James Delingpole hate Smart Cars (Smug Cars) and the Toyota Prius (Pious).
All right. I admit it, Iâ€™m prejudiced. I hate Smart cars.
Iâ€™ve loathed them ever since I glimpsed the first ones, crawling along the streets of London â€” from 0 to 60 in about half an hour â€” some time in the mid Noughties.
The Smart car was the brainchild of Nicolas Hayek, the man who invented Swatch watches. His idea was for a small, fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly car that would be easy to park in small, city spaces.
The Swatch company started working with car giants Daimler-Benz in 1995 and the first of the new cars was shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1997.
The carâ€™s makers boast that their vehicles â€” from exterior to seats, even the car battery â€” are 98 per cent recyclable, and each car is classified as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV).
They run on regular diesel or petrol, but are considered eco-friendly because they do around 70 miles to the gallon and their carbon emissions are low.
The truth, though, is that the Smart car â€” or Smug car, as it should really be known â€” masquerades as something modest, simple, practical and back-to-basics when, in fact, itâ€™s just a poseurâ€™s gimmick.
Driving a Smart car is the modern version of those horrid old back window stickers that used to say: â€˜My other car is a Porsche.â€™
Except the difference is that if you have a Smart car, your other car probably is a Porsche.
Have a look at the price list and youâ€™ll see what I mean.
These things arenâ€™t manufactured for peanuts by some charming little yogurt-weaving collective in Wales.
Theyâ€™re made in Germany by Daimler, with pricing to match.
Even the most basic, two-door model doesnâ€™t leave you with much change out of Â£11,000. Read more »