The shift indicator threw me off too, but it's actually designed for best fuel economy. In the ST supplement manual it states for best fuel economy you will basically be in 6th gear at 42 MPH. Shifting into 2nd at 12mph....As others have already eluded to, have had several manual vehicles over the years and the ST is the easiest to drive, especially with the hill assist. Just keep in mind you have to be at a complete stop for the hill assist to engage. My only complaint is the shift indicator, I disregard it completely and shift by feel or feedback from the vehicle. By the indicator mine would have me in 6th at 40mph which is too high of a gear for that low of speed.