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Hey Hokie, I had an opportunity to see a black 'X last night that was in the process of being picked up by its new owner at a dealership. The salesman was showing the new owner how to use some of the accessories in the cargo area so I stopped to listen in and chat with the new owner. Anyway, I didn't even notice at first, but it also had OEM side steps. They are definitely very subtle in comparison to my Maniks, both due to the color matching this particular black 'X and also cuz they didn't stick out as much. After seeing them, I was still happy I got the Maniks instead. They are probably a little easier to step on, and they add more pizazz IMO. They also will protect you from being dinged by SOME cars. I think you will be pleased by either one, so I wouldn't sweat this decision too much. As an aside, in addition to the side steps I noticed that this new base 'X (no nav) had also been outfitted with roof rack, rear wind deflector, moonroof visor, separation net, cargo net, cargo cover, and the cargo liner (which I really liked), and maybe other stuff too. I got the impression from the new owner that these were all forced accessories :(
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