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Honda Element



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The orange stands out. If you see a green Forester or a white Miata waving, it's not just a crazy driver.

    Actually, it is a crazy driver. :o)

  • parkyparky Posts: 20
    Purchased '03, ORANGE(this color just works w/ this car), ex awd auto. Added keyless, mats, armrest, window visors myself. Basically the offers are around list price right now! Why wait for 04's. You can save and install the options yourself.
    We live in CT.Our e has only 700 miles, and my 4'11" wife loves it. She drove her mothers corrola the other day and felt closterphobic. I waited after the 500 mi before I opened it up(per manual). Getting out in traffic is not a problem. We both were tired of manual shifting!You can still shift an automatic! The clam doors work excellent for the baby seat!!
    Also, this vehicle has low commpression, so a supercharger can always be added for go go power!
    The aftermarket mods for imports are incredible!
    Can not wait to try it in the snow this weekend!!
  • crcoxecrcoxe Posts: 72
    Ditto, ditto, and ditto. I echo all of it, except I can't vouch for the merging in and out of traffic since I'm still at the beginning of the break-in period. You're right, the orange color just works.

    Even here in Baltimore, we're expecting some snow/slush/rain tonight or tomorrow, so we'll see how well the AWD works.

    As for a supercharger, I would be reluctant to strap one on the Element, simply because you would most likely void the warranty. Then again, a hyped-up E would be kinda fun ...
  • jt_nyjt_ny Posts: 1
    I got 18,800 for an 03 EX AWD in orange from several dealers. Sound like a good deal? Thinking about adding foglights. Anything else worth adding? Thks.
  • I'm not a huge fan of fog lights. But I'm considering side steps.
  • What's the deal on the 2003 EX AWD Auto? I was offered $100 over invoice so roughly $19,300. Were you talking Manual? Or are you seeing prices under invoice. I suspect the latter since first offers from dealers are not usually their best.

    JH in NY
  • Look forward to your report on the AWD performance in the aftermath of this storm.

    Jeff in NY
  • Just came in from romping around in my 5spd ex awd E. Even with the stock all season tires I had no trouble going up a fairly steep hill with 4" of fresh powder on it.
    Very good road manners in the snow. Go for it!!
  • I posted here last week asking if anyone has seen an '04 yet. I also sent an email to my four local Honda dealers asking if they have '04's yet and if not, when will they get them. Not one responded to me. That's right... not one. I'm not sure what to make of this. Either they have so many '03's left that their bosses forbid them from mentioning the '04's, or they're so busy they don't need to respond to a prospective customers email.

    By the way, the reason I want an '04 is for the new blue. I don't like the current blue. However, I do agree with others about the orange and how the E is probably the only car this looks good on.
  • crcoxecrcoxe Posts: 72
    Here in MD, we really didn't get as much snow as you got in NY or in my old stomping ground, New England (go Pats!). I did get a chance to get out in it though and was very impressed with the AWD. I found a few parking lots that were empty enough to play around a little. I tried my best to swing the rear end around and found it really required some work. As long as you're not driving like an idiot, the AWD keeps the car true and on course. I'm very impressed to say the least ... and the orange looks good even under a layer of road salt.

    BTW - At this point, I would think the '03s should be going for invoice at the most. With the '04s out in the next few weeks (at least that's what the dealer told me), the dealer's allotment will depend largely on how many '03s they have left. I got mine under invoice without much negotiation. I would think a little prodding here and there would produce similar results.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Crcoxe - In case you're missing that New England snow...

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    Is that from a plow or did it fall off the roof??
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    That's pretty much the real depth. Virgin snow covered my license plate. Just for kicks, I pulled forward about 2-3 feet into the snow. That's why the top edge looks like it's been plowed. The pic was taken after I'd backed away from the snow.

    My driveway was plowed Saturday morning. That pic was taken on Sunday before it was plowed a second time. There was probably 18-20 in my driveway when that photo was snapped. I'm sure some of it was drift.

    Overall, the storm dumped about 20-26 inches on us. After my driveway was cleared a second time, I ventured out to grab some supplies. On my way back, I stopped by at a friend's house. His road had not been plowed. They had about 12-14" on the road, but a few big pick-ups or SUVs had cleared tracks and levelled the deepest stuff. I had to venture out of the tracks twice, but didn't get stuck.

    Leaving the neighborhood, I took a different path and got hung up while going around a turn. Turns out, the last plow to go through had left a berm across the intersection. It was hidden by the drifting show. The combination of me slowing down to make the turn and the densely-packed snow stopped me in my tracks. I was high-centered and had to dig out.

    Leaving the scene, I was able to get through the same 12-14" stuff without tracks to help. I was plowing snow with the bumper and fish tailing quite a bit. Had I slowed down or stopped, I'd probably have gotten stuck again.

    I wasn't the only one, though. I also passed a stranded Outback, and also a Sportage and Cherokee. I'm not sure about the last two. I think that one stopped to help the other and got stuck himself. I didn't stop to investigate, but both were shovelling. They were on a sidestreet where I didn't need to go.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    It looked plowed hence the question. I'm north of Boston and got about 18". The Odyssey with snows got my DW around just fine. About 3 minutes after I had cleared the driveway and van on Saturday AM she popped out and said "Thanks, I'll be at the mall."
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    We only got about 6" in the NW suburbs of DC. Good enough to take the kids sleddind.

    Lots of black ice out there so be careful folks.

  • parkyparky Posts: 20
    E w/ awd auto in CT. Steep 1/2 mile hill, but plowed surface w/ 2" to 3" covering minimal if no wheelspin. 1A. Going down same hill in 1st or 2nd gear no issues 2. 7" unplowed parking lot no issues w traction(fun factor high). 3. Roads w/ 2 to 6" the backend gets light around corners, and bottom of vehicle drags a little over some drifts. I drove upto the ski area where there 1/2 mile driveway was 5-7" unplowed w no issues.I think having the auto slightly underpowered helps in snow conditions.Wheelspin is minimal in most conditions. However, at a stop sign throw it in 2nd, and get ready to counter steer under heavy throttle of course. Overall a lot of fun in the snow.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I wish I could have taken kids sledding. Instead, I had to dig a path from the house to the edge of the woods where my "kids" do their business.

    Greyhounds are sissies.

    Parky - We had a small group of CR-Vs and a Pilot go snow trekking in Connecticut this weekend. I think they were in New Milford. If you like playing in the snow, you might want to hook up them next time.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Thanks for your Edmunds Maintenance Guide question over in Prices Paid - a fix is being rolled out.

    Steve, Host
  • parkyparky Posts: 20
    I feel your pain w/ the sissie greyhounds! Mine goes bug nuts in the snow. I use my snow blower to cut a path in the yard, so I can walk and he can do his business(leashed most of the time). I am glad he only stays in the path though. There was a herd of deer out yesterday(unleashed), and he tried to go after them. But he is a wuss, so he did not venture off the path I cut.
    I'll keep the snow excursions crew in mind for next time. I think I'll get studded tires for my xr400 for the next snow. Either way I will have fun.
  • Thanks for the info about AWD performance and the intelligence on current pricing at or below invoice. Will go out this week to buy 03 EX AWD Auto for my parents. It should go at or under invoice as their opening offer was $100 over invoice and as the dealer has a few still in inventory to clear.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    With inspiration from some of the innovations happening in the minivan segement (and that market is supposed to be stagnant!?), I'll take a stretched Element with 6 seats (2+2+2) with the two rear pairs folding into the floor. If Honda needs to locate the gas tank under the front seats like the Jazz/Fit, then so be it. Give me back the "B" pillar and fit regular doors (or even sliders) and keep all the "scrubbability" of the current "E" interior. This would be a far more useful vehicle than all the Latitude/Stream, Wish, Grandis etc. etc. mini-minivans out there.
    Wanna build it for me, Honda? Anyone else? (maybe Nissan's upcoming small crossover concept will offer some clues.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I think you're on your own, Wheelz. My suggestion would be to find a 98 Ody and do the interior yourself.
  • The FWD Auto Element is nearly perfect the way it is - just wish the seats were a little more comfortable.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Did you guys see the new JDM Odyssey from the Tokyo Show? Very sleek.

    Odyssey will get bigger, so I think Honda will have a slot in their lineup for a smaller 7 seater.

  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    I like the's just that it's 4 passenger capacity + limo-like back seat & the resultant smaller rear cargo area don't work too well for a family guy. I know the family market wasn't the original intention for the "E" anyway;
    hence the request for an "E"-like vehicle with a bit more passenger/luggage capacity. I'm not talking "maxi-van" here, just a little stretch.
    Keep the standard "E" for singles, empty-nester's etc.
    (& don't suggest the CR-V....I wouldn't want to give up the "E"'s washable interior and superior hatch/tailgate arrangement)
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Juice - I've seen quite a few pictures. In fact, someone took pictures of one while it was in the US for a photo shoot in a California city. I like the front and the interior, but I'm not a big fan of the back.

    Don't expect any real news about the US spec Ody. Honda won't even be showing it's latest unique feature at the autoshows.

    Wheelz - I didn't mean to come across like I was telling you to take a hike. =)

    I just think you're best bet is to find a vehicle that you like and have the interior modified with plastic sheeting. I know one owner who put professional looking carpets in his E. I'm sure you could do a rubber floor in some other vehicle.

    Bone stock is not your only option!
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Posts: 569
    Hey, no offence taken, Varmint!
    Anyway, while modifying an existing vehicle is one solution, don't you think the Element (or Element-type features) are the start of a trend?
    Honda has been pretty successful with what initially appeared to be a fairly risky vehicle for them. Certainly dog owners and couples with young kids love the easy to clean interior. I seem to remember a Chrysler (or was it Nissan) exec saying that in future interiors, the trend would be away from carpeting. I remember raising this issue in the "How to make minivan's more appealing" forum in the Van least as an option, it would be nice if both minivan and suv makers offered an interior with rubberized flooring and neoprene seat covers, for example. If they can offer various cloth and leather options, surely a family or pet-friendly option would be doable as well. Anyway, a new vehicle purchase is a few years off for us yet, so something along the lines I'm looking for may yet materialize.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I heard that they'll be ultra-secretive about the next Odyssey. Should be very interesting.

    The mininvan market has suddenly become hyper-competitive. The Odyssey's magic 3rd row made it a market leader, but they've since fallen behind, check out the things is now lacks vs. competitors:

    * hidden door tracks
    * 2nd row windows that go down
    * AWD option
    * split fold 3rd row
    * disappearing 2nd row
    * stability control
    * side-curtain air bags

    Hard to believe. I helped my cousin buy an Odyssey about a year ago and it was the clear segment leader. Have you seen the DCX vans' new seating? Brilliant.

    I hope this type of "features race" hits the small SUV segment. Wouldn't that be great? If you think about it, they're all basically similar, with a few unique quirks here and there. Element stands out mostly for its styling, for instance. CR-V has the picnic table. Forester and Vue offer performance models.

    But there hasn't been the explosion that has occured in the minivan segment, not even close. This class progresses very slowly in comparison.

    Just my 2 cents' worth.

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The Ody was released in 1999. Any vehicle in it's last year of production is falling behind. That's normal market progression.

    I think the Ody's success was more than just seat-related. The engine, doors on both sides, road manners, and value were all part of the package.

    I'd rather not see a feature race in the small SUV segment. All the features in the Sienna bring the price into the $40K range! Mini-suvs used to cost $16-20K, now we've got the RAV4 and Liberty with MSRPs closer to $30K. All these features complicate the manufacturing process, making them more expensive to produce and at greater risk for reliability issues.

    For my part: If you want to offer a luxury or sport vehicle... build a luxury or sport vehicle. Don't fluff up a basic product.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    "I think the Ody's success was more than just seat-related. The engine, doors on both sides, road manners, and value were all part of the package."

    Don't forget that we frustrated Accord owners that wanted a mini-van had to leave the Honda fold before MY99. I wonder how many customers Honda lost because of the lack of a real mini-van? I know conquest sales are a big deal to the mfrs but retaining customers is much easier.

    Back on topic - has anyone had luck painting the cladding?
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