It has a minuscule engine with little power and a top speed characteristic of a 10-speed bike.
I can't conceive of the appeal of such cars. They get no better fuel mileage than the Chevy Cruze Eco, have the aesthetic appeal of a toaster and cost as much as a real car. I have heard people say they like to "stand out in a crowd" and "get attention". You will definitely stand out in a crowd. People will roll on the ground laughing and make remarks like "Aren't you a little off course, the 18th hole is over there!!"
I actually tried a Smart ForTwo before buying my current car, and I felt unsafe, silly, and mildly insane for even sitting in one. If they cost 5 grand less and got as many miles per gallon as a Ford Focus, I could POSSIBLY consider one as a third car that I'd never drive on the freeway, but for the same price as a real car... well... I'm buying a REAL CAR!!
I personally own a smart fortwo. It's a 2006 CDI (diesel), and unlike most people who talk about how bad they are but don't own one, I own and like mine. I don't care if I stand out in a crowd, and I don't care what you think about the car or me as we both travel on the highway at 125km/h.
It's got airbags, ABS, and traction control. I drive it all year in northern Alberta, and can't remember how many "real" cars I've seen in the ditches in the middle of winter. Your constant tailgating, unsafe passing, and trying to race a car that we both know won't ever beat you, no longer bothers me. You can intimidate me, laugh at me or tell me how crazy I am. The only thing that matters to me is going from empty to full with $17. Happy motoring.
When I looked at the Smart, I was told it would get only 4 more miles per gallon than the Ford Fusion I bought for $6000 less. The math just didn't add up for me.
If you're considering a small car, get a Fiat 500. I have a Sport model; best built, most fun car I've ever driven. It gets 40 MPG in mixed driving, seats 4, is smaller than a Cooper, and is very quick, especially if you put it in "sport" mode, which is a button on the dash.
You can pick up a new left over model for around 14 grand, and you have a real car. The dash registers 140 mph, I had mine at 120 with pedal left, so I'm sure it would do it if I wanted to. Has 7 airbags, electric windows, door locks, Bluetooth, traction control, and many more features as standard that I can't think of right now.
Sweeney Florence in Ky, is where I got mine, couldn't be happier with it.