ON SALE: JANUARY 2008 / $12,000-$17,000 (EST.)
The age of the microcar might finally have begun in America. As of this summer, more than 20,000 Americans had placed $99 deposits for the 2008 ForTwo--the new, second-generation model of the pipsqueak that went on sale in Canada in 2004. About fifty dealerships (mostly satellites of existing Mercedes stores) will sell the car beginning in January. From the driver's seat, the nimble two-seater doesn't feel extra dinky, because the cabin is relatively spacious. At sixty-one inches, the ForTwo is quite tall, but its wide stance makes it remarkably stable. Fuel economy figures should exceed 40 mpg--not as high as you might expect but still comforting when gasoline is three bucks a gallon.