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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Everyone...I'm completely sold on the Element as the ideal utility vehicle for me and plan to buy one.

I've been a stick-shift driver all my life (I'm 46) and do NOT want an automatic unless I have no choice. Alas, I seem to be having a great deal of trouble determining—ONCE AND FOR ALL—whether or not Honda is still making 5-speed manuals in '09 (or the upcoming '10) models?

I've literally had 3 different dealer representatives tell me 3 different things:
1. They stopped making manuals in '07.
2. They stopped making manuals in '08.
3. There were no manuals in '09.

But I've seen 5-speed manuals in '07, '08, and '09 year models! (So clearly these dealers were wrong.) I also noted that the 2009 Element brochure clearly states that the AWD EX model is available in 5-speed manual transmission. (But local dealers still told me otherwise.)

I realize very well that manual transmissions are rare and almost nobody wants them...and it appears for that reason, most dealers are simply clueless about the actual status of 5-speed manuals and Honda.

So if someone who is 100% certain they have actual, positive information directly from Honda could clear this up for me, I'd be grateful!

Thanks,
Scott
 

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I was looking for a 2009 manual as well. Definitely they've been offered all model years through 2009 (I drove a manual 2009, so I'm quite sure of that). But they are very scarce. In all of New England, only two or three were available on dealer lots last month, as far as I could tell. A few more at a greater distance. One dealer said they could order me a manual 2009 if I wanted (that window may have closed by now with the new model year approaching). As far as I know, there is no official word from Honda about whether manuals will be offered in 2010. My guess is no, based on their scarcity this year and every dealer telling me they don't sell. But it's still a possibility.

If you really want a manual, I suggest you search dealer inventories yourself (unless you can find a good dealer willing to do it for you; it's far easier for them, since they can search globally whereas you would have to search each dealer individually). You might have to go some distance to get it, but it's likely still possible to scoop one of the remaining few up if you take the time to search and call.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response.

I hope with all my heart they don't phase out manuals entirely. Yes, I know manuals are slowly going extinct...but I think it's sad...it amazes me more people don't drive sticks.

Interestingly, in Europe, almost EVERYONE still drives a stick. So it's clearly not a case of "automatic is superior." :)

I'm an avid motorcyclist, and I want to control my own gears. Things like downshifting for long downhill grades (without wearing out my brakes) and downshifting for corners have become second nature...and every time I drive an automatic I miss being able to do it. (I think the "3-2-1" thing on automatics is a bit of a joke...)

I've actually found a fair number of used manuals as recent as '07 with low miles on Autotrader.com...so i might end up going that route (especially if they quit making them altogether for 2010).

In the meantime, I guess I'll keep searching dealers to see if I can find one somewhere...

Scott

PS - It's amusing the dealers say "manuals don't sell." Clearly they DO sell, because it's so hard to find one anywhere...and every time a dealer gets one, it gets snatched up pretty quickly!
 

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After waiting for a 2009 E SC manual transmission I was told was "on order" for over 4 months. The dealer finally told me the remainder of Honda's 2009 E production was stopped and that no manual transmissions were tenatively being built for the 2010 production run.

My BS detector of course immediately pegged the meter to FULL. :rolleyes:

Unfortunately this among MANY other things are symptoms of the dumbing down of AmeriKa. Most Honda dealers loath the idea of a manual transmission vehicle on their lot with the exception of the Civic Si perhaps because they DO NOT sell, and when they finally do sell, they sell for below cost or barely at cost.

It amazes me how few people can drive a manual shift vehicle. In my humble 2 cents worth of opinion, NO driver's license should be issued to ANYONE unless they can demonstrate FULL proficiency driving a manual shift transmission with perhaps the exception of disabled drivers.

Driving a stick shift is NOT rocket science. I taught my wife to drive a Dodge 2500 4x4 long bed Cummins diesel 6 speed NV5600 manual shift. I even have my daughter semi trained on my Cummins diesel 6 speed manual.

I just don't like the automatic due to much higher brake wear, poorer reliability and longevity, HUGELY poor driving characteristics on the road, snow & ice, and NO engine braking capability among a number of other things.

I would LOVE to see Honda build a 3.3 liter turbo charged, intercooled Cummins diesel E hybrid with a manual shift 6 speed transmission or even just a diesel only option. I get 20 to 26 mpg driving a 7700 lb. Dodge pickup. Imagine what kind of mileage a diesel E would get???

Anyhow, I have rambled far enough off topic. Back to manual transmissions. :D;-)
 

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The few '09 manuals that came to the Pittsburgh area were gone within a couple weeks of delivery to the dealers.

The 75K 2005 MT I traded in was sold in less than two weeks also.

People still like manuals- just most will 'settle' for the auto rather than stick to their guns.

Go for a used '06-'08 manual if you can find it in a color/price you can live with.
 

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I neglected to mention that the dealers here in Tennessee tell me that most of the manual shift transmssion equipped cars get allocated to the New England/Northeast area's of the US and other states that have a true 4 seasons and significant snow fall. They do sell much better in these areas. In Tennessee (the meth head state), almost no dealer carries an manual shift.
 

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Here's one in Reno, NV. Bill Pearce Honda. Where you located?


I did a autotrader search, 100 mile range from my N.Calif location. It's the ONLY 1 out there. Extremely rare.


http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.j...=&doors=&car_year=2009&max_price=&cardist=100

Thanks for link. I have found a number of used manual transmission E's. The problem is that the prices being asked for them are far too high as is the mileage. I just cannot see paying $9,000 to $12,000 for an E with 120,000 miles on it. Even some 2007 manual transmission E's I found were approaching $20,000.

I am my E SC through the USAA car buyers service so I got the E SC for $22,848. I just cannot see or justify buying a used vehicle upside down in the vehicle's value. I can do that buying a new vehicle and at least have a warranty. :D
 

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I've literally had 3 different dealer representatives tell me 3 different things:
1. They stopped making manuals in '07.
2. They stopped making manuals in '08.
3. There were no manuals in '09.
(Don't mind me, Scott. The following rant is aimed generally for this recurring discussion.)

When are folks going to realize that car salespeople are talking out of their @$$es when they say stuff like this? THESE SALES WEENIES HAVE NO CLUE, and, despite the airs they put on, HAVE NO SPECIAL CONNECTION to Honda with "the inside scoop". On anything.

That floor salesman is looking at a stock sheet, usually knows little beyond what's on that sheet (maybe an upcoming order list), and his or her #1 job is to convince you to buy something that's in his/her dealer's inventory right now, and buy it today. Period. If they don't have it or won't have it shortly, they'll do everything in their power including bald-faced lies to convince you that you are wasting your time because you will never find what you're looking for, and, oh, by the way, here's a shiny new one just like the one you're looking for, sign right here.

The sad thing is that, in general, people are pushovers for a glib sales pitch, so this crap moves cars, and because it moves cars, Honda and the rest of 'em use sales numbers (and not buyer preferences!) to further propagate the concept that M/T cars don't sell.
 

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are 5 speed manual transmissions still made.

I purchased an 09 Ex 4WD MT in May of this year. I had more trouble finding the color I wanted than the transmission I wanted. I am in Westchester County, a northern suburb of N. Y. C..
 

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I would prefer a manual but don't like the short "screamer" gearing (high highway revs) of the E factory 5 speed and wouldn't want to go to the trouble of modifying the gearing. If only a 6 speed was offered, but little hope of that given declining numbers of manual drivers.
 

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most Honda dealers are simply clueless about the Element
There . . . fixed it for ya! ;-)

Do national searches on autotrader, vehix, or any other of the numerous car finder search engines. Manuals are obviously few and far between, but they are out there. Out of my 3 Es, I've had a new one traded to a local dealer for purchase and the other I've driven over 5 hours to get. The manuals are certainly worth the extra effort!

Good luck!
 

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I would prefer a manual but don't like the short "screamer" gearing (high highway revs) of the E factory 5 speed and wouldn't want to go to the trouble of modifying the gearing. If only a 6 speed was offered, but little hope of that given declining numbers of manual drivers.
Same here. If the gearing were higher or with a 6th cog, I'd consider it. My previous two Hondas were 5 speeds (93 Prelude and 01 Civic).

Curiosity hit me with that Autotrader link, so I searched within 300 miles of here and got four hits!
Bill Gatton Honda has a silver 5sp EX AWD in Bristol,TN.
Phil Bachman Honda has a black 5sp EX AWD in Kingsport, TN.
Terry Lee Honda has a Polished Metal 5sp EX AWD in Avon, IN.
Honda East has a Polished Metal 5sp EX AWD in Cincinnati, OH.

Aren't 5sp AWD 2009s even more rare than 2WD? Somebody should jump on these!
 

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The one in Tennessee

The one at Phil Bachman is bought and paid for. I'll be picking it up this coming Monday. I tend to think there is much more demand out there for MTs than the manufacturers think - especially in a niche vehicle like the Element.
 

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Manual SC...

I wanted a NEW (ie 2009) SC with a Manual - I was willing to take any color. My dealer (Billy Craft in Lynchburg, VA) has been very good at finding me the EXACT vehicle I wanted on all my previous purchases (5 times).

This time he checked the "Build Sheets" (I think that is the right term) for the next 2 months production and could barely find any SC's being built and NONE with a manual.

I really wanted the SC as I like the styling and have no need for 4 wheel drive. As he was looking for me over the next few days. A 2008 SC in Root Beer Metallic arrived on his lot. It was an automatic as well. But, I was partial to the headlight arrangement on the '08 as opposed to the '09 so, after a month of debating with myself.... I just bought the 08. I like the color and the styling.

I anticipate many years of enjoyment out of it.....
 

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In 05 when I decided to buy and AWD w/manual tranny. My kid also wanted one too. My good luck was that our local Pasadena Honda was able to dealer trade for an SOP EX with AWD and 5spd. My kid wanted the same thing but had to go ~350 miles away in Northern CA to buy hers in the color she wanted. Most the idiots "working the floor" didn't even know that there were Elements with 5spd. It was like finding the needle in a haystack to find a 5spd. I've been to Element Meets only to find 5% of the attendees were driving sticks and with the exception of my then teenaged daughter, it was us old farts over 50 driving them. I really don't get it, the hot rodded E's in attendence had automatics!

Email all of the Honda dealers in a 300 mile radius and see if you can make a deal that way and get what you really want!
 

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to each his own, but seriously?

My 03 has 65k miles of commuting across NYC under its' belt. The idea of it revving too high in 5th gear doesn't hold water with me. I cross the Pulaski Skyway at about 80mph, and it has plenty in reserve.

By the way: you can't beat one of these for NYC. It sucks up the potholes all day long.
 

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willing to go any length

I just flew from New Orleans to Salt Lake City, picked up my 07 AWD MT, and drove over 1800 miles home!
 

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I just flew from New Orleans to Salt Lake City, picked up my 07 AWD MT, and drove over 1800 miles home!
CONGRATS on your new purchasE!! I did something similar, drove 600 miles (RT) to p/u my MT TRP and couldn't be happier. I will be adding that 6th cog over the next year for added MPG, but, everything else (we're NOT talking good mods, here, that will continue to happen) will remain as Honda built it........ :rolleyes::lol:
 
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