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Honda Element



  • scnamescname Posts: 296
    I just read in Car and Driver, the Japan/Euro version Accord (smaller than ours) will be brought to the US in 2004 as an Acura. Current engine is the 2.4 L putting out 190 hp 163 lb ft torque. Hp could be pumped to 200 by the time it gets here.
  • civicwcivicw Posts: 135

    The review makes it sound like Element has a rough,noisy, and slow ride. "Crude" is another word used in the review, and the suicide doors are more problematic, than functional, IMHO. I'm not convinced that for $16-21K it's such a great value for college students. Most college students don't have that kind of money to blow on a new "lifestyle" vehicle.

    I see 2002 2wd auto RAVs go for 18K after rebates in California, 2wd CRVs for about 19K, or Tundra pickups for 16-20K. All of these could be a more refined alternative, depending on one's real needs. Of course, the Element will be different, cool looking, with a little more functionality for some people, and then price or crudeness doesn't matter.
  • AnakinAnakin Posts: 410
    That was one of the lamest "reviews" I have ever seen.

    So he didn't like the engine noise, and he complained about hard seats. He seems to me like an old newspaper auto "journalist" who measures things by the Buick standard.

    I'll wait until I can read a real review and drive it myself. :P
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    I'm sure this guy only reviews Buicks, and has no real experience with other makes to judge the Element against. Editors are alway looking for guys with no background to be critics.

    Face it, the Element's a cheap trucklet for the "gotta have it" crowd. Certain sacrifices were made (it was designed to be cheap, slow, and loud) to keep the cost down. If Honda had tried to build a plusher, more-powerful Element for $25K, exactly who would buy it, looking like it does?

    Think of the Element as a Honda version of the Jeep Wrangler and don't take it personally if someone says it's less-refined than a Civic.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    If you go to, and do a search for the Element, you will find 30 pages (8 images/page) of pixs, and cut-away illustrations of the Element. This is the first photo I've seen of the entry-level Element DX.


  • AnakinAnakin Posts: 410
    Newspaper auto journalists are the laughing stock of the auto review world. They don't need to know much about cars... just how to write. Consider some of his advanced technical terms like "sideways balance."

    I have no problem with someone disliking the Element, but Jim Mateja is not one of the respected opinions of the auto world. *roll eyes*
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I think the review has a positive note to it as well, if Element was indeed 'rough and crude' compared to Cadillac STS, Mercedes E-Class, but better than a Corolla, Crown Victoria? Not bad for a truck.

    BTW, he appeared expecting for a bouncing ball experience instead of a stiffer ride.
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    Anyone in the "auto review world" who takes themselves seriously enough to rank on a newspaper auto columnist has their own unique set of issues.

    He may not have the "respect" of his peers, but his review strikes me as honest and informed, "sideways balance" not withstanding.

    Then again, somebody could come along and claim the Element is the end-all, be-all of autodom, and I still wouldn't be impressed by it. It's a Suzuki built by Honda that lacks any off-road ability.
  • AnakinAnakin Posts: 410
    Ok, so you don't like it.

    Anything else?
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Looks like someone's quickly approaching the dark side.

    Anyways, the new posts are all interesting (except the one with the Aztek having a V-6, I'm glad no one responded to that), but I agree with the latest review. It's not like Wardlaw's review of the new Accord at all (i.e. unnecessarily harsh).
  • AnakinAnakin Posts: 410

    Then again, somebody could come along and claim the Element is the end-all, be-all of autodom, and I still wouldn't be impressed by it. It's a Suzuki built by Honda that lacks any off-road ability.

    Remember kids, hate leads to suffering.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Anyone else see the V6 Accord in C&D hit 60 in 7 seconds flat? It was much quicker than the TL Type S in the same issue, ironically.

    Now imagine that engine in the Element. Or maybe in the Acura CR-V.

  • daveghhdaveghh Posts: 495
    ACURA CRV!!! I want it! I wouldn't mind the luxury vehicle without the size of the large well designed MDX. The Acura CRV would fit a nice niche!!!!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The Pilot/MDX are big and feel big. The CR-V feels like a compact, roomy as it is. I'm talking about driving feel.

    I think there is some room for a product in between, though an Accord wagon would be just right.

  • daveghhdaveghh Posts: 495
    Accord wagon would probably fit that niche just fine! Rumor is, later next year the Accord wagon will be back!
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    The Edmunds article is very positive. DiPietro admits that it's slow, but only at top speeds, and the engine never felt taxed.

    Did Edmunds and test drive 2 different vehicles?!
  • "Not surprisingly, Honda expects no less than 80 percent of Elements sold to be the EX versions."

    I thought the target was the young crowd?
    this info makes it look more like the crv crowd

    this review does seem better than the other and definitely more encouraging other than this news about pricing and trim levels
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Good job Varmint.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    chris- EX tops out at 22K. For comparison, I paid 21K for my RAV4 - and that's after haggling. Its original MSRP was in the neighborhood of 23K and then some.

    Likewise, I looked at a CR-V LX and the asking price was close to 22K - ABS isn't even available on the LX CR-V.
  • When you can get a new V6 Xterra at about $19K. Only 170HP but 200ftlbs of torque. GenY would sooner get a used Xterra and get more "respect". I mean the Xterra is well understood whereas the El is puzzling to many. Its outdoorsy but not an off roader. Only 6.9 inches of ground clearance and no low range. OK nobody uses it but important to posers. Youth is about posing.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Looks like a good kayaking rig. In my day it would be a bit shy on ground clearance. Now everyone paddles itty bitty short 'yaks, and they drive to playspots along the road instead of down rough roads to a river put-in. Water friendly materials is a big plus.

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  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Hmm IIRC they are selling for a lot more than $19K. You can barely get a pickup for $19k these days.

  • AnakinAnakin Posts: 410
    Diploid, I was wondering the same thing. Mateja said he could "feel every tar strip" in the road and Edmunds said the suspension soaked up bumps without complaint.

    Maybe Mateja just didn't "get it."

    Ropedart, The Element isn't meant to be an off-road vehicle. It's targeted at youth who like outdoor activities, so it's really intended to get you to the bottom of the ski resort or the biking trail. It has AWD so you can traverse slippery conditions... this is not a mountain climbing vehicle. You can call it a poseur vehicle if you want, but Honda hasn't tried to make this car out to be a Jeep Wrangler competitor.

    On another note, I can't think of another vehicle that could carry that much STUFF in the same price range. A base Xterra begins where a loaded Element ends, so I suppose they're almost comparable... but again, the Xterra is a truck.

    I know it doesn't appeal to a lot of you here, but for people like me and my wife, it's very appealing. It can carry a whole lot of stuff, or our dogs, yet still get good gas mileage. Frankly, there isn't a truck that can compare on fuel efficiency, so we'll be comparing the Element with other small cute-utes and some of the larger compact wagons like the Jetta Wagon.
  • The torque chart posted by Varmint indicates the difference in single and dual stage intakes to be insignificant. Any other interpretations?
  • daveghhdaveghh Posts: 495
    If I didn't recently get the 2002 CRV, I would strongly consider buying the model X! I think it is awesome!

    Here is another CR-V variation for the European market. Check it out.

    The Edmunds review is very encouraging. The reviewer wrote that the Element does not lose much performance with the auto as compared to a stick. That surprises me.

    I have shopped Xterra's as well and they have their appeal but aside from being inexpensive and SUV-like I don't think that Xterra and Element are very comparable.

    The Xterra has good cargo space but is slow and gets horrible fuel economy ( a bad combo IMO )and it handles like a garbage truck.

    The Element, while it will have merely adequate power at least it will be among the best handling utility vehicles if the Edmunds review is any indication.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Nice graph, BTW. I'm not sure which engine I'd pick. You shift at 4000rpm most of the time, and the CR-V has the edge from 3000-4000, where you will use it day-in and day-out.

    I see variations of about 10 ft-lbs, with each engine carrying the advantage at different rpm. That's not huge, but you could feel the difference.

    The Element is better at very low rpm, which will maybe be good to pull that weight during relaxed driving. And the Millenials won't mind revving really high to get that peak torque.

    XTerras are as unrefined as older pickups. The drive is just awful IMO. I would hope the Element would have a far more refined ride.

    For a real world price reference,'s cheapest XTerra 4x4 V6 is $21,012, and that is very skimpy with the options (no ABS, cruise, power, keyless), or roughly like an Element DX at several grand less.

    Plus, I loved the styling on the original XTerra, but Nissan put these ugly glasses on the new one, so it looks kinda "geeky" now. They ruined it.

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