Last post on Jul 06, 2012 at 5:27 PM
You are in the Honda Element
What is this discussion about?
Honda Element, Hatchback, SUV
#1542 of 4724 675 lbs Payload
Dec 31, 2002 (9:22 am)
After seeing the Element and reading many comments, I think that Honda should come out with a V6 version. This thing only hauls 675 lbs as is! That means it probably couldn't hold 4 guys and their back packs without some serious problems. And for the people wanting the RealTime 4WD option, I would wait for the 5-speed manual version due out June 2003.
All this being said, I still want one.
Dec 31, 2002 (10:47 am)
I am 25 and I love the utility aspect of the Element. I had the chance to browse around one at a dealer but I didn't drive it. I assume it is similiar to my 2002 CRV as far as the drivig experience is concerned. If I didn't have this new CRV I would have seriously considered the E! I am waiting to see one driving around town!
Surprisingly I haven't seen many 2003 Accords on the road even thought they are selling well.
#1545 of 4724 Question and Comment
Dec 31, 2002 (7:40 pm)
I'm wondering if anyone knows if the 2 wheel drive, automatic transmission Element can be purchased with a limited slip differential?
I had a 1984 Toyota Tercel 4wd wagon with a stick shift (5 speed with a 6th speed granny gear when in 4 wheel drive mode/ extra low). That vehicle had about 80 horsepower. I got over 40 miles per gallon on the highway on a stretch to Las Vegas, Nevada. Now then the Element has about twice the horsepower of my old Tercel, and I doubt the Element is tremendously heavier. I haven't driven one yet, but wonder if "underpowered" is a concept used by speed demons only, or if the vehicle is really a slug.
I drove a Nissan Murano several days ago; plenty of power, and nicely detailed. Much more moola, however.
Jan 01, 2003 (2:38 pm)
Honda generally has not offered factory limited slip differentials.
For FWD performance applications there are several aftermarket suppliers, from Cuzco, Quaife, Nizmo and Kaaz. Their units start around $6-800 and are popular with "Sport-Compact Drag" folks.
Jan 01, 2003 (7:13 pm)
Thanks re limited slip. Pricey units it appears, especially if installation must be added. Was hoping for a reasonable alternative to 4 wheel drive which would assist traction, keep weight down and gas mileage up...
Jan 02, 2003 (4:17 am)
Thos FWD LSDs are more for performance on-road rather than in off-road/slippery road conditions. A friend had his LSD equipped Spec V out in the snow and the LSD did nothing to help him.
#1549 of 4724 conversation quality- 4 hour test drive
Jan 02, 2003 (8:21 am)
I'm a single male, 41, who recently chose 4WD EX- second place was a caravan so I'm not the demographic but it is perfect for my trips to the back country. It does need lots of add-ons which are way overpriced, but if the dealer won't give you a break see post #1469 and order on-line. I can't believe Honda pressed a spot for foglights in the cladding then didn't put 'em in- I had to pay $350 for them including labor, only cuz it looks dumb without them. Keyless cost another $160 with labor- doesn't every car have keyless entry? And passenger armrest is a must, or the cargo drivers armrest which is wide enough for passenger to lean on- another $93 if you put it on yourself. What were they thinking with that sunroof? Put it in the front!! so add the shadescreen to prevent rear passenger's heads from broiling in the sun, another $62 or make your own. I paid MSRP, after going to 5 different dealers there wasn't much wiggle room (none had 2WD or 5 sp, two didn't have any E's on lot). I avoided the "holiday special" extended warranty despite BIG push.
Now the good stuff: Great ride, not as good as Pilot or Odyssey but I love the face space. I thought it was stupid to put the A pillers out like that, but wind noise wasn't bad and the visibility was great- the blind spot is different, but not in a bad area, it is very easy to see when turning. I took a four hour trip with a friend and although she hated the looks (still beats a mini van, she tells me) we both agreed that the head room and face room made it a very relaxed and comfortable ride, we felt we had just spent the afternoon having a pleasant conversation in the living room. Kind of like a big conversion van, but without the gas guzzling or boat steering. In her vibe, we'd have felt beaten down after 300 miles battling semis with our faces pressed against the windshield, so I guess it's not wasted space as I thought it would be. I'm 6'2 so I like the head room, but the door armrest is too far forward for me, and I'm not overly impressed with the comfort of the seat. I don't understand the comparisons to CRV- either you want extra space in the back, or you don't. Compare the CRV to a Santa Fe or a pathfinder or any number of fold-down models, but if you need room for dirty stuff what else can you get that drives like a car and gets 24 MPG??? Oh yeah, a mini-van, I forgot...
Jan 02, 2003 (10:06 am)
I just want to express my appreciation to everyone on this discussion for some really well thought-out responses to this Element issue. I had a deposit on a black and green 2wd EX automatic, and drove it three times with different friends. I just couldn't fall in love with the color (which seems vaguely military and almost ominous) and the automatic, which, though fairly peppy, would be the first automatic this 47yo guy has ever owned.
Finally I have decided to wait for a 2wd manual, in almost any color BUT green, and see how that feels. In Palo Alto the Elements are getting snapped up as soon as they arrive, and I was really letting EBF (Element Buyer Frenzy) get to me, as well as the good 3.43 finance rate through the end of the year. For a whole day I was experiencing buyer's remorse before I had even bought the damn thing. My lesson: definitely wait for what feels exactly right for me, and pass on the thrill of being one of the first to own that wacky new Element. My 1985 Civic Wagon (bless that great little car) will have to survive a few more thousand beyond her 204K.
Anyway it is a pleasure to read people's well considered responses to what is still a pretty exciting automotive option.
Jan 02, 2003 (10:51 am)
Saw a green Element on the road yesterday. There's no dealer near my town, so I know it wasn't a test driver. It was following a small sedan and passed me going in the other direction. From a distance, all I could see was the roof (over the sedan), but it was unmistakable. I think Jimlewis is correct about the green color looking like army standard issue, but I still like it. =)