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
#4671 of 4724 Re: 2009 Honda Element [ragets]
Jul 31, 2008 (10:32 am)
I looked at the Element yearly - I like it's all business functionality - and came close to buying one in March but (lucky me, with the gas price spike) got the Fit instead. Why?
1. The gas mileage on the Element is significantly lower than on the CRV, which doesn't make sense, since they started out with the same engines and the Element now has the 5 speed auto.
2. The rear seat is uncomfortable - the floor is noticeably higher in the rear of the cabin and my knees end up too high.
3. The rear seat only has 2 seating postions. I have 3 kids. Does not compute.
4. The payload on the Element is very low - 800 pounds of passengers and luggage total. Since Americans (although not me and my family) often run 200 pounds a piece, this is too light.
5. The suicide doors detract from the utility instead of adding to it. Besides requiring you to open the front doors to let the kids out - and having to keep them open in the process - they make it almost impossible to get kids in and out of the vehicle when parked in a typical parking slot - the front and read door open into a "vee" that prevents access. It shouldn't be this difficult to load passengers.
6. The suicide door set up is also stupid because it requires extra bracing, about 150-200 pounds worth.
7. If a car veers out of its lane and hits your door, a regular door flies forward and out of your way. If a car hits the suicide door, it closes on you and crushes you.
I'd be happy with the Element if they get rid of the suicide doors, increase the load capacity, and add a 5th seating position. I could live with the higher rear floor (I mean my kids could). The large, square hatch provides plenty of cargo access, they don't need the imaginary benefits of the suicide doors. Getting rid of the suicide doors, plus a little aero work (under carriage) might even out the gas mileage advantage on the CRV.
It would be nice, of course, if they could lower the rear floor.
But the suicide doors are the main mistake.
Change to regular doors and you have a "mini-Flex" which is not a bad thing at all. I still like the Element. It's a mini-minivan. It's low to the ground. It's...cute.
#4672 of 4724 Re: 2009 Honda Element [micweb]
Jul 31, 2008 (11:03 am)
You basically want a CR-V, with only the styling from the Element.
#4673 of 4724 Re: 2009 Honda Element [ateixeira]
Jul 31, 2008 (11:28 am)
Mmm...sort of true. But here are the functional differences that are appealing with the Element:
1. The Element rides lower, which affects available space in the vehicle and also the ease of getting in and out.
2. The Element is "square" which allows much more storage room in the back. The CRV has less space between floor and roof, and the roof slopes.
The rest of it is probably styling, although at one point Honda thought the Element was utilitarian enough (grey fenders, no carpet) to sell for a lot less than the CRV. However the Element has crept up in price, and I'm no longer sure that is true.
It IS nice to still be able to get a stick shift on the Element.
#4674 of 4724 Re: 2009 Honda Element [micweb]
Jul 31, 2008 (2:35 pm)
1) The reason the gas MPG are lower is do to that the Element's areodynamics are quite different than the CR-V's (if you couldn't tell). It is a box.
2) Yeah the backseats are uncomfortable but the functionality of them kind of make them that way. (ex. Folding against the walls, folding down making bed) I don't think that they are that uncomfortable though. Every one that I have had in the backseat says that it is comfortable just not the best in the world though. The floor in the rear is higher which makes the step up into the back a little difficult but just get the sidesteps and that would remedy that problem.
"The rear seat only has 2 seating postions. I have 3 kids. Does not compute."
3) Functionality purposes. This car was targeted towards young and active men. Not ones with kids. Sorry.
4) Payload is a problem, but then again, the Element was made for a young active guy and maybe another passenger with all their gear. (Driver 180lbs + Passenger 180lbs = 360lbs 800lbs - 360 = 440lbs of equipment)
5)The Suicide doors from my experience has only one negative... opening in a parking lot. But all you have to do is: Front passenger open door (and stays inside) back passenger opens door, hops out, shuts door, front passenger jumps out shuts front door. Problem solved.They do not detract from the utility. When opened they do not have that annoying vertical pillar in you way when loading items in. You get a HUGE open area for putting things in.
6) That is why you watch for traffic and not get out when another car is coming your way. And even easier approach would be just to have the kids get out the on the curb side and not on the side facing the street. Which is what I have the back passengers to do.
7) Who cares how much extra weight it has. If I get into in accident in my Element and get T-boned. Mine will get hit crushed and only a little hurt depending on vehicle, speed, etc. The Fit in just a regular crash test gets slammed and flown to the side. Results: Element 5-stars (even without side curtain Airbags ('06 and before)) Fit 3 star with Side Curtain. I'd rather be safe and live, rather than gaining a couple MPG's.
Also, the Element rides lower to give it better handling. It is a tall car and it being lower helps how it handles.
The Element was targeted toward young and active men. They did an excellent job. Yes there are some needs for changes, but not just for a Kid-friendly car.
#4675 of 4724 Re: 2009 Honda Element [ragets]
Aug 05, 2008 (4:23 pm)
Honda Fit safety, from the Insurance Institute:
Good and Good (highest ratings) on front-offset and side impacts. The front offset test is weight dependent, it assumes crashing into an equal weight vehicle. The side test is weight INdependent, it assumes a crash into all vehicles from a light pickup truck, which is a more demanding test that the NHTSA test (which uses a passenger car height crash sled).
I can't get safercar.gov to work for me right now (returns a scripting error) but Consumer Reports indicates a 5 star front side impact result and a "good" (is that 3 star?) for rear seat passenger. I consider that very good.
In terms of overall model safety, since the Element was sold for several years without side curtain airbags with VERY bad side impact test results, I'd say from a certain perspective the average Fit is "safer" than the average Element in side crashes...check the side impact results on the Element if you have the non-side air bag model.
#4678 of 4724 New Accessories
May 05, 2009 (7:36 am)
Hello everyone. I just bought OEM Honda Side Steps and a Hunter Brush Guard for my 2007 Honda Element EX 4wd. I'll post some pics once I receive them and put them on.
I was just wondering if anyone has already put these on themself and have any tips for me. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
#4679 of 4724 Re: New Accessories [ragets]
May 06, 2009 (12:25 pm)
I also just bought the tail light guards for my element too. Does anyone else have these on their Element? If so, any help with installation would be very useful. Thanks.
#4680 of 4724 Installed Accessories
May 18, 2009 (8:06 pm)
Well I went ahead and received my accessories and had a friend of mine install them for me. He did all 98% of it and I did like 2% of it. LOL, I wasn't much help anyway here is how we did it and how long it took and some obstacles we faced and had to overcome:
Tail Light Guards - eBay - $69 + FREE shipping
The directions (which weren't that great) said it would take about 10-15 minutes to complete. Well.... it took us about 15 minutes for each. It was relatively easy but just takes a little time. First you take out the two screws that hold the tail light in place. Then all you do is pop out the taillight. Then we placed the bracket around the piece that pops the tail light in. Pop the taillight back in. Then fit the tail light guard over the tail light and bolt in all the screws. make sure they are on correctly or they WILL scratch your tail gate and hatch. Even when they are on as tight fitting as they can they still leave a tiny scratch but hey, its worth it! They look great!
Side Steps - HandA Accessories - $285 + $52.78 shipping
Next we did the side steps. These are the OEM Side steps. We just followed the instructions that came with them and they went on relatively easy. They look great and took about an hour and a half to put them on.
Hunter Brush Guard - eBay - $180 +$50 shipping
The instructions that came with these might as well not have even came with them. Nothing was labeled and took us about 20 minutes to even find out what we needed to do. We bolted on the headlight guards to the main piece first. Next we found the pieces of the plastic that we needed to cut out to find the holes to bolt the guard on to. We almost thought the pieces were not going to bolt on because of 2 reasons: 1) On the drivers side the bracket piece almost didn't have the right spacing for the hole on the frame. 2) On the passenger side the radiator was bolted or connected on the frame by the holes on the frame. So we had to move that to get the main unit connected. That took a while. After that we connected the main unit to the big brackets connected to the frame of the car and turned it up so it was in the correct position on the front of the car. then we took off the two caps under the hood near where the headlight is bolted in. Everything was tightened up and is extremely sturdy. It will not even move when shook. It is very nice. In all, for the brush guard, it took about 4 hours to complete.
My Element looks AWESOME now, in my opinion. I already had a few Element owners turning their heads watching, just on my 10 minute drive back home. It almost looks like a totally different vehicle. I really am liking it a lot!