Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Honda Element



  • We were deadset on the Element EX 4WD 5-speed until we test drove a Forester. Now we are kind of confused but leaning towards the Forester. Has anyone else made a similar decision?
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    I have heard complaints from people of various heights saying the driving position is odd or awkward.
    I have read about not being able to see the speedometer because it is blocked by the steering wheel. I have heard about people complaining that they feel like they are sitting on the floor straining their neck to see over the dash because the driver's seat is too low even when it is raised to the top position. This low seating position is the opposite of the elevated "commanding" driving position most buyers of an SUV or even a minivan are looking for.
    Anyone notice these problems?
  • I just drove one a few hours ago and I noticed none of those things. I am used to a pretty low car though, so maybe that makes a difference. i thought it was comfortable, and the only view problem I had was that the window sticker blocked my blind spot.
  • The new turbo Forester (XT?)?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Well, given you spend most of your time inside the vehicle, driving it, vs. outside looking at it, the choice seems natural.

    Try a CR-V also, they're more conventional.

    Don't drive an XT if you aren't seriously considering buying it, everything else will seem painfully slow after that. At least you can join our XT Envy Club. ;-)

  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Decisions, decisions! I can't buy a new car yet, so I haven't made the decision between a Subie and the Element either. I keep thinking about it.

    My problem is that I also like all of the Subie line - each one does something different than the others, and I could see myself in any of them. Do I go practical or do I go for pure fun (WRX)? I haven't test driven the Forester XT yet, though I will when it gets closer to the time I can buy something.

    On the other hand, the interior of the Element is just about perfect for my needs. So, decisions, decisions...
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    But it seems she's back to the Element. Must be those hormonal imbalances I've heard about.
  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    Driving to another state to get it, but my (actually my wife's) new GG 4WD EX should be in our driveway Saturday afternoon.

    I do love internet transactions. The dealer I found made me a great offer and all I need now is for all to go well when we actually show up there on Saturday.

    It really seems to be a great fit for our family and I can't wait to see if that is how I feel after a few months of actual ownership.
  • you do have to live with me :)

    The Forester was nice but I couldn't get over the lack of smoothness in the engine and tranny as compared to the Element. The Element also felt roomier and is one of the few cars that gee can comfortably sit in the back seat of. So it's back to the Element or a nice used car.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Elements must be selling well in Boise - I saw three while running errands for an hour yesterday afternoon.

    The paint scheme is reminiscent of naval warship camouflage to me (link). I like it a lot.

    Steve, Host
  • Elements are all over the place here. Even out in the boonies where we live.
  • kjabkjab Posts: 3
    I bought a 4WD EX 3 wks ago, and being a 5'3" lady I can comment on the driving position issue. Because the seat is a little too hard for me, I covered a layer of foam with fabric and have a cushion on each of the 2 front seats. It not only solves the comfort factor, but it elevates me just right for visibility! Now there is no problem seeing well out of all windows. Yeh, maybe that is going to more trouble than some would like, but it works perfectly for me.

    I too considered the Forester vs the Element, and after seeing the options for the back space, numerous test drives, and lots of research, I decided on the Element. I sure made the perfect choice for me! Just got back from a weeks worth of camping and driving in the mountains of WV. The EX performed wonderfully! Plenty of room for all the gear, with no worries about messing up carpet or upholstery when that gear turned muddy, Good power going up steep roads fully loaded. Great sound system to accompany the drive. Impressive mpg - varied between 22.6 and 25.3, I am 100% percent happy with my choice of the Element. Oh, we also put a screen over the radiator to prevent any problems with that. It has been a great help to read postings on here.
  • Being an owner of a 2wd Element EX since May, I've had 5,000 miles of driving to get a good feel for the vehicle. I am relatively short--5'5". The only way I can see what speed I am going is if the steering wheel is raised to it's highest position. That has to be one of me only gripes about the vehicle.
  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    LoL, after a couple hundred miles of driving after picking ours up on Saturday, I've noticed I can't see the speedometer too well.

    I've got the wheel up as far as it will go and it still blocks my view. So I have to do a little duck of my head to get a look at my speed, can't just take a glance.

    That was my only gripe this weekend though. Got what I felt was a great price and no hassle deal. Then loaded it up with bikes, coolers, and clothes and headed of for a weekend in the Laurel Highlands.

    The Element did everything well, including the automatic transmissions handling of the hills. I was also pleased that wind noise on the highway was pretty much non-existant.
  • I'm in the SF Bay Area and saw about 10 Elements right in a dealership front lot, while getting an oil change. There were more in the back.

    It seems like sales have slowed down in this area, or the dealer just got a truckload.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    Maybe they need to move the speedo to the middle of the dash like, Scions, Minis and Saturns when they do the 2005 or 2006 refreshening.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    honda overships units right before the model year change to offset any delays. this is about the right time.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Decided to go with the Orange 4WD automatic. To cut it short we ended up with an Accord. The auto 4WD just seemed too sluggish and buzzy with the A/C on and three people in the car this time out. Got an 04 EX-L automatic instead built in Japan. Still Honda fans it's just the Element didn't seem to cut the mustard on VERY close scrutiny for us. I still loe to see em on the road though.

    As far as inventory watch though. The dealership near us HAD 6 out front and about 20 in back Thursday. By Saturday they were down to 4 out front and about 10 in back. Those things are flying off the lot. We bought our Accord from Gwinnett Place in Atlanta. They were down to about 25 or so. And only 2 were orange..Well one since they sold one of them while we were there.

    Accords were leaving in droves it seems. There were 5 delivered between the time we picked our out and delivery. WOW.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    i used to trade with gwinnett's often...pretty good size store. seemed like good folks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Honda's "sales per dealer" record is incredible. Each dealer moves a *lot* of cars.

    60 days' supply is ideal, but both those models are new so I bet they have maybe half that.

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    From July

    I no longer have the link, but there was a recent study that showed the Element, Pilot, and a few other Hondas as being in the top 10 for spending the least amount of time on the dealer's lot. IIRC, supplies were less than 15 days or something like that.
  • We've bought 2 cars from Gwinnett. They are the place to go in Atlanta if you want the best deal on a new model. Alot of other dealers had limited 04 inventory and the ones that had them would've probably been tough to negotiate with. Overall, our 2 experiences with Gwinnett rank pretty high up on our car buying list.
  • Do you have 2 accords now?
  • No. We are expecting a little gee or or a little postette so the 2003 coupe had to go. After looking at everything from an Element to a Forester to a new Civic to a used S40 and just about everything in between we decided another Accord was the way to go. Just can't beat this car in our humble opinions. S40's are nice but check out the S40 board and you will run screaming.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    when is the little 'thread' due? ;-)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    15 days is remarkably low, that's when you have wait lists at some dealerships. Of course this works in favor of the dealers, in terms of supply/demand, those regions probably still demand full MSRP for Elements.

    As a customer, you want for a car that you absolutely love to have a supply of 120 days, that way the dealers are giving them away! ;-)

  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Heard the heartbeat today. Anybody know where to buy aftermarket airbags? I want to totally cocoon the interior in the event of a crash. I gotta keep em safe. Just kidding.

    As far as inventory....If you are in Atlanta and want a 4WD stick....You're on a list. They are nowhere to be found. I've only seen 2 FWD 5 speeds.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    if you want a selection of 4WDs, you have to go north of the mason-dixon line. KY, WV, VA, and all points north will have 10 times the selection of 4WDs. opposite is true for 2WDs...i had to go to atlanta twice for a 2WD element, and a 2WD CRV.
  • well I finally got one last night. The dealer traded for one over in NJ and I picked it up last night. Orange, 2WD, 5spd. Drove it home, then to work and back - I really like it, I have to get used to being up so high though. NO problem seeing the speedometer or any part of the instrument cluster.
       However, when I went out today, about 1.5 miles from home, the car stalled and would not start up again. Yes, my brand new Element, with less than 150 miles on the odo, will not start. It is not a problem with the keys, as I have tried all 3 with the same effect. It was the first time I ran the A/C and the CD player, and I noticed that the CD skipped out a few times (no bumps), then I went to make a turn, and the whole engine just went off. Hazards worked, but the headlights won't come on at all, so I suspect some connection or battery problem.
      Has this happened to anyone else???
      I called the dealer and they are coming to get it (I am currently waiting, they are an hour or more away). I had AAA tow it home. I am glad now that I paid for the extended warranty. . .
      Any thoughts?
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    i think you just got unlucky...have the dealer check ALL exposed electrical connections...they will if you will take them about 1/2 hour extra, and they MAY ask you to pay for the extra labor time, but it would be worth the 30 or 40 bucks.
Sign In or Register to comment.