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Honda Element

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Comments

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I didn't say you couldn't live with it, or work around it. It would just be much easier if you didn't have to deal with it in the first place.

    Prediction: This blind spot WILL cause more accidents, either in a parking lot, or on the highway. People who buy this car are not going to be experienced in driving a panel van.

    Bob
  • dstinydstiny Posts: 12
    Point taken rsholland.

    There seems to be a good share of parking lot accidents regardless of blind spots because so many drivers just do not pay attention to their surroundings. You might have to be a little more careful in the Element, but I believe most good drivers will know they need to take more care in turning and backing up. On your side, I suppose the blind spots will make it easier for careless drivers to get into trouble.

    I will be at the NY Auto Show this Saturday and hopefully there will be an Element on display with both seats stowed. I'll try to check out how much rear window can be seen above the seats and how large the side-view mirrors are.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thumbs up. For once, the design is exciting, eye catching, original. Function over form, and there's beauty in that. You get excited about the shape, not just VTEC or some other acronym inside.

    I like the tail gate, the suicide-style doors with a huge opening, the spare tire that's stored inside, the hole for tall cargo, and the price range ($16-21k is impressive).

    Dislikes? Seats only 4, this takes it off my list (2 kids and a nanny, need 5 seats).

    Note to hosts: can we rename the topic "Honda Element" now that we know the real name?

    -juice
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Where's the spare tire? I thought that was another picnic table, a la CR-V.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Probably under the table, like the JDM Fullmark.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Thanks for the topic name change suggestion Juice.

    Just how safe are those suicide doors going to be?

    Steve
    Host
    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    As safe as suicide doors can get. Honda says that it expected a 5-star government rating even with those doors. I don't doubt their claim, but I still wouldn't want to be caught back there in a crash. The lack of a pillar there just doesn't inspire enough confidence for me.
  • theracoontheracoon Posts: 666
    Reminds me of the crew cab/extra cab mini-trucks with their 3rd doors. How do they rate for side impact crash ratings?
  • subzero206subzero206 Posts: 111
    ok why did honda put the hole in the rear part of the roof? i doubt many people are gonna be carrying anything that tall... it woulda been wiser to move the hole up above the front passengers so it can be a moonroof.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Because it's more fun there.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thanks you, oh gracious hosts.

    The "suicide" rear door won't open before the front door is open, so it shouldn't be a big concern. It'll be like pickups and the Saturn coupe.

    I say ditch the hole but offer a gargantuan moonroof, like the CR-V Open Air that people raved and raved about.

    You could carry long cargo on the standard roof rack, or by leaving the partial hatch back open, so the hole seems gimmicky.

    -juice
  • nwngnwng Posts: 663
    the problem is I'm not sure if my wife will be happy seeing our family riding in a funky box on wheels, i know my 4 year old would much prefer it over my accord. I do hope the hole in the back will be an option though
  • No flames please...

    Honda deserves credit for taking a chance on the Element. But when people see one on the lot next to a CR-V, which vehicle will they go for? The CR-V is not as exciting, but it doesn't look like Super Mario's car either. How many young buyers really need an extreme-looking car that they can spray out with a hose, anyway?

    I like the Model X, but I'm weird. It's a good value, but it's feature content is close to the CR-V and it's only marginally less expensive. I know it's a "lifestyle" vehicle, but do you guys think 50,000 buyers a year will go for it? Or is it Honda's "Aztek?"

    I'm going to be watching the Element closely. I really do think it's cool, in a bizarre kind of way. Bet it'll look good in silver.

    I hope it's a hit with BUYERS, not just people who go to autoshows.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    With the Element, the designers used an airbrush.

    With the Aztek, the designers used a trowel.

    Bob
  • The Element is much more focused (and desirable) than the Aztek.

    On the other hand, I've seen lots of pictures of Elvis drawn with an airbrush. Most of them are on black velvet...;)

    -jim
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sorry, the Funky Box name is taken. Seriously. :-)

    Um, Jim? Me about 11 years ago. Having an eye catching car that is useful to boot is what every young guy wants.

    One CR-V owner is complaining loudly about it being $2k cheaper.

    Pontiac took a Montana and removed utility to create the Aztec. Honda took a CR-V and added utility to create the Element. It's the exact opposite.

    -juice
  • Juice,

    I agree that the Element has some things going for it, Honda engineering being #1. It's a bona-fide "lifestyle activity vehicle" without all the testosterone.

    BUT is it cool? Will it pull sales away from the Vibe/Matrix twins or the X-Terra? IMO those vehicles are more hip and masculine, less Japanimation.

    I guess the sales will tell the tale. I hope it does well, as it might inspire other manufacturers to aim squrely for unique niche vehicles.

    I'm still waiting for my AWD four-door convertable that seats five and costs under $20,000...
  • I can't access your profile but I'm pretty sure you drive a Forester.

    Since Subaru has been putting the same mechanicals in a ~$24000 vehicle that they are putting in a ~$17000 vehicle for years, you don't have a problem with what Honda is doing.

    I guarantee if Honda put the engine and ATTS (and whatever else made it somewhat unique) from a Prelude (when it existed) in a lower priced vehicle there'd be plenty of people who wouldn't like it.

    Because these are SUVs rather sport coupes or whatever doesn't mean people don't care as much about their vehicle and can't be upset that the mechanicals from their ~$23000 vehicle are most likely going to be the same as in a ~$16000 vehicle.
  • autonutsautonuts Posts: 138
    what the inside and outside dimensions are for the Element? Just wanted to compare to the CRV. Wondering if the inside width, legroom and headroom compares?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    XTerra was trendy but that didn't last. Now Nissan has high fixed costs to deal with. Look at all the models, 4 cyl, V6, V6 S/C, pickup, crew cab, crew cab extended, etc. I wouldn't necessarily call it a long-term success. Ghosn will surely not allow so many expensive variations in the next generation.

    I do like the Matrix, and think it will succeed. But it may be too conventional for some. I think it'll appeal to a totally different buyer.

    Thing is, Element is a niche vehicle, not many Hondas are. You can't think of it in the traditional sense, comparing it to mainstream cars. People will buy it BECAUSE it is not mainstream.

    You want mainstream? Honda will be happy to sell you a CR-V or an Accord. They've got those bases covered. If it were a mainstream SUV it would compete directly with the CR-V!

    ticktock: I disagree with the mechanicals being the same, because Element won't have AWD or even ABS at those low end prices, and to me that makes a huge difference in the way the powertrain performs, going and stopping.

    Honda was smart. They took a basic platform and engine, cut costs where young men most likely won't notice (5th seat, carpets), and wrapped it up in a package their parents will HATE. That is exactly what they want!

    -juice
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Interesting, no? Should that be the goal of Scion designers? If they want to attract more young buyers, should they style cars that old folks won't like?

    Old folks hate loud music. Mazda MP3 reached cult status among 25 year old. Well, almost.

    The New Beetle is front engine, front drive! It's a sin to contradict tradition like that, old folks might say. Yet they were on E-Bay for $25k for a while, with long waits.

    Just a thought.

    -juice
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I like the styling. I'm not sure I would buy one now, but, as Juice said, I would have ten years ago. I showed it to my wife... She thinks it's a beast. She can't understand why I think it's charming in a funky way. This will not be a vehicle that everyone loves.

    But since when is that anything new?

    TickTock - Let's take a more reasonable example. Let us say that Honda took the engine from the S2000 along with the same slick shifting 6 speed gear box and put it into a coupe (like the Prelude). Then they charged 29K for the car. How would S2K owners feel about it? Probably not too bad. They still have the drop top, the rock solid chassis, and the race inspired brakes.

    The same deal goes for the CR-V and Element debate. A CR-V at 23K includes a host of common features. At 21K, the Element still has a plastic interior with a rubber floor, no moonroof, and who knows what for equipment.

    Here's my guess, based on what I've seen from past and current Honda models:

    At $16K + change, the Element offers the 2.4L engine without AWD. There are no tinted windows, the interior is completely plastic and only comes in one color (probably a gray), and there's a 4 speaker stereo with cassette. It should have power windows, locks, and maybe cruise control. The retractable roof panel may be an option. Side air bags will also be an option. ABS is not an option.

    Add AWD and you raise the price well above $17K. This would be the LX model that competes with the CR-V LX. Note that the CR-V is less than 2K more.

    At $20K, you get an upgraded stereo, tinted windows, a single disk (or possibly mp3 player) with six speakers, alloy wheels, the retractable roof panel, interior colors that match the exterior, ABS, and side airbags. AWD is indluded, but an automatic transmission bumps the price to $21K. You still have a hard plastic interior, a donut spare, fewer seats, less sound dampening, and a host of other missing refinements.

    You ain't saving much. And you aren't getting the same level of refinement the CR-V offers.
  • Juice-
    I agree with you that the Element is a niche vehicle with strong appeal for certain buyers. I'm curious to see if Honda can find 50,000 of these folks in the first year of production. It seems like a lot to me.

    Also, if parents will HATE the looks of the Element, why would they help their children obtain one? I think many young people buying new vehicles rely on their parents to at least co-sign for them.

    Varmint -"charming in a funky way" - perfect description.

    jim
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    << Also, if parents will HATE the looks of the Element, why would they help their children obtain one? >>

    and that implies "eternal goodness," even if the styling seems strange. Besides, the parents won't be driving it, the kids will.

    Bob
  • subzero206subzero206 Posts: 111
    it will pull some sales away from Vibe/Matrix because they only have 130hp and 125lb torque (even less for 4WD). it will steal from the Xterra because gas prices are going up again so they dont want a 15mpg vehicle.

    jim, looks like you'll be waiting forever for that AWD four-door convertable that seats five and costs under $20,000...
  • diploiddiploid Posts: 2,286
    Pays for it?
  • todd48todd48 Posts: 22
    I've been following this thread for the past few days, so I thought I'd go ahead and chime in. This is definitely one of those "you either love it or hate it" vehicles, and I definitely fall into the "love it" category. What a perfect blend of aesthetics and function!! Plus it's a Honda. And at the right price too! It just doesn't get any better than this.

    OK, it may not be beautiful, like an Accord or Acura RSX, but IMHO it is a really nice-looking vehicle. In any case, function rules over form with a vehicle like this and the Honda engineers have executed it perfectly-- washable interior, removable rear seats (and form a bed!), chip and scratch-proof side panels and bumpers, huge entry area, etc.

    They may be targeting this vehicle to males younger than 25, but like nwng (post 62) I have a family too. My wife and I are 29 and we have two kids (4.5 & 2), and I think this would be the perfect car for us. I even showed the pictures to my wife and she loved it too!

    I admit, when I saw pictures of the Model X, I wasn't too sure about it, but I really like the changes they made. I liked what I saw, the minute I saw it. And I've been huge Honda fan for 15 years. I've always admired them, not only for their reliability and performance, but also for their commitment to safety, the environment and excellent quality for the price.

    My first ever Honda was a 1994 Accord that my wife and I bought in 1998. Although, our time with it was short-lived, since we need something a little bigger when our daughter was born two years ago. We really wanted a Honda, I found the driving position of the CR-V cumbersome and wasn't too impressed with the crash test results. And the Odyssey was too big for us and the price it was commanding was way out of our range. We ended up with a Mazda MPV--our first new car. I like it OK, but I sure wish the Element had been out then. Oh well--by December, it's out with the MPV and in with the Element!!
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    as a parent of an 18 year-old and a 23 year-old, I can tell who pays&#151;in more ways than just $$$! ;)

    My 23 year-old son drives a '96 Subaru Impreza Outback (my choice), and my 18 year-old daughter drives a '92 Prelude (her choice, not mine). I (we) paid for the vehicles, and so far no problems, and everyone is happy.

    Bob
  • subzero206subzero206 Posts: 111
    ok i admit my parents bought all the cars ive driven so far too (currently 95 Camry) but im 21 now and its time to pass the camry down to one of my younger bros. and this time they wont be paying for my vehicle which looks to be the Element (unless 2k3 Accord blows me away). ok i just read that the navigation wont make it to production (boo!) can anyone confirm this? and what about that internet connection inside the car thing they talked about i guess they scraped that idea?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    This Vehicle's In Its Element

    Steve
    Host
    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • bpraxisbpraxis Posts: 292
    Hello fellow car enthusiasts and I hope you are having a great day.

    After years of producing well made, non descript, bland, cars,( except the NSX, RSX, etc.) Honda has decided to take styling risk. I applaud Honda and think the New Element will be a smashing success. We are in the Golden age of automobiles. There have never been such a wonderful variety of choices at an affordable price point.

    I only wish the Element was made in Japan where the quality still seem to score better with JD Powers. The CRV was always made in Japan until 2002 and Consumer Reports rated it the most reliable sport utility made.

    We also can thank the strong dollar for foreign cars offering the most value now. And it should get even better.

    I am so looking forward to test driving the new Element and considering it as a purchase option.

    Lets hear it for the Element which speaks to the Individual who is not afraid to stand out from the crowd.
  • Hooray for Honda!

    You're right Brandon, Honda is to be commended for stepping up with something delightfully different.

    I can't wait to see one of these babies in the "flesh." It's gotta be a sight to behold.

    I wonder if they left the "sunroof" in the back of the vehicle because the roof over the front seat is reinforced to compensate for the lack of a b-pillar between the front and back doors. I don't think I'd ever need a cargo gate on the top of a vehicle, but I love a good moonroof!

    -jim
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Jim - That's a very good posibility. The lack of a B-pillar could indeed be the reason for no moonroof.

    Another possibility is simply the lack of space. You can't have two pieces of glass sliding into the same space. The roof isn't long enough to accomodate both.
  • The roof might not be long enough for both, but if I had to pick one over the other, I'd go for the hole over my head!

    -jim
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I guess, it was designed to gaze at the stars while you used the seats as your bed.

    Honda should have offered a large glass roof with Element.

    Anybody notice the rear seat pushed rearwards? Lots of legroom for the second row, and may have been done to improve side impact crash safety.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Here you go, ticktock. Get a loaded Element for $21k. Then add full carpeting and a power moonroof, plus a 5th seat in the cargo area. $23k, just like the CR-V. :-)

    Well, Bob and I are hitting the NY show tommorrow so we'll definitely take a close look and try to share some interesting observations.

    Jim: I bought my first new car without my parents help, but interesting thought. Even if most people do get help, I'm sure there are 50,000 out there than can afford the Element by themselves.

    Subzero may have a point. It may attract extroverts that would otherwise buy an XTerra or Matrix.

    Know what's funny? The washable interior is IMO the best innovation. It's genious. Our kid has a food fight with herself every time we're in the car, and I'm the one who loses every time!

    To be able to just hose that out? Are you kidding me? Brilliant.

    -juice
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    That plastic interior is a prime reason for why I think that the interior will be a bit noisey. Carpet doesn't creak, squeek, or rattle. Plastic does. Carpet also dampens sound. Plastic bounces it around the cabin. I'm not knocking the vehicle. It's just a compromise that folks will likely have to accept. For less than 21K, I don't expect Lexus accoustics.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    That is a very good point varmint. The conventional carpet would absorb some noise. I'm curious to see how it the interior feels.
  • subzero206subzero206 Posts: 111
    "Know what's funny? The washable interior is IMO the best innovation. It's genious. Our kid has a food fight with herself every time we're in the car, and I'm the one who loses every time!"

    LOL i agree i love the washable interior because it makes cleaning much easier. u wouldnt even need a vacuum a broom would work fine.
  • moonkatmoonkat Posts: 265
    steve:
    BTW, the "search on topics" feature does not link to this topic.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Yeah, I was hoping that a reindex of the database would fix that. Thanks!

    Steve
    Host
    SUVs, Vans and Aftermarket & Accessories Message Boards
  • nwngnwng Posts: 663
    food fight? Not to mention exploded ketchup packet , melted chocolate, spilled soda, snud (snow & mud)... and I have not gone to my daughter's list yet. However I wonder how durable the plastic will be for wear and tear, the plastic floor on our subway cars wears pretty well. I'm not sure you can really "hose it out", but able to scrub it clean with a brush and cleaners is already a giant leap. From the pictures it looks like the rear seat has stadium seating, can anyone who is fortunate enough to go to the show confirm this?
  • sluglineslugline Posts: 391
    nwng: When the CR-V owners go to the Houston Auto Show, I'll try to get a look at the second-row seating. If the Element is truly made to be hosed out, the floor had better be designed so that water will not collect in places you don't want it. A few months ago, it occurred to me that this might eventually become an issue on my 2000 CR-V. I frequently use the cupholders in the center tray, which is right above the opening for the parking brake handle.
  • nwngnwng Posts: 663
    slugline:

    since you are so fortunate to be able to go the show, do me a favor and grab some pizza, soda and ice cream from the cafe and sat in the element, ooops... and watch how the Honda reps clean up the floor. And make sure you get a biggie size soda.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It looked more like rubber than plastic, actually. The rubber mats even covered the door sills to prevent scratches, a clever touch.

    Stadium seating? Truly, really, much higher floor for the 2nd row vs. the 1st. Maybe 6" higher?

    The map pockets in the doors were neat, had drain holes, and were really huge. The dash design was totally unique, very avant garde. The shifter grows out of the dash like a tree, or an old Alfa, or the new Civic Si.

    Overhangs were very short. It's probably not as long as the CR-V outside, but still very, very roomy inside. Taller, too, I'd guess. We couuld not get in it.

    The plastic cladding is not painted, so scratches can be buffed out. Again, see my toddler if you don't think that matters, or her cousin who decided to "draw" with his Power Ranger on the side of our car. Huge bonus.

    Suicide doors open wide, but rear access is still easier in the CR-V. Better for young men and their friends than for a family, IMO. I think it only had 4 seat belts, too.

    Biggest difference? SEVENTEEN inch rims! 17", that is not a typo. Big tires that fill the wheel wells, too. CR-V needs these big time. I went with Bob and we both agreed this is more tough-truck vs. CR-V's car-like demeanor.

    The rear moonroof is big and they say it'll be standard. It actually serves back seat passengers, too, pretty neat. Like the Outback, sort of, if you've seen those.

    I can't say enough good things about it. I'm very impressed. Tons of character, spunk, style, moxy. Hard to believe given how vanilla the Accord and Civic are that this comes from the same company (no offense, those are fine cars).

    Plus, it looks even better in person than in photos. It will turn heads. Be ready to get lots of feedback, both good and bad. You will have people's undivided attention, not unlike the Beetle and PT Cruiser when they were new.

    Thumbs up!

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    the Element is a winner. BTW, the tires were 235/65x17" Goodyear Wrangler SRAs. These are the exact same tire that Jeep uses on the Grand Cherokee, except they use white-lettered versions. The MDX also uses that same tire size, but I don't know if the use Goodyear Wranglers.

    Speaking of tires, the Pilot uses 235/70x16.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    So the Element actually has bigger rims. I wonder if those will make production, or maybe 16".

    -juice
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Good coverage.

    It is interesting to note that Pilot has a more truck-like tire profile (almost 6.5" rubber), about 0.5" more than that in MDX.

    I hope Element gets (atleast) 16" and that also goes into CRV. I recently saw the new CRV with larger wheel and wider tire, it looked good.
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