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Honda Element

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  • subzero206subzero206 Posts: 111
    thanks for the info. i cant believe it, 17" rims? will that make it to production? i hope so because honda barely started puting 16" rims so this is a surprise. glad to hear the rear moonroof is big.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Is a rear moonroof? I'm going to see it in person this Friday, but from the pictures, it just looked like a small rectangle in the roof.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Another small detail - the Element did not appear to have that hole in the fender well that bothers some CR-V owners.

    Will the 17" rims make production? I wouldn't bet on it. No way would it get bigger rims than the Pilot. Maybe 16s though.

    The rear moon/sun? roof was open, so I couldn't tell if it was glass or painted metal.

    -juice
  • Is there really any difference between this and a CRV??? They seem exactly the same except for styling. Why would Honda be doing a whole new vehicle when they could just offer neat packages and styling add ons to there already good CRV??
  • moonkatmoonkat Posts: 265
    Driving to work today I listened to brief discussion of NYIAS by car connection.com on topic of auto manufacturers attracting gen y car buyers. Mentioned only two cars "Mach Focus" (?!), and Element.

    Focussed on what gen y buyers expect in a new car and, as we have heard before, social aspects are paramount. They expect excellent entertainment systems (Mach Focus has 500w system?), lots of room, and mobility is almost secondary!?

    Excellent discussion of this in link at post 17 above:
    http://www.fosters.com/special_sections/autos/articles2001/1030k_01.htm

    Read more on carconnection Element details here:
    http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=4766&n=156,176&sid=176
    Interestingly, Honda is considering "A LARGER MOTOR" !!!! So that's how they can present the 17" wheels. Now what motor would that be? 2.4L is already large for a four-banger; but a stroked and bored 2.6 or 2.8L four banger? Or the "old" Accord 3.0L six-banger?! This is getting interesting!

    And robertsmx, you got your wish, rear opening will be removeable glass hatch (non-power).
  • moonkatmoonkat Posts: 265
    gm_litogation:
    Excellent question, and one I ask (and have not answered for) myself. Why is the Element appealing and not the CRV for me? What distinguishes the two products to make one attractive?

    What I find unattractive about the CRV is the scale of the vehicle; that is the apparant size of the vehicle. In images of the CRV everything is fine; looks good and with all the Honda attributes of efficiency, reliability, quality, and value. But on the road (I followed one after work yesterday) it appears too small, and delicate. Next to a Jeep Grand Cherokee, it was diminutive in height and size (from the back and wearing my glasses), though I realize that the CRV has nearly the cargo capacity of the JGC. Like the PT Cruiser. Good to look at, but standing next to it, looks like a 3/4 scale version of what was expected.

    Which brings me to the Element. It may very well be the same ext dimensions as a CRV, but I imagine a larger vehicle. And all of the images I have seen with people make the Element appear larger than the CRV, as if the CRV were a 7/8s relative of the Element. It may just be wishful thinking on my part, or that Honda uniformly uses sub 5'0" models for its pictures, but that is my perception. For example see: http://www.collegehillshonda.com/2002.htm (see Element/Pictures)

    I suspect that Honda can translate this visual "scalability" to physical scalability just as they did with the Honda Pilot. Where the CRV is a 7/8 scale version of the Pilot. And by the way, Honda has exploited this visual trickery before; in the concept model of the MDX which was about 7/8s scale of the production MDX. It is so subtle that Consumer Reports published a photo of the new Pilot on the cover of their May 02 mag when reporting on "mini-utes" including the CRV inside.

    Here I meant to conclude with tangible differences instead of aesthetic, but haven't succeeded. Let me just say that I would like the Element to be 'much' larger than the CRV in both appearance and volume, and that would provide a meaningful distinction between them.
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    I park next to a Grand Cherokee everyday. The difference in size between the '02 CR-V and the GC is is very minor. Look at the GC's sloping windshield and compare it to the windshield on the CR-V. No wonder there is almost as much room inside the CR-V.

    And I'm pretty sure Element is smaller in length than the CR-V. I think you need glasses ;-) .
  • Currently the photos look to me like the Element is smaller than the CRV. Also looking at the exterior dimensions of the JGC vs CRV we're not talking about a huge difference in size. The JGC is 3 inches longer and 2 inches wider although it is quite a bit taller. Oh well I'm glad someone finds it appealing, I'm still under the impression that they could've just built off of the current CRV.
  • subzero206subzero206 Posts: 111
    CRV is built off the civic and so is the Element. so basically they share some things. btw, why would people choose a chevy over gmc or vice versa? those 2 are even more alike than a CRV and Element.
  • I think everyone who shops for a Chevy truck knows this. They probably look at both models. GMC is typically for the professional or luxury truck, Chevy is more mainstream. I think most buyers like the looks of the GM trucks and they will cross shop them both seeing which dealer will give them a better deal. Anyway thats just platform sharing, I could see offering an Acura Element.....

    Think about it this way What if Pontiac offered the Grand AM and the Pontiac Alero..... See isn't that wierd.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think it will appeal to a different buyer than the CR-V does (younger, more males, more extroverted). The fact that it shares a lot with the CR-V means Honda spent less to produce it. Yet they don't look like clones. Genius, no?

    Non-powered glass hatch? Does it slide in or pop out? It was open at the show so we could not tell.

    The overhangs do seem shorter, so I bet it's smaller than the CR-V. It does not look small, though, the impression is of height and width.

    In person, and this is just my opinion, the Pilot looks nothing like the CR-V. The CR-V's headlights are swept back, and it has lots of styling touches. The rear is Volvo-ish. The Pilot is far more generic, but still handsome.

    I noticed that CR mistake, too. They even used the prototype Pilot, which you can tell because of the fog lights. The Pilot shown at NY lost the fog lights and had smaller tires.

    -juice
  • I'm finding that difficult to swallow being male and all. I thought it would appeal to more females.

    I wouldn't expect the Pilot to look like the CRV either. Afterall it's a rebadged Highlander, right?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think you meant Acura MDX. It shares a platform with the MDX, but it's styled differently and has more room inside.

    I like it but my wife called it a "school bus", LOL. Her car is next so I was hoping she'd like it more.

    We'll see about the male/female break down, only time will tell. That is Honda's goal.

    -juice
  • I definitely meant Highlander, look at the pics


    http://a332.g.akamai.net/f/332/936/12h/www.edmunds.com/media/roadtests/roadtest/01.toyota.highlander/01.toyota.highlander.f3-4-2.500.jpg


    http://a332.g.akamai.net/f/332/936/12h/www.edmunds.com/media/reviews/preview/03.honda.pilot/honda.pilot.f34.500.jpg


    Anyway I'm obviously joking about the platform sharing, although I think you will agree they look very similiar.......

  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    from the rear, at least to me. And to me the new Camry has resemblances to the Accord. Happens all the time between these two. My '89 Accord H/B was a styling clone of the (I believe) Celica hatchback of that era.
  • subzero206subzero206 Posts: 111
    i would think the Element appeals more to males than females because of its boxy shape. CRV would seem more appealing to a female although sales figures didnt prove that for the 1st gen we dont know yet about the 2nd gen (and also parents who bought it for their sons/daughters)
  • She loves it, she just turned 9! I told her she couldn't get one till she was 16. Then she said, "but that is just like what they drive on Pokemon".

    ......Pondering the possibility of Honda plagerising Pokemon designs.......

    Oh well who knows I could be wrong, but I think this car is looking for that cute factor, something the average male isn't looking for.
  • subzero206subzero206 Posts: 111
    who cares what a 9 yr old thinks she wont be able to buy let alone drive it for at least another 7 yrs.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hmm, never thought about it. Highlander looks more like a copy of the Forester to me. Just 25% bigger. It's the same right down to the fender flares, fog lights, roof rack, and the 50/50 Viscous Coupling AWD.

    Pilot is bigger, I saw it in person at NY. In size and shape I think Ford Explorer (which BTW just won Edmunds mid-size SUV comparo), but with different styling. Though the look is pretty generic so I'm sure you could find things in common with just about any SUV.

    Toyota isn't very daring with their styling (on mainstream cars) and neither is Honda, so no surprise some models look alike.

    My 17 year old half sister love Pokemon - I'll have to ask her what she thinks of the Element! ;-)

    In a way, the Element does have that Tokyo Auto Show look, an upright boxy shape I mean. Pokemon was created in Tokyo, wasn't it?

    -juice
  • I mean she is my sister and all!!

    Man subzero why you being mean to my little sis!! She thinks it's cute, something most males aren't looking for.
  • subzero206subzero206 Posts: 111
    im just saying, shes 9 yr old, 7 yrs is a LONG time. kids, as well as adults, change their minds often. im 21 i admit i watch pokemon from time to time (lol). but i dont see anything that resembles the show in anyway. if you think i was being mean to your sister than i am sorry
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    No harm, no foul.

    I don't buy cars based on what my friends or relatives think, but it doesn't hurt if they like it, I guess.

    In my case they think the Miata is a toy (it is), but I let them drive it and they return with a smile.

    As for my Forester, when I carried all the luggage for 4 lady visitors from Brazil, they liked it simply because everything fit! :-)

    And the Element? I imagine if I bought one when I was 17 (bare with me, pretend it was available back then), then my dad probably would have passed out, just as he did when he saw my hair cuts. But that's exactly why I liked my hair - I didn't want to be anything like my dad.

    -juice
  • moonkatmoonkat Posts: 265
    http://www.autoweek.com/search/search_display.mv? port_code=&cat_code=carnews&content_code=00513724& Search_Type=STD&Search_ID=213414&record=1

    Autoweek
    Honda solves Element challenge, plans to sell 50,000 vehicles
    By JOE KOHN
    The B-pillar was eliminated in favor of rear-hinged rear doors. With both rear and front doors open, the vehicle has a wide opening to load twentysomething men's cargo - surfboards, mountain bikes and camping gear.

    The solution was to attach the rear doors to the floor of the vehicle.
    "Most of the force from a crash goes to the floor, so we increased the strength of the floor and the strength of the connection from the door to the floor," said Gary Evert, design assistant large project leader for the Element, at the New York auto show. "We used hook and latcher mechanisms."

    The reinforced portion of the rear door is attached at two points to the floor and at one point at seat level. Eric Schumaker, Honda R&D North America's exterior design manager, said, "If we didn't make the doors work and if we weren't going to hit our safety tests, we were going to kill the car."
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    But until official testings are done, I'm still not sold on the safety of suicide doors.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Element is based off the same platform that CRV is, and it will share the drive train. The similarities end there. There will be a few who would prefer one or the other, and then there will be some who might like both. They have styling and utility differences which is just the reason for several vehicles sharing platforms. It is not unique to Element and CRV duo.
    GM manufactures a minivan under the name of Chevrolet Venture, Oldsmobile Silhouette, Pontiac Montana, and then there are other variants like Buick Rendezvous and Pontiac Aztek. GM's mid-size SUVs (Trailblazer, Bravada etc.) have similarities of their own. Almost every automaker follows this rule, and often they end up with redundant model in their lineup (Audi TT convertible and Audi A4 convertible duo is another example). Said that, I can see enough difference between Element and CRV, especially Element, since it seems to focus on a select group unlike CRV. The advantage of such vehicles is that if one is more successful than the other, the production could be shifted to the one that sells better. If Element fails to please Honda executives, while CRV demand continues to grow with limited supply of the vehicle from Japan and Europe (the two sources of new CRV), the Element production line could be shifted to produce CRV or any other car that shares the platform, and vice versa if Element succeeds and CRV takes a slump. Element, while a daring attempt in Honda's part, is a low risk vehicle for the same reasons.
    Acura Element does not make sense, but it is possible that there may be an upscale mini-ute that uses the same platform.

    As for Highlander versus Pilot argument, many people say that the Honda looks like previous generation CRV. Does that mean Highlander is actually CRV? When there are conservative two box designs that these SUVs are, similarities are bound to happen. In fact, I see a lot of similarities on the rear end of Pathfinder and 4Runner, as well as that between a JGC and Escape.
    With Pilot, Honda went with a boxier, probably a little less aerodynamic shape, compared to MDX (which ties with RX300 to have the lowest coefficient of drag among SUVs at 0.34). And that boxier, more upright shape gave it the additional room too.
  • subzero206subzero206 Posts: 111
    the doors on the Element are similar/proportional in size to those extended cab pickup trucks. if they can get it to work i dont see why honda cant.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Robertsmx - Add the CR-V to that list. It also has a drag rating of .34. The trick is to reduce the frontal area AND have a low co. of drag.

    I see lots of similarities between vehicles of different makes. It's just a matter of time. There are few truly new designs. Just new interpretations or applications of existing ideas. With the Pilot, I see a bit of CR-V, a bit of Durango, some JGC, and some Highlander. It's a mongrel. The Element is one that shares a few design cues, but applies them in new ways. It may borrow from others, but it does so in a unique way.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Bob pointed out something cool at the show - the rear door's hinges are sort of hidden by what almost looke like a door handle. It looks better than the CR-V's exposed hinge (on the rear door in that case).

    TT and A4 are on different platforms. TT is in the Golf family, while A4 and Passat share a platform.

    But good point, the Pilot looks more like the previous gen CR-V than the current one. Except from the rear view.

    These are three box shapes and it's hard to be original. Kudos to the Element, which succeeds in a big way at being original.

    -juice
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    As far as side crash safety goes, I'm sure Honda has taken care of it in a big way. We may be able to find a picture of Element being crash tested against another large Honda at their test facility on the internet. Lately, they seem to be going seriously after safety as one of their strengths besides environmental efforts. Their tests seem to involve the global criteria instead of just NHTSA/IIHS tests since Civic is also the top rated for Pedestrian safety in Europe.

    Varmint,
    Perhaps Honda went the same route with the new CRV to reduce the Cd.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    The doors on the trucks are higher off the ground than on the Element. If another vehicle does strike the side of the truck, the lower body frame would absorb most of the hit, not the actual door itself.

    The Element sits lower. Honda has circumvented that problem by trying to do the exact same thing as the trucks- they reinforce the bottom of the suicide door with that of the lower body of the Element. But until actual test data is released, I'm still a bit skeptical on this idea. I'm sure it'll be safer than the average suicide door design, but without a B-pillar, I honestly doubt that it will ever be as safe as rear doors with conventional openings.
  • I saw the element yesterday, at the auto show. It feels very big to me. The bed is slightly higher than i thought, but the size is there. The first row is lower cause there are lower leg room in the first row. I took a picture in front of it. Probably the sharp edges and square lines that make it look big.

    It was on a truntable though, nobody and get it. So it gives the imprssion that is a "future model" or a concept.

    My neightor has a older CRV, it really feel smart from outside. I know is just illusion. But sometimes your eyes just can't tell, even though I have been drawing for 10 years.

    Also on size issue, the Matrix feel smaller than person. Yet the new corolla feel monstrous from what I saw yesterday. I almost felt the corollar sedan has more space than the Matrix.

    I agree the new CRV looks bigger, althought I only saw one once. I think is the headlight.

    -t
  • mods this thread can only be reached by "honda X" search, but not "element"
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    mods this thread can only be reached by "honda X" search, but not "element"

    Hmm ... that is odd! I'll look into it.

    tidester
    Host
    SUVs
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    My fault - I renamed the topic to include "Element" a while back, assuming that stuff would get reindexed so the search engine would find it. Help has been requested.

    Steve
    Host
    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • moonkatmoonkat Posts: 265
    http://www.caranddriver.com/xp/Caranddriver/autoshows/2002_ny/2002_ny_video.xml

    I like to think that Caba Csere is an even 6'0, though he may be taller. Makes him a convenient (double) yardstick.

    Element appears to be rebodied CRV in this clip. Finally provides enough scale for me to judge size of vehicle. Convincing door operation (function and safety). Looks like less ground clearance than CRV and just as tall (66"), if not a little taller.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sure, he flashes his press credentials and they let him right up on that pedestal. We had to look from afar. :-(

    -juice
  • jfigueroa1jfigueroa1 Posts: 209
    Might be just me but,i think that the element look like a 2002 bigger lecar but, nicer. Will it sell? well the nissan tried that boxy thing and it did not work but, this is a HONDA big difference here,should be nice.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think the Mini Cooper looks more like the LeCar than the Element, and there are wait lists for that car.

    -juice
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    From which angle do you think Renault LeCar looks like Honda Element?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    About all they have in common is the two box shape. The LeCar was diminuitive, extremely short. The Element is basically the opposite - very tall, especially in person.

    -juice
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    I heard the other day how many of those they are sending over. A ridiculously low number if I recall---hence the waitlists.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    True, but I'd bet people are paying full MSRP, too.

    Any how, it has no effect on Element sales, which I predict will easily meet the 50k per year sales forecast.

    -juice
  • jfigueroa1jfigueroa1 Posts: 209
    What would the starting price for the Element would be?
    robertsmx:I think they both are boxy and with a high front windshield angle and square head lights.
    men, they look like :)
    Greetings From Sunny Miami.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    $16-21k supposedly. I imagine $16k means FWD with no ABS, but probably A/C, stereo, and some power equipment.

    -juice
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I think they both are boxy and with a high front windshield angle and square head lights
    I think you just described 99% of SUVs and hatchbacks from around the world, not just two of them. Here is another. ;-)
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Would obviously be the Aztek.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Aztek has that bizarre angled D-pillar. It looks like a smashed minivan.

    -juice
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    Love that picture. Look at those bumpers! I still see some current Honda styling in that vehicle.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, check out those tiny overhangs, too. And the fog lights and mud guards are extra-cost accessory options on some Hondas today. ;-)

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The problem with ultra-short overhangs, such as found on the Element and the new MINI too, even a minor front or rear collision will likely involve extensive suspension damage too. The tires (hence the suspension too) become part of the crush zone.

    Short overhangs = expensive repairs.

    Bob
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