What is the ideal car for the city?

Scott Benjamin

If you had to deal with traffic like this everyday, which car would you choose to drive? (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

As I drove from the suburbs into the city early this morning, I had a little time to ponder another car question. I was wondering how my choice of vehicle would be affected by where I live. The car I drive seems perfect for my current needs, but what if I moved into the city?

Now, I understand that a lot of city dwellers decide that it's unnecessary or just too difficult to own a car and they choose to use public transportation. Good for them, but I really don't think I could ever give up my own personal transportation. I'm pretty sure I'd go crazy within a month. So, for the sake of this question, let's just say that you're like me and you simply must own a car. What car would you choose if you lived in the city?

Is the ideal city car a fully electric vehicle with a relatively low driving range (like the Nissan Leaf) or is it a hybrid car (like the Toyota Prius or Ford Fusion Hybrid) that can (mostly) operate on all-electric power around the city, yet still has a gas burning engine to provide the long distance driving range for occasional day trips? Or do you think the ideal car for the city is a very small, highly efficient car (like the smart fortwo, for example) that you can easily park and maneuver almost anywhere -- even though it doesn't make use of electric power, but rather a gas-sipping engine that provides good driving range? There are hundreds of options and the ideal choice is different for everyone, of course, but I'm interested to hear what you think.

More related stuff: Why did cars become the dominant form of transportation in the U.S.? How Subways Work How Hybrid Cars Work How the Ford Fusion Hybrid Works How the Smart Car Works