Honda Element

moonkatmoonkat Member Posts: 265
Just wanted a discussion focussed-on/followed Honda's upcoming (Dec 02) new ultra utilitarian suv/pick-up/hatchback.

See link:

"Combines best features of suv, and pick-up truck."

All-wheel-drive implied but not stated.

Also, intended to be priced as an entry level vehicle...!?




  • tiredofmanualtiredofmanual Member Posts: 338
    I'm in the target demographic but when I saw that at the auto show last year I couldn't help but think how dumb Honda would be if they actually built it. Heck, even my friend, who refuses to buy anything without a Honda nameplate on it, thinks it looks retarded and wouldn't accept one if they were free. Good luck to them though!
  • hayduke01hayduke01 Member Posts: 128
    I followed the link; it looks interesting.

    Seems like Honda borrowed elements of the Xterra and the BMW Mini Cooper.

    If I'm in the market for a new vehicle when/if it hits the market it's one I'd consider.
  • btate2002btate2002 Member Posts: 64
    I am the demographic its intend for as well and it does not appeal to me one bit. I either want a real SUV or a real Truck or a real Car, not some goofed up hybrid wanna-be thing!
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Member Posts: 5,525
    I'm not in the demographic, and when I saw the first pictures of the vehicles, I thought it was outrageous and a possible bold step by Honda if they choose to manufacture it as it.

    I'm not dumb enough to pass a judgement on the vehicle before I get to know more about it. Anybody got more details? Looks different, and could be a nice vehicle for young drivers (I feel old already now).
  • moonkatmoonkat Member Posts: 265
    i am not in the demographics, and i am old(er), but i am fascinated by the functionality (that is the hype about its functionality) of this vehicle. Did you see the webcast and graphics of the seating flexibility...???!!! incredible. i always wanted a pick-up truck, and a go anywhere runabout, and a dune buggy...and being able to hose down the interior to clean it!!! ...these folks understand what its like to have kids!

    that, and knowing that and knowing its got honda attention to safety, fuel economy, reliability, enty level pricing.... can't wait to learn more!

    good to see you also find it interesting....welcome your input...
    what is your read on whether it will be awd?
  • moonkatmoonkat Member Posts: 265

    includes video of X running along very smooth sandy beach....and photos show very shallow chassis floor and tailgate...awd unlikely..

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Member Posts: 5,525
    IMO, the X can be an interesting vehicle, very different from the usual stuff we see around, quite unique in many respects assuming that it gets to production nearly as is.

    I would love to see Honda putting a hybrid AWD powertrain in the X, may be with the 2.0/2.4 liter I-4.
  • eludwigeludwig Member Posts: 82
    I'm part of "Gen X" not "Gen Y" (gotta love the media), but I also find the Model X interesting. I hope some of the neat design features- turn signals on side mirrors, sliding or removable roof panel, washable interior, MP3 stereo, and navigation system- make it to production. On the other hand, do those seats look completely uncomfortable and unsupportive?

    I've always been a fan of unique designs like the New Beetle and Mini Cooper, so the Model X will get a look once produced. It's rare that a car manufacturer can produce a car that puts smiles on not only drivers' faces but also on observers' faces. I hope the Model X becomes one of those.

    My Accord lease will be expiring in 18 months, and I'm already considering diverse cars like the CR-V and GTI. The Model X might strike a balance and fit right in the middle somewhere.
  • tiredofmanualtiredofmanual Member Posts: 338
    The bore factor of the Accord finally getting to you? This would definitely fit into the "diverse" category, and if you do like it, then by all means consider it. Don't forget to check out another "diverse" car, the Aztek. Wait, no. Don't do that. Look at the Focus SVT. Ford has fixed the quality issues with the Focus and the SVT offers much more for the money than the needs-to-lose-some-weight GTI.
  • eludwigeludwig Member Posts: 82
    What I so poorly termed as "diverse" was meant to say that the vehicles I'm considering are very different- the mini SUV CR-V and the hatchback GTI.

    I wouldn't consider a Ford since a) Ford has gigantic quality issues (Nasser killed Ford) and b) I value my safety and well-being.
  • diploiddiploid Member Posts: 2,286
    A part-time/adult commuter student, I certainly understand and relate to the Model X's intended interior functionality. I won't hang surfboards from the back, but I'll appreciate the configurable seats. I can finally nap on a flat surface without having my legs fall asleep as a result of hanging them over the edges of the seats.

    But the styling - it looks like a big gentle bulldog.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Member Posts: 5,525
    Because you can park this $20K vehicle next to a $80K Hummer and say, look at me.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Generation X targeted for Honda's Model X

    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • 1racefan1racefan Member Posts: 932
    I know...I guess I didn't word my previous message too well. Obviously the Element can only accomodate 4 persons of any size/age. I was simply pointing out that the same engine in the CRV is taxed with 5 adults / but may not be with 1 adult and 4 children.
  • bpraxisbpraxis Member Posts: 292
    Hello everyone and what a plesure to see Honda taking such a styling risk. As a 43 year old male I am certainly not the intended demographic. However I love the styling and it reminds me somewhat of a mini Hummer for $80,000.00 less. Please Honda do not dilute the styling and produce the prototype as is. I would definately consider buying this vehicle. The Model X is a fine example of the wonders of Capitalism. One had to spend $100,000.00 at one time to purchase a vehicle that had gawk factor. Now we have the Mini Cooper, PT Cruiser, 2003 Hundai Tiboron, VW Bug, a inexpensive Mercedes, a $26,000.00 New 2003 350Z with exotic car performance, etc.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Member Posts: 5,525
    And completely agree with bpraxis. I hope it retains much of its boxiness. While most of us whine about bland vehicles and all, it is us who resist something drastically different the most.
  • moonkatmoonkat Member Posts: 265

    I agree that the X (X-box) is fascinatingly appealing, and an ideal candidate for hybrid powertrain. Enjoy your 30th !

    The most discouraging (unrealistic) feature of the vehicle for me is the bench seat!? I do not see how the cantilevered (off the center supports) seat can effectively (without flexing/sagging) support passenger weight.

    I guess they could add folding outriggers for production vehicle, but I would have expected that in the pre-production vehicle. Very un-Honda-like in that it is contrary to Honda and X-box (model X) functionalism (function above all else).

    I also have reservations about side-crashworthiness with the bi-parting doors, and sliding rear roof/tailgate combination. With both open, there is no "safety ring" as employed in their current generation of vehicles. Looks like there is only one structural ring at the a-pillar, with maybe another integrated into the door jamb/locking mechanism, but none at the rear. !?

    My current impression is that it is based on CRV and will have AWD option.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Member Posts: 5,525
    I too think it will have AWD as an option. I also hope it gets atleast the 2.4/I-4 from CRV.

    Seats will likely change. Unlike other concepts from Honda, which are usually pre-production models, the X looks like a true concept vehicle, so it might see a few updates before we see a pre-production model later this year.

    As for crash-worthiness, I guess we will have to wait and see.
  • moonkatmoonkat Member Posts: 265
  • subzero206subzero206 Member Posts: 111
    its not too bad looking, i like the interior and all the features. if they fix the front end a lil bit, make the headlights flush and make the roof more flat instead of that bloated look.
  • themamalathemamala Member Posts: 1
    I am very new to all this - stopped by honda to check out the hybrid civic and the guy showed us the element- neat...however I am concerned about safety and fuel economy... how safe is this thing? What about the 'suicide doors'??
  • moonkatmoonkat Member Posts: 265
    Excellent article on a new definition of "suv" with Model X article that focuses on features that attract me to the "X box".
  • whatever_7whatever_7 Member Posts: 13
    Wow did you see you can roll a sportbike in the "box"? Right now I can't think of any SUV that can do it. Can you roll a bike in the Rav4?

    Personally I rather have a Matrix looking crossover with the seat configuration of the "Box". I m graduating and i m moving out of the "demography". But Matrix's bed is way too high.

    So I m not the only one who think it looks like a bulldog. (I _think_ Honda makes a different "bulldog" concept car, that's why the word bulldog jumped into to my mind the first time I saw the picture.) Hell, for that price I can airbrush a buldog on the split doors and not worry about the resell.

    Do the rear seats have to fold up together? Can I have large item in the back and still seats 3 people? That s the only problem I have with it. Also, being a complete box inside there s no storage area. They better sell some bags along with it.

    I dont see how you can add any luxary items or leather in the car, so everyone is going to add DVD/PS2/LCD system in it :)


    (edit, here is the honda buldog not as "bulldog" as this one i think :)


  • carguy62carguy62 Member Posts: 545
    It's a larger vehicle but Honda claims you can fit two bikes in the new CR-V without removing the front wheels. Of course you have to flip the back seats forward. They seem to get just a little more utility out of their vehicles than others.
  • theracoontheracoon Member Posts: 666

    The 03/27/2002 announcement, plus there's a link to a lot of pictures (90 last time I looked).

  • jvkalrajvkalra Member Posts: 98
    Is that going to limit sales of the Element?
  • gm_litogationgm_litogation Member Posts: 168
    She loves it, she just turned 9! I told her she couldn't get one till she was 16. Then she said, "but that is just like what they drive on Pokemon".

    ......Pondering the possibility of Honda plagerising Pokemon designs.......
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    Awwwwww!!! They gaffed up the rear door! The concept truck had a window that slid down into the lower half of the rear gate. This way there was no roof support spanning the back of the vehicle. That meant you could have things poke out the top and the back at the same time. With the lift-gate design, you can't do that. IMHO, it seriously limits the functionality of the retractable roof.

    At least they kept the styling similar. There's still a lot to like about it, but I'm miffed about that door.
  • diploiddiploid Member Posts: 2,286
    What happened to the chairs that were reconfigurable? Where's the retracting roof?

    Without those two things that Honda was touting with the concept Model X, the Element is just another quirky-looking SUV. I'd rather have the seats fold flat than onto the sides, also. But I still like it.
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    The roof still retracts, it just doesn't meet an open space where the rear window was. I'll see if I can post comparison pics later.

    Hey, is that a table I see built into the floor? It looks huge!
  • carguy62carguy62 Member Posts: 545
    At least they can save $ on the restraint system. Seriously, in these smaller vehicles even when they say five person, the three in the back better be pretty small. I had two in the back seat of my CR-V and my family is relatively small in stature and there wasn't a lot of room for a third. The problem is the seat, the 40 portion of the 60:40 is pretty small, my passenger was sitting in that seat but wanted to buckle up in to the middle seat because his rear portion was encroaching on that middle seat.
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    That third position is most often used for car seats. That shouldn't be as big an issue with the Element's target audience.
  • muckyduckmuckyduck Member Posts: 219
    Car makers are in steep competition to see who can make the worst looking car!!!!!!!
    What happened to the good 'ol days of BIG cars with huge extrusions coming from all angles - that was when cars were cars. Now it is not polite to call something a car!!!
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    the Honda Element will be a huge hit with young folks. Unlike the CRV (of which it shares much running gear), and which appeals more to couples or families, this will appeal to young singles. I could easily see my daughter in one.

    Varmint: As to the roof, I agree. I'm sure it's due to safety issues. Years ago Studebaker had such a roof, like that on the Concept X, on their Lark Wagonaire from the early 1960s.

    I suspect that Subaru also wimped out on their Baja with the "real" Switchback, fold-down mid-gate, that was found on their ST-X concept of a few years ago, for safety reasons too. The production Baja only has a small pass-through.

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Member Posts: 5,525
    Initially, I was suspicious about it, now I have a feeling that this vehicle will be a good addition to the Honda lineup. One of the best things Honda did with it was to give it the same engine as CRV, and target a price range of under $20K.
    And I also like the name.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Member Posts: 5,525
    Folding flat seats may hinder other feature in the Element, washable and lower flat floor. Seats folding to the sides seems to be okay,
    Interior - Rear
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    The problem with seats that fold up and sideways, like that found on the Element, is that a HUGE blind spot is created, when looking over your right shoulder. It's not a problem with the seat directly behind the driver, but the other seat is a problem.

  • diploiddiploid Member Posts: 2,286
    I think that if you needed to load something so huge that it would require the seats to be folded up and onto the sides like that, the item itself would still block your rear view.

    At least I hope that's what Honda was thinking because I really hate that feature.
  • varmintvarmint Member Posts: 6,326
    I wonder if they can be completely removed?
  • diploiddiploid Member Posts: 2,286
    Another thing I noticed is that the rear doors got smaller. And because of the now more angled shape of the lower part, I doubt the rear windows can roll past 70%.

    But yet Honda managed to still make it look somewhat attractive. Did you all see the possible contenders from Nissan and Toyota's Scion division?
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    if you need to put any relatively large item—but not necessarily a tall item—you'll end up with that blind spot, because the seats will need to be folded. Even a bike, while tall, will allow you to see (partially) through the frame.

    I've never like those fold up seats (because of the blind spot issue) in the past; still don't.

  • artdechoartdecho Member Posts: 337
    .....access looks a bit difficult (though maybe not to the target audience), as the seat is well back into the interior....maybe done for side impact scores as the seat resides behind the body of the car, not the (small) door opening. I don't think anyone will be picking up granny and asking her to get herself back in there.
  • dstinydstiny Member Posts: 12
    Just use your side view mirrors. Ever drive a panel van? Hopefully, the Element's mirrors will be large enough to offset the absence of windows. Here we have a SUV that can convert to a van without having to store the rear seats in your garage (if you have one). We also get a deep floor because the rear seats don't fold flat (like my Explorer Sport). And, unlike my Explorer, I can hose it out.
  • anonymous02anonymous02 Member Posts: 1,538
    Seems that tractor trailer drivers don't have much of a problem working around that.

    Why should a driver of a little pug car?
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