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Actually, all model years are pretty much the same mechanically. The interior was refreshed in 2011/2012 and some minor exterior trim pieces were restyled about the same time. The warranty was also increased to 4 yr/50K miles in a later model year. The 2012/2013s picked up a couple more airbags.

But, between the 2008/2010 there really isn't any "major" differences that I can recall. Of course, some bits and pieces were refined during that time and the transmission software was upgraded (which should also be done to any 2008), but nothing that I would consider major. Same engine, same transmission, same interior, same exterior, just minor evolutionary tweaks. There were a few teething issues on the very early 2008s (first model year for the US), but most of those should have been handled under warranty by a dealer.

I'm sure someone else will chime in if I've missed something. :) My late 2008 is still going strong 5 years and about 70K miles later. Of course, if everything else is equal, there's no reason not to go for the 2010.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
how do you tell whether the transmission software has upgraded and the teeth was handled? Can I still go in a dealership and ask them to honour them even now the warranty has obviously expired?
 

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You can call a dealer and give them the VIN number and they can tell you if it's been upgraded. That's what I did. It did cost me $115 to upgrade mine which I also purchased used in June. Yes it should be free but unfortunately it isn't.
 

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Yes, your best bet on an earlier model would be to contact a dealer. There have been further software updates even beyond 2010, but that is usually only done if a specific problem is reported or if it is requested by the owner and a fee is paid. I paid $95 to have all software updates (trans, engine, ABS, etc.) applied to my 2008 back in 2011, so shop around with dealers if you can.

The teething issues, primarily improperly lubed shifters and bad blower fans, would have already affected the car such that it would have been resolved. IMO, if it's working now it should be OK.
 

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I've owned an '08 passion,an '09 BRABUS and a 2012 passion, and the differences in transmission feel have been negligible. If you're looking at an older smart, just factor in $100 or so to have it flashed to the latest update and you'll be fine.
 

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Model Year Differences from 2007 to 2010:

2008 - Introduction of the 451 to US soil. Has different compression ratio and slightly thicker bumpers than the 2007 European models. Also has the necessary emissions equipment.

Some 2008 models have had clutch/transmission issues, all of which were warranty items fixed with better parts, hopefully forever mending said issues.

2009 - Introduction of the Brabus package. The 2008 red was discontinued in favor of a new shade called "Rally Red". Automatic Wipers and Headlights were discontinued on all 2009s with build dates in the year 2009. Door pockets were also upgraded to a mesh. Interior colors were improved as well. Yellow exterior color was discontinued.

And most importantly, the introduction of the 2.0 transmission software. All 2009s have the 2.0 software as well as the better clutch plates that were given to the 2008s that required replacement.

2010 - Brabus package discontinued. Automatic Wipers and Headlights return (and have stayed ever since), a new exterior color or two was introduced. On late 2010 models resistors were added to lighting wires so bulbs would stop blowing.

2010 also saw a limited edition "chrome pure" model, which featured a pure with a black Tridion Cell, pale yellow panels, and the Chrome Accessory package (chrome mirror caps, grille surround, and tailgate handle).
 

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Price, that really some's it up. You can buy a low milages, 08 really cheap. Make sure its been maintain. I have 2008, two free software upgrades on my transmission. Never had a clutch issue. 6 year old car.

smart should a do a recall, on the headlamp resistors. 140 dollar fix, from MB. (I can buy a lot of head lamps for that price.)

Bad AC/heater blower motors, and broken sunscreens, on the 2008 models.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
paid deposit on a 08 cabrio very good condition, 16000 miles (yes 16,000) for $7800, is it good price??

also when you guys mention the resistor, do I need to get new resistors too?
 

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I don't have the resistors in my '09 and have only had a few burned out headlights. Most of my driving is at night with the lights on (work 2nd shift) and have over 115,000 miles.
 

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I don't have the resistors in my '09 and have only had a few burned out headlights. Most of my driving is at night with the lights on (work 2nd shift) and have over 115,000 miles.
Same here. I believe I'm up to 4 low beam bulbs over more than 5 years in my 2008, so personally, I wouldn't worry about it. At about $8 for a Hella bulb and changing one less than once a year, it's not worth the hassle to install anything else. I haven't replaced any other bulbs.
 

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paid deposit on a 08 cabrio very good condition, 16000 miles (yes 16,000) for $7800, is it good price??

also when you guys mention the resistor, do I need to get new resistors too?
I'd call that a great deal! The fair market value for that car with that mileage in very good condition is probably closer to $10,000. You're saving over 2 grand. Who can argue with that? :)
 
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