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  1. #1
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    Car of choice for a Mt biker??? Thinking Honda Element?

    Any of you out there own a Honda Element? I am thinking about getting a new car and the Element seems like a good fit. I was wondering if any of you out there could share your experiences with the Element?

    What kind of MPG's?
    Is it hard to get the bike on and off of a roof rack?
    Are you happy with the All Wheel drive?
    How does it handle in the snow?
    How is the overall quality?

    Right now I have a 2000 Forrester which I like alot

    I get 26-29 MPGs
    Bike is easy to get on and off.
    All wheel drive and handleing is amazing in adverse weather and dry pavement.
    I have almost 140,000 miles on it, could use a windshield and I think I might have a rear bearing going out, but, is this reason enough to consider another car? Probably not a good one but its got me thinking with this many miles, maybe I need a newer car

    Anyway if you like or don't like your honda element could you share your experience with me?

    Thanks
    Keith
    2007'ish Heckler and 2006 Chameleon
    If anyone needs the help of a prototype/custom machinist let me know.

  2. #2
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    a really old honda civic with a roof rack. great gas mileage and then your sure to have a bike worth more than your car

  3. #3
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    We LOVE ours ('06 EX-P, 2-wheel drive). It is the perfect car for our needs...dogs and bikes. My wife likes it because after a ride she can literally roll her bike in, shut the hatch, and drive home. No wheel removal necessary. It is a bit taller than our old Explorer and putting bikes on the roof rack (for trips) took a bit more effort, but even she (at 5'-3) could get hers up and down with a short step ladder. However, recently we installed a 2" receiver hitch and rack for our trip to Vail. It made thinks sooo much easier and our gas mileage (26.5 avg) didn't suffer like it does when they're on top.

    The biggest reason for us to get this was the ability to put our bikes inside without too many hassles. Ok, we love the cool orange color too.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowskilz
    a really old honda civic with a roof rack. great gas mileage and then your sure to have a bike worth more than your car
    +1

    that being said, the older civics are still hot items to be stolen/stripped. Hoping my 'newer' 2002 one is less subject to that...

    OP: I can get 4 bikes, 4 people and gear in mine when configured correctly. With just one bike/person (me!) I get right around 39mpg. Not what you're looking for...but think outside the box (get it! box! haahahahahahaha ...damn I'm funny)

  5. #5
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    The problem I had with the Element (other than styling) was that it only seats 4.
    So we bought the CR-V, which is the same chasis/engine/transmission...to compliment my Nissan Frontier

  6. #6
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    True, but it's just us two and we rarely have the opportunity to take more than 1 or 2 others anywhere.

    J

  7. #7
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    j-rocket

    Hello,

    I sent you a PM, but others might be interest too. What type of rack are you running? Could you tell us the brand, model, where you purchased it? It looks like you are running roof-type brackets on a hitch-type rack--I don't think I've ever seen one like it.

    Thanks

  8. #8
    conchord
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    I've had my Element for about a year and a half and love it.

    I opted for the internal rack (mounted quick release) when originally purchasing it - so I just throw the bike inside. It easily fits 2 mountain bikes inside standing up. The seats quickly fold up/down and can be taken out in a matter of seconds.

    Also, I love that you don't have to worry about tracking mud/dirt into the car. The inside is very easy to clean since there isn't any carpet. You can't go wrong if you like to do a lot of outdoor activities.

    My only complaint is that the wind can easily push it around when driving on the highway.

  9. #9
    Too busy looking good
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    The Element is a favorite topic at the Car and Biker forum:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/cars-bike-racks/

  10. #10
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    I tried to find my response to your PM, but lost it before I could copy and paste it here. Maybe you could??
    Here's an older MTBR review of the Yakima Hitchfork rack that we're currently using:

    http://www.mtbr.com/cat/accessories/...464_98crx.aspx

    We LOVE it, btw.

    J

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by keith13
    <snip>

    I get 26-29 MPGs
    Bike is easy to get on and off.
    All wheel drive and handleing is amazing in adverse weather and dry pavement.
    I have almost 140,000 miles on it, could use a windshield and I think I might have a rear bearing going out, but, is this reason enough to consider another car? Probably not a good one but its got me thinking with this many miles, maybe I need a newer car
    Nope. Keep the current car. Bearing and windshield are almost negligible in terms of cost. Drive the current one into the ground and save the $400/mo that you *would* be spending on a new car. Use it to take cool mt bike trips.

  12. #12
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    I have an 04 EX... LOVE that vehicle. I don't have a roof rack (yet) so I can't comment on that. I flip up one of the back seats and slide my bike right in.

    MPG's range from 19-22 for most driving.

    It handles the snow really well AWD kicks in quickly when needed. also, tires will make a difference in that dept. I have Pirelli Scorpions and they have been great in all conditions.

    I bought it because it's a Honda and I'm looking forward to driving it for years to come.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by keith13
    Any of you out there own a Honda Element? I am thinking about getting a new car and the Element seems like a good fit. I was wondering if any of you out there could share your experiences with the Element?

    What kind of MPG's?
    Is it hard to get the bike on and off of a roof rack?
    Are you happy with the All Wheel drive?
    How does it handle in the snow?
    How is the overall quality?

    I get around 22 - 24 MPG in general.
    I use a hitch rack. I don't use a roof rack because I'm afraid of rack-cidents.
    The all wheel drive only comes into play when a wheel slips and it seems to work fine.
    The Element tracks fine in the snow (see below).
    I'm very impressed with the quality.


    <br />
    I've got nothing witty to say....

  14. #14
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    If you like your current car, why would you replace it? 140K ain't sh#t if you keep up with the upkeep, no reason it shouldn't be good for another 140K.

    I have never bought a vehicle with less than a 100K, but I drive Toyotas

  15. #15
    t.i.t.s.ceo/FR amoeba rep
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    Quote Originally Posted by bustanutley
    If you like your current car, why would you replace it? 140K ain't sh#t if you keep up with the upkeep, no reason it shouldn't be good for another 140K.

    I have never bought a vehicle with less than a 100K, but I drive Toyotas
    Amen on the toyotas!! Both of mine have over 100K!
    BC 025b.jpg

    Big snow can be a bitc* with a two wheel drive!
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    I'm a cowboy on a steel horse i ride!

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBR me!
    Amen on the toyotas!! Both of mine have over 100K!
    Big snow can be a bitc* with a two wheel drive!
    My fj40's motor has somthing like 300K on it.


    and my dd tundra is pushing 170K runs like new, 2uzfe is a good motor.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bustanutley
    My fj40's motor has somthing like 300K on it.

    Yea, but where do you put your bike on that thing?
    I'm making enemies faster than I can kill them!

  18. #18
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    Big turn-off for me with the Element is the poor gas mileage. It's a square brick, a very non-aerodynamic shape and it's rather heavy.

    If you're looking for a new car, VW is putting out a TDI Tiguan (their new, little, SUV, essentially a Rabbit/Jetta on a lift) that's reported to get 48mpg on the highway by owners in Europe. There's gonna be a big craze when it get released, but things should settle after a short while. Currently VW is pre-selling their TDI Jettas at $1500 over msrp. I always figured pre-sale means you'd save money but people are crazy about the diesels, and for a good reason.

    Roof racks waste a lot of MPG, too. I was averaging 24mpg in my GTI with the bikes on the roof, about 22 hwy, 26 city. With a hitch I'm at 28.9mpg average. 32mpg hwy, 26ish city.

    With a small car you're stuck with a 1 1/4in receiver. An SUV lets you run a 2in, most of the time, which lets you carry up to 4 bikes instead of 2. I feel bad each time I take my GTI off road, it does not like that at all. Also, hitch racks have a major downside, that is, if the road is wet and/or dusty, the bikes are gonna be pretty soiled. I'm on a look out for a bag to cover up my drivetrain on those wet days.

    _MK

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pesqueeb
    Yea, but where do you put your bike on that thing?
    That is what the Tundra is for duhhh 7 DH sleds in the back no problem.

    As far as the rockcrawler goes though, I have taken friends wheeling and carried their bike in the back, wheeled some nasty trail with them shotty on the way up and they get to ride out.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    Big turn-off for me with the Element is the poor gas mileage. It's a square brick, a very non-aerodynamic shape and it's rather heavy.
    Fully agree, you guys are reporting low 20s for millage out of a car that small? My tundra gets 17-19 in the city 19-21 on the highway makes 300hp and I can pull 7K with it, aka rockcrawler on a flatbed.

    I would expect better millage from such a small unit

  21. #21
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    Check out a Honda Pilot too. The new version is a little ugly because they tried to "Hummer" it up but the older ones are roomy and not as boxy as the Element. Most have roof rails so a rack can install easy but only around 25 MPGs.

  22. #22
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    Is that Forester a 5spd or Auto?

    My Forester is a 5spd and I'm getting upwards of 34-35mpg...it's a 2003 with nearly 140k miles on it...and needs a new windsheild too. I'll be riding it out for the duration with her until she gives up the ghost.

    No matter what you drive...check out Hypermiling Techniques. Save money, save gas...reduced wear and tear on the car...and yes, reduce your carbon footprint.
    "I may be old and fat, but at least I'm slow." - Me


  23. #23
    Your retarded
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    My 2000 Tundra is for sale. It fits a lot of bikes. I'm just saying.
    A trail that’s too difficult wouldn’t exist because it’d never be used. But, trails can exist that’re too difficult for you.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bustanutley
    Fully agree, you guys are reporting low 20s for millage out of a car that small? My tundra gets 17-19 in the city 19-21 on the highway makes 300hp and I can pull 7K with it, aka rockcrawler on a flatbed.

    I would expect better millage from such a small unit
    I call bullsh*t!
    Toyota says 13mpg city and 17 mpg highway.
    And manufacturers aren't ones to underestimate their mpg spec.
    http://www.toyota.com/tundra/specs.html

    Here's some more reviews on Tundra mpg.
    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.ef55111

    I'm not saying it a bad truck, Tundra's are badass but I am happy to get 20mpg highway from my 1992 Toyota 4x4 pickup.
    I do agree that the Element's MPG ratings are pretty poor IMO. But it also cost's 10-15k less than a well equipped 4x4 Tundra.
    Last edited by wormvine; 08-01-2008 at 11:11 AM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    Nope. Keep the current car. Bearing and windshield are almost negligible in terms of cost. Drive the current one into the ground and save the $400/mo that you *would* be spending on a new car. Use it to take cool mt bike trips.

    Best advice yet. The longer you keep your current vehicle, the more money you save.
    If you had a $400 car payment, that would be $4800 a year. You could fix your sube, pimp it out, Get a new bike, and pay for the gas to make fun bike trips. Plus your insurance is less as well. Get a good hitch rack like the Thule T2. You can fit a 3rd bike inside if you have to.
    And laugh all the way to the bank.

  26. #26
    Your retarded
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    I call bullsh*t!
    Toyota says 13mpg city and 17 mpg highway.
    And manufacturers aren't ones to underestimate their mpg spec.
    http://www.toyota.com/tundra/specs.html

    Here's some more reviews on Tundra mpg.
    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.ef55111

    I'm not saying it a bad truck, Tundra's are badass but I am happy to get 20mpg highway from my 1992 Toyota 4x4 pickup.
    I do agree that the Element's MPG ratings are pretty poor IMO. But it also cost's 15-20k less than a well equipped 4x4 Tundra.
    My 2000 Tundra gets 16-17 MPG in town and easily 19 MPG hwy. My 1994 Toyota Pickup gets 19 MPG everywhere, regardless of where I'm driving it, but I've only owned it for a month so I don't have a lot to base off of.
    A trail that’s too difficult wouldn’t exist because it’d never be used. But, trails can exist that’re too difficult for you.

  27. #27
    Stand back
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_

    Roof racks waste a lot of MPG, too. I was averaging 24mpg in my GTI with the bikes on the roof, about 22 hwy, 26 city. With a hitch I'm at 28.9mpg average. 32mpg hwy, 26ish city.

    _MK
    Wow, way to sell me on getting another hitch for my car. I'd figured mileage would improve (currently getting ~27 with mostly hwy driving), and I take my bike w/ me at least 3 days a week.

    Also, and I wish some of those idjits that write radio adverts were here paying attention:
    It's mileS per gallon. Not mile per gallonS, unless you drive a car w/ a leaky gas tank.
    Hence, it's just mpg, not plural (mpgS), as I hear on the radio all the time.
    My little grammar rant for the day...

    And I second the idea of keeping your Forester, so long as you don't mind driving it. Car payments suck. All the time I think about what if I had just waited another 6 months to buy my last car. Thankfully ours are both paid off now, so I can invest some $$ back into them. New shocks and springs by the end of summer!
    Golden Bike Park

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  28. #28
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    I think i'd rather be seen in a Subaru Outback than that Element......

  29. #29
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    I'd rather be driving this to the trails....


    ...with a MTB, of course.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    I call bullsh*t!
    Toyota says 13mpg city and 17 mpg highway.
    And manufacturers aren't ones to underestimate their mpg spec.
    http://www.toyota.com/tundra/specs.html

    Here's some more reviews on Tundra mpg.
    http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.ef55111

    I'm not saying it a bad truck, Tundra's are badass but I am happy to get 20mpg highway from my 1992 Toyota 4x4 pickup.
    I do agree that the Element's MPG ratings are pretty poor IMO. But it also cost's 10-15k less than a well equipped 4x4 Tundra.

    Wrong tundra fool, mine is an '00 and I keep track every tank. I have done a few things to make it run a little more efficient and make a bit more power. I am a motorhead and know my way around vehicles.

    The smaller toyota pickups do not do much/if any better because their motors are so anemic.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickle
    My 2000 Tundra gets 16-17 MPG in town and easily 19 MPG hwy.
    I'm pushin 20mpg with a K&N intake, unless I'm towing.

    Sure is nice to have a pick-up for biking, IMHO.
    Throw muddy bikes and equip in the back, no worries.
    Can carry multiple muddy little buddies, no worries.
    Great for shuddles, & long trips.
    The tailgate is a makeshift pub after a ride.

    I've found that instead of gettin a new car with improved gas mileage; keep my paid-for truck and...

    drive less = bike more (see Grociery Getter)
    plan drives to maximize efficiency
    drive slower
    - Cheaper for me right now

    This setup is headin on a 3 week road trip to BC/CB and points inbetween next month...



    Lookin at 13-14mpg like this, still cheaper than hotels if the trip is planned right
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  32. #32
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    I have an '04 Element and a '97 Tacoma

    My Element gets about 24-25 in town, maybe up to 29 on the highway if I coast a lot. My 1997 V6 truck gets about 16 in town in the winter to about 19 in town in the summer and up to 24 on the highway in the summer. I take the truck to Moab and plan on getting about 23 for the entire trip.

    The Element isn't for everyone. It only seats 4, it's tough to sleep in the back because the rear hatchback door doesn't open from the inside. It is very fun to drive, though. It's a 5 speed. Seating comfort is perfect for me. I pull up one of the rear seats and hook it to the side, roll in my bike without taking off the front wheel and lash it to the other seat. I can carry 2 bikes and two/three passengers comfortably. I've never owned a rack or a hitch. Usually I just own a truck and throw the bike in the back.

    The Element works for me and I'll probably keep it for a long time. It's a Honda and should last. Wish it had a real tall sixth gear so I'd get over 30 on the highway!

    If you do go ahead and get an Element check craigslist for a '04 and save some bucks.
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO
    Is that Forester a 5spd or Auto?

    My Forester is a 5spd and I'm getting upwards of 34-35mpg...it's a 2003 with nearly 140k miles on it...and needs a new windsheild too. I'll be riding it out for the duration with her until she gives up the ghost.

    No matter what you drive...check out Hypermiling Techniques. Save money, save gas...reduced wear and tear on the car...and yes, reduce your carbon footprint.
    I might drive a little aggressive??? I have a 5 speed and I have gotten 30 out of it before, but never more than that an I have gotten as low as 22 in bad weather taking advantage of the AWD. I would like to get 30 on a regular basis and I guess I ll just keep the Subaru, I just heard alot of rumours that people get the same mileage out of their Elements that I get out of my Forrester. I only paid 6 G's for it with 90,000 miles and I only had to put a new coil in it once in 50,000 miles SO I don't have a car payment at the moment and I do want a DHX-C for my Heckler so.... I guess I ll fix ye'olde soooobie so I can have more beer and bike money in the months to come

    Thanks for all of the input I appreciate it
    Keith
    Last edited by keith13; 08-01-2008 at 12:31 PM. Reason: spelling
    2007'ish Heckler and 2006 Chameleon
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bustanutley
    Wrong tundra fool, mine is an '00 and I keep track every tank. I have done a few things to make it run a little more efficient and make a bit more power. I am a motorhead and know my way around vehicles.

    The smaller toyota pickups do not do much/if any better because their motors are so anemic.
    They discuss other Tundra years and it's not the only Edmund's forum that discusses gas mileage. I have read alot of other posts and 20mpg seems to not be the norm. Maybe your lucky. But if you perform mechanical modifications it's not really stock and is not a fair comparison.
    There is an Element mod to add a 6th gear to the tranny. It pushes the Elements mpg to 28. That's without any other mods. Such as better air intake and alternative timing.
    But we weren't really talking about modified maximums.


    Here is another review for a 2000 V-8 4x4 Tundra?
    http://www.pickuptrucks.com/html/rev...tundra_v8.html

    Gas mileage, as expected in a DOHC engine, was good, measuring an average 15.8mpg during city and highway driving
    .

    YMMV

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy
    My Element gets about 24-25 in town, maybe up to 29 on the highway if I coast a lot. My 1997 V6 truck gets about 16 in town in the winter to about 19 in town in the summer and up to 24 on the highway in the summer. I take the truck to Moab and plan on getting about 23 for the entire trip.

    The Element isn't for everyone. It only seats 4, it's tough to sleep in the back because the rear hatchback door doesn't open from the inside. It is very fun to drive, though. It's a 5 speed. Seating comfort is perfect for me. I pull up one of the rear seats and hook it to the side, roll in my bike without taking off the front wheel and lash it to the other seat. I can carry 2 bikes and two/three passengers comfortably. I've never owned a rack or a hitch. Usually I just own a truck and throw the bike in the back.

    The Element works for me and I'll probably keep it for a long time. It's a Honda and should last. Wish it had a real tall sixth gear so I'd get over 30 on the highway!

    If you do go ahead and get an Element check craigslist for a '04 and save some bucks.

    You can mod the tranny to add a 6th gear. Google it..
    Here is a link that mentions it!
    http://www.austingasprices.com/Forum...ge_no=21&FAV=N

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    They discuss other Tundra years and it's not the only Edmund's forum that discusses gas mileage. I have read alot of other posts and 20mpg seems to not be the norm. Maybe your lucky. But if you perform mechanical modifications it's not really stock and is not a fair comparison.
    I think it depends on driving habits. I was getting close to 20mpg HWY prior to any mods

    But dont take it from someone who has owned a Tundra for 5 years and monitors mileage like a hawk, drink Edmunds Kool-Aid.
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by lubes17319
    I'd rather be driving this to the trails....


    ...with a MTB, of course.
    Hah, leave the bike and take that moto on the trail

  38. #38
    Your retarded
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    Gas mileage, as expected in a DOHC engine, was good, measuring an average 15.8mpg during city and highway driving.
    I don't even get numbers that low when I drive aggressively. I don't know, dude. If I'm really kind on the Hwy, I can top 20 MPG and it's not hard to do. That's a far cry from your quoted 15.8 MPG.

    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR
    I think it depends on driving habits. I was getting close to 20mpg HWY prior to any mods

    But dont take it from someone who has owned a Tundra for 5 years and monitors mileage like a hawk, drink Edmunds Kool-Aid.
    Hahaha, exactly. I've owned my truck for two years and run the numbers on every fillup. My findings differ considerably from the articles you posted.
    A trail that’s too difficult wouldn’t exist because it’d never be used. But, trails can exist that’re too difficult for you.

  39. #39
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    Hah!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stinkyfan
    I think i'd rather be seen in a Subaru Outback than that Element......
    A friend of mine drives an Explorer and always wants to drive. If I insist on driving us in my Element he's so freakin' embarrassed, he's almost sliding down his seat onto the floor. Doesn't bother me at all.

    Speaking of Element mileage...when I'm in parking lots people come up to me with questions. They think it's a hybrid and gets 50 highway or something. When I say 24 city/27 hwy they're really disappointed (so am I.) One lady did start asking me questions and I began my newbie-Element speech but it turned out she had one. Yeah and not only that she said she gets 40 on the hwy. She just loves her high mpg Element!

    I said, lady, you're not getting 40, your math is wrong. Same motor, same tranny, I got 30 just once and that was coasting down every hill in town and on the highway, once. She insisted she gets 40. Maybe she filled up, pushed her Element onto a downhill highway section and coasted 80 miles then re-filled. For all of you out there, figure 28 tops hwy. If you coast a lot.
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  40. #40
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    Oh yeah, how does it get around in the snow? I have a set of studded real snow tires I put on for the winter and I can go anywhere (I have AWD). The changeover from 2wd to AWD is seamless, don't even know when the rear tires are kicking in. The only thing that stops me is if the snow is so deep it scrapes under the car. That's when I take out my 4wd Tacoma with its studded real snow tires. I can plow through snow that's up to the fenders with the Tacoma. For awhile.

    If I was in the designing room with the Honda guys when they were planning the Element I would have lobbied for quite a few different things but overall I'm pleased with mine. It's real practical for someone without kids but that's kind of a limited market. With kids the Odyssey makes a whole lot more sense.
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  41. #41
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    even better

    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y
    Hah, leave the bike and take that moto on the trail
    OR...ditch the moto, rig that bike rack up to your road bike and haul your MTB to the trail.

    Now we're talking!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickle
    I don't even get numbers that low when I drive aggressively. I don't know, dude. If I'm really kind on the Hwy, I can top 20 MPG and it's not hard to do. That's a far cry from your quoted 15.8 MPG.

    Hahaha, exactly. I've owned my truck for two years and run the numbers on every fillup. My findings differ considerably from the articles you posted.
    I don't know what to tell you. If I was buying a Tundra, I would do the same research. I would read the same articles. I wouldn't just take 2 guys on the internet's word for it. Not that I don't believe what you both say. But there are many mpg reviews out there and they are not all from Edmunds.com. But I didn't know they were the devil either.

    I hope no one gets bent out of shape with the "THat's BS" comment. When you are with a bunch of wrench-heads and someone makes a claim, you don't say,"Why sir, I believe you are mistaken"... You say, "That's B*llshite!.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR
    I think it depends on driving habits. I was getting close to 20mpg HWY prior to any mods
    I agree, driving habits can drastically change MPG.

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    I really like the Element, I just wish it got better mileage. The CR-V is essentially the same car but gets about 2-3 mpg better. Unfortunately they quit making the manual a year ago. I've got the 88 RT4WD civic wagon and it goes just about anywhere and gets 25-30 mpg. I just wish it was safer, so I'm thinking about a Subaru or a newer civic.

    Something you have to keep in mind with people's mpg claims in Colorado is that your mileage is drastically different depending on your altitude. Going west of town you get about 5 mpg better. Keep this in mind when asking people about their used cars. Go by the official figures in Edmunds if you want something accurate.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by schmoab
    I really like the Element, I just wish it got better mileage. The CR-V is essentially the same car but gets about 2-3 mpg better. Unfortunately they quit making the manual a year ago. I've got the 88 RT4WD civic wagon and it goes just about anywhere and gets 25-30 mpg. I just wish it was safer, so I'm thinking about a Subaru or a newer civic.

    Something you have to keep in mind with people's mpg claims in Colorado is that your mileage is drastically different depending on your altitude. Going west of town you get about 5 mpg better. Keep this in mind when asking people about their used cars. Go by the official figures in Edmunds if you want something accurate.
    Are you saying that higher altitude gets you better gas mileage?

    _MK

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    keep forester, put wrx motor in it! Do they still make the forester GT(or whatever it was called) with the detuned STI motor? yumm (even though it is a dumb looking car )

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by schmoab
    Going west of town you get about 5 mpg better. Keep this in mind when asking people about their used cars. Go by the official figures in Edmunds if you want something accurate.
    Whoa there, 'Lil Buck. Say that again.
    A trail that’s too difficult wouldn’t exist because it’d never be used. But, trails can exist that’re too difficult for you.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    I don't know what to tell you. If I was buying a Tundra, I would do the same research. I would read the same articles. I wouldn't just take 2 guys on the internet's word for it. Not that I don't believe what you both say. But there are many mpg reviews out there and they are not all from Edmunds.com. But I didn't know they were the devil either.

    Just take it for what it is.
    Two guys on teh interwebs that own the vehicle and are not testing it or reviewing it and get a bit better mileage than those who were reviewing the product.

    Maybe because we own the vehicles and pay for the ga$ goin in (as opposed to a paid reviewer) we tend to not hammer down the throttle as much.

    Maybe its cuz I only drive my Tundra downhills
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR
    But dont take it from someone who has owned a Tundra for 5 years and monitors mileage like a hawk...
    That is just that right there. 95% of drivers who "care" about gas prices don't track their mileage, let alone over time and noting changing factors and their outcome.

    Just by paying this much attention, you will stretch each gallon. It isn't that you monitor it, it is that you strive to achieve it.

  50. #50
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    the solution is in your foot


  51. #51
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    [QUOTE=keith13]Any of you out there own a Honda Element? I am thinking about getting a new car and the Element seems like a good fit. I was wondering if any of you out there could share your experiences with the Element?

    What kind of MPG's?
    Is it hard to get the bike on and off of a roof rack?
    Are you happy with the All Wheel drive?
    How does it handle in the snow?
    How is the overall quality?

    /QUOTE]

    I just picked this up (this week) to upgrade my 2001 clunker Bravada (14 MPG).

    20-21 MPG (and eight cylinders)
    No roof rack! (cuts MPG anyway)
    2 or four wheel at the push of a button (Bravada was all wheel)
    Don't know yet.
    Big as a truck, rides like an SUV.

    I needed some extra space for PA gear. Took it to Vail today and averaged 21 MPG, even in traffic on the way up. To me that's a big improvement.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_
    Are you saying that higher altitude gets you better gas mileage?

    _MK
    In general, all other things equal, it does.

    Lower air density (with higher altitude) = lower drag. Also, lower air density for a given power output = driving with the throttle pedal closer to the floor which = higher volumetric efficiency of the engine. ie you're using less fuel to suck air past the throttle plate, which means better mpg. You're a double winner there on fuel mileage.

    Disclaimer: I am a mechanical engineer, but not an engine calibration engineer. So, the above is how I understand the average IC engine to operate, and is backed up by some empirical testing. Take it for what's it's worth.

    As far as cars for mountain bikers, I drive a non-turbo Subaru Impreza wagon, 5 speed and love it. As far as mpg, my driving style is focused on keeping the mpg high, and I generally get 28 - 35 mpg depending on where/how/what season, etc.

    For objective fuel economy data to compare between cars, check out fueleconomy.gov

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR
    Just take it for what it is.
    Two guys on teh interwebs that own the vehicle and are not testing it or reviewing it and get a bit better mileage than those who were reviewing the product.

    Maybe because we own the vehicles and pay for the ga$ goin in (as opposed to a paid reviewer) we tend to not hammer down the throttle as much.

    Maybe its cuz I only drive my Tundra downhills
    Have you taken it down Apex yet?

  54. #54
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    Signature? I don't need no stinking signature.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    Best advice yet. The longer you keep your current vehicle, the more money you save.
    If you had a $400 car payment, that would be $4800 a year. You could fix your sube, pimp it out, Get a new bike, and pay for the gas to make fun bike trips. Plus your insurance is less as well. Get a good hitch rack like the Thule T2. You can fit a 3rd bike inside if you have to.
    And laugh all the way to the bank.

    Amen! Owned plenty of cars, range'in from payments from 300-560 and it sux when cash is very limited and then depending on credit cards for your trips.

    My best car was the one paid off. Yep 2000 Subie w/ 137K and runs strong, looks new and forked about 600.00 in repairs in one year (valve adjustment & fuel injector went bad). Still better then paying 300 per month for 12 months.

    Like he said ^ (above), save that cash and buy or save for them trips.
    I also think in Colorado auto registration is pretty outrageous and from what I was told, newer the car, the more you gotta pay per year
    Last edited by TX_Shifter; 08-01-2008 at 10:17 PM.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by insect_o_man
    You should try to hook-up a Pop-up trailer on that sucker. Let us know what kind of MPG you'll be getting (kidding)

  57. #57
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    it's definitely good on gas!!!


  58. #58
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    [QUOTE=schnauzers]
    Quote Originally Posted by keith13
    Any of you out there own a Honda Element? I am thinking about getting a new car and the Element seems like a good fit. I was wondering if any of you out there could share your experiences with the Element?

    What kind of MPG's?
    Is it hard to get the bike on and off of a roof rack?
    Are you happy with the All Wheel drive?
    How does it handle in the snow?
    How is the overall quality?

    /QUOTE]

    I just picked this up (this week) to upgrade my 2001 clunker Bravada (14 MPG).

    20-21 MPG (and eight cylinders)
    No roof rack! (cuts MPG anyway)
    2 or four wheel at the push of a button (Bravada was all wheel)
    Don't know yet.
    Big as a truck, rides like an SUV.

    I needed some extra space for PA gear. Took it to Vail today and averaged 21 MPG, even in traffic on the way up. To me that's a big improvement.
    ...and it's almost 8000 lbs... not kidding. I can not for the life of me figure out how Toyota sells a single truck when you can buy a GM with a Vortec motor. My friend's '00 SUBURBAN gets better mileage than any Toyota truck, and is about the same as a Honda Element. Toyota's reputation for building "greener" vehicles than GM is absolute crap. Toy has never built an engine worth its weight in iron.

    As far as volumetric effeciency at high altitude, this is true, however most street engines are tuned to achieve maximum cylinder pressures at rpms quite a bit below their torque peaks, so there is a trade off there. Engines can achieve maximum effeciency at wide open throttle given the right build. In general, I get worse fuel economy in the mountains because I have to drive the car up hills.

    Also, as far as fuel economy ratings, the standard was changed some time ago, so its easy to achieve better fuel economy with good driving habits. It used to be very difficult to achieve the fuel economy your car was rated for. My '06 Impreza is rated at 28 mpg hwy, but I can get that driving 85 mph. Going slower, I've recorded up to 32 mpg. Tires make a big difference too, snow tires cut a few mpg off my mileage last winter. My new all season tires roll much faster.
    .




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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113
    Toyota's reputation for building "greener" vehicles than GM is absolute crap.
    Dooood, check the photo. My truck is VERY green.

    K & N intake has slightly boosted my mileage. I'd be willing to say its better than a 'burban. Not great, but not bad neither.
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR
    Dooood, check the photo. My truck is VERY green.

    K & N intake has slightly boosted my mileage. I'd be willing to say its better than a 'burban. Not great, but not bad neither.

    Toys are not bad trucks, there are some very good things about them, but GM's Vortec truck motors are a lot better. The 5.3 Vortec in my friend's burb isn't that powerful, but it will get a few mpg better than any Toy truck.

    Mods really do help, sometimes a lot. I had a '90 burb with a mediocre TBI 350, it got 16/22 mpg with 4.56 gears, 34" tires and a 4" lift. I also had a '76 Toy fj55 landcruiser, after I put a modified Vortec 350 in it I averaged 22 mpg and had over 300 hp at the wheels. I've found exhaust headers to make the biggest difference. Be careful with a K&N filter if you have a MAF sensor. Oil from the filter can get on the sensor wire in the MAF and you'll run lean. Sure, you get better fuel economy, but running lean isn't a good way to achieve this. I cracked a set of headers on my 'cruiser because of this....
    .




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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113
    Oil from the filter can get on the sensor wire in the MAF and you'll run lean.
    I try not to over oil any one spot, and usually let it hang out for a couple hours before re-installing.

    I thought that if you did over oil the filter and some hit the sensor, the check engine light would come on. That hasn't happened.
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  62. #62
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    The Element is nice and practical. The Forester is about the smallest vehicle I like. I get 25ish in the city and arond 27-28 on the highway. I got right under 32 mpg last year on the highway but am stil waiting to see that again.

    Thinking of getting a bigger vehicle but 17 mpg is the city isn't pleasant- maybe I'll get one just for the trips- dogs, camping gear, etc. Sequoia, Tahoe, Suburban, Tundra Crew, and what Schnauzers has, are all fair game. I'd still run the Forester as a daily driver, sell/trade the Camry, and get a bigger "weekend" vehicle. Now is the time to buy a gas guzzler, I suppose. The Forester is becoming so full and cramped with 2 people, two dogs, bikes, and gear.

  63. #63
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    My Saab 9-5 averages 33 on the highway and I can put everything I need in it. I don't understand the SUV or truck thing for mtbing. I like to have a fun car that will rip up the mountain so I can get to the trail's quicker and with half the fuel cost. That said, if you do need the room, screw the Element (IMHO) and get a Minivan all pimped out! More room, same gas mileage, and has a hook up for an Xbox!

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyer
    The Element is nice and practical. The Forester is about the smallest vehicle I like. I get 25ish in the city and arond 27-28 on the highway. I got right under 32 mpg last year on the highway but am stil waiting to see that again.

    Thinking of getting a bigger vehicle but 17 mpg is the city isn't pleasant- maybe I'll get one just for the trips- dogs, camping gear, etc. Sequoia, Tahoe, Suburban, Tundra Crew, and what Schnauzers has, are all fair game. I'd still run the Forester as a daily driver, sell/trade the Camry, and get a bigger "weekend" vehicle. Now is the time to buy a gas guzzler, I suppose. The Forester is becoming so full and cramped with 2 people, two dogs, bikes, and gear.
    And now is a great time to pick up a guzzler! They're going for cheap now-a-days!

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX_Shifter
    You should try to hook-up a Pop-up trailer on that sucker.
    Stay tuned...

    Quote Originally Posted by TX_Shifter
    Let us know what kind of MPG you'll be getting (kidding)

    Box-O-Rox (tm, patent pending)

    With a Box-O-Rox load of 50+- lbs, my caloric expenditure was 2459 over 18.9 miles = 130.11 Calories per mile.

    Assuming alcohol has 200 calories per ounce, x 128 = 25600 calories per gallon.

    So, mileage would be 25600/130.11 = 196.76 mpg (not taking into account incidental navigation errors introduced by the fuel source)
    Last edited by insect_o_man; 08-02-2008 at 11:06 AM.
    Signature? I don't need no stinking signature.

  66. #66
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    A long time ago I had a Honda Civic Wagon

    Maybe it was a 1990 ?? It had the same awd system as my Element has (Realtime 4wd). It had a 1600cc engine, 5 speed with a super low granny gear (Labeled SL) on the gearshift. Essentially my Element now starts out in what was the Civic's SL and tops out on the Civic's fourth gear. That Civic always got over 30 in town and once I got low 40s on a trip to Utah. I wish I could grab that Civic's fifth gear in my Element, I might get over 30 hwy regularly (it's got a 2.4 engine so of course it's gonna suck more gas). The Civic had just enough power for me and a passenger and two bikes.

    I could sleep in the back of that Civic Wagon 'cause the rear doors opened up like normal doors from the inside (unlike the Element). I could take the front tire off and roll my bike in and lash it to the side, sort of like my Element. It had well over 150k miles on it when I sold it to a guy who worked for me and it's still going strong. I also sold a 1987 Tacoma to the same guy with over 270k miles and it's still going strong.

    Right now my '04 Element has 32k miles and my '97 Tacoma has 112k. I could keep these two vehicles for a long long time at this rate. And they're both paid off! I almost bought a friend's 2003 Audi Allroad last year but this question kept popping up in my mind: WHY?
    So it seems to me to be, this thing that I think I see.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by $ally Hu$tle
    it's definitely good on gas!!!

    Cuz it doesn't use any gas?

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR
    I try not to over oil any one spot, and usually let it hang out for a couple hours before re-installing.

    I thought that if you did over oil the filter and some hit the sensor, the check engine light would come on. That hasn't happened.
    The o2 sensors should compensate too, I think the MAF wasn't off enough for the computer to throw an error code. The header company was well aware of this issue and wouldn't warranty their product. It was Sanderson headers, and they knew the motor I was putting it on and didn't warn me, or sell me headers with enough clearance for the sparkplugs in the Vortec heads. I still hate Sanderson and will never buy another one of their products.
    .




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  69. #69
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    Certain situations a truck can be really handy...

    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    My Saab 9-5 averages 33 on the highway and I can put everything I need in it. I don't understand the SUV or truck thing for mtbing. I like to have a fun car that will rip up the mountain so I can get to the trail's quicker and with half the fuel cost.
    Trucks can come in handy for camping (and shuddling) in remote areas.

    We (five of us) had a Saab on the other side of this great trail for pick-up....


    A Saab with 2 bikes on the roof, and 3 on a ghetto trunk rack. 5 bikers inside, and no room for a darn cooler. That Saab had no suspension left.. We rolled over a 4" rock and it scraped the underneath pretty good. Good thing it was a friends company car.
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moustache rider
    Cuz it doesn't use any gas?
    It's not a diesel if thats what you're implying.
    I was just sayin it's good on gas!

  71. #71
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    No question <img src="http://a36.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/117/l_64576be1d0f0b8e33db8320b0ed57493.jpg" />
    double duty <img src="http://a225.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/50/l_4d97384f0946c91e086c12d426d312e0.jpg" />

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by $ally Hu$tle
    it's definitely good on gas!!!

    I saw you west bound on 6th last week.
    Happiness is a warm 2 stroke.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by keith13
    Any of you out there own a Honda Element? I am thinking about getting a new car and the Element seems like a good fit. I was wondering if any of you out there could share your experiences with the Element?
    Two approaches to bike carry, inside or outside. Element definitely appears to
    be carry inside amenable.

    I have an older Jeep Cherokee. With the back seat down, I just take the front tire
    off, and the bike lies down perfectly in the back and the front tire actually sits on
    one of the pedals leans against the backseat. The front forks ride on the folded down
    sticking up seat front. No bounce, no rubbing of bike parts against bike parts.
    The fork is sort of folded back underneath the frame.

    My point is, there might be more creative ways to fit a bike into any car with
    a fold down seat. Downside is only one bike without some sort of foam cover to
    separate them.

    On the other hand the bike is inside the vehicle and can remain there all summer
    long (well sometimes it shares the back with some ski stuff too )

    -r

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    I don't understand the current trend of the bread box cars...Scions, Elements. They have no 'lines' to speak of and aerodynamically they're the equivalent of a billboard! Also, all this talk about MPGs in the mid 20's as being good...wtf...seriously? How about something like a Mini Clubman w/ a small trailer for your camping & biking schtuff? It can push 40MPG if driven conservatively. Granted, I'm a single guy so I can go pretty lean on camping stuff...

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y
    I don't understand the current trend of the bread box cars...Scions, Elements. They have no 'lines' to speak of and aerodynamically they're the equivalent of a billboard! Also, all this talk about MPGs in the mid 20's as being good...wtf...seriously? How about something like a Mini Clubman w/ a small trailer for your camping & biking schtuff? It can push 40MPG if driven conservatively. Granted, I'm a single guy so I can go pretty lean on camping stuff...

    Nail on head.. somehow my campairson turned into a sh#tstorm of "you are a dirty f-in liar", no idea and don't know.

    Oh and dave the 2uzfe is a fantastic motor.. you really can't do better for a gasser, good power, milage and will run for a very long time. Other toyota truck motors are very underpowered, however my F rocks in a wheeling truck however.
    Last edited by bustanutley; 08-02-2008 at 08:25 PM.

  76. #76
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    Yes we just sold our touareg to get the clubman. So far the only draw back is ALL 82 mini dealers are out of stock on new cars and only taking orders. I just drove from CO to NY with the DH bike on top and got 28.7mpg at an average of 78mph for the whole trip. With no bike on top I get about 37mpg in CO and thats with hard driving. I don't think it would be my only car if going to the mountains in the winter is needed but from what others have told me it is fine for a year round car in Denver. Test drive one if you can I bet you will have a smile when you are done! Just make sure to drive the S.

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    I've got a 2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport with a Thule T2. I love it because it is a proven 4by and its not to flashy and very durable. I get about 24 MPG hwy. Before my T2 I had a roof rack on it and didn't get as good of gas mileage (obviously). I'd say go with a cherokee and a hitch rack, just my 2 cents...

  78. #78
    percocet pioneer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve71
    I saw you west bound on 6th last week.

    I spend way too much time driving that stretch..ugh..........

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBX5
    Yes we just sold our touareg to get the clubman. So far the only draw back is ALL 82 mini dealers are out of stock on new cars and only taking orders. I just drove from CO to NY with the DH bike on top and got 28.7mpg at an average of 78mph for the whole trip. With no bike on top I get about 37mpg in CO and thats with hard driving. I don't think it would be my only car if going to the mountains in the winter is needed but from what others have told me it is fine for a year round car in Denver. Test drive one if you can I bet you will have a smile when you are done! Just make sure to drive the S.
    Nice, I thought the Clubman's would be good cars for mtb. For the winter time, you can always pick up a second set of wheels with snow tires, that's what I do (on my Subaru) and it makes a HUGE difference.

  80. #80
    Thread Terrorist
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR
    Trucks can come in handy for camping (and shuddling) in remote areas.

    We (five of us) had a Saab on the other side of this great trail for pick-up....

    A Saab with 2 bikes on the roof, and 3 on a ghetto trunk rack. 5 bikers inside, and no room for a darn cooler. That Saab had no suspension left.. We rolled over a 4" rock and it scraped the underneath pretty good. Good thing it was a friends company car.
    Mmmm.....portal trail....

    Tru dat! its not the best for room, but who cares, I like making it back to GOlden from Moab in 3.5!

  81. #81
    Thread Terrorist
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBX5
    Now THAT is the Ticket!

  82. #82
    inner peace to make peace
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    '04 Element EX

    Quote Originally Posted by keith13
    Any of you out there own a Honda Element?
    What kind of MPG's?
    Is it hard to get the bike on and off of a roof rack?
    Are you happy with the All Wheel drive?
    How does it handle in the snow?
    How is the overall quality?

    Keith
    we luv our Honda Element AWD.
    we added the Fog/Driving lights.

    fits two MTBs, racing gear, three adults, and one dog (Cheaspeak) , alll inside.

    will sleep two adults (and one dog) inside, on the practically flat surface.

    I'm a "lead foot" (got a ticket doing 97 in the Element, early morning, no traffic, coastal Hwy 101 NorCal), so I get about 19~21 mpg on mostly highways. [I get 8 in city and 15 on highway in my Nissan Titan KC 4WD pickup, to compare]

    rides well enough on snow and sand (last suv was a Jeep Wrangler with limited slip differentail axle)

    easy to clean up inside

    CONs: my dog's paws torn the front seat. can feel bumpy for rear passengers.
    “Everyday is a good day,” from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

  83. #83
    inner peace to make peace
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    Nope. Keep the current car. Bearing and windshield are almost negligible in terms of cost. Drive the current one into the ground and save the $400/mo that you *would* be spending on a new car. Use it to take cool mt bike trips.
    sounds like good advice.
    “Everyday is a good day,” from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

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