On the plus side, I learned to drive a manual transmission in this car, 6 years ago next week. It was great for that, as you could always hear where the revs were at. (Not to mention it has the power to start from a stop, up an incline, in 3rd gear. For those beginner's moments of confusion. (Of which I had all too many.) Very forgiving/hard to stall.) In fact, I test drove a manual Corvette at one of those GM events when they came to town, the only other manual I've tried since learning, and it was eerie as I couldn't hear anything, so I just shifted after what seemed like reasonable pauses. But it was like driving deaf.
Another plus is that my car was cheap and is light, probably partly because they saved money by not bothering with putting any sound-deadening material in the car. Listed as 3273 lbs, which isn't bad. Especially compared to the current version, at 3450.
But there's a downside. Frequently I get a fit of "irrational exuberance", and let it out a little. Torque feels good. But my car's so loud (note: completely stock exhaust, in fine repair) people around me get the wrong impression, I think.
Last night I went ripping up a hill, speed limit 45, so I ended my rapid rise in velocity at 50, 5 mph over the limit as I always drive. So some dork/dorkette in some, I don't know, Scion Celica or something, is coming up in my rear view mirror, and goes whizzing by at maybe 65 mph. Not on a freeway, but in a residential neighborhood. Ya, like the guy in the Mustang GT is going to be impressed with your little 4-cylinder impression of "shock and awe".
I'm not racing anyone, I don't race anyone, I'm 41 years old, no tickets since 1993, no accidents since a teenager. I'm not challenging anyone, I'm not showing off, I'm just having a little fun in my own damn car. But it's loud enough, that if someone is next to me, they interpret it as flaunting.
The next one is going to be a quiet vehicle. If I can afford it at the time, it'll be something like the link on my info page. Optional starting for the MY '08 is the Dual Mode Performance Exhaust, for $1195. LOL. Quiet and reserved at normal driving speeds, but something flips and it opens up at higher revs for a bigger sound. And a whole whopping 6 more hp over the std exhaust. Whoopdeedo. No thanks. I think only the rich kid contingent will be springing for that option.
But any other car will take some getting used to. Then again, maybe that's the case anyways with stick shifts? (Different clutch feels, etc.?)