I was first concerned about the location of the stick shift lever. However, the location is in a suitable place and this is not an issue. The manual transmission aids the driver to control the vehicle and requires little effort to employ. Both the suspension and transmission handles very well. I preferred the manual over the automatic after test driving both vehicles. The Elements large interior dwarfs my 1997 Grand Cherokee. Very large or older adults can enter and exit the rear seat of the Element with ease. The rear seats can be configured to carry various loads. This is important to both home owners and active individuals that participate in outdoor activities.
My favorite items are the awesome sound system that plays all formats, rubber floor, highly legible gauges, and the mutli-configurable rear seats.
Have fog lights as a standard and make the arm rests longer and wider.