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I went to a nearby Honda dealer and took out the Element EX AWD with the AutoTrans. This is the second time I took this one out. The first time was just slow going through neighborhoods. Today I had a chance to see what it could do on the highway and up some hills. I was a bit more impressed this time around with the power and I was feeling so impulsive.
They said the color I wanted would be arriving in 13 days and all they needed was a $500 deposit. I could have had done it, but I didn't. I want one so bad I was almost willing to go for it. But I can't get the EX AWD 5 speed manual out of my mind. ( I had already test driven the manual 2WD EX and loved it ). As I was driving down the twisty roads I kept wanting to shift. Just really throw myself into the total driving experience of shifting and controlling this neat little vehicle. I have to admit when I was in traffic going from redlight to redlight the automatic was really nice. But I felt something was missing. I kept telling myself that I could get used to this. I could drive to work with a cup of tea in one hand and steer with the other and not worry about having to shift anymore. I could have my new Element in 2 weeks if I wanted. So I just left the dealership feeling frustrated yet reeling from the experience from driving this wonderful little truck. I love everything about it. But as they say, good things come to those with patience and I am trying hard to hang in there until my ultimate driving maching arrives in the spring. The EX AWD manual. HONDA PLEASE HURRY UP :!:
 

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I know what you mean. I loved the stick in my 93 Civic Si. Then as time went on and more traffic and lights entered my driving life I grew sick of shifting. Wait for what you want but just think of the conditions of most of your driving time when it comes to the stick.

I am on my second week with my Element and love it.
 

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My suggestion is to get the manual one way (2wd) or another (4wd).

I forwent a manual last time (against my better judgement) and I kicked myself in the ash for 4 years.

I will get a stick - if they don't make the 4wd - I'll get the 2wd EX stick and get a couple miles better gas mileage.

But, you sound a lot like me - I also took a second test drive on country roads -and was more impressed the 2nd time. To me driving is different - the feel - without a stick.
 
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