Last post on Jul 06, 2012 at 6:27 PM
You are in the Honda Element
What is this discussion about?
Honda Element, Hatchback, SUV
#2987 of 4724 Test Drove an Element today - Yukky ride
Jan 29, 2004 (3:40 pm)
I test drove a 2004 Element EX today, 2WD 5 speed. I thought the vehicle was neat. I like the interior functionality, the easy to use controls and space. The fit and finish was good but VERY plastic. I had hoped for a high touch but it only looked that way. The seat back adjuster was loosely attached in one Element I sat in while fine in the one I test drove.
The sound system had plenty of oomph but one of my favorite local stations (WBUR public radio) was coming through with a distinct hiss. Overall it sounded like a boom box and not like a good car stereo system.
I did not like the overall seating position, particularly when driving. The front windshield was very far away and it was very difficult to see out of the car over my left shoulder.
The ride was very disappointing. There is a lot of bouncing on the undulating roads here in the Boston area. The Element seemed grossly under damped and it was very cold, so the suspension should have been tighter and stiffer than normal. I guess this one of the areas that Honda compromised in a big way.
Road noise wasn't bad, but there was a rattle somewhere above the seat belt attachment point behind me. It clicked every time we went up or down or over something.
I was pretty psyched for this vehicle and had already negotiated a great price over the web with the dealership. But alas, I have to pass.
Too many major problems for me.
#2988 of 4724 Test Drove an Element today....
Jan 29, 2004 (5:12 pm)
Too many major problems??? What do you consider minor problems?? The extream cold makes a huge difference to an cars ride.
Hey tidester. I see you posted a link. My post got banned because of a helpful link. Hmm...
Jan 29, 2004 (5:59 pm)
I think you're being way too picky on a 21K vehicle. This is not a Lexus or BMW.
I've had my 5spd, 4wd, EX for 8 months now (6800 miles) and have had none of the issues you describe. The only maint has been a single oil change. My E is awesome in the snow and lots of fun in all conditions.
Jan 29, 2004 (7:31 pm)
thanks, I wish I felt the same way!
I couldn't believe how it bounced along, like a conestoga wagon. It felt very underdamped and in cold weather should have felt just the opposite.
I couldn't imagine what a buggy ride this must feel like in the summer and scared the heck out of me.
The over shoulder view was also awful.
Jan 29, 2004 (7:56 pm)
you are the first one that i have heard that had a bad test drive. Everyone that i have read had people supprised how good the ride was. Are you a former lexus driver? I do not have a lot of time behind the wheel of the element but it is the car i have been waiting for for 20 years!!! I find cars to be boring and non-functional. Final someone had the vision and guts to go out on a limb and make a truly functional vehicle!!!! Now just get a darn 4,5, or 6 cylinder diesel in it and increase the payload!!!
Jan 29, 2004 (8:43 pm)
I see you posted a link. My post got banned because of a helpful link. Hmm...
I posted a link to an edmunds.com web page.
Jan 30, 2004 (6:22 am)
It certainly is a difference of opinion. Roads around here are getting pretty bad and I've found the E to be great. Mine doesn't bounce at all and is really pretty tight. I think for it's type of vehicle it has the perfect balance of handling and ride quality.
But to each his own.
#2994 of 4724 Ride Standards
Jan 30, 2004 (8:35 am)
Maybe it's just me.
The car I am looking to replace is an ageing Mercury Sable LS wagon that we use as the 'dumpmobile' and 'soccer car'. It has 86K on it and shocks were replaced about a year ago. It is a firm, but very controlled ride no bouncing. It doesn't have enough vertical room in it for me to get some of my furniture projects delivered.
Another family member has a Toyota Avalon XLS which very controlled, no noticeable rebound oscillations like the Element, but much, much smoother.
I am glad all of you folks are so happy with the Element. What had attracted me to it was many good reviews here.
Jan 30, 2004 (9:18 am)
Keep in mind the tires may have been overinflated. They do that at delivery to prevent flat spotting while cars sit in the lot.
Air down and I bet the ride would be better, tolerable at least.
Sable is soft and Avalon is ultra-soft. Those are pretty high standards for cushy rides.
#2996 of 4724 this is so amusing
Jan 30, 2004 (10:56 am)
I did a test drive and I was in a 2wd auto. I didn't like it too much but I saw the potential.
the car has the size and durabilty i need but yes it's a $20,000 car. That's great to me.
I know the sound system isn't the best but that wasn't their selling point. My favorite local radio station has a small hiss and I am looking about remedying that somehow.
OVER YOUR SHOULDER? vehicles come with blind spots- many of them. You either look through them or find another way around them. I have driven my car for 6 weeks and I use the mirrors and whatever I can see over my shoulder, which isn't much. I can see a car comming up in my mirrors and as soon as it leaves my side i start to see their nose out of my window.
I have 4wdEX in this icy snowy eastie crapness and WE LOVE IT.
It's in our budget and is a functional vehicle for the size and make