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Honda Element



  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    Even that Car & Driver article says the drivers seat is too low in the Element.
    Honda needs to get a height adjuster for the drivers seat by 2004.
  • The height of the driver's seat of my EX 4WD is adjustable. There is a round knob on the left side of the seat which when rotated adjusts the seat height an inch or two. At 6'1" I find the seat height adequate.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    Apparently that knob only changes the angle of the seat bottom so you can point it upwards or downwards, but does not actually raise the seat higher (not that raising the seat just one inch would make much difference anyway).
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Was waiting for an oil change and I checked out a DX Element in the show room. Was very disappointed by the exterior build quality - the plastic bumper did not align well with the plastic body cladding - there was approximately 1.5cm of space in the joints where the plastics connect. The headlights had roughly 1cm of space between them and the plastic housing. The same discrepancies were found wherever there was plastic connecting to another plastic panel (e.g. the plastic running the top of the vehicle).

    The CR-V parked next to it, however, was flawless - everything was assembled tightly.

    Oddly enough, the wheel covers of the DX had the black center with silver surround, which I liked a lot better than the alloy covers. Didn't read what was added to it, but this DX had a retail value of 20K.

    Sat inside and the front seats do feel low. This DX didn't have a CD player, so that area was covered up by a flimsy looking rectangular piece of plastic. The chunky surrounds for the gauges reminded me of my RAV4, which is to say I didn't like them. Sitting position aside, the ergonomics were great - everything felt "natural." Don't know how to really explain it, but everything just seemed to be placed where you would intuitively expect them to be, especially the shifter. I felt out of place when I dropped back into my Civic after the oil change.
  • I swear the knob adjusts the seat height and not just the angle of the seat bottom.

    As to diploid's post, sounds like the DX model you saw was a victim of dealer gouging (probably a lot of over priced dealer installed accessories). We paid $20,700 + delivery (which I think came to a total of $21,3xx) for a "fully loaded" EX 4WD automatic and then added about $800 worth of accessories purchased on line for a fraction of the dealer cost and installed them myself.

    The panel fit on our E is very good with little discrepancy in gaps (and I must note that we have an '01 Volvo S80 and if you want to see poor panel fit....) I have been hesitant to say this, but since there have been so many recent posts re: low grade/soft plastic, my response is what can one expect from a car in the $16 to $21k range - Honda obviously could not put highest grade/most durable materials or the E would cost thousands more.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    the seat heaight adjustment DOES adjust the seat. i'm only 5'4", and its a god-send in the E. as far as the $20k tag on the dx, if its a 4wd auto, its already $18760, so if you just add air, thats another $1500-$2000. math works out fine.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Just for the quirkyness of the thing. It just look neat. I hope it's a raging success so there'll be a lot of used ones around in a few years.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Jackson Racing had a supercharger kit for the 2.0l CR-V, but it ran $3500 or so, not $2 grand. That's not including installation, so figure on at least $4 grand for a quality install.

    If they do one for the 2.4l, it'll likely be for the Accord, since that's where the volume is. It might then be adapted to the CR-V and Element.

    But remember, the pistons aren't forged, i.e. the engine internals are not engineered for forced induction and it might not be reliable. Plus, a Jackson Racing S/C on a Focus tested by one car mag took almost nothing off its 0-60 time, maybe a couple of tenths IIRC.

  • Don't know what you other guys are smoking but its got a seat height adjuster. Lovin' it!
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    Plus, a Jackson Racing S/C on a Focus tested by one car mag took almost nothing off its 0-60 time, maybe a couple of tenths IIRC.
    That's true, but I think that fenomenon has been solved a long time ago.
    And yes, you can't take advantage of the supercharger full potential unless you make changes to the fuel management and internals. It's not easy and far from being cheap.
    And it will also require a switch to a high octane fuel grade.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If you want a cheap S/C installation, get a Miata. Jackson makes those kits for less and they go on sale every once in a while, so you can get one for a lot less. They're also easy to work on, so you might even be able to handle doing it yourself.

    I don't think a new Element, still under warranty, is as good a candidate for a supercharger mod. YMMV.

  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    "Lows: Some chintzy materials (shower-stall plastic flooring, tinny doors), other drivers smirk at you, commercial-van feeling eliminates it as prom-night vehicle, driver seat too low, cartoonish styling."

    This is referring to the EX model, so it must mean that the seat remained low even after raising it to the highest possible level.
    It could not be possible that a professional writer didn't notice the height adjustment knob.
    I have seen other magazine articles where the writer made a point to mention the low seat height.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    is also a little weird, with the extremely high headliner, and the window so far out in front of you. at 5'4" i see out at the same angle as every other car ive ever driven. it just FEELS lower.
  • Considering the E didn't debut until mid-December, it's first month sales of 9xx aren't too shabby. However, it will have to pick up for Honda to meet their 50,000 unit goal.
  • mrb95mrb95 Posts: 6
    Hi, I have been looking for a car for some time now, and the Honda Element recently intrigued me. I took it for a test drive and loved it more than I had before, and decided that it would be the perfect car for me. I am looking into purchasing a Sunset Orange 2WD EX, and am wondering when you think this vehicle will become mainstream, in other words when will I be able to negotiate a price lower than the MSRP? Also, is there no option for the sunroof on the 2WD, if so thats pretty messed up, I'm not going to pay 2 grand more just for the sunroof(thats the only reason I would get the 4WD)
  • vmaturovmaturo Posts: 71
    I'm only 5'8" and while driving the EX, I definately did want to be able to raise the seat higher. Especially since there was so much room above my head.

    The "concept" and "utility" are awsome. And of course it's nice to drive something " unique ".

    This really is the perfect vehicle for me. Especially since I'm a cycling fanatic. I keep thinking about taking a trip with it. Flip the seats up, my bike on one side and me sleeping on the other side.

    As badly as I want one, I'm going to try to hold off to give Honda time to address some issues.

    If my car gave me any reason to get rid of it now, then I would be driving the Element. ( of course if I didn't get gouged by the dealer. I'm not paying over sticker for ANY car. In fact I'm not sure I would even pay sticker).

    So I'll continue to look at the brochure and ponder all the things I might do with the Element.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    On May 19th, they officially go mainstream.

    No. Whenever you can go to to multiple Honda dealers within a reasonable driving distance and see at least one unsold Element at more than one dealership equipped in a way you would be willing to accept.
    How long that will take will depend on how popular it is in your area.
  • mrb95mrb95 Posts: 6
    Where did you get the date May 19th, and what does officially mainstream mean?
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    The Element I saw was the only one in the dealership. The same appears to be true for the other Honda dealerships I pass by - I only see one parked in the showroom and none on the lots.

    There is a lot I like about the Element - but the height of the front seats has got to be remedied. I especially noticed how low they were because I entered through the rear doors, where I tried the rear seats first and then climbed my way to the front seat (and I barely had to duck - this would be one cool "dressing room" for the beach).
  • ropedartropedart Posts: 163
    according to Jackson Racing. I suppose its just easier to buy the TSX engine and put it in or even the Accord V6.

    Hey guys do the math! The front seat is low to make an even level bed with the rear seats. Any higher and it gets lumpy. The same with the rear legroom. It comes from the necessity for the front seatback to fill in the space to rear seat cushion to make a bed. A seatback is quite long.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    the seat is put where it is for another reason as of gravity. the higher you sit, the worse it corners. this is a totally different approach toward a vehicle, and that space above (or inside) your head is just something you'll have to get used to. if you cant, then its probably not the car for you.

    p.s. just kidding about the 'inside' thing
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    9xx sales? That's less than I expected. Maybe they didn't have enough supply at dealerships. Baja had a really slow first month, too, but sales only picked up about 50% in the 2nd month. Honda needs to do better.

  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    It is fine to have extra space above your head, but that's not the problem. The problem is that you do not have the choice to sit high enough to have as good a view of the road and the front of the vehicle as you would if the seats were adjustable so the highest position was a couple inches higher than the max height position is now.
    Not everyone wants to sit high, so that's why the seats should be more adjustable. You should be able to set the seat as high or low as is comfortable for you.
    Having a driver's seat that has another few inches of travel in the height adjustment will not change the handling of the vehicle.
    If the seat is more adjustable it does not prevent you from sitting low if you have that desire and does not prevent you from adjusting it to make a semi-flat bed.
  • tpat3tpat3 Posts: 119
    How many is that? 900? Sorry. If so, that ain't too many.
  • no option for 3 rd row seats (or even seating for more than 4!) in such a "unique and versatile vehicle"? i think Honda have made a major blunder here with its 'versatile' marketing claim. I was considering the element until I found it only had 4 seats.
    Come on Honda - think!!!
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    I think someone posted that they made it a four seater because it was much easier to design the fold away seats that way, plus the engine will have enough trouble with a load of 4 passengers and cargo, much less 5 or 6.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    They didn't really review it on the show, but they used it as a prop to carry a large plasma display to a tailgate party.
    They commented that it drove like a minivan.
    The driver also said something like:

    "I have no idea how fast I'm driving because the steering wheel is blocking the speedometer."

    The show may repeat this week on Tech TV.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Is the problem that has been mentioned before. I have never seen a dealership with more than one Element. They must really be ramping production slowly. They are very rare.
  • AnakinAnakin Posts: 410
    This vehicle is marketed toward 20-something outdoors types, not "I need a third row seat" family types.

    You want more seating, buy a CR-V or a Pilot.

    Where would you put a 3rd row seat in an element, anyway. Have you seen the cargo area?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    With the low payload limit, there is no way it could handle 3 rows of seats and/or 6/7 people. Not without beefing up the payload substantially first.

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