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Honda Element



  • Thanks all. Some incredibly detailed and useful information for me to consider. I must admit the Wrangler dropped in value farther than I thought (according to Kelley's) so I may drive one now and try to find out when the changes are going to happen. I did take a very short test drive last year with a friend who wound up purchasing one, and it did seem very carlike for it's shape. I think even with the reverse doors, it would be an improvement, as I've still only got the two, and only one seat folds and tumbles. The Jeep community is great, but I think Honda did it's homework pretty well for how people actually use utility vehicles every day. If the press on the Ridgeline is any indication, they're about to do the same with trucks. Thanks again for your opinions.
  • I sold my 2000 Wrangler hard top for a 2005 Element EX AWD and couldn't be happier. We use the Element mostly in the city and on a few road trips each year. It is so much easier to drive then the Wrangler. The visiblity is great for driving around town and it is so much more stable at speed then the Wrangler. Its also much faster. My Wrangler Sport wasn't comfortable above 90 mph. Really it didn't like it much above 80. But the Element is very comfortable as fast as I am willing to go on an interstate.

    The Wrangler was much better off road of course, but the added camping gear I can carry with the Element and the seating comfort on the way to the mountains more then makes up for it. The AWD was actually more effective in the snow the in the Wrangler. I even tried to get stuck by driving in the deepest snow I could find, without success. But I had no difficulty getting stuck with the Wrangler in both snow and sand. Of course, I can't really even attempt the same rock strewn trails with the Element that I could with the Wrangler.

    Its all a compromise but the Element ended up being the perfect vehicle for me and I highly recommend it.

    I was also surprised with the depreciation of the Jeep. I thought it would be pretty good. But you should move soon if your going to sell it because I would guess the value of the TJ's will drop as soon as the 2007 Wrangler goes on sale.

    I'm so happy with our Element that I will probably buy another one in a few years.
  • I have an '06 EX-P that I wish to install fog lamps. I already purchased the fog lamps from The instructions look fairly straight forward, however, I am seeking any advice from anyone who might have installed their own fog lamps on an Element. I do have one question right off the bat. How do you get those pesky clips out? Any advise is appreciated. Rudy
  • Thanks for that rtremont. I was looking for experienced installers. I did the install myself. Install took 3.75 hours. Simple tools, simple installation. Every Element needs fog lamps.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    I also am looking at buying an Element, but am weighing it's offroad capability, and it's features.

    One suv I am going to look at is the new Suzuki Grand Vitara. Looks like it has a lot of cool features, along with more offroad capability. The only thing that scares me is that the "local" dealer isn't really in a convenient spot for me, and I don't know alot about the quality of the Suzuki. I feel like the Element is probably a better quality vehicle, but I like the features of the Suzuki more.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Try it out, I wasn't impressed with the engine, not very smooth, not very powerful, not very efficient. But the overall package is still decent and the price is right. I prefer the Element, though.

  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    Thanks for the feedback regarding the Grand Vitara - The characterisitics you mentioned were what I was afraid of. I think we will probably just stick with the Element. My wife will be driving it most of the time and we don't have kids, so the suicide doors aren't an inconvenience for us. We also have dogs, so the washable interior is also ideal.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Try the Element, and if you might venture off road, go try out the Toyota FJ, that thing looks fun.

  • I don't think of my Element as off-road capable at all. It's a unibody wagon with AWD for slippery conditions. HOWEVER, IMO, it's the perfect small vehicle for dogs. The only thing better is a much larger minivan. The rear seats fold or can be removed, leaving a large area with a flat floor that's great for crates or dogs with seatbelts. That floor is low enough, unlike most SUV's with folding seats, for a big, older dog to jump in and out of without difficulty. The easy clean-up interior is another plus. I also find the Element fun to drive for a dog hauler.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    I have been debating between the Element, several midsized suv's, and a 4 door compact truck (like any of these are compact any more). I use to own a regular cab truck, but didn't use it (for truck purposes anyway) enough to justify having it. We anticipate getting a boat (2000lbs or less) in a couple of years, so I was originally leaning towards something like the Trailblazer or Grand Vitara (says it can tow 3500lbs).

    I think what we are going to do (and this could change by tomorrow) is to get the Element, with a hitch installed, and I will buy a utility trailer for the 5 or so times a year I need to haul landscaping type stuff for our yard.

    Then when it comes time to get the boat, I will look for a 5-10 year old, V8, regular cab short bed pick up to use only for hauling and towing. This way I get to look forward to buying another vehicle in a couple of years (I am not anywhere near as bad as the people on the Chronic Car Buyer's board, but I still get a rush out of the process).
  • 2006 Element EX-P AWD - 3000 miles - 24MPG for one refill, 22 MPG when towing a trailer. My last tank was 21.16 MPG, and was all normal city driving. So unless it keeps declining as I add the miles, I would say an honest 21-22MPG for average city driving. The 24 might have been a fluke, or maybe cars get better mileage until they're broken in.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    Does anyone here have experience driving both the AWD and the FWD Element? I was hoping for feedback on the handling characteristics of each. I already own one AWD vehicle, and we don't have very much bad weather where I live.

    We have decided on an EX Element, but are now debating whether or not to get the AWD. I am also wondering how much we would miss the sunroof by going with the FWD model. With the sunroof being in the rear instead of the front, I don't think that is neccessarily a deal breaker for us, but part of me would still like to have it. On the other hand, I am thinking if we don't need AWD, we might as well get the FWD and take advantage of the better gas mileage.
  • I test drove the FWD a few times in winter on wet and icy surfaces - it's not very good at all. But the AWD is a treat, I ended up buying a 5-speed AWD and it's traction is fantastic.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Remember that whacky on-line video game? I shared a link a while back, perhaps in the Honda's Run thread.

    I like seeing Honda take risks, not only with the product but also with the marketing. Their lineup is more diverse with the Element in it.

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Yeah, Honda also produced an el-cheapo racing game where you could pick an S2000, CR-V, or something else (Civic?).

    Their ads campaigns in the UK have won them several awards. Stuff like Cog, Choir, Hate Something, and a few others have earned critical acclaim. Wish that same ad agency worked here in the states.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That was one of the best car ads I've ever seen, perhaps THE best.

    And the cool thing was it was a car I've wanted to see make it to the USA - essentially a TSX wagon (euro Accord).

  • ramohioramohio Irvine CAPosts: 15
    I have AWD automatic EX. I wish I got the FWD 5-speed EX. The AWD is very basic and only is triggered when front tires spin. I would have saved $2200 and got better mpg on the hwy for sure. It would be lighter and more fun. I never get more than 24mpg, always 20-21 city an 34-24 hwy, but it is ok. I love the Element, well-made, smooth, roomy...but the sunroof is a novelty that I have never used. It is like it is not even there. Only if you sleep in the romantic.
  • yah_h0oyah_h0o Posts: 1
    I have 05 EX AWD and my g/f have 06 LX FWD. AWD traction is grrrreat. Entering Fwy U ramp gas 48MPH; the AWD grips well, no burning rubber sounds. My g/f FWD entering the same Fwy U ramp gas 39-40MPH, I started to hear rubber burning sounds. Not to mention brakes with AWD responded GRRRREAT!!!! AWD worth the extra $$$; and losing about 2-3MPG. Not bad at all. No complain here. For under $22K with AT, EX, AWD, roomy, Honda quality small SUV? U can't find that in other auto makers.
  • wildbillwildbill Posts: 12
    What does AWD have to do with braking performance?
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    I just bought an '06 Element EX, 4wd, Auto this weekend. Love it so far, and was very impressed with the buying process. One thing I was looking at over the weekend was the tailgate. Does anyone know if there is any kind of a tailgate protector that attaches to the tailgate (the inside). The inside tailgate surface is plastic, but the plastic surface still looks like it could possibly scratch if you are loading/unloading heavy objects.
  • goltgogoltgo Posts: 54
    I know this has been mentioned on this board before, but in case there are new E owners who haven't heard this, the C&D article repeats a misconception that the interior of the Element can be "hosed out" for cleaning. Do that, and you'll get hosed by the dealer for replacement of all sorts of interior electronics that are not shielded properly for such treatment. It's not like a Wrangler with drainholes and whatnot. It can be cleaned by being "sponged out," of course.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    As I stated earlier, I just purchased an E. I have a compressor in my garage with the blower attachment, so my plan was to open all the doors and hatch, and blow it out after we have had our dogs in there. Then, I will go back and wipe any residual dort off with a damp sponge. I am not a big fan of mixing water and electronics.
  • senecaseneca Posts: 1
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Welcome aboard!

    I suggest turning off your CAPS LOCK. People tend to ignore messages typed in ALL CAPS.

    tidester, host
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Very interesting, April 13th Honda had a press release and they're expected to launch a new Element Concept! Press schedule says 10:40am.

  • raychuang00raychuang00 Posts: 541
    April 13th Honda had a press release and they're expected to launch a new Element Concept!

    Hmmm!!! :surprise: Maybe this will be based on the new small SUV platform that will also be used on the next-geenration Honda CR-V and the new Acura RDX small SUV's? :)
  • Hi, are you saying that the sunroof is in the front of the vehicle if you get one with AWD??? The rear sunroof has been the primary deal breaker for me.

    Can I also get one without the flat black body parts?

    How do you all like this vehicle overall and how would you compare it with the older ( I have a 2000 Jeep Cherokee, 6 cyl 4X4) Jeep Cherokee 6 cyl 4X4's?

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