We rented one last week, and I was immediately impressed by several thoughtful touches, although they weren't quite as clever as I initially believed. In addition to the lighter socket in the dash, the front seat armrest had an additional 12V socket, a 3.5mm jack, and a USB port. The car stereo included XM satellite radio and MP3 CD-ROM support. This all sounds great! I should be able to play an iPhone via USB, leaving 2 extra 12V and an extra audio port.

Unfortunately, the USB port only provided power with the stereo in AUX mode, and the iPod port didn't work with my iPhone. I suspect it really requires a USB drive with MP3s on a FAT filesystem, similar to the MP3 CD-ROMs which the car stereo also accepts. I don't know if an iPod in disk mode would fit the bill, but iPhones don't do USB disk mode, so no joy for me.

So I left the iPhone plugged into a 12V socket, and it charged whenever the car was turned on. Music was CDs -- I was using the iPhone for GPS (AT&T's worked pretty well), and without physical controls it was a bit awkward to use in the car.

The car also had a semi-smart, semi-dumb transmission. When I put it into Park, the doors unlocked (presumably they locked when put into other gears, but I didn't check). With the transmission not in Park, the keys couldn't be removed -- so far, so good. Unfortunately, with the car turned off, I could not put the car in Park. So several times I stopped, turned off the engine, tried to Park, had to turn the car partway back on, and then was able to Park. That last bit is just dumb.