Smart's seem liberally sprinkled throughout Toronto and surrounding burbs. They seem fine on the highways too, so I don't see why they wouldn't work for long commutes actually.
I do think that anyone looking at a Smart should probably look at a Yaris as well -- if the want a, quote, "real car"
But the fact that the smart is much smaller than a conventional car, is what makes it so interesting a proposition for some. Very easy to park and manouver.
In Canada we see a lot of the cdi versions -- which get very good mileage, but again, not leagues better than a Yaris or Prius...
Keep in mind though, that the drive-train of the Smart is entirely conventional. The next gen engines, possibly available next year, will up the milaegae -- the diesel-electric hybrid looks to be the winner there -- uping both power (esp torque) and range. Will be in the 80-100mpg range.
Smart has axed the forfour -- which was really just a conventional compact with (unsuccessful) smart car styling cues-- and is rumoured to be studying a three seat version for the next evolution of the car.
I wonder how they might lay out the seating in a 'forthree' model?
If the car gets too big, it ceases to be a smart, so it really has to stay within a 2.5 to 3 meter length.
They could seat one sideways behind the driver, who enters passenger side into a full size seat.
They could seat the driver alone up front, like a Mclaren F1 or BMW Z13 microcar concept. The pasengers travel behind you on either side, their footwells on either side of you. Personally, though I think this a departure from the smart philosophy, I'd love to see it. I think that's the ultimate Walter Mitty seating layout -- like being at the controls of a LeMans racer... Maybe that's the way to bring back the smart coupe/roadster?look here
And finally they could seat two up front and one in the back, centrally. Essentially seating the rear passenger on top of the engine bay, facing forward, but if there's enough length to accomodate one, they could probably just fit two back seats.
Toyota's European design studio fit 4 seats into a concept only 50cm longer than the smart. The Endo,see here