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We went to the Washington D.C. Auto Show and were somewhat disappointed. First of all, there was no smart display. I was hoping to get the chance to actually sit in one. I figured smart would be in or near the Mercedes Benz display, but they weren't. We went through both floors and did not find a smart display. We even asked and nobody had seen one. Maybe they have oversold on reservations and don't feel the need to advertise now.

Other than that, I did take a look at the BMW 135i. If there's any car that would cause me to cancel my smart reservation, it is this car. I asked the car show stooge if we could sit in the 135i and he said no. He claimed he hasn't even sat in one (yeah, right). He said they would arrive at dealers in April and we could sit in and drive one then. The problem with the 135i is I would have to trade in my Miata and cancel the smart, since the 135i will run about $35K plus dealer markup. We paid about 22K for the Miata and you know what a passion goes for, so it's a wash financially. The 135i is one of those cars that does it all well, like the BMW 2002 or the original Nissan Sentra SE-R, only better in all respects.

<img src="http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/gallery/displayimage.php?imageid=767" alt="Dc Car Show - January '08[1]" />

We saw several concept cars including the Chevy Volt. The Volt didn't even have an interior. It was flat panel with fake upper seats attached.

<img src="http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/gallery/files/1/1/6/3/2/dc_car_show_-_january_'08%5B10%5D.jpg">

Toyota displayed a plug-in Prius, but I wasn't able to find anyone to tell me if they will actually produce it. If they do, this would be good for those with a short commute.

Mazda had the newest special edition Miata on display with the light blue exterior. I like my Stormy Blue Mica better, but to each their own.

Food was outrageous. At the Food Court, a hot dog was $5, a drink was $3, and fries were $4. At the show, even a can of soda was $3. If you go another year. either eat before you arrive or visit the foot places OUTSIDE the venue.

Overall, I've been to regional auto shows that were better than this.
 

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I was highly, highly disappointed as well. I was only there for about an hour, and I felt like I needed to take a shower when I left. It was beyond oven-like, and was the same way last year.

The 1 is nice, but so damn expensive for what you get when you load it up. I'm going to give it a look when I actually am able to drive one on a dealer's lot, but I don't think anything is going to trump the Mercedes C300 as my next non-smart car.

The show stopper for me was the Suzuki SX4 sedan. If I were in the market for a small sedan, this would be it. Good looks, apparently good handling, and overall a nice, well rounded little car. I went and wedged my 6'2 frame into the new Corolla right after that and couldn't help but laugh at it.
 

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The show stopper for me was the Suzuki SX4 sedan. If I were in the market for a small sedan, this would be it. Good looks, apparently good handling, and overall a nice, well rounded little car. I went and wedged my 6'2 frame into the new Corolla right after that and couldn't help but laugh at it.
I looked at the SX4 hatchback when I was in the market for a commuter car. It was on my short list and if they had one with cruise control in stock, I might be driving one today, especially with all wheel drive standard. Then I found a low mileage ZX2 for half the price. I just like 2 door cars much better! :D
 
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