I' ve heard several people post that the lack of an automatic might put you off from enjoying a new Solstice. But it's something that everyone's capable of learning. In another thread I wrote this but realised it would best be it's own topic:
Remember, Your grandmother drove a standard transmission, and your a better driver than her! And she wasn't cruising around in such a cool car as a Solstice!Taught both my son, daughter and a couple of neighbor kids to drive a manual in less than a half hour each. Best method:
Borrow a small car. Trucks have so much torque that it's so easy to shift that it doesn't really teach well.
1. On a flat parking lot, where you won't get embarassed, with your foot on the clutch, put the car in first. Without touching the gas pedal, slowly let out the clutch. The car will jump forward and die the first few times you try. Laugh about it. This is to be expected. But it teaches you the "sweet spot" in the clutch pedal travel and how to let it slip. Do this several times. Remember that as you slow down, push the clutch back in or the engine will die. But leave you foot off the gas pedal.
2. After you can get the car rolling, with regularity, do the same thing, but this time, put you foot on the gas pedal and give it a little gas when your in that clutch pedal "sweet spot". Try to keep the engine from slowing down too much or speeding up too much. You'll learn, as you listen to the engine, that the faster you push on the gas, the faster your other foot travels through that "sweet spot". Do this several times, from 0 to 15MPH and back to 0.
3. Getting the car rolling is, by far the hardest part. But once you've got that down, up shifting is easy. The car will let you know when to go to the next higher gear. Normally, shift to the next high gear around 3 or 4,000 RPM or when then engine sounds like it wants to be shifted.
4. A general rule for down shifting is: Glance at the speedometer. Use first when cruising 0-10MPH, second when going 10-20MPH, third when going 30-40MPH, forth when going 40-50MPH, etc.