All used cars are a bit of a gamble - Some have a better history than others, so they are less of a gamble. IMO, the iMiEV is one of those
I guess it all comes down to what you need the vehicle to do. IMO, there's not much similarity between the iMiEV and the Smart ED. One is a true 'car' and can do almost everything most cars can do. Haul 4 people in relative comfort, fold down the seats and you have a mini-station wagon. We have a thread here somewhere about all the things people have hauled in their cars. For me, the big one was a 250 pound, 54" mower deck for my Kubota diesel garden tractor. The parts guy at the dealership said "You're never gonna get THAT in THERE" . . . . and then he came out to the parking lot to help me slide it in - I had measured carefully and knew beforehand it would fit fine . . . . otherwise I would have brought a different vehicle
The iMiEV is a car, and a really easy one to get into and out of, while IMO the Smart is more of a 'toy' - True, it will get one or two people where they need to go, but so will a motorcycle - That doesn't make it a car. Cars can do many other things . . . . haul lumber home, 10 bags of 80 pound Ready-Mix - Tie those on your motorcycle!
But, if it's just you and one other person and you never need to tote more around than your gym bag, it's sometimes neat to own a toy too. I've had several of them over the years which really could not justify their keep, but I still liked them