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Honda Element



  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Dunno. I've been kinda curious about that, as well.

    I agree with Juice about it being a hit from a sales/profit standpoint. But there are a few chinks in the armor. While it does appeal to the younger set (more than most any other Honda), it has not been exclusively the youth-mobile I think they wanted.

    I think we could see a replacement for the Element, but it might not be CR-V-based like the current generation. They might take the xB approach and use one of their JDM vehicles as the basis for the next generation. This could help them reduce costs and put the rig closer to the price range of the target audience.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    I think the flaw in developing products for the youth market is cost. For people just starting careers, even $15000 is a lot for a car.

    When talking to a Scion sales person he said the typical xB buyer at his dealership was late 30s or early 40s male -- and that is a relatively inexpensive car - about $16k.

    The car makers have a tough nut to crack because they have to set the features / content high enough but the price low enough to appeal to the youth market they want to tap into to secure their brand's future.

    The problem that folks older than the target market see the value proposition and have the means to actually buy one.

    I myself am considering a new family vehicle in the next 18 - 24 months and have considered everything from xBs on the low end to an Odyssey Touring or Acura MDX.

    Maybe I am unique but if I can solve the family transportation problem with something like an Element or xB, I get a warm fuzzy feeling inside. I enjoy somewhat outsmarting the marketers. And they do their best to somewhat poison a choice targeted at one demographic (say youth) to another demographic (middle age parents with families) by dropping features (4 seats, not 5 in Element) or adding crazy colors or styling to put off the non-target demographic.

    I am sure the Honda corporate product line planners know what they are doing.

    The have nothing to fear from the likes of me -- I sense I am an oddball of sorts in my car purchasing tastes, at least in my immediate peer group of corporate office workers, because when I express an interest in such value-oriented, youth targeted choices like the xB or Element, I get funny looks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Actually you can get them for $13.8k. They have no-haggle pricing so you can't compare directly to an Element's MSRP, but still, prices are great.

  • mldeturemldeture Posts: 3
    I would love some advice on what to consider in the choice between the EX 2wd and 4wd. I had an '03 EX 2wd but unfortunately, I was hit recently and it has been totalled. I loved it and am for sure going to get another EX Element but am not sure whether I should "upgrade" to the 4wd.

    I am under the impression that the only difference (other than the number of wheels driving) is in the sunroof and frankly I do want a sunroof but would rather it be over my head where I can enjoy it while driving.

    I live in coastal NC and never thought I needed 4wd, so that's why I didn't get it before, but I now I hear that it is safer in wet conditions. Is this true?

    Any advice helpful..

  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    If I were you and I could afford it, I would go for 4WD. The Mileage penalty is not that great and the resale should be better. If it is a manual transmission, I think the 4WD is even more important.

    Nice to hear that after owning one Element you would replace with another!
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    AWD (all wheel drive) is safer, slightly, in the rain than FWD (front wheel drive) which is safer in the rain than RWD (rear wheel drive) but any system with stability control is better, because stability control does a better job of correcting for your errors.

    The Element 4WD is "on demand" four wheel drive, the difference being that power is only shifted to the rear wheels when you lose traction while accelerating straight ahead; it is useful only if you think you will get bogged down in snow or mud (stability control won't help you there).

    If the Element 2WD never let you down, it weighs less and has fewer friction losses (only two wheels to drive). I would continue with the 2WD, but check out the CR-V which has ESP (stability) control, side air bags, side curtain airbags, and ABS, all standard, plus a 5 speed automatic transmission.

    Most of those features will probably be added to the '06 Element if you can wait. I love the style of the Element, but got a CR-V just because of the better safety features and 5 speed automatic.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Ever make it out to Corola beach? That's all sand, no paved roads at all. I'd get AWD just to be able to hit the beaches in the OBX.

    Pic for fun...

  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    Just to compare, at those speeds with all highway, my 2003 CR-V (EX, AWD) will get 31 MPG as well. A bit less in town at 22 MPG. I get 27 at 75 MPH.
  • tdibluestdiblues Posts: 7
    I am chomping at the bit to get rid of my 2002 Jetta TDI wagon (though I love the mileage & handling, it is a LEMON & must be gone before the warranty is!) and want to replace it with an EX AWD manual Element. However, I have some of the same concerns about safety features as mentioned above - and the CR-V is my other top choice. (But the Element is so much more fun).

    I keep seeing mentions about 2006 Elements & possible new features, but can't locate any sure info - such as definates on what the new features/upgrades will be, and when they can be expected to hit the market.

    I'd appreciate any info!

  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    will probably release the 2006's by September/October. Expect some more info by the end of August. All 2005 Elements have standard side airbags but we will have to wait until 2006 to see if they get side curtains.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    In the past, Honda has waited till December to release the new year's Element.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    I know the first year was released late .... or was it early .... Hmmm ... I am too young to be suffering from STM loss ....
  • amy7amy7 Posts: 1
    :confuse: im thinking seriously of purchasing an '05 element 2wd ex. test drove it yesterday and loved it. should i hold back until the '06s are out just in case of possible new incentives on the '05s. any suggestions?
  • tabjrtabjr Posts: 4
    I've only had my '05 Element 4WD EX auto for a couple of months and have put 1500 miles on it. My problem is with gas mileage...I'm only getting about 13 mpg in around town driving, mostly city streets. The AC is on since it's hot here in DC. On a recent highway trip, I got about 22 which would be OK but the city mileage is a let down. Will it get better?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Honda adds features every year - some new, some that used to be options. I urge you to wait for the 2006. Very likely it will have stability control and side curtain airbags, features introduced last year on the CR-V. Honda can't afford to let the Element languish when the CR-V has so many extra safety features, especially now that the Insurance Institute is starting to side-crash vehicles and up the ante.

    Basically, I would have gotten an Element in January of this year (2005) if it had come equipped with the safety features on the CR-V; but I couldn't wait quite so long. You are almost into the 2006's - hold tight or you'll kick yourself in 3 years!
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Your mileage is in line with typical Consumer Reports tests which show, for most vehicles, terrible city mileage, and mixed mileage about 5 mpg or so below EPA reports. People don't realize how terrible mileage can be in the city - really in the city - especially if you don't baby the accelerator. You are about 2-3 mpg under the highway mileage rating, which could be due to discrepancy in tank fill ups etc. or could be due to a lead foot.

    I doubt there is anything wrong with your vehicle....remember it is 3200 pounds, not a 2600 pound economy car, and 4WD does knock down the mileage.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    I too would like to see the CR-V saftey features on the Element in addition to the 5 speed auto. But wishing is not enough to make it so.

    I am assuming the 06s will arrive in December. Any other intel suggesting earlier?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The original release date was mid November, 2002. That was a 2003 model year. I would expect the same month for the MMC (give or take 2 weeks).
  • mciadmciad Posts: 5
    I hope I am in the correct forum, but . . .

    I am looking for an aftermarket Compass/Temperature display, either in the rearview mirror or something to install on the dash. Since Honda does not offer one, I have been searching for something, but have come up with nothing.

    Any help is appreciated . . .

  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    Thanks, Varmit. I am trying to remember when they announce the feature changes for the year. I think last year I think it was Sep 1.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They say that for a reason. When you're sitting idling you are getting 0mpg. Do that enough and even a Toyota Echo will seem inefficient.

    Hybrids are capable of shutting off engines at idle, so there's your exception. Even then, turn on the A/C and those get 0 mpg also.

  • charlotte7charlotte7 Posts: 144
    I've been considering minivans and the Mazda5 mini-minivan for my upcoming vehicle purchase (this fall) but I have recently taken another look at the Element. I don't have kids but I do have a large German Shepherd and I like to go cycling on the weekends. Are any of you Element-owners cyclists, and if so, can you fit your bikes in the back with the seats folded without taking off the front wheel? I would ideally like a vehicle that I could just stash the bike in and go.

    Also, what's your average gas mileage like?

  • dweiserdweiser Posts: 288
    I don't have a bike but I did just measure the distance from inside rear hatch to middle console and it's 65". That's with both back seats in the Element folded flat and then raised against each wall. In the mountains of NC I'm getting 20 to 24 on rural back roads. EX with AWD.
  • north1north1 Posts: 11
    I frequently use the rear of my element for bike storage without removing the front wheel. I do have to angle my bike to have it fit as I ride with a very high seat post but the cavern like interior is a good match for a quick stash. I did look out outfitting with a thule rack but no real need since the bike can go inside....It would be a much tighter fit if you planned on putting multiple bikes back there...if that was a concern I would look at the roof rack...
  • dogmobiledogmobile Posts: 1
    I found a 13' fiberglass Scamp camper that will weigh 1300 lbs. fully loaded, just 200 lbs. under the Element's 1500 towing capacity.

    I'll be taking 8-12 weekend trips a year in New England.

    Do I need to have anything done to the Element other than have the Honda dealership add the ball hitch? It's an automatic, so I'm worried about damaging the transmission, but don't want to trade the Element in for another vehicle.
    I've only had the Element a year and hope to keep it long-term, it's a perfect vehicle for hauling dogs and home repair stuff.

    Element Lover
  • survivorssurvivors Posts: 2
    Thought you all would like to know how we fared in a nasty crash with our new Element.

    After lurking and reading all your messages for months we bought an 05 Element, red, and hubby added just about ever accessory (except the cabana) he could get.

    Ten days later while cruising thru the rural vineyard on a 2 way road with gravel shoulders an oncoming car drifted off the edge went out of control and we had no where to go. Hubby slammed on the breaks...abs worked great and we t-boned the Honda sedan. We are battered and bruised and I have some broken ribs and a concussion from the seatbelt and airbags but EVERYONE is very impressed with they way the Element performed. Highway Patrol Officer says that new technology is the only thing that saved us. Sadly, the couple in the Honda sedan did not survive, that tells you how severe the collision was.

    So, if any of you are wondering if this is a safe vehicle we'd have to say it definitely lives up to the 5 star rating. That little red box died for us, just the way it was designed. Now we wait to see if the insurance has the nerve to try and depreciate a 10 day old car.

    Be safe out there!!

  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    I have a Gentex model in my 2003 CR-V, Compass and Temperature. About 250 for parts. Do a web search on Gentex Rear View Mirror.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "Now we wait to see if the insurance has the nerve to try and depreciate a 10 day old car. "

    Sorry to hear of your accident. Your "E" depreciated the moment you drove it off the dealer lot. Do you have "gap insurance"?
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Depending on how much you paid for the Element, you may actually MAKE money on the car. Make sure you list all the acessories and the cost. The insurance company has the obligation to give you replacement cost for the vehicle. Especially since you weren't at fault. I'd make sure that you lose nothing on this accident.

    My wife totalled a 3 week old Civic Si. We ended up with another Civic and an extra bit of gas money.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    Glad you are OK but it's awful the other couple did not survive.

    FWIW: My Si protected me in my collision as well. A Grand AM turned out in front of me and I hit her passenger side fender at about 45 MPH. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.

    Don't forget to ask for sales tax. And like Gee said, if you don't have a copy of the accessory list for your car contact your dealer and see if they have one on file. And take pictures of the car and the accident site.
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