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Honda Element



  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    There has been discussion that maybe the reason Honda is not incorporating side curtain airbags is because it is hard to mount them due to the design of the "suicide" doors. However, on many cars, including the New Beetle and my Focus ZX3, the side airbags include extensions to protect the head as well as the torso. Any idea why Honda is using this type of taller air bag? Obviously there is room in the seat for it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dunno, it could come out from above, maybe?

  • The '05 element does have side airbags, however only for the front passengers. It is the rear passenger dummies that have suffered unacceptable damage in past crash tests. I believe my daughters, along with their friends, deserve the same safety the driver and front passenger has. Thanks.
  • I have been using 89 octane in my 04 EX but on a recent fill-up used the lower grade 87 octane and as a result have a significant "tin" sound at certain lower RPM's...not quite a knock as in my older pathfinder but nonetheless noticeable. Has anyone else experienced this concern I suppose would be if I am stuck buying the mid-grade gas from here on out.....thoughts?..THX

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The knock sensor should capture that and send the data to the ECU, which in theory would dial back the timing a bit. I'd guess that within a tankfull or two, that tin sound should go away.

    If not, I might ask the dealer to have a look, possibly reset the ECU so that it maps a new timing pattern, i.e. it re-learns the timing advance to use for your engine.

    On my Miata, the timing is set manually, it was funny to adjust the dial to advance the timing and hear the engine ping, then stop pinging as I retarded the timing.

    Mine would ping at about 18 degrees BTDC (before top dead center). Stock setting is 10 degrees. I left it at 14 degrees because you do gain some low-end torque by advancing it like that.

    To set it to 18 degrees, I would actually have to use premium fuel. So I used 14.

    Your ECU is supposed to adjust that automatically, especially since the engine is designed to run on regular, not premium or even plus.

  • Who is buying Elements in the Northeast? 20 somethings, or all ages?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Good question. This article says that the Element's youngest buyers (nationwide) are around 43.

    Metro Times Detroit

    Steve, Host
  • I've read in more than one article that the average age of the Element buyer is mid-40s. Around Atlanta, everyone I see driving them appears to be my age (30) or older.

    I know they were aiming for younger buyers, but they made a heck of a vehicle that appeals to us practical, well-past-college folks. What would appeal even more to me- a performance version! Slip the TSX engine under the hood!
  • dweiserdweiser Posts: 288
    And I love it! I also have a 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 (A-W-D) Cabriolet on order. Keeping the Element? You bet I am!
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    That's a misprint, or misinterpretation. The "average" age of buyers for the Element is 43. That is not the "youngest age". From what I gather, the number 43 makes the Element second only to the less-expensive Civic (age 40) for youth appeal.

    And contrary to the Metro article, This one from Wards puts the average Xb buyer at 42. Metro only gives us the average age for Scion as a brand.

    All in all, the business of demographics seems a bit fuzzy. For example, the Metro article states that Toyota buyers average 47 years, supposedly, higher than Honda, VW, and Nissan. Yet, other sources put Honda's average age at 50. Furthermore, the figures are for car "buyers", not necessarily the people who are the primary drivers. Given that Elements are more expensive than Scions and Civics, it seems pretty obvious that younger buyers are going to be more likely to use mom and dad as a bank. So, I don't put much faith in these demographics.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    So what you're telling me is that guys my age (52) and kids in their 20's really like the Element. The 40 somethings don't buy them at all, LOL.

    The new Civic looks pretty fun to drive too, btw.

    Steve, Host
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    :confuse: You lost me, Steve...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Keep in mind that's home turf for the Big 2.5, they're likely to put a negative spin on anything import-related.

    To put it into perspective, just imagine what Metro Times Nippon might have to say about an Aztek.

  • I highly recommend Big Island Honda in Kona, if you're thinking of trying other dealers. My experience there was spectacular! Also, they are a Costco dealer, so if you're a Costco member, you should get a great deal. Costs about $300 to ship the car inter-island, I think.

  • Went to see an Element today at the dealer where we bought an Accord. I fit well in the seats, like the interior volume, etc. The only differences between the DX and EX the salesperson could specify were alloy wheels and sound system, which seemed steep for $1,200.

    But we have three kids and the salesperson said the front airbag cannot be switched off? Our Chevy van has a key switch on the dash, so I thought that was a common feature.

    Also looked at a Mazda5 briefly. Not directly competitive, but a neat vehicle.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Nah, I don't think it's a matter of bias. Metro is probably just using the figures given to them by the Toyota/Scion press staff. Just like the Ward's article was citing a Honda exec for one of their figures.

    I think it's a matter of how you count heads. Mom (age 50) might be signing the loan papers for Johnny (age 19), and thus the buyer is counted as a 50 year-old. Or, they might include co-signers. Or they might rely on a post sales survey to get their numbers. Depending on which set of numbers you use, you'd get a completely different picture.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I also looked at the Mazda5 (curiosity). It's very nice, but kinda disappointing in the fuel economy area. 22-27 is possible with vehicles like the CR-V or a Mazda6 wagon. As a van-style body, I would have expected better from the Mazda5. Otherwise, it's very nice.

    Anyway, you might try the CR-V. Same basic vehicle, but it has three seats across the 2nd row. It's not as funky, but you can always customize it.

    Another one to look at would be the Chevy HHR. Personally, I think the concept is silly, but it's been getting good reviews.
  • The EX adds the significantly upgraded stereo system, alloy wheels, keyless entry as well as ABS and side impact airbags. The EX also has what they call Occupant Position Detection System for the airbag on the passenger side.

    Just in case you haven't seen the previous posts, the LX adds ABS for '06. There will also be an EX-P model with painted body panels.

    You mention the Mazda5. I've seen a few at the Mazda dealer and they look pretty nice. I'm car shopping right now and the Mazda3 5-door is on my list as well as the Element.
  • If you need room for 5 and like the Element's design, you might try a Scion Xb or Subaru Forester. Both seat 5. The Forester has AWD like the Element. The Scion xB shares a roomy backseat with the E with one difference - it seats 3 across instead of 2.
  • dweiserdweiser Posts: 288
    Sorry but the Forester has full-time AWD and the Element is basically FWD until it detects slippage then it sends some % of power to the rear wheels. That may not sound like a big difference but I believe it to be.
  • I have a Subaru Outback. Subaru loyalists maintain their AWD system to be more capable than that of the CR-V and Element, but hey, this is the Internet.

    The xB is a touch too small for me overall. If it was 170" long we'd own four of them at work. Great packaging efficiency but not quite big enough for large humans. The CR-V, Forester and other cute utes make me gag, but to each their own. The Mazda dealer I went to today - Talerico in Manchester NH had plenty of Mazda3 wagons, but not 6 wagons, it didn't seem. I was underwhelmed and will stop by a MA Mazda dealer later this week.
  • We also have an Outback and the AWD system that is on to some degree all the time is nice. My LL Bean is 80% front and 20% rear as a baseline state. That does take its toll on gas mileage but the traction is there when you need it. It is way fun on snowy winter days (only utilized when wife and kid are absent).

    Funny thing about that xB - it seems that it has more passenger space than the Outback. Not checking spec sheet - just feel. Cargo space is quite small in xB.

    And back to the E because that is what this forum is about - it feels more substantial than the xB - about $5000 more substantial.
  • "And back to the E because that is what this forum is about - it feels more substantial than the xB - about $5000 more substantial."

    I've actually read a lot of comments on various forums about the price difference between the Element and Scion xB. Scion's no-haggle pricing on the xB is $14,999 and according to Edmunds, an Element LX can be had for $16,703. Difference of $1,704.
  • Thanks Howard, Island Honda said my car will be here in 2 weeks so I am going to wait and check it out, they participate with Costco also. What price did you get there? My deal was the 2005 EX, AWD, manual trans for $22,240 out the door ( that includes tax,etc). The Ranger I drive now I bought on Oahu and shipped here--$175--in 2000. The Maui Ford dealer played too many games.
  • Bought my Galapagos Green '04 EX automatic for $20 grand plus change in December '04. Have prices gone up since then?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    FWIW Mazda5 owners are getting a lot better than EPA numbers so far, but Mazda recalled every one for an exhaust fire they have yet to resolve. Owners are driving loaner cars in the meantime.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    juice - resolution to the Mazda5 fire issue. Operator error. Shall I post over in the crew area?
  • So all you manual Element Drivers out there - is it worth added grin factor?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Please do, that's more on-topic.

    For that Element shopper the Mazda5 alternative can probably be test driven again soon.

  • Any guesses as to how much more an Element with painted panels (EX-P) will be over an EX?
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