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Honda Element

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Comments

  • I'll take the flexibilty of being able to move the rear seats out of the way without having to find a place to store them. Very cool when you impulsively buy something big, like a new TV or, er, a folding kayak.

    Our Odyssey has the magic 3rd seat and it's great. There when you need it, gone when you don't and stowable 100 miles from home.

    Besides, most folks will probably spend 90% of the time with the seats down. If that's not you, get those little stick-on curved mirrors for your rearviews and drive it like a van. Most people (including my mother) can adapt to driving-by-mirrors rather quickly.

    -jim
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thanks, varm. I found out my dept was imploding and started a job search Monday within the company, so the budget buy turned out to be the smart one. I pretty much have a job lined up already, but it was still scary - new car and a baby due in July!

    Leather? No. She likes the soft cloth. Her bottom is extremely sensitive now, a 7 months pregnant. She sat in a leather Benz and found it too hard!

    Moonroof maybe, but I'll wait until the dust settles at the new job.

    On the folding seat - the catch with the Odyssey is if you have 3 kids, you can't fold the seat because seating capacity drops to 4. So for road trips with lots of cargo, you can't fold it. A split fold would be truly magical.

    -juice
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    While I'm not for the removable seats, I would've preferred them to fold down and not onto the sides. They don't even have to fold down like the Ody's 3rd row, they can even fold forward. But to the sides?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think they wanted to fit bikes inside, in an upright position. So length was more important than width, perhaps?

    -juice
  • ropedartropedart Posts: 163
    We know they fold back. How about how much forward? Then front seats can be used as chairs to seat yourself backwards and face your guests. Wasn't that the idea.

    I took my sons to the local car show. They had so much fun playing in the RVs and campers. For them to play in an Element would be so cool. Especially with the seats up and they can walk around. This would be great while waiting around.
  • moonkatmoonkat Posts: 265
    ropedart:
    While Element will not have the changeable forward-backward facing seats of the Model-X, Honda already has rotating front seats for handicapped accessibility. The images/articles I've seen show a driver's seat rotate 90 degrees to enable hc individual seat then rotate to drive. Shouldn't be much more difficult to engineer 180 degree rotation! Big question is if this can be included in Element budget.

    This again changes Element demographics, as this capability would likely make the Element the most handicapped friendly production vehicle. I can see the hc person wheeling up to the Element; position themselves on the rotated driver's seat; lift the wheelchair into the open area behind the driver's seat; close the doors; and drive off. Cool!
  • ropedartropedart Posts: 163
    I imagine the greatest hurdle for rotating seats is the side airbag in the front seats. I do not think Honda wants people to mess around with it and the seat. In the old days, there were a lot of rotating captains chairs in vans. I do not know what has happened with those chairs lately.

    Actually moonkat, wouldn't you wheel the wheelchair into the back up a ramp(with the seats up!) Clamp the wheelchair down. Pull the ramp. Close the doors. Then work your way through the front seat pass thru to the front. A 180 drivers chair would be nice for this situation I agree.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The Element looks extremely versatile so maybe the aftermarket could step in and offer things like that. The huge opening means almost anything could climb in.

    -juice
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The 1st generation JDM CR-V has a rotating front seat. Dunno about the 2002 models. It can be turned a full 180 degrees to face the back of the vehicle. It's possible that the Element could do the same, but I'm sure we'd have seen pics of it by now.

    The seats from the Model X were reversible, but the Element has a different configuration.
  • moonkatmoonkat Posts: 265
    A new picture...rear 3/4 view with gate up, hatch open. Again looks bigger than CR_V...wheels/tires look good, & larger than...you know...

    http://www.hondacars.com/theelement/index.html?show=intro
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The more I see the more I like. Look at that back seat - you have so much room a hoops player could cross his legs.

    -juice
  • moonkatmoonkat Posts: 265
    Tried to find graphics for Handicapped/rotating seat, and located:
    http://www.honda.co.jp/factbook/auto/STEPWGN/200104/03.html
    Stepwagon - with handicapped seat option; not quite the simple swivelling front seat I recalled (ext view of outstretched drivers seat).


    However, the first and third row seating look like they may have been adapted to the Element (see top photo).
    http://www.honda.co.jp/factbook/auto/STEPWGN/200104/05.html
    Looks like both first & second row are forward/rearward facing and the third row folds up to the side a'la Element. Front seats look like they swivel 180 degrees and second row looks to rotate back 180 degrees so the seat back becomes the seat bottom.

    So Element may have face to face seating!
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,641
    Someone was complaining about their pickup's suicide doors today - found it hard to get stuff in the truck when other cars were parked next to it. Be curious to see what the real world experience is with the Element's.

    Steve
    Host
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    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That Step Wgn is one funky little ride! I think they're pretty cool, sort of like a CR-Van. ;-)

    -juice
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    If someone parked real close to your car, even conventional doors would pose a problem...
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,641
    But not usually a problem for my sliders :-)

    Maybe the Axcess was ahead of it's time?

    Just something to look for when they hit the showrooms; may be no biggie.

    Steve
    Host
    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Where they pull into a tight parking space and all had to climb out through the rear liftgate?

    Well, seeing how the seats fold up to the side and all, that creates a straight hallway into the back.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    LOL

    I just had a warped mental picture of that Focus commercial. When the kids climb out of the Focus, they find the're parked in the back of the Element.
  • cb70cb70 Posts: 226
    would be very neat in the Element.
  • moonkatmoonkat Posts: 265
    Gang,
    It's all speculation, and wishful thinking on our part, but Honda can pull it all together....
    I think they are limited more by budget than technical ability.
    varmint: very good, can you produce that warped comm'l on a web page?-) Would be more productive than debating gm-lito on the pilot forum...:-}
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    If you look below the drivers seat in this pic, you can see the track under the driver's seat. Note that it doesn't have the same base as the one in the StepWGN.


    I also noticed that the rear passengers don't really have an armrest. There's one on the rear door, but the seat is a good 12-18" farther back in the vehicle.


    GM_Lito has tried to pit the Aztek against the CR-V, the Ody, and now the Pilot. How long before we see him in here?

  • ropedartropedart Posts: 163
    I knew Honda has done configurable seats in Japan. I don't understand why they didn't go thru with the Stepwagon chairs. Either they did not have time or they will offer it in 2004. The extra cost could have been covered by offering it as an option. Like the Stepwagon they could just have the front thigh support go up to form a seatback.

    As for the suicide doors, Yep, I would have liked sliding doors but it would have said VAN. 4 doors would have said me-too cute-ute. No, the Element is a fashion statement that says:
    1. My car is bigger than your car. (Vibe/Matrix,Protege5,Focus,Civic,Impreza,Sentra,PT Cruiser,Neon,etc)
    2. My face is prettier than your face.(Aztec)
    3. My THING is different than your thing.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,641
    Plus it'll be interesting to see how the suicide doors fare in some of the "destructive" testing in Varmint's link above.

    Steve
    Host
    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • moonkatmoonkat Posts: 265
    While I'm speculating:
    I'd like the Element to have 48" wide rear opening to haul bldg materials flat on floor.

    Seems reasonable:-} My Ody is about 76" wide with 48" opening, and 14" frame/int on each side ((76-48)/2=14"), and a lot of this depth is taken up by padding/storage nooks. The Element is about 70" wide which leaves about 11" for frame/chassis on each side.

    This also supports the design of the small (about 14" to 18") tail-gate. This would allow 4'x8' sheets to fit within the dimensions of the lowered tail-gate. Wouldn't that be functional?!

    Actually, I think Honda has to accommodate the 4'x8' dimension if it wants to break into the light truck market. This might be a start.

    ropedart: You have again pointed out a major reason for vehicle selection in #3 above: "own thang", or what people want others to perceive as their thang.
    Also, I do not discount possiblity of Honda adapting/modifying the face to face seating to the Element. I'm curious how they will accommodate the +-6" height difference between the front and rear seats. When I looked at the front seat views; it appeared that the seats could be slid all the way off their tracks rotated 180 degrees and reinstalled. Then all you'd need would be a seat height adjustment, or maybe there is a hidden elevated track/attachment under the front seats on which you'd mount the rearward facing seats???!!! Entirely doable.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Funny but true, diploid. Problem is other cars would give you door dings.

    varmint: I noticed the seats being farther back, too. In fact that would make it harder to load an infant seat, because you'd have to reach in with it. Of course Honda is targeting younger folks.

    I kind of doubt a sheet of plywood could slide it, but if I'm wrong, Honda could built a pickup (SUT style) out of this platform. The only car-based competition would be the Baja, and Subaru definitely left a few doors open with some notable misses (no H6, short wheelbase, no midgate).

    -juice
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    It "looks" like the Element has a wider cargo area than the CR-V. The rear suspension seems to intrude less. Wonder if it's a different design. I dunno about 4x8 fitting back there, though. The Pilot can handle that dimension, so Honda might consider themselves covered. Also, I'd think we would have seen it mentioned in the press trash.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Just read the preview from Edmunds. Didn't think it said anything new that we haven't dug up for ourselves. Glad to see at least other people like it, too.

    re: GM_lito - I admire the guy's tenacity. Just as long as he doesn't go into the typical "buy domestic" litany, I don't mind him.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Re GM_Lito... He is a pretty reasonable guy. He just keeps pointing the Aztek at every vehicle on the road and making direct comparisons. It gets old.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,712
    The Pilot can handle 4x8s, but I doubt with the tailgate closed. I'd be very surprised if there is 8' of length there in the cargo area.

    Bob
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