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banzaimf
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PostWed May 23, 2007 5:21 pm 
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My wife loved hers, till she got the sea kayak. Now she wishes she'd have gotten the TDI Jetta Wagon :-)

The Element gets around 24mpg running around. It will fit a washer and a dryer (tested), can recline the front seats back and make a great lounge chair for the drive-in theater. It can go pretty much everywhere we want, and turn on a dime once we get there (handy on some logging roads). Plus, for people who drive predominantly city and want really good tires, in 18" wheel sizing, it's the same as a BMW 740il (which enabled us to get great wet weather tires). Easy to clean, easy to get in and out of. The rear seats sit higher, which enable the passengers to see out, helping to reduce motion sickness.  The seats fold up and out of the way, and the floor is flat. We pack air mattresses for the car, just in case.


The seats do suck for long distance driving. Elements are only rated for 600 pounds of cargo (including driver). As far as I have been able to tell, this is a suspension (spring) issue, probably related to the ford rollover fiasco. It can/will/has hauled much more than that, but it's not inspiring if you drive like.... well... me.

Oh yeah, and it sucks to put stuff on the roof if you're 5'7" (we bring a step stool).

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Tom
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PostWed May 23, 2007 6:26 pm 
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Wow, only 24 mpg?  Then again might not be apples to apples vs. the 20 mpg my 4 Runner gets since I'm primarily using it to drive to trailheads and thus more highway miles factored into the average.
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banzaimf
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PostWed May 23, 2007 7:08 pm 
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yeah, that's in line with the epa estimate. I get better mileage in my car with nearly the same weight, .8liter more displacement, and 90 more HP.

Keep in mind, the Element is a brick getting thrown through the air.

Another thought pops into the brain. I also ran extended lugs so that we can space the vehicle out around 10mm per corner. This helps keep it a little more stable in the wind. Oh yeah, speaking of wind, that's one thing the element will let you hear quite a bit of.  Then again, I am spoiled by my car.
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Brian Curtis
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PostWed May 23, 2007 10:35 pm 
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I don't have an Element, but I have a friend who does and he loves it. I do, on the other hand, have an Escape Hybrid so I'll be happy to pipe up in that thread when you start it.
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marcoramius
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PostWed May 23, 2007 11:50 pm 
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I am surprised to see the Element only gets 24mpg for a 4-banger...I have been extremely happy with my Toyota Tacoma V6 Xtra cab...averaged 22mpg up until I hit 200K miles about a year ago...it has dropped off a bit to 19-20mpg or so.
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RonL
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PostWed Jun 13, 2007 9:02 am 
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Just found this thread via the ford escape one and thought I would weigh in with my 2cents.
I have had one for 3 or more years. My wife and I share the car so it had to meet both our needs. She likes how it looks and the way it drives, (I believe the element is basically built on a Civic Chassis so as you would expect, it drives alot like a car) I like the space inside and the allwheel drive. I recall a ski trip to Adams with four guys and all our gear, skis slid under the seats, packs all fit in back - everyone was comfortable and the thing just swallowed the gear. The allwheel drive, with studded snow tires makes it the best snow vehicle I have had (trucks have been the worst in my experience because of lack of weight over the back tires). And it is great to sleep in; I am 6'2" and have been pretty comfortable crashing at trailheads on the folded seats.
The two downsides to this car are the clearance and the gas mileage. The car chassis doesn't make it a very rugged offroad vehicle so you have to treat it like a car. The gas mileage hasn't been a burdeon for us because we both live downtown and walk to work so this thing just goes on errands and takes me to the mountains on the weekends, but for a 4 banger that gas mileage is not impressive. I am sure it has alot to do with the design of the vehicle. All of the space inside makes for a big heavy un-areodymanic carriage ontop of a car chassis. It is basically pushing a dorm room through the air on a honda civic with a 4cylinder.
Overall, we have been happy, she still likes the car (although she wishes I would clean it once in awhile) and it makes me a great ski rig and trailhead camper. And I can only think of a couple of times where it added a mile or so to a route because I didn't want to drive farther on a rough road.
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Brucester
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PostFri Feb 13, 2015 2:06 pm 
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boot up- Thanks, good review. 

You tell it like it is. up.gif
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Old Not Bold Hiker



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
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PostFri Feb 13, 2015 2:15 pm 
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Brucester wrote:
boot up- Thanks, good review. 

You tell it like it is. up.gif

Wow! that is bringing up an old thread!

Honda has stopped making Elements, so its sort of a moot point.

I was in Bend OR last weekend and I think I found where most Elements are migrating to die.  smile.gif All of them seemed to be in good condition.

I now own 2 Subarus and I am happy with them, since I bought them both after the recent redesigns.

I sold my low mileage Element to a friend on the East Coast.  It is perfect for his needs (he pulled out the rear seats and uses it for the Crafts Fair exhibitor scene) and he loves it.

I think that makes them a collectors item now.  biggrin.gif

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friluftsliv
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tigermn
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PostFri Feb 13, 2015 6:57 pm 
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boot up wrote:
I was in Bend OR last weekend and I think I found where most Elements are migrating to die.  smile.gif All of them seemed to be in good condition.


That is one thing I have to say. I don't recall ever seeing a beater Element. People seem to take care of them.
Either that or when they get/look bad people send them to the junkyard.  lol.gif

Not my cup of tea, but I can see where they could have their uses.
Too specialized/nitche market I suspect thus they didn't sell enough and they got discontinued.
Honda seems more in to the mass produced stuff in general.

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Brucester
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PostSat Feb 14, 2015 9:44 pm 
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Hey Element owners, did you encounter rust along the roof/windshield?

I hear it can be quite a serious issue. Leaks?

And, do all years have removable rear seats?
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Old Not Bold Hiker



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PostSat Feb 14, 2015 10:02 pm 
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Brucester wrote:
Hey Element owners, did you encounter rust along the roof/windshield?

I hear it can be quite a serious issue. Leaks?

And, do all years have removable rear seats?

1) No. Never a bit of rust....but I waxed it regularly.

2) One small leak after having a windshield replaced.

3)Yes, all years were fully configurable.

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friluftsliv
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Havin' a fit
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PostMon Feb 16, 2015 7:46 pm 
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I wonder how the Element compares with the Fit for space/configurability?
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Old Not Bold Hiker



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Old Not Bold Hiker
PostMon Feb 16, 2015 8:50 pm 
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Havin' a fit wrote:
I wonder how the Element compares with the Fit for space/configurability?

About twice the size and about twice the configurations.

I think you could almost fit a Fit in the Element.

OK, maybe be slight exaggeration, but they aren't even in the same ballpark.

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friluftsliv
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Brucester
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PostSun Sep 08, 2019 6:11 pm 
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Not sure if the wonky gas tank "cage" was covered here but some folks fabricate a skid plate giving them some extra ground clearance. Every little bit counts!

28 mpg with a manual transmission? Actual?

Haters will hate but I'm seeing Elements on every drive. Function more than style.

Think they may have a cult following like the VW Kombi someday?
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