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Smart Car Vending Machines Hit Japan

06/26/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Japanese Smart Car Vending Machine photo

Smart Marketing in Japan
The clever "vending machine" pictured above is located in Japan. You can't really buy a smart car from it, but you can get brochures and info about the various smart models. Yeah, it is anti-climactic.

Smart Car: Good and Bad
The smart fortwo is certainly a mixed bag. While the diesel version gets in the 60+ miles per gallon range and can be run on biodiesel, the gasoline version is only rated at a combined 36 miles per gallons by the EPA. But that doesn't take away from the smart's impact in making very small urban cars more mainstream, and making other compact cars look bigger in comparison.

Japan, Smart Car Vending Machine photo

Upcoming Smart-like Cars
The teacher might soon be surpassed by the students: Toyota's iQ urban microcar looks like it might be more practical with its 3+1 seating configuration, and it will probably have better performance and fuel economy than the smart car in the gasoline model. There's also the all-electric Mitsubishi's i MiEV which shares many design elements (though it is bigger).

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