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Honda Element



  • artdechoartdecho Posts: 337
    Saw my first "E" today on a dealer's lot (they were closed), so was only able to do a walk around but it looked pretty cool. Has a good presence....definitely a mini-Hummer look to it and makes the CR-V look somewhat dainty now. Think the cladding looks ok, but better with the lighter exterior colours (green, shoreline, silver)....where the cladding is darker than the exterior colour. When it's lighter (on black and blue models), the cladding looks out of place. I guess a gun-metal grey version would be perfect, the paint closely matching the cladding colour.
    Seat height (from the outside at least) looked ok
    ...not a jump up or a step down but just about level with your butt. From the inside, the beltline looks high and the side windows are kind of short, so I can see why the seat may seem low.
    Doesn't look like much of a view from the back seat, as the extra-wide C pillar is right beside your head......anybody who has one comment on the view from the back seat? As any large item you want to load could be more easily loaded from the back, I would prefer if the side doors were conventional.....may save a few hundred pounds (& increase payload), and improve the view of the rear seat passengers.....I guess you'd lose the novelty factor though. Will check it out more thoroughly at the Toronto Auto Show in a week or two, but first impressions are generally positive.
  • chris777chris777 Posts: 126
    while waiting on the monster 10 seater crv page to open I thought I'd rant a bit lol

    I noticed the studio e had a bench in the front, with a space cut out for the shifter,

    the more I think about it the more I think steering column shifters, at least on automatics make so much more sense on the steering column like on the pilot, oddesey, and old crv. I know on the model ex concept they had the shifter positioned up higher on the dash, and I'll bet it would have been possible to squeeze 3 up front in it, though the steering column would have definitely, made it possible. I would buy an element if they made it with a full front bench with a steering column mounted shifter on auto (though I think I've seen on an oooooold truck before with like a 3 speed) and it would be nice to have the rear seat made to accommodate 3 but if the overall vehicle seated five it would be so much better. I still think its over priced, especially when compared to the crv, I need to break down and read that element design story sometime, but from everything i heard it seems to me Honda threw too much stock in the whole concept of the element into the suicide doors, from what I heard they were going to trash the entire thing if they could not make it work, seriously how many element owners, or perspective owners would have crossed out the element if everything were the same except it had conventional doors and a b pillar? (my biggest 2 problems with the suicide doors are weight and from what honda has said added cost to the vehicle as a whole)
    I think with prices being so high right now, along with demand (real or manufactured) I may buy used and wait on a few refinements in the design, or if something else comes out that interest me that's a possibility too (I wouldn't mind seeing sliding rear seats, so that you could have more rear cargo room considering the gap between the seats in enormous, even with the front seats all the way back, another suggestion make at least the drivers seat travel further back, I noticed the elements front seats appear to travel very far, but they slide nearly to the dash to make the bed, I would prefer either a longer track or scooting the tracks back at least a couple of more inches on 04, 05 ect models)
    of course their is a local contest where a local dealer had donated an element as first prize, which if by some stroke of luck I would take it if I won (lol) even if its my least favorite color (black) I really dislike the darker colors with the element I think the lighter ones really look much more lively, the black and blue ones seem drab for some reason.
    I just really don't want my first new car purchase to be a vehicle that I don't really like.
    its not like I'm buying something dirt cheap because I cant afford better I.E. say a kia rio, or Hyundai accent, because I cant afford to pay more (don't get me wrong i like the Toyota land cruiser a lot, but I can neither afford it, nor do i feel compelled to buy a car that gets under 20 mpg either) even at car shows I just haven't seen anything new that I like, and it makes me feel like I'm settling on what I can afford, while what I really want is out of grasp. if I can find a reasonable used car I think I would spend less money, plus not take as big a hit on depreciation until hopefully the market swings enough to bring out something I would like to pay 20somethingish or less for

    the big page never did open, it timed out, but the one with the dinky (but useful) pics did
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Are you leaning toward the rag-top Jeep simply for the fun factor? Driving a convertible is a whole lotta fun. But so is the attention you'd get while driving an Element. Jeeps are so common, they hardly get noticed. That isn't true of the Element. Essentially, you'd be trading the wind in your hair for the looks on people's faces.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Without the suicide doors, the Element would be a CR-V with funky styling. Not worth the effort.

    A few notes on seating, pillars, and visibility...

    Most likely, the rear seats are placed far back for safety reasons, not to make room for the bed (as someone suggested a while back). Without a fixed B-pillar, Honda is using the C-pillar to max advantage in helping protect the rear occupants.

    That C-pillar is also the reason why side to side visibility is not so grand for the rear passengers.

    You'll also note that some Honda press materials have mentioned that the rear seats have stadium seating. Presumably, this is for a better view. In reality, it is probably a biproduct of them having to raise the seats to get above the wheel wells.

    Adding a bench-style seat to the front would be an interesting way to increase passenger capacity, but it's not as simple as changing the location of the shifter and moving the e-brake. Honda would probably have to put in an airbag for that seat and make sure it tested well (big R&D expense). It may also prevent the 5-speed option.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Do you off road? I mean, really? If so, get the Jeep, no question. The Element doesn't have the clearance, plus get a flat and you're stuck with a donut.

    The Element will be a lot easier to live with day in/day out, however.

    But - it seems like you want a convertible. Why not look at other convertible choices, outside of trucks?

    I have a Forester and bought a used Miata, best of both worlds. Something to consider. You can get a cheap used Miata for $4000-6000. I've had mine for 2.5 years and my total repair expenses add up to exactly $0.00. They are very reliable.

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I can't recall if it was on this forum or another, but I've read some commentary on the Element's sales. They posted about 3,700 units for January. That pretty much matches MDX sales for the month. However, CR-V sales dropped about 2K units, which suggests that there is some cannibalizing within the showrooms. We'll have to check sales over a few months before that is clear.
  • I just received the drivers armrest w/storage for my Element (a genuine Honda accessory). Does anyone know where I can obtain installation instructions for this. It doesn't look too complicated, but the installation instructions for some other things I've installed (keyless remote, sunroof shade screen etc.) made the job much easier.
  • ropedartropedart Posts: 163
    Went on a test drive of the Y(EX) Element Auto 4wd at my dealership. Handles very well. The power is adequate but the automatic lacks the swoosh of a big V6. But then it doesn't suck gas like one either. The manual would be peppier but what slushbox is quicker than the manual version. I'm in a autobox frame of mind these days. How else can I drink coffee and talk on the cell phone at the same time JK LOL ;) Visibility is excellent. I can see the girl's belly button driving behind me. Got big mirrors.

    This unit had scratches on the cladding. The frustrating thing is that they look much worse than they really are. I would call them superficial scuffs. They must be like one micron deep. Two microns of acrylic wax or silicone or something would probably stop it. Dealer didn't know what to say. Service guy thinks they can be buffed out. But it should not be up to the dealer or the customer to figure it out. Honda should come clean and come up with a simple way to prevent it and a simple way to correct it. There must be lots of meetings and lawyers running around at Honda right now. They only have about 3000 units out there. Address it now. Whats going on?

    Perhaps a simple polymer coating or synthetic wax can be applied. I think the best protection would be 3M ScotchCal urethane film commonly sold as Clearbra, Xpel, Stoneguard etc. Its about $8US a square foot. Its said to be able to conform to the body shape. So safe to use U can use on the entire car body. Removeable. Precut kits would be nice.

    Element deliveries are running behind. Time to think about this.
  • They compared an Element to a Suzuki Aerio recently. I got it in the mail yesterday but I don't remember which magazine it was.

    The Element won though.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    3700 a month is a pretty brisk pace for a new model. They advertised it during the Super Bowl, and Honda is just beginning to benefit from that. I bet most people haven't even seen one yet. Once they do, it could pick up some more.

    That's about 4 times December sales, wow. Even if it does cannibalize CR-V sales, they're still adding about 24k sales per year at a very low cost, since they used an existing platform and engine.

    Aerio? Those are tiny in comparison. Also, look closely at Suzukis and you'll find visible mold parts, screws, welds, unfinished carpet edges, etc. Not nearly at the quality level you'd expect from Honda.

  • cb70cb70 Posts: 226
    but they plan on 50k a year as I recall. Still, a good number considering there can't be many out there.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    3700 * 12 = 44,400, but they're still ramping up supply so they should meet the 50k sales per year goal. The bigger question is how will it affect CR-V sales. I'm sure Honda wanted 50k incremental sales, but that may be a bit optimistic.

  • "Motor Trend" did the comparo between the E and the Aerio in their March issue. "Car and Driver" did a test in their February issue which I found a bit more detailed than the MT test.

    Saw my first E on the road yesterday (instead of at the dealer). It was dusk to dark and the brainiac behind the wheel didn't bother to put his lights on.
  • We're Baby Boomers who want a vehicle flexible enough to to haul things but don't want a pickup or a big SUV. I've driven the Element (EX auto) and liked it(let's face it, you either like it or you don't.) Power was acceptable but not a rocket. I haven't driven the PT Turbo but I've heard from many sources that the engine is too weak without it. I would appreciate anyone's thoughts on comparasion. Also, I am concerned about the comments on the durability of the cladding on the E.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    As I understand it, Honda's original estimate was 40K units per year, with the possibility of producing as many as 50K. I think that is fairly realistic.
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    The current issua of Car & Driver has a review of the Element. At the end, they have little graphs comparing the Element to the Toyota Matrix, PT Cruiser, and another vehicle. One of the graphs shows acceleration - the PT Cruiser was slower than the tested Element (which I think was a manual transmission) to 60mph. I'm sure the PT Turbo would be a lot quicker.
  • cb70cb70 Posts: 226
    I don't think there was really that much difference between the two.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 4th vehicle in C&D's chart is the Forester X. Thing is, it's the only one of the 4 with AWD, so you can't compare the figures directly (0-60, gas mileage, and price would differ).

    In fact, too bad C&D didn't test an Element with RT4WD. The Matrix is also available with AWD, but not the PT, of course.

    The PT is versatile, but not as large as the Element. A turbo might have some torque steer, especially since it's FWD. Other than that they're cute and interesting.

  • Does anyone know how to anchor a bike down WITHOUT taking off the front wheel?? Honda has posted many pictures of this configuration.

    I understand that the available Interior Bike Attachment accessory is for those owners who want to remove the front tire(like the Nissan Xterrra).

    I'm taking an Element EX 4wd for a couple of hour cruise this week all by lonsome. My salesman really hooked me up. I told him I'm bringing my bikes with me too.

    Also, what is the final price discount average on the Elements these days??
  • I haven't talked to any dealer that is discounting the Element. Two dealers whose Elements I saw had added several after market products which upped the price considerably.

    Does anyone know when side airbags will be available? The brochure just says "delayed" until later in the model year.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Dealer that I purchased my Si from is discounting their Elements. Selling EX 4WD for just under $20,400. Talking to a salesperson that I know at a different dealership told me that their inital Elements sold out very quickly but they now have 5 of them and people are very curious to look at them but no buyers. Was interesting that they said all the buyers of Elements at their dealership had been new Honda owners and not previously purchased any Honda product.
    I wonder if initial demand will continue?
  • To get installation instructions go to this website:
    Click on the "Genuine Honda Accesories" link at the top left and then on the next screen pick your car and then it will display links for the interior/exterior/audio/wheel accesories.
    Have fun.
  • Varmint,
    I saw the link in the CRV vs Escape forum that Baggs posted on CRV sales. Sales in January 03 were down closer to 3000 units than 2000 over January 02 sales or -21%. I was surprised myself. Puzzling.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Maybe Element production is cutting into CR-V production, at least until they ramp up?

  • I've had my Element (EX, 4wd, automatic) for exactly 2 weeks. I'm taking it slow - only have 280 miles so far. Yesterday I bought my first tank of gas and discovered that I had gone 230 miles on 12 gallons of gas, which is only 19mpg! I've done about 25% highway/75% city driving, but have kept it under 60mph. I've read reports of people getting much better mileage than this on the same model - any ideas of what's up with mine? Should I ask the dealer? Other than that, I LOVE my blue Element! And I'm firmly outside the target demographic - I'm a female in my mid-40's, although have no kids and am still living the "active outdoor" lifestyle (when I'm not trapped in my office!)
    Thanks in advance for any advice you might give!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Don't worry about the first tank. In fact, the first 1000 miles are break-in, and that engine is quite green. I don't think mileage will mean much until you pass 1000 miles, and even then it could improve with age. Hang in there.

  • rleirlei Posts: 26
    Yup, I won't worry too much about the first few tanks. I got 7km/liter (17mpg?) for my first tank of gas on my 2000 civic (auto), and now it's 11km/liter mixed and 17km/liter pure highway.

    BTW, I've been using (mpg * 0.425) for km/liter conversion. Is this correct?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Jondavid - January of last year was one of the first months that the new CR-V was one sale. There was a glut of buyers who were waiting for the new 'V. Add to that this year's introduction of a similar vehicle on the same sales floor and the numbers make sense. Until Honda sales people start dealing on CR-Vs, I don't think we'll see figures like those from last year.

    Juice - I don't think it's a ramp up issue. The CR-V is made is Swindon and Sayama. The Element is made in Ohio. Unless there is a shortage of a particular common part (there aren't many), they shouldn't get in the way of each other's supply lines.

    Sarah - Here's a third vote for waiting until the engine has been broken in.
  • rlei, juice, et al: Thanks (or should I say "tanks") for the encouragement re: my Element's mpg. I will try to contain myself until the engine is broken in!
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Is this punday night? I thought it was satireday.
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