My employer stipulated GM company cars with a fairly modest price ceiling. As a rabid car guy the prospect of driving a Chev Citation, or a Buick of any kind, was terrifying. Voila the Pontiac STE - it looked like a sports car, or at least looked different from anything my spinster aunt might drive, and in '87 could be ordered with a 5 speed manual. The reality: it was better than my aunt's Citation, but by no measure a sports car. The styling cues, it's key feature, were added next year to the down-market SE. As for the 5 speed - the box was fine, but the clutch felt like it was sourced from a Renault Dauphine. On the plus side my daughter having learned to drive in the STE was never intimidated by any manual gearbox.
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