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Honda Element



  • The Forester felt kinda tight inside where the Element felt airy. The first of two things that turned me off of the Forester was the engine ruckus, it was livable but I would much prefer the 2.4L used in the Element. The second was the shifter. This particular Forester may have had a problem but the clutch engagement was so low that it was hard to take off smoothly. And as far as manuals go I would again have to give the edge to the Element.

    I did like the equipment on the Forester. Just didn't and/or need it enough to justify purchasing one. I didn't buy an Element either as I found the 4WD auto a wee bit sluggish for my driving style.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I guess a Subaru in reverse is basically a Porsche, LOL.

    I had that height-of-the-door problem in an MR2 I test drove, of all cars. Same issue - too high to rest my elbow there. It also hurt visibility to some extent.

    Civic Si's shifter looks funky, but I haven't tried it. Everyone that tries it likes it, though. Like the old Alfas.

    Subaru does package in a lot of extras. That's good if you like that stuff.

    I'll be in Detroit on Tuesday to check out the new Honda pickup. Anything else Honda will show there?

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    Through YTD to Nov 2003, Honda has sold 62,649 of these. I personally never expected the E to do that well.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    IIRC, the inital estimates were 40K units each year with the ability to increase it to 50K units. Later they upped expected production to be in the 50K range. With 67K units sold, I think they hit their mark.

    I expected it to make the 40K mark, but I'm surprised by the YTD totals.

    In the next few years, the hype will die down, the competition will increase, and sales will start to falter. But I'm guessing they'll average out to the high 40s/year for the Element's complete run.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    ...I had a feeling they were dumping a lot of Elements at the end of last year, and delaying the 2004, just to up their first year numbers. Of course that means the 2005 could be delayed until next January etc. unless they hit a good second year early on.

    My dealer (I just got rid of a 2003 Civic) new I was interested in an Element and twice made me very excellent offers...if I would take a 2003 instead of a 2004.
  • well hopefully at least appearing such an oddball I might have a smaller chance of it getting jacked or broken into if I take it into DC
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Honda had the Element featured "front and center" at the LA Auto Show. I was surprised - they had something like 3 Elements featured in the front, you couldn't miss them. And lots of people were looking at them. While I didn't go out of my way to look for one, I didn't notice the Pilot at all.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Micweb - True enough for sales of the 2003 model, but the 67K figure is for the calendar year. That would be January through December regardless of model year.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    At last year's NY Auto Show they had maybe half a dozen Elements outside, some with special camping packages. The marketing team is working overtime and the sales show it's working.

  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    I know there were none around in January.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    hondanews shows the first sales month of the Element as Dec 2002 - they sold just under 1000 units.
  • capoanycapoany Posts: 32
    So, we have a Pilot, and it's a great vehicle for the family. I'm coming out of a 15 year long string of higher end Euro sedans...tired of the cost, complexity and suburban 'arms race.'( When a 5- series is a common as a Buick Century at the local k-mart, it's time to take an alternate route.) I drove the Element and like it's jaunty style, ride and quirks...and am sold on the Honda bulletproof- ness. I commute 50 mi round trip, have a few little kids, drive into NYC regularly, do the beach and boating on the weekends.
     To those who have had the Element for a while, does it have staying power as a daily driver? Does it hold up in the 80 MPH highway game? Is it comfortable enough for the 3 hour weekend getaway? Can one leave behind the leather wood and turbos and find peace in the simple car life?? OK, that might be too far...looking for input from similar heads on the board ...thanks in advance.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Robr2 - That's right. I think January 2003 was the first full month of sales.

    Honda has been pushing the Element in several venues. They've had more Element concepts (like the Studio E) than any other vehicle. They also used it for the Bibendum green car challenge.

    Of course, all that press may be bolstering sales as well.
  • crcoxecrcoxe Posts: 72
    Sorry we seemed to have ignored you ...

    Unfortunately, I may not be the best one to answer your questions since I commute one mile to work - by foot. The Element gets plenty of attention on weekends though, and the wife exercises it a lot during the week. If you do take the step down from the Pilot, you will certainly miss some of the creature comforts. We got rid of a MINI Cooper for our Element (a sad day, but necesasry with a new baby). I'll admit, I miss the heated leather seats, auto climate control, audio controls on the wheel, the handling, etc., etc. After a while, though, I seem to miss them less and less. The Element is really a great car for what it is - as you say jaunty and quirky. We love ours. Though it is admittedly a bit under-powered, it is also surprisingly quick and nimble. In the highway game, you can get by just fine, though acceleration won't be as good as you're used to.

    Perhaps someone else can chime in on long commutes ...
  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    "looking for input from similar heads on the board"

    I never replied since I'm not a similar head. I didn't come from Euro sedans but rather from economy cars.

    "To those who have had the Element for a while, does it have staying power as a daily driver?"

    I think it's great.

    "Does it hold up in the 80 MPH highway game?"

    I don't usually drive that fast, but my latest 2.5 hour trip at 70-75 was better than I expected. I really expected lots of wind noise in a box, but it was surprisingly quiet.

    "Is it comfortable enough for the 3 hour weekend getaway?"

    I say yes.

    "Can one leave behind the leather wood and turbos and find peace in the simple car life??"

    Only you know how obsessed you are with turbos and and leather wood.
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    I didn't respond because I don't have an Element, but I have talked to a number of owners in parking lots and gas stations. Recently I talked to someone who was making the trip from San Diego to the Bay area for the 8th or 9th time. I don't know how many miles that is one way, but I would guess it is probably an 8 hour drive. This person loved his Element and said he found it very comfortable on those trips.
  • We were almost ready to buy an Element when we started hearing from some local people about the plastic panel fading and scratching easily. We keep a vehicle a long time (at least 10 years) and do not want something that is going to look aged within just a few. So now we are considering the CR-V EX. Did anyone else here consider the CR-V before they bought their Element? What things made you chose the Element?
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    IMHO they aren't all that much the same. I would choose the Element because of its wash and wear interior and the fact you can configure it all sorts of different ways. Since I don't have kids, I like the way the back doors open - large opening. Besides, I think the CRV is boring.

    The CRV could be a better buy for those who have older kids or who don't often travel with muddy large dogs. It does offer some nice options.
  • Don't have any animals - however the wife might disagree. No kids either, but we aren't real outdoors type people lugging gear and stuff. The vehicle will be primarily for my wife (I wanted to give her the Civic, but she wouldn't go for it). I really like the 270 watt stereo in the Element, but like the gauges better in the CR-V.
  • murfdogmurfdog Posts: 61
    We went to go test drive the Element and were disappointed. I was looking for to it until we test drove it. Did not like the doors, the carseat did not fit, the drive, .... We then tried the CRV EX and preferred it to the Element. We like being outdoors alot; however, we are not campers or outdoors types like that where it looks like the element would be a big advantage.

    We then walked over to Toyota and test drove the Scion Xb and were very impressed with that one. More headroom, better cloth or somewhat between the element and the EX CRV. Alot cheaper. Cool little car. Better pickup then the element primarily because its so light. Not sure about the 10 year idea. The coolness may wear off by then. If you had a 13-15 year old, you could keep it for 3-4 years and then hand it off to them since it is cheap.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    The Xb vs the CR-V must be based only on price. I can't imagine the Xb being more responsive than the CR-V on the highway or at even moderate speeds once you add two or three passengers. And the interior accomodations in the CR show where at least some of the price difference is. I know the Xb is inexpensive, but to imply that the CR-V is not noticeably more expensive looking is kinda harsh.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    xB is a deal, stability control and ABS for $14k. It's just got good packaging, basically.

    108hp isn't great, Toyota really should offer the 2.4l used in the new RAV4. With that kind of performance it would be a real contender.

  • It came in Dec 29 the day after I left for 2 weeks vacation. Took delivery Monday, big backlog of work email, don't even get to drive it much yet.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sweet, congrats Paul!

    Did you end up with green, like you wanted? EX? 5 speed or auto? Accessories?

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Don't waste time posting here. Go out and drive it!
  • mtngalmtngal Posts: 1,911
    Now that you have it, take a couple of moments to post what you think. I'm interested in your experiences.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,024
    A newspaper reporter is looking to interview someone who bought a car within the past six months. Please respond to with your daytime contact information, make and model of car, and incentives applied to the purchase by 10 AM Pacific on Friday, January 16, 2004.
    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • elemintelemint Posts: 79
    you must be full of it. Liked the headroom better in the scion xb better than the element??? Are you 8 feet tall??? I almost consider the element to have TOO MUCH head room!!! I would like ti better if it was 2-3 inches lower. And i am over 6 feet tall. Sounds like you are sad you got something else and now want to justify you purchase. Oh well....
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Let's be a bit more respectful of each other.

    tidester, host
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