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
#3761 of 4724 Re: overloaded...again [dslightam]
Apr 14, 2005 (8:26 am)
I'd agree with the comments above that, if you consistently need to carry more than 675 lbs. this probably isn't the right vehicle. There are reports of people adding a couple of hundred pounds to this successfully and, although this probably shouldn't be endorsed, I do suspect that 675 is at the low end of the capability, as the 1500 lb. towing capacity may be. IMO, the interior limit and roof load limit are the achilles' heals of this very useful vehicle considering it's likely intended uses.
And while Honda didn't ask me, I'd suggest to them that they need to tone down their advertising if liability is their main concern. The brochure for the 2005 Element prominently features a group of people and their gear who clearly have gone camping in the Element, something that implies usefulness for that purpose (and higher weight) despite any load limitation in the fine print.
#3762 of 4724 Re: overloaded...again [lumbar]
Apr 14, 2005 (8:56 am)
Camping gear is normally very light, so 4 slim or short people and their camping gear on the roof could certainly work.
On the other hand, 4 big, heavy guys and a dog driving up a mountain to go on ski trips wouldn't work.
Of course, the Element would still drive while overloaded since there is nothing stopping that, so it technically could be done.
#3763 of 4724 Re: overloaded...again [307web]
Apr 14, 2005 (4:24 pm)
Thank you for all the replies, I appreciate everyone's perspective. The CR-V/Element comparison frustrates me a lot. On paper, the CR-V is a great car, no question about it, and I may end up buying one yet. It's funny though because I exemplify the demographic that Honda was going for with the marketing of the Element (in the '05 brochure and all), and for the most part I'm buying into it. I like to snowboard, surf, Mtn. Bike, road-trip, and camp. I want decent gas mileage, utility, and versitility. On the element, I really like the doors, rear-gate, and particularily the floors, even that aux. jack thingy they tease you with on the EX. It's nice that we could could sleep in it in a pinch ( probably with the back seats out). The carpet floors wouldn't get permanently stained or muddy like the CR-V would. If I ever resold a CR-V it's unlikely the carpet would ever be in good shape.
90% of the time I drive this car it will be my wife, my dog, and me. The chances of two more guys my size in the car are slim, but not out of the question. At least two or three times a year, I may want to have our friends (we'll call them Matt and Kathy) come with us to the mountain 4 hours away, or the coast to camp (in tents). We may put skis and snowboards on the car, and clothes/boots/goggles in the back. If I do my math correctly then approximately every pound of gear we add will be a pound over the weight limit. After spending 20k on a new Element I'd keep remembering that my old 2 door '91 integra would not have that problem. I don't really care about accelleration that much, nor fuel economy under those conditions. I do care about doing damage to my new vehicle.
Will that 10% damage my Element? If Honda could tell me definatively one way or the other it would make up my mind. Maybe I just need to start hanging out with smaller people!
Also, does anyone know if they're doing a refresh on the Element in '06?
#3764 of 4724 Re: overloaded...again [dslightam]
Apr 14, 2005 (4:38 pm)
Do you really need to plan your vehicle around only 2 or three trips you "might" take in a year with your friends if it's perfect the other 362 days of the year?
You could buy an Element and rent a bigger vehicle twice a year if you really needed to or even take two vehicles or ride in someone else's vehicle.
If you needed to do this frequently, it would be different.
For instance, families who need to access the rear seats and load and unload rear passengers frequently should look elsewhere instead of struggling and fighting with the suicide doors.
#3765 of 4724 Just to clarify...
Apr 14, 2005 (6:44 pm)
"I don't really care about accelleration that much, nor fuel economy under those conditions. I do care about doing damage to my new vehicle."
I doubt very much you'd damage the vehicle by going over the published weight limit. You won't break the suspension, or the load floor, or anything else. However, the Element might not corner as well, it might not brake as well, it might not do as well in a crash. I think it's far more likely those are the reasons for the low rating. Honda won't take legal responsibility for the vehicle when loaded that way.
Apr 15, 2005 (4:34 am)
They could combine the two to come up with the perfect small SUV.
I like the unique styling of the Element, and especially the clam shell rear gate and spare tire location. Plus the price.
From the CR-V, the higher passenger and payload capacity, and better fuel mileage and ground clearance.
Not sure which doors, I'd want. Maybe 2 conventional doors on the passenger side, and suicide doors on the driver side.
I'm telling you, combine these features and it would be ideal.
#3767 of 4724 Re: overloaded...again [dslightam]
Apr 15, 2005 (7:16 am)
I'd keep remembering that my old 2 door '91 integra would not have that problem. I'm sure you probably overloaded the Integra as well.
#3768 of 4724 Re: overloaded...again [307web]
Apr 15, 2005 (11:50 am)
While you have a point about not buying a vehicle around a couple of annual trips that you might or might not take, the whole appeal of the Element is that it offers the utility of a midsized SUV or small van in a more efficient and better driving package. Unfortunately, this promise is undercut by a very low payload. The vehicle offers adequate power. If Honda could increase the payload and ground clearance, then the Element would live up to its promise.
#3769 of 4724 Re: overloaded...again [atlgaxt]
Apr 15, 2005 (4:08 pm)
Mmm...I'm not sure I agree entirely. IMO, the appeal of the Element is that it offers some of the utility of a midsized SUV in a package that also has those compromises that its audience can deal with (for the most part). I completely agree that a higher payload and more ground clearance would be nice--provided the rest of the package, including its handling, mpg, and price, stays the same. If they don't, some of the Element's other unique promises fade into the background. Despite Honda's somewhat "aggressive" advertising, I don't think the present Element really promises much that it doesn't deliver, considering its actually shorter than a Civic and doesn't really claim to be a people (as opposed to gear) hauler. It's ground clearance is only slightly more than an inch lower than the CRV--which is a marginal difference in most situations. You can also put hundreds of pounds of stuff into it provided the rear seats are unoccupied, which they likely would be if you had hundreds of pounds of stuff.
I'm certainly not arguing that this vehicle is everything it could be--few vehicles are--but I guess I think that the more it reaches some type of ideal the likelier that its most endearing qualities--price, handling, size and mileage--will need to be compromised and it will turn into something else that's already available..
#3770 of 4724 Re: overloaded...again [robr2]
Apr 16, 2005 (9:03 pm)
I thought maybe that was the case too, but I checked the door of the Integra and its payload is somewhere between 900-960lbs. (I'd go look and see what it is exactly but that'd be all the way in the garage and I'm feeling lazy)
4 people may be uncomfortable, but its unlikely it'd be overloaded. Maybe even 5!