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Honda Element



  • hal9001hal9001 Posts: 28
    I'm considering getting some 18" wheels for handling and because the selection of performance
    tires on the stock wheels is non-existent. I live in Minnesota and have heard very bad things about the OEM tires (tire rack reviews). Any feedback would be appreciated.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hmm, my concern would be unsprung weight, ride also. It might be stiff and you might end up like my Z3 buddy, who has had to have 3 of his 17" rims repaired due to pot holes.

    Plus Two is pretty extreme, you sure 17"s won't cut it?

    If you do get 18"s, make sure you get a light rim, it might have to be forged to be light and strong enough for a vehicle like the Element.

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "Keep it, varm. Let it be your beater. You can throw mulch in it and not feel bad."

    My yard took 35 yards of mulch the other year. I'd need a whole lot more than an Element of CR-V for that chore.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yikes, how many acres? :o)

    I borrow Bob Holland's 5'x8' trailer and tow it with my Subie. That gets me 3 yards per load (as much as any full size pickup can fit), usually I do 2 loads and our play ground has a nice, thick layer of wood chips to pad the ground for the kids.

    You must have a dump truck deliver the stuff!

    Bob's daughter has a new CR-V now, but no tow hitch. He has an Explorer for that. One of his neighbors has a small trailer and he's seen him tow it with a CR-V.

    Who says you need a V6? ;-)

  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    While I had the oil changed on the Outback last night, I drove the Legacy GT, Outback XT and Mazda 6 wagon. All 5-speed autos.

     The Legacy GT is awesome - even with auto instead of stick. Drives flat through corners. Feels very tight and powerful. Wonderful interior. But like our current Outback, I do not really fit! :-(

     I do fit better in the Forester.

     Here is what I figured out - a telescoping steering wheel makes me fit in a car a whole lot better! So far, only Sedans seem to have telescoping wheels. Some SUVs and vans fit better than others do to upright seating position.

     My Accord has it and I can pul the wheel past my knees and have room to maneuver my feet down there. The Mazda 6 has a telescoping wheel and I fit a whole lot better in it. But that car was weak, not as fun to drive and had a cheap interior. Out of the running.

     For fun, on the way home, I sat in a Honda Element. It also lacks a tilt wheel BUT the upright position you sit in makes it work for me.

     My goal is to explore family vehicles for when our family expands by 1. I'd like automatic and more ride height. And I don't want to spend a ton since I'll need resources for future family needs.

     Bigger options considered now include:

     Honda Element - $21k

     Honda Odyssey - $29k

     Honda Pilot - $30k

     Nissan Murano - $30k

       If I just want to go with a car that fits with an automatic:

     Honda V6 Accord Sedan with Auto (with our without NAV) - $24 - 26k

    Acura TSX with auto - $27k

     and if I want to get fancy:

    Honda Accord Hybrid - $30k

     Acura TL - $32k

     Infinity G35 - 32k

       So . . . the Element appeals since it undercuts everything by $3 - 11k.

     Maybe current Accord will not be a problem but Element seems best solution so far for the money. An Ody or Pilot might be a better long term purchase and eliminates the need to change cars in a few years when we add a second child to the family.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    How tall are you again? 6'4"?

    Someone in the Outback threads manged to modify the seat track slightly. They got it so it would slide back an extra inch or so. You could ask them how they did it, it didn't seem complicated.

    The Mazda6 doesn't quite make 200 lb-ft of torque, but more importantly it peaks at sky-high rpm. The Element and Legacy GT peak a full 2000 rpm sooner. That's the equivalent of waiting forever for your peak serving of torque.

    Given you fit in the Forester, why didn't it make your short list? Even the XT turbo runs about $23-24k with automatic, $25k for a Limited with leather and that huge moonroof. 235 lb-ft of torque and a low 3600 rpm, too.

  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Juice - Good memory! I am 6' 4" and disprortionately long in the legs.

    The Forester should be on the list too. It is a bit better. I loved the stick Forester and thought it was a riot. The 4-speed auto though was just not the same at all, so I sort of precluded it. I do like all the standard equipment you get in the Forester like heated seats and mirrors.

    The Element also has a 4 speed auto but it has a more utilitarian interior and feels like a "deal". Just like my Accord EX-Leather felt like a "deal" at $21.5k.

    A Legacy with telescoping wheel or a Forester with 5 speed auto would come closer to my ideal.

    The Element is not ideal in some ways either - going faster than 70 on the highway felt a little dicey and it lacks creature comforts found in the Accord or Subaru. But at a lower price, it seems a good compromise.

    Another sedan to consider that I will have to try is an Acura TSX with automatic. It might have a little better handling than an Accord V6.

    The more I think about, with the goal state being 2 kids, I do think the next car should be a minivan or Pilot.

    Ideal for me - a Pilot and an Acura TL auto for the "fleet" for the family.

    Cheapest Fleet - keep what I have.

    Cheapest fleet with new cars - Accord or Civic 4 cylinder auto and Element.

    I guess I am revealing my Honda bias here!
  • I think you should keep your Accord as the commuter car in the family and buy your wife an Ody. The deals are phenomenal if you don't have to have the "latest and greatest" O5 Odyssey. Or lease the Ody on the Honda-subsidized lease program and keep your two current cars for day-to-day driving while using the Ody for family excursions. Financially it would probably be the same as buying one TSX or Pilot.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    True, the turbo is a lot happier mated to the manual tranny.

    Element's low price does make it a low-risk proposition. It would be easy to sell for most of what you paid even if you do change your mind.

    OTOH, if a van is in your future you can get a deal on the last of the 2004 Odys. I've seen LXs for $22k, and an EX with the DVD player for $25k, a screaming bargain. My cousin paid that much for her plain LX just two years ago!

  • Hi folks :)

    Just picked up a Element LX hot off the truck for $17,182, love it so far. So Im transfering from the Toyota Avalon forum, well met :)

    I want to get a light trailer hitch, I heard U-Haul makes a good one for the Element?

    I also stuck little concave mirrors where the foglights normally go, lol, they look pretty good. 3 bucks at Kraken Auto parts.

    Most people I've asked dont like the looks at first, haha. But it seems to grow on people. I have always liked the looks, even when it was a concept car.
    My Sister said this: It looks like a car that isn't quite finished being built yet". I thought that was a funny description of the fenders.
    I got the Saphire blue model.

    The stock wheels are pretty dang ugly, I was even considering hubcaps... theres no way i can spend 600-700 bucks on wheels. Any ideas? Im thinking charcoal-grey and chrome, or blue and chrome, to match the body?

    Any reason to buy mats for this thing? I saw some nice grey Rubberized matts for 8 bucks a pair at Big Lots. But ... are they necessary for the Element?

    Storage seems to be a bit of an issue with the Element, they are roomy, but not a lot of cubby holes. Comments?
  • Well if the kids are still in carseats, its ideal, the access you get to the rear seat is virtually unparalleled in its budget rainge.

    The doors allow you full access and plenty of room to manuver the baby.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Mirrors? Hilarious. The squirrels will be happy, they can groom themselves.

    Consider take-off rims, or used. Check E-bay perhaps. Maybe someone here wants to get a Plus One and has alloys to get rid of.

  • rattlecage,

    Congrats on your new E!

    I don't own one yet, but it sounds like you got a good deal. Does yours have a auto or manual tranny?
  • I got an automatic, I like it, the shifter is in a great place. I use the 2nd and 1st gear to help slow down from highway speeds.

    The 5 speed was real nice too, short throw, nicer than the Accord shifter... but... they tend to suck in stop-and-go traffic.

    The deep blue color is real nice, i recommend it.
    I think its called Fuji Blue Pearl.

    Day 2 highlights: Went grocery shopping, put the stuff in the back seat, more room than the trunk :) Huge leg room!

    My dog fits real good in the far back. The only thing is you cant see him there, so theres a REAL danger of forgetting a pet on a hot day back there.

    Turning Radius is incredible. Combine that with its SHORT wheelbase, and its the ultimate parkable car. Any parking spot on either side of the aisle, is fair game :)

    Only feature I miss on the LX is cruise control ...

    Features I'm glad I dont have: Alarm system, automatic locking doors, I always hated how my Toyota alarm went off like a paranoid little dog, any time you entered slighty wrong.. And how it locked the doors automatically.

    Some guy at Carls wanted to see it this morning.... he said it was bigger inside than it was outside, hah
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm sure the dealer can add cruise. I had cruise added to my Subaru 6 years ago, it's been fine. Cost me $200-300 IIRC, installed.

  • I got a class 3 on my 2003 Element through Uhaul.

    Total cost with tax and installation $200.

    Gonna haul an open air trailer halfway cross country , home next month.
  • Uhaul wants to charge me almost 300 bucks to install it.
    111 for the hitch
    roughly 50 bucks for the ball mount and ball
    about 40 bucks for installation
    and about 100 bucks for wiring installation?

    Did you get the wiring? They say its difficult with that vehicle.

    I am tempted to get the Reese hitch, its 77 bucks, then i will wire it myself...
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Many of the rack retailers will do installs even if you don't purchase the hitch from them. That's what I did.

    The place I went to, sold only the Drawtite hitch (which is a lousy hitch for the 1st gen CR-V). I bought a Hiddenhitch instead, but had them install it while I was at work. I think it cost me 25 or 50 bucks for the install. (No wiring on this job, though.)
  • I'm thinking of getting the Reese hitch. Its 77 bucks, and I already have the ball and ball mount, from my previous car's hitch.

    Then I can wire it myself, doing the hoakey method ( tapping into the rear lights).
  • I told them to give me everything that i needed and i have the wiring and stuff for it as well.
  • I have the ugly steel stock wheels on my E, and someone nearby has the 16 inch Pilot Alloys for sale for 300 bucks with tires.

    I was thinking about talking them down a bit, and picking them up, I did a quick measurement with my fingers, and they appeared to fit.

    Does anyone know of any reason why the Pilot alloys won't fit on the E?

    Thanks in advance :)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Does the Element have a harness in the back, ready to plug-and-play? If so, it's not difficult - no splicing.

    A hitch is heavy, but tie-straps help hold it in place and you can use a hydraulic jack (or a helper) to lift it into place.

    I installed a Class I hitch on my Forester by myself. The harness was plug and play and it sure was heavy, but I managed in a couple of hours.

    FWIW I think the Pilot's rims do fit, maybe varmint can confirm.

  • In '05 - it looks like Honda is trying to widen the gap between the Element and CR-V. The '05 CR-V gets a 5 speed automatic, steering wheel audio controls, VSA, and available leather and heated seats with the Special Edition package.

    Maybe there will be a "special edition" E in a few years. But it would be nice to have the 5 speed auto and VSA now.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Funny thing is the CR-V had 15" rims, but will now get 16"s to match the Element.

  • I forgot to add S-SRS airbags in the '05 CR-V.

    Looks like it will be a nice vehicle. Unless the seats and dash change though, it is irrelevant to me. I fit in an Element but my shins bang the dash in the current CR-V.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    juice - has the install instructions for the E hitch. It includes the wiring harnesses which plug into the vehicle harness in the rear wheel well trim area.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Definitely get the harness - no splicing, clean install, safest bet for no electrical gremlins down the road. No warranty consequences, either.

    It's very nice when the plug is provided like that because it means you can plug-and-play with no splicing. Many cars do *not* have such a plug.

  • I called American Honda and they told me that the new 2005 Element will be introduced December 15. It looks like it will be just about the last Honda to get updated. Perhaps they have a lot of 2004s left to sell.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Isn't December the month when the original was released?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yup. They're just keeping the cycle the same way it was for the original 2 years ago.

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