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Honda Element



  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I forget which magazine it was (C&D, MT, or R&T), but one of them did a long term test on the Element. During that test, they loaded the vehicle up. In the next issue, they had a letter asking about overloading the E. In their explanation, they used the same GVWR minus curb weight to figure max payload.

    2004 Honda SUV Olympics
  • dal1222dal1222 Posts: 4
    Unfortunately, you are not making a fair comparison. You are pricing the Element AWD against the Highlander 2WD. If you compare the Element EX 2WD to the Highalnder the price difference is substantial. As a reference, I just bought an '04 Element EX 2WD Auto for $18,195 +ttl. That makes the Highlander $4000 more.
    Just food for thought!!!!
  • alize2004alize2004 Posts: 9
    I finally placed my interest of a 2004 Element EX w/ side air on the net, giving local dealers a chance to compete for my business. So far, the best deal is $20,950 and I got them to throw in a few options adding up to about $1000.

    I haven't brought up my trade-in yet since I'm working on lowering the price of the Element first (divide and conquer). Once I get them to agree on a price, then we'll talk trade. Is this a good tactic?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Alize - It depends on how you feel about your current car. I've read two schools of thought.

    #1. Negotiate the trade value first. The theory being that you are still attached to your current car. If you already have a price on the new car, you might be tempted to give away old-n-busted and speed up the process of getting into the new hotness.

    #2 Negotiate the sale price of the new car first. This theory assumes that you will introduce the trade in vehicle late in the game, thus taking your salesperson by surprise. "What? You're not paying cash?" This would (theoretically) place the drool factor in the other court. The salesperson is supposed to be willing to give ground on the trade because they are salivating over the $ale of new hotness.

    Personally, I think it depends on how well you regard your current car. If it's a scrap heap that you hate more than the voice of Elmo, #1 may not work for you.

    The deal also depends on the kinds of skills you bring to the table as a negotiator. Some people are better at playing hardball, while others go further with a little sugar and spice.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    See if there are any no-haggle Honda dealers in your area. That takes care of #1 so you only have to negotiate the trade-in value, #2.

    Or go through a Credit Union, often they negotiate a price near invoice for you, even finance the loan.

    Finally, there are buying services, too.

    Haggling isn't for everyone. I've purchased cars both ways and left much, much more satisfied with the no-haggle experience.

    Good luck.

  • alize2004alize2004 Posts: 9
    Thanks. I forgot how difficult it was to play the pricing game w/ car salesmen. I haven't bought a "new" car in almost 10 years. I placed my 4Runner in an online ad last night and posted some flyers today. If I don't get any bites within a week, I'm giving in to good ole Carmax. Their offer has been the best so far.
  • alize2004alize2004 Posts: 9
    Thanks! I too agree about the "no haggle" dealers. The vehicle I purchased 2 years ago was from a no haggle dealer and it was so easy.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Locally, Koons Honda bills themselves as being that way, but I've found that more often than not their price is not listed, it just says "call/e-mail" instead.

    Kind of a bummer. I checked their Elements for you and sure enough, no pricing is listed.

    Honda might lose a few sales to people that don't want the hassle. Locally, Toyota does have such a place, and they always list their price up front. It's so much easier than getting a low ball price and walking in and finding out that your car has a bunch of dealer installed stuff you didn't want *cough* College Park Honda *cough*.

  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    If you don't want to hassle, just use a buying service and pay a pre-negotiated price.
    No haggling.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yup, my credit union offers that service. However prices for Toyotas are lower at the dealer that just does no-haggle in the first place.

  • sebski21sebski21 Posts: 10
    Last night I filled up and paid $1.79 per gallon in Illinois which is about the same as the US average. However the price I paid was very low at the local Shell station.
    I calculated my last MPG and I got an average of 26.23 (355.4 miles/13.551G). I drove a mixed conditions of 50% city and 50% highway. Plus a couple tips which most of you certainly know:
    - rather slow acceleration (The Element can't match those youngsters in their sports cars anyway) from full stops
    - hardly ever exceeded 65 mph (lately I got a warning for driving 64 in a 55 speed zone)
    - I had no need for A/C lately however that is changing with the weather
    - I didn't overweight the car (except with my own 275 lb :) [and I'm not fat, I'm big 6'5"]
    That's it. I think there's still place to go. But the average of 26.23 is satisfactory already, isn't it?
  • hal9001hal9001 Posts: 28
    Is your E AWD or FWD, auto or manual??????????
  • sebski21sebski21 Posts: 10
    I'm sorry, I should have specified this. It's a FWD with automatic transmission. (By the way, I regret I haven't got AWD...).
  • schweikbschweikb Posts: 111
    A couple of quick questions:
    1. Was the 26.23 mpg for the entire 2,000 miles or just for the 355.4 miles? I have found that you usually get some variability in how many actual gallons go in each time you fill it depending on lots of things (your accuracy, impatience, the ambient temperature, the specific nozzle you're using, etc). The best way to do mpg check is over a minimum of 5 or 6 fill ups so the discrepancies even out.
    2. I am not as tall as you (I'm 6' 2") but always find seat comfort an issue. How do you find the seats (especially the lower cushion) in the Element? I have only driven it briefly and it seemed OK, but lots of other cars I've driven leave my leg cramping up over time if the bottom cushion is too short front to rear (all Toyotas for example).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Your mileage is great. Don't change your driving habits, in fact you outta write a book! ;-)

  • ronzoronzo Posts: 2
    My 2003 Element was purchased last September and currently has 10,500 miles on it. I have been very pleased with the vehicle over all. It continues to surprise me every time I need to use it to carry items from 6"x6"x8'boards to 10 old tires when I was cleaning out the garage. The over all design is great. We bought the EX model and have since added roof rack, steps, fog lights, remote entry etc. This morning we found a 6" crack in the windshield. I contacted the dealer & it looks like they will take care of it. However, I do not want to keep running to the dealer to get my windshield replaced. Does anyone know if Honda has a cure for this or should I consider a trade in. If I keep the car what do I do when it runs out of warantee if they have not solved the problem. .
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Didn't Honda issue a TSB? I'm sure the dealer will install it properly, taking into account the advice provided by Honda.

  • ronzoronzo Posts: 2
    I really love the Element so I just hope they can straighten out the windshield problem. Thanks!
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The TSB is number 03-028. The problem has to do with an uneven surface under the windshield surface. They can literally hammer it flat. Then install new glass.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sheesh, the guy's a walking talking encyclopedia. ;-)

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