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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, I'm looking for an element and would prefer a manual. I test drove one yesterday and the clutch was kind of stiff. It shifted fine and didn't seem to be any slippage, but it took a bit of pressure to push the clutch in. I'm only 5'3" so maybe I didn't get the seat close enough, but I was just wondering if this is normal. Does your clutch give your leg a workout?
 

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I found the Element clutch to be a bit different than that of my old Nissan I had prior but I wouldn't call it "stiff". It my be that you aren't used to the way the clutch in a Honda or an Element feels yet.

Was this Element at a dealer? Could you take it to a mechanic to have it looked at if you were serious about buying the car?
 

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Being an old fart, I'm lucky enough to have nerve issues that causes regular pain in my left leg. Doesn't matter when it comes to driving my E; I wouldn't have an E if it was only available with an auto. I still feel the same way when driving in L.A. traffic! My 5' nothing daughter feels the same way about her manual E. The hard part about driving a manual E is trying to find one. Hang in there.
 

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I doubt the clutch stiffness is anything mechanical. I found the pedal to be stiffer than my Civic and Toyota, but much softer than a Chevy. At about 175k I did have a mechanic lube the Blazer but that was because it sounded like I was stepping on a cat. The clutch was the same stiffness afterward.
 

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The clutch in my Element has far less resistance than any other car with a manual that I've driven, including a WRX, a couple of Mustangs, my old Mercury Mystique, and the new European Ford Fiesta.

That said, the clutch is also really goofy and takes a lot of doing to get used to and get a smooth shift. After 50,000 miles, I still have troubles getting a smooth shift out of my Element, yet I got in the European Fiesta the other day and felt like I'd been driving it for years. My present theory is that my muscle memory is just too engrained from previous cars, and that, in concert with the E's hydraulic clutch and how it engages, causes me some problems.
 

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Xequar, have you tried driving somebody else's MT Element for comparison?
I haven't really had the opportunity to, unfortunately. I know a few other members have agreed with my assessment in regards to their Elements, and others who have driven mine agree my clutch is goofy. But, that's all the corroboration I have.

Maybe if we ever do a big national meet again, since the chances of finding an Element, let alone an MT Element, in a dealer around here are pretty slim...
 

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