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Honda Element



  • geeknicgeeknic Posts: 1
    I have a 1992 Jeep Cherokee that I bought back in 1997. It has 139,000 miles on it and runs great but the Maine winters have taken their toll. The jeep is starting to rust all over the place and I'm sick of welding patches. I will be getting another vehicle soon. I've been looking at the Element but I tow two snowmobiles so I'd need the all-wheel-drive model. My question is-- would the vehicle be able to tow them? I know the specs for the element say it has a 1500lb towing capacity but...

    If anyone has any info, I'd appreciate it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My concern would be ground clearance, also. The CR-V has more of it and weighs less with the same engine, so it might be a better choice for you.

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Honda is pretty conservative with their ratings, so the Element may handle a bit more than the 1,500 lbs limit. However, if you get into an accident, have a problem with the drivetrain, or any other problems, Honda won't back the vehicle. And, if someone gets hurt, you'd probably be liable.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    is back to wanting an Element. We saw a black one with some nice wheels and tinted windows. I could definitely deal with an Element but don't think Gee can cross the line to actually trading his Civic instead of just talking about it.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Wait until the changes for the '06 models are announced. The hype may be enough to push him off the fence.
  • carquerycarquery Posts: 35
    Hi. I'm hoping the Element owners out there will have some good insight on this one. I'm trying to decide between the Element and the Scion Xb for my next car. The AWD, additional safety features and larger "trunk" of the Element are wooing me, but all the comments I've found on it have it averaging in the low to mid-20s as far as MPG goes. The Xb generally comes in in the mid-30s. This car will be used 90% for around town (my wife's car is the long distance comfort cruiser) and I like the idea of a fuel efficient car. I'm weighing the Xb's traction control, VSC and better mileage (the interior room for 2 kids seems acceptably equal) ivs. the Elements AWD, safety, and larger storage.

    So, what kind of mileage are you guys averaging?
  • north1north1 Posts: 11
    22-24 mpg on an 04' AWD EX...mostly in-town driving.

    Be careful in making comparisons between the E and the xB. Drive both and you will find a large driving difference. The E actually drives like a small SUV while the xB feels like you are driving a go-cart with a windshield...granted, the mpg is much better in the xB as it is lighter and smaller but is the trade off worth sacrificing things like ride and safety?...For me the choice was easy after rolling in both... Good luck.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm not sure I'd pick safety as the Element's primary advantage, given the poor side impact results (sans side air bags). Perhaps for the EX models only, but not models without those bags.

    Element is bigger and more substantial, so it's a little ironic that the xB has more payload and a 5th passenger seat.

    Element offers AWD, wider door openings, low-maintenance cargo area, clam shell hatch, and a much torquier engine.

    xB offers a lower price, a 5th seat, and more fuel efficiency.

  • philly3philly3 Posts: 5
    (ateixeira) I would have no problem towing 1500# as far as engine torque etc is concerned. The only reserve I might have is that I'd hesitate with an automatic unless I installed a transmission fluid cooler. I have a stick and can control when I shift so I maximize torque and don't have to slip the clutch. As good as automatics are these days they still will hunt on hills etc and without a cooler you could tear up a trans pretty quick. This is not just Honda but automatics in general. When trans fluid heats up it's life is drastically reduced and even with a cooler I'd change fluid often. Also if your doing high speed towing, 65+, this box is NOT aerodynamic and geared low, so your really working the tranny. If your doing any serious towing 1-2 wk, 500+ miles and want to stay small look at the Liberty diesel, but remember the tranny issues still exist. Good luck.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    After looking at Elements since the day they hit the lots, I finally took the plunge and bought an almost new 2004 EX AWD auto with side air bags and only 5K miles from a gent on eBay. I pick it up on the 4th! Can anyone describe (or tell me where to buy) the correct adapter cable to connect a mini iPod to the aux input jack?
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Just a stereo mini jack on both ends is all you need (looks like headphine jack on both ends). Easy to buy at Radio Shack or similar. You may already own one! Aux jack is a great feature of the Element.
  • I use a Creative Nomad Zen Xtra in my Element. Picked up this unit as well as the required aux adapter at Radio Shack should have this part as well for about $4.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Posts: 1,339
    Thanks for the responses :) The drive home was pretty uneventful, and the Element seems to be a nice roadtrip vehicle. I'm sure this has been mentioned repeatedly, but I noticed a pronounced PTTR most of the way home at highway speeds. It was more pronounced on certain crowned road surfaces, and almost nonexistant on other surfaces. Could this relate to the crummy Wrangler HP tires? Man, these tires ROAR on less than smooth pavement.
  • will that work with a cassette player or only for MP3 input? We are trading in an old Jeep Cherokee today for a blue 2005 EX4wd 5speed - very exciting.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    The Aux Jack works with any device that supports the mini headphone jack out. I really would not call the stereo mini cables adapters in the same way I would a device that adapts a car tape head unit via "cassette tape" with a stereo mini hack out to a portable CD player.

    BTW - if you have a car with a cassette tape head, these tape adapters are definitely the way to go over the FM wireless transmitters - I have yet to find one of those that works really well.

    So if your cassette player has that mini headphone jack out, you should be good to go.

    As for the iPod, I picked up a Griffin Air Click that gives you a little steering wheel mounted remote to control the iPod when it is hardwired into your system. This way you are not fumbling with the iPod at speed. Works great in the house but have not tried it on the road.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Honda preview lists some new colors and a new trim level above the EX 4WD as EX-P 4WD for 2006.

    There at least two new colors, Atomic blue metallic and tangerine metallic.

    Any idea what the EX-P 4WD trim level would offer beyond the current EX 4WD?
  • dweiserdweiser Posts: 288
    Anyone replaced the original Wrangler tires either right away or through normal wear? If you like what you replaced them with, please share new tire make & model with me/us. Thanks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Bet that one looks cool, with plenty of contrast.

    I still think they should do a yellow one to steal away some H2 sales. ;-)

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    If you aren't going onto dirt roads, consider the new Kumho Solus KH-16, which replace the excellent Ecsta 716. Smooth and quiet. Cheap too. See if your Sears has them.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    I see lots of yellow E's around here. Servicemaster - a franchinsing company - uses them. Must be a custom paint job as the plastic cladding is yellow as well.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Could an Element EX-P mean painted side panels rather than plastic cladding?
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    That could be it!!
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    When do 06 Elements arrive? Last year it was like December, right?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's been the pattern since they came out. Let's see if it gets the upgrades the CR-V got.

  • sebski21sebski21 Posts: 10
    On the 4th of July weekend I packed my E with two bikes, a tent, a grill, just-pregnant wife and a lot of other camping junk and we headed to Wisconsin from Chicago. After a year of E ownership that was the first longer trip so I was curious what highway mileage I would get. I was pleasantly surprised: we made 409 miles on a 13.088 gallon fill-up. That gave a great 31.25mpg.
    I must admit I tried to get as much as possible. We drove mostly 60-65mph. The E is 4-speed 2WD EX. My average in the mixed driving is 25-26mpg.
    Has anyone achieved more than 31mpg which I think it's possible considering a fully packed E on my trip?
  • mickjazzmickjazz Posts: 21

    i have had my element for 3 months and have driven it about 5000 miles, all on long trips.

    the first big trip from seattle to st. george utah was fairly pleasant, driving mostly 75+ mph on the interstates. my wife felt it was more sensitive in steering and needed more correction than our mazda b4000 pickup which we have parked for a while.

    Then we took a trip from utah to texas on i40 across arizona and new mexico. the winds were BIG and from the south, hitting the element directly on the side. it was manageable but i had to slow down to 65 or so at times and it required attention - no drinking coffee with one hand and steering with the other.

    But coming back across i70 from grand junction to the i15 was just terrible. the winds were unmerciful and the element felt like my old 66 vw bug which would change lanes on the oakland bay bridge in windy conditions. i don't know how high the winds on i70 were but they were strong and gusty, maybe 30+ mph gusts, you could see other cars and rv's slow down too but the big suv's plowed on faster and faster. it was a very unpleasant driving experience.

    i have to take the car in for the first oil change this week and i want them to check the suspension to see if something is wrong. i'm not saying the car is unsafe but in high winds it's borderline.

    the design may need side skirts or some modification to the roof line - like a rounded cap. if it's a problem in the suspension unloading then it's more serious but may be corrected with different shocks.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's not fair to compare if you're coming from a low slung coupe, for example. You just can't cheat physics, and this thing has a tall/wide profile that's like a sail compared to, say, an Accord coupe.

    Just slow down a bit for bridges. I'm sure you get used to it.

  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    If they add VSA and the 5 speed auto tranny to the Element in 2006, I would be happy.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Will there be a follow up model to the first Element in 2008 or later? Or will there be only one? It's hard to gauge its popularity and profitability to Honda.

    With the Acura RDX and Honda CR-V production moving to Ohio in 2006, will there be capacity to continue to make Elements?

    What are your thoughts about how successful the Element has been for Honda and whether they will invest in a redesign?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I say it's a big hit. Yearly sales have been above forecasts every year so far. It cost them very little to make given the stuff from the parts-bin. Finally, it did not cannibalize CR-V sales, either.

    So Honda invested little and it exceeded sales goals while hurting no other Honda products. They probably had to hire more people to count the money.

    From a marketing success standpoint, I give it an A+.

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