When will then be now?
This is exactly what I did before my 325 arrived. One weekend, I spent some time behind the wheel of a Geo Metro hatchback (13" wheels, 3-cylinder engine yet, surprisingly, five speeds) to gain some experience driving in traffic. Talk about poor insulation. No A/C, too.bls said:...In a new manual transmission car, I find it helpful to turn off the radio (and, if your climate permits it, open the windows) so you can hear the engine. If you can't feel the engagement point through the pedal, you can at least hear it as the engine gets loaded. Actually, cheap poorly-insulated cars with lots of engine noise in the cabin make this easier.
My very first experience driving a stick was a real kicker; it involved a late-model VW Golf TDI, nightfall, fresh snow, a foreign country, and an autobahn. You learn real quick that way.
Practice, practice, practice!