DENVER – Car2Go users in the Mile High City are getting a big upgrade.
The urban car-sharing service is replacing its tiny two-seat Smart car fleet with Mercedes-Benz CLA sedans and GLA SUVs.
Around a hundred of the newer, bigger cars are already available in Denver, but by the end of August, there will be more than 300 on the city’s streets, according to Car2Go spokesman Tim Krebs.
While Denver is the 11th North American city to launch the Mercedes-Benz models, it will be the first to completely phase out Smart cars. Krebs said that’s partly because of Denver’s unique market and lifestyle. Customers here simply need more room for passengers and gear for trips around town and up into the mountains.
Beyond the extra room for passengers and cargo, the new Mercedes-Benz models come with the latest features like a rearview camera, blind spot assist technology, heated seats, Bluetooth connectivity and a sunroof.
Also different: The new cars won’t have Car2Go’s distinctive blue-and-white paint job. They’ll come in white, silver and black with more subtle Car2Go branding.
Unsurprisingly, the Mercedes-Benz models will cost a bit more to rent. The current fleet of Smart cars costs $0.32 per minute, $15 per hour or $59 per day. The newer, bigger cars will run at $0.45 per minute, $19 per hour and $79 per day.
Renting a Mercedes-Benz works the same way as the existing fleet: Customers use their smartphone to find and unlock nearby cars. The vehicles can then be parked for free at any on-street parking space.
Car2Go also recently expanded its home area, which is the portion of the city in which you can drive and park a car without any fees.