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Honda Element



  • AnakinAnakin Posts: 410
    Thanks for the link!
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    The biggest chunk of Nissan is owned by Renault, which is based in the land of surrender monkeys. Renault's relationship with the French government demonstrates shades of, shall we say, collectivism.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hit a Honda dealer yesterday to drive a Pilot. Theirs had $2 grand of fluff, basically pin stripes, door guards, roof rack cross bars, and "bumper garnish", basically gaudy chrome trim.

    It's supply and demand folks. Two month wait, unless you want the one with the "bumper garnish" and think it's worth the $800 or so they charge for it.

    Drove nice but I noticed more than a flew assembly flaws, making me wonder if they are rushing production. The jack cover was loose and rattled, the windshield wiper on one of them reached up on to the A-pillar (the other didn't, so it was mis-assembled), and a few interior latches were very stiff, not at all smooth.

    So watch out for those Version 1.0 models, consider waiting until they iron out the glitches, and enjoy the price drops, too.

    Just my perspective and 2 cents'.

  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    They probably are. But at the same time, Odyssey production is running at max speed as well, and from the anecdotal posts I've read, interior quality is certainly not one of its flaws. Same for the CR-V.
  • AnakinAnakin Posts: 410
    Um, so what?

    Is your name Joe McCarthy or something?

  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    I was less than impressed with the Pilot's interior -- acres of hard, easily-scuffed plastic. I guess most people coming over from Jeeps, Explorers and Blazers won't notice, but it sure feels cheap (just like the interior of my parents' Odyssey) in comparison to older Hondas/Acuras I've owned.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    I find that the interior of my 99 Civic is better than the newer Civics, as well as my new RAV4. Dash is soft to the touch, plastics are dull and smooth.

    Guess when you build in greater numbers, something's gotta give. Mercedes is finding that out the hard way, too.
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    I'm not convinced that volume has much to do with it.

    Probably more of a price-point/gross-profit thing, which is unfortunate. I'm one of those people who would pay extra for higher-quality interior materials, which, when spread across all the units built, might add only $200-300 to the window sticker.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I'm not sure why people think all plastics are the same. For me, the look counts more than what it is made out of.

    My 1998 Accord has hard plastic on top of the dash, but my 2000 Civic has 'soft top'. IMO, it is tough to tell that the Accord has hard plastic because of its texture. OTOH, you can get in a Pontiac Grand AM and look at the plastic. Not quite the same thing.

    I also take care of not scratching the Civic's 'soft touch dash' during cleaning, but I don't have to be as careful in the Accord. So, I for one, doesn't mind the material, but the look, feel, and possibly, the durability of the material.

    Both 1998 and 2003 Accords have soft touch front of the dash, but for 2003, the new version is a little harder (perhaps sturdier) than the 1998.
  • keep your eyes peeled for motorweek show number 2202

    they had a short review of element in their car keys segment it was around 2 minutes or so with some nice driving video.

     the orange(red) is looking better. you can definitely tell its more red than orange though since they also displayed the original model x in all its orange glory, maby we shouldn't gripe so much about the cladding the model x cladding was definetly much lighter than the final version used on element

    here's a link to the website with the transscript but the video is much better. it also has regional station info and some show times

    not much new info other than a few mixed comments :

    "Driving the Element is more like riding on a train than motoring. Not that the Element isn't very drive able. Even though Honda makes no pretense about handling, the Element is quite competent, if stiff."

  • Thanks Chris, I managed to see it. Nice colour but lets face it. Its an odd looking vehicle no matter how you paint it.

    Over time I don't know how people will take the lower fuel mileage and pep against the CRV. The Element may quietly morph into a regular 4 door or 2 door lighter vehicle for the goats.
    Tom Elliot of Honda mentioned this lately:

    "For the last five years, we've focused on light trucks -- sport-utilities and minivans. Ten years ago, we didn't sell any sport-utes or minivans and last year we sold 360,000 and this year we'll sell 425,000. We could use a couple more sport-utility vehicles and maybe a minivan,"

    So there's more to come and I think the other designs are ready to go and waiting. A R&D organization must prepare ahead of time even it means that many cars will be shelved.

    ps: I am betting the minivan is the Latitude.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Yes, it would be the Latitude. I hope after Latitude, Honda starts to focus on sport coupe/sedan market.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    "I'm not sure why people think all plastics are the same. For me, the look counts more than what it is made out of."

    That's the point I was trying to make. The plastic inside my 99 Civic is dull and smooth, and they just feel higher in quality, whereas the one on the newer Civics are chintzy seem as if they're quite brittle. The plastic on my RAV4 does a really good trick of fooling you into think that it's not hard plastic, but it is.

    We also have a 98 Accord in our family, and I know you can tell that the quality of the plastic is far superior than the plastic in, say, a Kia.
  • The Element is based on a concept. Whatever happened to the:
    Nissan Pulsar NX with the removable back.
    Nissan Axxess
    Isuzu??? with the removable back.
    Isuzu Vehicross (which did not reach Canada) but looked cool IMO.
    Subaru Brat
  • himilerhimiler Posts: 1,209
    Nissan NX: Died of a thousand cuts, owing to slow sales and tepid peformance
    Nissan Axxess: A neat design, but a bit too cramped for the money
    Isuzu Amigo: See today's Rodeo Sport
    Isuzu VehiCross: Too weird for this planet, now history
    Subaru Brat: See today's Baja
  • I forgot about the Honda Del Sol. I remember reading in CD or RT magazine about the concept. Honda had some young Japanese kids drive around the beaches of California and research the lifestyle. The result was the Del Sol. Sounds familiar..........
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    diploid: CR-Vs I've been in seemed better sorted. The new Accord right next to it had far better assembly quality, too. Everything was damped, quiet, padded, etc.

    My cousin has an Odyssey and the interior is fine so far, but his paint is chipping. You'd think the kids were on the outside! LOL

    ropedart: Nissan figured it could make more money off a Murano vs. a new NX "shooting brake" (2 door wagon).

  • tpat3tpat3 Posts: 119
    ...why would anyone pay $3500 over sticker just to drive the flavor of the month? How does this jibe with Honda's ability to draw new, younger customers? There are enough roughly similar vehicles hitting the market about the same time, so it won't stick.
    It is really irritating, though. Same thing happened with the 2000 when it came out. A handful of suckers will pay it, but doubt there are 50,000 of them.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Dealers are independent, so markups like that are purely about dealer profit, cashing in on popular "it" vehicles. Mazda did it with the Miata. VW did it with the New Beetle. Even Chrysler with the PT Cruiser.

    The manufacturers are almost helpless to stop it. Some changed the allocation of cars to reflect the customer sales satisfaction, trying to address that. Crooked dealers get fewer desirable cars now.

  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    atexeira- I'm glad to hear about your cousin's Odyssey. We looked at the Odyssey (I still think it's ugly; but I like the Element - go figure) and I really thought the interior was much much better than what the competition offered. It's no Lexus, but I didn't think it was as bad as some Town Hallers have made it out to be.
  • Honda put a 2 page section of the prototype element in the back of their 2003 Honda cars and trucks brochure.

    a full pager on the left of element crossing a bridge with a waterfall in the back

    and a second page with 5 pics and a description calling it a "mega-functional adventure tool"

    it has an over head shot of the skylight with the 2 passenger seats below

    and another shot with a kayak inside on the passenger side
    and then just pics most of us have already seen
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I wish Honda Spocket had made it into production. Another of Honda's gasoline-electric hybrid showcase (1999 Tokyo Motor Show).
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    diploid: lots of folks here are picky, in fact they seek out the Town Hall just to complain, or vent, if you will.

    You can't argue with the interior space and versatility the Odyssey offers, period. No wonder there are wait lists. People will deal with whatever issue comes up and still love their vans. Reliability is just one factor, and to some owners not even the most important one.

    The Spocket looks too impractical. The Del Sol never caught on, why would this, minus the Targa? Scissors doors weight a ton, and combined with the weight of the battery pack it would handle like a dog.

  • AnakinAnakin Posts: 410
    Why would scissor doors weigh any more than a regular door?

    Aren't they basically the same, only hinged vertically instead of horizontally?
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Would be more practical than DelSol. Small Pickup bed with coupe like performance.

    Honda uses small electric motors to keep weight dowm (unlike Toyota's system), so the battery pack isn't too heavy either. And in Spocket, it is placed under the bed, close to the wheels that it drives. It could make for a good handling car.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You'd need not only sturdier hinges, but also some type of spring loaded mechanism to help you lift those doors. A strut might block access.

    That the type of concept feature that never makes production on down-to-earth priced cars.

    I prefer the Chevy Borrego concept, basically a WRX with a pickup bed, and 250hp to boot.

  • AnakinAnakin Posts: 410
    Dangit, I know they probably won't trickle down to us regular folks.

    I just love unusual doors like gull wings and scissors, and nobody bothers with them except $800,000,000,000,000,000 supercars.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    BMW's Z1 had mini-doors that rolled down into the body. Another high-priced exotic that never even made it here. Maybe the doors were too expensive, LOL.

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    One of those things that could have changed with production version, as would the interior.

    Concepts rarely get into production as is, but I liked the concept behind Spocket. Different, but not any more though. Think of it as a mini-version of Avalanche.
    The Rear
  • I am surprised at the special parts that the Element got. A Honda mole at TCC mentioned that it did not share a single part from the CRV. I was skeptical. From a part inventory control viewpoint you would think they would have to use the same parts. Apparently not according to AutoWeek. Honda was pretty serious about the commitment to this low volume unit. It also could mean the product roadmap definitely includes more variants of the Element chassis to justify the new parts. It also means that the drivetrain is technically unproven. And there may be confusion in the servicing the Element with parts that look similar to CRV parts.

    ps Autoweek was a great magazine subscription for me until Canada Post turned it into AutoLastMonth.
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