The Smart ForFour is not a particularly great hatchback. It’s overpriced, and not really better than the Mitsubishi Colt on which it’s based. But it does look funky, and if it were not for DaimlerChrysler’s cold feet over the Smart brand, could have survived a little longer for the automaker to make its money back on the tooling.
Although this piece of advice is probably too little, too late, DaimlerChrysler could have thought of its brands a bit more, and how it could spend very little for larger gain.
Smart ForFour could have easily been given a very tiny makeover, be rid of its whacky colour scheme, and turned into the Chrysler Java—the small, entry-level hatchback that the company promised in the 1990s and previewed as a show car.
It even looks mildly like how I recall the Java, if it were painted more conventionally. Chrysler then has something vaguely Euro-friendly to tempt entry-level buyers—especially in France and Italy where superminis are loved—and there would be fewer complaints about the cars being too American.
And besides, it can’t be any worse, at least styling-wise, than the awkward 2007 Sebring.
While the negotiations with Mitsubishi and Nedcar are well over, and the Colt platform is probably not available any more, it would have made some sense.
I keep seeing these missed opportunities: am I alone? This would have been Dodge Colt redux, but with more individuality in the design. I am not reinventing the wheel here when I suggest Chrysler rehash a small Mitsubishi hatchback. Posted by Jack Yan, 09:17
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