After much soul-searching, Steph and I decided to sell the smart car.
Why? Well, to put it bluntly, I don't love him.
I got in him a couple weeks ago and realized that I didn't want to drive him for the next 200,000 miles. I still don't like the transmission, despite a "lesson" from the dealership about how to drive it (they concluded that I was doing it right all along), and that's a deal-breaker for me. I don't need to have a car that's perfect; I don't even need a particularly luxurious car. I do, however, need to enjoy driving it. Buzz is cute, and he has some nice features, but the things I like about him (the CD changer in the dash, the auxiliary input jack, the outside temperature readout, the versatile cupholders) are readily available on other cars, cars that have non-annoying transmissions. (For the record, I think the smart car should have the option for a manual transmission. I understand that other people may not have a problem with its transmission; I just don't like it.)
It's a good time to sell Buzz: There's an 18-month wait for a smart car at the dealership. Also, yellow was discontinued for 2009, so it'll only be available if you order an extra set of panels.
You can see our eBay listing here. The reserve is significantly less than the Buy It Now price, although if you want to buy it for $22K, I won't say no.
I'm open to suggestions for alternate cars. We've test-driven several models, but we haven't made any decisions yet. For now, I still have the Honda, although I'll be giving it to my niece when she gets her license this fall. I also have Phoebe -- she's not going anywhere! -- and I can drive her in the meantime while we search for another car. I'm not restricting myself to new cars; a used car would be fine. I strongly prefer a manual transmission, and good gas mileage is also a major consideration. We'd like to stay in the same price range (or under -- I'd love to have extra money left over to add to the emergency fund).