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About saronian

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    Oakland, California
  1. Check out this thread on SCoA regarding the radiator hose rubbing against sharp metal near the engine. It's worth a look before assuming rodents were the cause. Scott
  2. The front and rear are taking on a more aggressive look. I would say the smile has shifted lower and is now a scowl with LED's at the corners of the mouth, now the emblem is acting as the nose.
  3. Hi Mike,In case you haven't done so, check this link on the Smart Car of America forums for San Francisco events:
  4. My compressor is automatically activated when the vent selector is at the 12 o,clock position, and does override the AC button's setting. This may not occur when the outside temperature is below a certain point, but in San Francisco it's never been cold enough to test.To avoid activation of the AC I set the vent selector one click left or right of 12 o'clock.
  5. Well it happened, Penske Motor's is passing smart USA back to Mercedes-Benz USA.No details, just a "press release" style email from Penske.I'm hopeful the car continues to be available in the US.Scott
  6. Sigh... Every day I long for "tank-like comforts"
  7. The US Passion & Cabriolet has two methods depending on year. On 2008 models the heated mirrors are always on when the key is in position 1 or the car is running. Which has been a problem because the heat in both of my mirrors has failed. On 2009 and later models the mirror's heat comes on with the rear window defroster switch.
  8. December deal on 2010 models, $1,500 cash back on pure. That brings base price to $10,040. Good deal, but still too much to turn things around.
  9. I should add that the 2011 Mini Cooper's are amazing, and very expensive. The auto show had some of the top models including a John Cooper Works Clubman which had many options, priced at $48,000. However the quality of materials and workmanship is very high and in my opinion reflect a class of quality above the smart fortwo and Fiat 500.BTW - No smarts at the show
  10. Saw the fiat 500 today while at the San Francisco Auto Show. Quick impressions: Paint quality is beautiful. Material quality is no higher than smart, in some spots it is lower. Fine wheel/tire combo with front and rear disc brakes. Rear seats are unusable unless front seats are moved uncomfortably close to the dash. Seating position feels high. Seat comfort only fair. Dash feels full and tall compared to smart. Rear storage looks only slightly larger than smart unless rear seats are folded flat. Because of angled hatch. Engine compartment is cluttered and cramped. Door hinges were not functioning well, made a cracking sound.
  11. I was amazed to read they have 70,000+ iQ's on the road in Europe.
  12. I am also interested to test out the iQ when it comes to the US. I owned a Scion xA for 5 years and did not enjoy it as much as the smart. The xA averaged 29 mpg in mixed driving, auto transmission was very smooth, suspension was poor and experimenting with different spring/strut/shock combinations offered little improvement. My biggest complaint was rattles, the dash, doors and chassis gained more rattles as time went on. Overall I found the car reliable but lifeless.
  13. Well I didn't see this coming. A smartUSA rebadged Nissan Versa. I'm trying not to prejudge, but the US doesn't need another small Japanese car.
  14. This was a fun thread, I wish I stumbled onto it earlier. We went through a similar search in August, but to add a second car. Really it was replacing our Scion xA which was lost in an accident back in 2008. After driving the smart for two years my perspective on cars had changed, basically I've become cheap. I don't want to spend on features or fuel. Don't get me wrong I love cars more than ever, but can't afford much right now.In the SF Bay Area it's hard to consider anything other than a Prius. Seems like 1 in 10 cars around here are some generation of Prius. Although the end-of-year deals Toyota's were amazing, Honda had some great incentives in August. The Fit Base model with automatic was too good a bargain to pass up. So far it's been an excellent complement to the fortwo. Kind of a poor man's B200, but shorter.