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Honda Element

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  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    So have any of you Element Owner's been out driving in this latest snow storm?

    After seeing the Element at the Pittsburgh Auto Show this weekend, my wife has put it on the shopping list. She is concerned about snow performance and I would think it would be good with the Real Time 4WD, but some actual Owner stories would be pretty good to hear.
  • exbyexby Posts: 11
    Hey guys, first time post.... I think the Honda Element is cool and all and I'm kind of interested in one - but I noticed that the engine is only 160 hp. I realize that the vtec engines are good and that Honda is able to squeeze every inch of performance outta those things - but 160 hp??? Sounds kind of weak to me. Anybody else have opinions on this? Anybody who owns one would be good to hear from.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    as the accord and crv...no problems or serious complaints of pick-up. i deal with these every day, and the element is a very capable, NICE accelerating truck. it wont whip your head into the headrest, but its entirely competent for what the element does.
  • Drive it for yourself to see if the power is acceptable.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Meinrad - I don't have an Element, but I've got a CR-V with the same RT4WD system driving the wheels (just got about 24-27" of snow, too). It works fine in bad weather. My advice is to ignore it while driving. It'll be there when you need it, but it's best to drive with the same caution used with a FWD car.

    Exby - What are you comparing it with? 160 hp is pretty respectable for a 2.4L I4. And the torque curve is fairly impressive.
  • I know what torque is in general but would someone explain in layman's terms how the torque curve relates to or explains the Element's performance. From my one time experience driving one, I thought the automatic had adequate power for my needs. I'm waiting for side airbags.
  • toledo19toledo19 Posts: 119
    Congratulations to all of you that have purchased the element! I was very close to becoming an owner myself until I found a low miles 01 Highlander for 20K. This plus I refuse to pay MSRP for any vehicle! I love the Highlander, but may yet purchase an Element in the future.
  • chris777chris777 Posts: 126
    well its official I'm now the disbelieving owner of a 2000 civic with about 44k .

    first time I've bought a vehicle and had such a minimal emotional response

    it must be doing something right though, I found myself at 100mph (whoops)and decided it was time to activate the cruise since I get to drive around with no tag for a couple of weeks while I wait on Honda finance to mail the title
    very smooth ride shifts funny sometimes though of course it's 15 years newer than my old trusty hatch
    (and for you Georgians out there I had a shocker when a Georgia state patrol behind me in the fast lane going about 80 with no license plate and they DID NOT pull me over, what's up with that? not that I'm complaining just dumbfounded they didn't bother to harass me)

    I busted out my manual and lo what do I find my little 2000 civic can safely haul 175 lbs MORE than an element (850lb payload) talk about strange considering it has about 50 less horseys under the hood

    I also had an interesting conversation with a salesman at the dealership inspecting the car before I bought it.

    if you ever have a stook and you shift it from 5th to 2nd it will disintegrate the engine.
    as one of their unfortunate salesmen found out the hard way, in the dealership owners s2k.
    its now for sale with 5k on the odometer and a 100k warranty on its replacement engine
  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    Ok, so car seats have to fit very easily. But where are the top tether attachment points?

    I forgot to look at the car show. Are they on the back's of the seats like in the minivans or are they on the back hatch like my dad's CRV.

    I hate having the strap go back to the hatch. It gets in the way and blocks some vision.

    I think my wife is stopping to drive one this week. Won't be buying anything for a few months, but I told her to drive it now, then if she doesn't like it, she doesn't have to yearn for it all summer. Now if she really likes it, well then I'm in trouble! LoL.
  • Meinrad, the top tethers are located (you guessed it) on the ceiling where the roof meets the hatch. They're on the plasctic band that surrounds the inside hatch opening, with covers that slide open/close.

    Maybe your wife will still yearn for it!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's all perspective, 160hp is pretty good. Not too long ago, 120hp was the "upgrade" engine in the Sidekick Sport, remember those?

    Remember when the 4Runner's V6 had 150hp? Never mind the 4 banger.

    -juice
  • As a owner of a 02 cr-v I could tell that the 160hp in the V is very capable to move the vehicle well if not better than others on the road if you put it side by side with other that will have less mpg,same or more hp but slower 0-60 remember it is not designed to compare with a performance car or a wrx, the acceleration is there and you could feel the vtec kick in. I think the people expect a car to jump of the line rev hard and slam into second gear like a v8 with a 400 turbo trans, and a shift kit, well that is not going to happen the shifting is very smooth but look at the speedometer and you will see the mph moving up . one more thing the eng. is incredibly quiet and smooth.
    Greetings from sunny Miami.
    fig.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Subaru will offer a Forester turbo for that kind of customer - 210hp, 235 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm. Factory estimates 0-100 (62mph) at a blazing fast 6.1 seconds.

    But not everyone needs that kind of performance, and the Element will still outrun about half the vehicles on the road, so it's at least average.

    -juice
  • hurler4hurler4 Posts: 104
    I was walking around Beacon Hill in Boston last night and saw two black Elements parked along the streets. The first was an EX, and the second was a DX. I know styling is subjective, but I thought that the DX looked a lot nicer than the EX. The combination of black paint and flat (not shiny) gray cladding on the DX was terrific. But the combination of the black and shiny metallic gray on the EX just didn't seem as nice. Looked almost Subaru-like with the metallic cladding.
    All the Elements that were shown as prototypes before it came out appeared to be the DX. I wonder why they made this change to the EX? Not to sound shallow, but if I buy an Element, I'm tempted to get a DX and load it with options because of this! (Hmm, maybe I am a little shallow...)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's not shallow, it's smart. Unpainted cladding is far more care-free. Easier to wash, harder to scratch, fewer dings and touch-ups.

    -juice
  • hurler4hurler4 Posts: 104
    Good point on the unpainted cladding. I wonder how difficult it would be to load a DX with options like a/c, a decent stereo, keyless entry, fog lights, map lights, cargo hooks, etc to make it almost like an EX. Can most options for the Element be dealer-installed?
  • toledo19toledo19 Posts: 119
    Check out this site for parts and accessories

    http://www.handa-accessories.com/
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Get just A/C, then shop the aftermarket, or even Ebay for used accessories.

    A CD player was a $400 option at our Subaru dealer. I found a hardly used 6CD changer plus cassette for $250, and nowadays they run closer to $150.

    This guy on Ebay is selling some 6CD changers that come off Mazda Tributes for $158 or so IIRC.

    If you're handy with tools and have time, plus some patience, you could build you own DX for a lot less than Honda charges you, and have fun doing it.

    -juice
  • hurler4hurler4 Posts: 104
    juice, that's a great idea installing accessories on my own. I do most work on my car now, so that shouldn't be a problem.
    I have a dealer in the area giving me info on the DX 5-speed this afternoon. If I can get a loaded DX 2WD (with either myself or Honda installing options) for around $19,000-20,000, I might do it. I've looked at Protege5's, Matrix/Vibes, CRV's, etc. and they really don't do it for me. The Element seems a better fit for me.
    Thanks for all the info, everybody!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good luck shopping.

    -juice
  • I just picked up my new element on last saturday the 15th, which I love by the way. Tonight (I've had it less than a week) some bimbo ran a stop sign, crashed into a chevy blazer, who then crashed into me.The damage is not severe, the car is drivable, but at a bare minimum the front cowl, the hood, the left front quarter panel and the left front cowl will have to be replaced. Does anyone have any idea on parts availablity? I was planning on moving to florida next month, so I kinda need to make arrangements fast if this is gonna take a while. Some days you get the bear....some days the bear gets you, I guess.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Bummer, sorry 'bout that. At least you weren't hurt, that's what counts.

    I would definitely go to a dealer to do the work, it's brand-new so you can demand OE parts. They should be able to tell you what parts availability is like.

    If it doesn't look good, you might want to wait until after the move to get it fixed. Good luck.

    -juice
  • toledo19toledo19 Posts: 119
    I don't know. IMHO, instead of spending a couple grand for AC, radios etc. I'd probably just get the EX.
  • Well, as I mentioned in my previous message, someone plowed into my brand new element (less than 200 miles on it). The E appeared to handle the impact fairly well, and the braking seemed good, but there was just no way to not be in this accident. The air bags did not deploy and no one was hurt. The woman who caused the accident has no insurance, but luckily I have uninsured motorist coverage, which everyone should have if they live in a state that is not no-fault. I live in L.A. so I kinda figured this would happen. Kind of ridiculous that I have to carry extra insurance to make up for the people who drive illegally, but at least I'm covered. The really ridiculous thing is that, having just got my insurance changed over, they don't even have the E updated in their files yet. I love the E since I've been driving it, so I just feel like I wanna puke and cry all at the same time. Well, thanx for listening to me moan, and thanx for the support Ateixeira, and in advance for anyone else.
  • One dealer I talked to said that there was such a demand, their waiting list for black or orange was about two months. To guarantee a spot, he suggested I hold it with a deposit. ($1000 to be exact!) I really wouldn't consider it, but don't want to have a few months go by, and know that the demand is even greater. Any ideas? Also, reading about the DX vs. EX, I have yet to be on a lot that HAS an EX...what does the cladding really look like? The DXs I've seen were fine, but, of course, none on hand in black. And, according to the three dealerships in my area, they are going "way over MSRP"...wish I could buy it where it's not so popular. Any advice is appreciated!
  • have driven my element for 3 weeks. things i like: great feel on steering, best brakes i've experienced in long time, smooth quiet trans, plenty of pep in 4 cylinder, radio speaker sound very clear and rich, controls of radio and temp/vent/ac very comfortable to use. things that disappoint me: would like driver seat to adjust higher than it goes, the driver right side armrest is usless[should be adjustable up and down], i like having my arm resting on window sill in nice weather but your seating position is too low [or window sill too high] in this car, there is no secure gas tank filler door, however there is now an optional locking gas cap.....that's about it for now
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    In another thread, isellhondas said his dealership sells A/C for $1300, which isn't too bad. If you could get it for that, rather than the MSRP, and then get accessories from Handsparts.com for near-wholesale instead of retail, you could come out ahead.

    I prefer unpainted cladding anyway. But no ABS, right?

    I would not put a deposit down if you're not sure the final price is agreeable. No vehicle is worth "way over MSRP" IMHO. Demand will go down, it's just a matter of time.

    -juice
  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    Glad to hear you're liking the Element. If we buy it will be a 4WD EX with Auto.

    Many messages seem to complain about a low seating position. I guess I didn't notice sitting in it at the auto show. Maybe it becomes more apparent during actual driving.

    My biggest worry is the engine, but you note it to be peppy. You don't go hardly anywhere in Wester Pa. without a decent sized hill and an underpowered car can quickley become a real pain.
    I don't need it to be a race car, just get up the hills while fairly loaded without a lot of gear searching and high revs'.

    All you Owners, keep the impressions coming, they will really help a lot of us in our decision.
  • I got the estimate for the front bumper cover on my Element (Msg 1824). The bumper cover is $199 and the windshield washer reservoir is $32. They are allowing 2.1 hours of labor @ $35/hr. Total bill = $316.05 (Tax included). Now if my insurance company would get off their collective duffs and put the liability on the other driver, I could get this fixed.
  • chris777chris777 Posts: 126
    t's funny how you have to drive a car for a few hundred miles to really start to notice its quirks

    I've put almost 300 on my "new" (used) civic
    and I've already decided the next car I buy will either have huge doors, or be a coupe/hatch of some sort. Its a 2000 civic but its not as easy to get in and out of as my 86 hatch was. I had noticed this when I compared the element to the CRV but after owning a vehicle with 4 doors again I do say that the coupe "type" design of the element does have that advantage especially if you aren't a contortionist. I plan on keeping this civic for only a couple of years if I can find something I like for a decent price, but I have a new respect for suicide doors/coupes now that I'm back in a sedan, when I was younger I didn't mind squeezing in and out, and maybe IM just so used to big doors and after a while I'll get used to it, but something like element/Saturn ion/mazda rx-8/ acura rdx, looks much more appealing than they did a while back, but I am single and right now its just me and my daughter primarily in the vehicle, but at least it is a much newer car with AIR and power steering, though the power steering seems as touchy as an old ford to me lol
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