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  1. #1
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    Honda Element

    Anyone have one of these babies? Tell me about it.

  2. #2
    RJR
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    I got one very early in 2003. Leased it and am planning to buy it out next month.

    One downside: I put 5 windshields in it. I would come out in the morning to find a huge crack across it. Honda was surprisingly unhelpful. I haven't had it happen in the last 10 months or so, so perhaps they've got it figured out.

    Nonetheless, the vehicle is exactly what I needed and I love it. 4WD handles nicely in NE snow, flexible interior setup lets me get 3 bikes inside, and the no-carpet thing is great for muddy bikes, kids and dog.

    If you want a hitch, go to UHaul. They'll put one on that looks just like the factory hitch, for less than 1/2 the price.

  3. #3
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    4WD or AWD? FIVE windshields cracked due to??? Some sort of flex or stress in the body? Or vandals????

    5?
    whoa

  4. #4
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    More info please

    Quote Originally Posted by pin-it
    Anyone have one of these babies? Tell me about it.
    I'm drooling over one myself, especially now that they have a body-colored panel option.

    What is the real world gas mileage like for the AWD/manual tranny version?

    How capable is the AWD? Does it have any kind of anti-slip?

    What's up with the 5 windscreens?

  5. #5
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    Try here...

    Quote Originally Posted by pin-it
    Anyone have one of these babies? Tell me about it.
    Go to www.elementownersclub.com
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  6. #6
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    No, I don't own an Element, but I do own a Honda. I can tell you that they make some of the best, if not the best, reliable engines that are on the road today. Either get a Honda or a Toyota, you cannot go wrong.

  7. #7
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    I have one

    The cracking windshield was a design flaw in the early 03 models. I bought my E in July of 03 and never had a problem, the problem was fixed long ago. No worries man. Awesome active lifestyle car!

    As someone else mentioned be sure to check out the boards at http://www.elementownersclub.com/

  8. #8
    paintbucket
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    I've got an 05 model. The windshield cracked about 2 months after I bought the car, and I haven't bothered to replace it yet. Mine's a 2wd with a manual tranny. Mileage is between 22 and 26mpg depending on conditions.

    Great car. Truly a versatile interior. I even cram my tandem in there with just the front tire removed (fork mount on a 2x4), and there's still room to shift gears. Plus 6 year olds dig it.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

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    nobody's mentioning..

    A twin size air matress fits in the back perfectly. I also have a single air matress for when it is just me. Plenty of doo-dads to hang clothes lines in the interior of the vehicle. Awesome for pitting out of at a 24 hour race.
    4cyl engine has plenty of pep.
    Most practical vehicle I have ever owned. I really wanted to hate it, but I ended up falling for it.
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  10. #10
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    If you have a Honda, do you name it Fenry?
    Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back.

  11. #11
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    Did you know there was a TSB on that?

    Quote Originally Posted by RJR
    I got one very early in 2003. Leased it and am planning to buy it out next month.

    One downside: I put 5 windshields in it. I would come out in the morning to find a huge crack across it. Honda was surprisingly unhelpful. I haven't had it happen in the last 10 months or so, so perhaps they've got it figured out.

    Nonetheless, the vehicle is exactly what I needed and I love it. 4WD handles nicely in NE snow, flexible interior setup lets me get 3 bikes inside, and the no-carpet thing is great for muddy bikes, kids and dog.

    If you want a hitch, go to UHaul. They'll put one on that looks just like the factory hitch, for less than 1/2 the price.
    If you haven't already, check out the honda element owners club on tyhe net. They'll give you info about the TSB on the windshield. I believe that HONDA should be replacing them for you. There was a defect or something that was causing this.
    The more you give'r the more fun you have!

  12. #12
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    Elemental Attraction

    I've had my 2WD EX for a year (50,000 miles). Luv it. 24-26 mpg. No windsheild trouble (or any trouble).

    If you haven't driven one yet, take the test drive. Sit in one of the back seats and feel the room. Much roomier feel than way bigger and more spendy SUVs.

    Practical, reliable, and affordable - for plus/minus 20K I don't see anything else that compares.

    .d.

    Last year, I was able to fit into the Element 3 bikers, 3 bikes and enough stuff for 3 bikers to camp for 2 nites on a 600 mile round-trip racer road trip weekend. Two bikes on a hitch rack - the 3rd bike and everything else inside. We didn't have much, if any, room to spare, but we all rode comfortable.
    Last edited by LCdaveH; 12-16-2005 at 01:28 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pin-it
    Anyone have one of these babies? Tell me about it.
    I’ve had one a year and a half. It’s been the best vehicle for a traveling cyclist I could ever hope for. I have a 2wd 5 speed and get 20-26mpg depending on load, route, and speed. The versatility is unmatched by anything on the market. Roof racks bolt to the frame and are super solid. I can put my Dh bike in the back with both wheels on or two regular mnt bikes with the front wheels off and only 1 seat folded up or a full tandem. Direct Ipod hook-up is a big bonus for me. I haven’t had a spec of trouble with it in 38,000 miles. I couldn’t recommend the Element more.
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  14. #14
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endomaniac
    I’ve had one a year and a half. It’s been the best vehicle for a traveling cyclist I could ever hope for. I have a 2wd 5 speed and get 20-26mpg depending on load, route, and speed. The versatility is unmatched by anything on the market. Roof racks bolt to the frame and are super solid. I can put my Dh bike in the back with both wheels on or two regular mnt bikes with the front wheels off and only 1 seat folded up or a full tandem. Direct Ipod hook-up is a big bonus for me. I haven’t had a spec of trouble with it in 38,000 miles. I couldn’t recommend the Element more.

    Frick dude. Is that a Retrotec??

    One thing great about the Element is the bikes fit inside the car. Mileage wise, that means a lot. At freeway speeds, my 32 mpg car only gets about 25 mpg when there are bikes on top of the roof. So mileage is not bad if you compare it to a car with bikes on the roof all the time.

    fancois

  15. #15
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by pin-it
    Anyone have one of these babies? Tell me about it.
    I have an '03 EX AWD with the 5spd manual transmission. Bought it used last January with 18K miles on it for less than $16,000. I've owned something like 16 cars in the last 18 years and I can say that, hands down, this is my favorite. Lots of interior room, rubber floor works wonders when your 3 year old throws up in the back seat or you have to load a wet or dirty bike in it, the 270 watt 7 speaker stereo kicks bootie, and it actually has surprisingly good get-up-and-go --- much better acceleration than the 2002 Outback wagon I replaced. I built a custom interior fork mount and took one back seat out entirely for day-to-day bike transport, but I also have 3 fork mount Thule carriers on the roof racks. Mileage has averaged around 23 mpg in mixed driving - I commute 16 miles each way for work, about 2/3rds of which is interstate driving at 60 - 70 mph; however, I do have a lead foot, so my mileage numbers may be lower than most.

    Things I don't like: the handling is sub-par, at least compared to the Outback. Heck, it's a refrigerator on wheels, so it's not going to handle like a car, right? It's LOUD inside - I don't think there's any sound insulation in the doors or body panels. It rides very stiffly - you feel every single bump, pothole, etc... My gas gauge has never worked correctly - it tells me I'm out of gas when I have 3 - 4 gallons left in the tank, and Honda swears the fuel sending unit is working correctly. I've found the snow handling to be off-putting with the stock tires - when the front wheels start to lose traction, the power gets shifted to the rear, which makes the E tend to understeer on slick surfaces. Snow tires do help with that. The final gear ratio with the 5 speed manual is too low - at 75 mph, you're turning about 4000 rpms, so gas mileage goes WAY downhill after about 65 mph. (I live in Idaho and outside of the cities the freeway speeds are around 80 mph.) As for the windsheild, I have not yet had the dreaded crack, but any rock that hits it seems to leave a star or small crack, like the glass was not tempered correctly.

    All in all, I think that despite its stupid looks, stiff suspension, and noisy interior, I love it and can't think of a more useful vehicle or better bargain at its price point. Here's a gratuitous photo of it before a race I did this season - a good indicator of the spaciousness.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endomaniac
    I can put my Dh bike in the back with both wheels on ...
    Thanks! I've been wondering that, removing 20mm thru axle front wheels are a pain.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    Frick dude. Is that a Retrotec??
    fancois
    Nope its a Wily "Retro" along side a Niner "One9" and a Fisher "Rig".

    Accept for the DH bike we are 700C only household.

  18. #18
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    Green

    Seems to be the preferred color.
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  19. #19
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    I had a friend who took it 4 wheelin and he said it held it's own. Granted it doesnt have the clearance of a jeep or humvee but he said he was amazed on what it could do. He loved everything about the element until he totaled it.

  20. #20
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    Element

    My wife got one and I have to say I wasn't originally thrilled with the choice, but the Element has really grown on me and it's got a great motor, is fun to drive, and the AWD is great when snowboarding season hits. 3 bikes on the hitch rack is no problem, plus others on the inside if we take the seats out.
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  21. #21
    jrm
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    you know

    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    I'm drooling over one myself, especially now that they have a body-colored panel option.

    What is the real world gas mileage like for the AWD/manual tranny version?

    How capable is the AWD? Does it have any kind of anti-slip?

    What's up with the 5 windscreens?

    I wonder if there is a way that you could write off a part of an element givin your work situation.

  22. #22
    paintbucket
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    Quote Originally Posted by 95Stumpy
    I had a friend who took it 4 wheelin and he said it held it's own. Granted it doesnt have the clearance of a jeep or humvee but he said he was amazed on what it could do. He loved everything about the element until he totaled it.
    There's a difference between 4 wheeling, dirt roads, and beating the crap out of something.....
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  23. #23
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    a couple things to add...

    for some reason I had a hard time finding a black AWD EX 5sp in the Los Angeles area. had to settle for an automatic.

    this thing was made for mtb and camping. get the tailgate cabana from an online retailer cause you'll use it for your next Gooseberry trip.
    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/wcoast...42.jpg&.src=ph

    I recommend the 1upusa.com bike rack because the tailgate doesn't hit it and it looks damn cool just sitting on the back. Element is too tall to put bikes on a roof rack.

    It's very similar to the CRV, but more functional and has a wider wheelbase. Turning radius is super tight and I can parallel park into a Civic sized parking spot. the short wheel-base probably explains why some people think the suspension is "bumpy" or harsh.

  24. #24
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    well, sorta

    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    I wonder if there is a way that you could write off a part of an element givin your work situation.
    They reimburse me for mileage when I use my car for company business... which isn't that many miles. I rack up most of my miles in the monster 8 ton (no kidding) Ford F550 diesel bucket truck with dualies.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 12-17-2005 at 11:48 AM.

  25. #25
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    I own an Element and could not be happier. I love it. Most often I put bikes on top, but I do have a fork mount inside as well. The photo is of a bed I set up inside the Element at Moab last Spring.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH
    Thanks! I've been wondering that, removing 20mm thru axle front wheels are a pain.
    FYI, the RockShox "Maxle" is at least if not more convienient as a standard 9mm skewer, I've got it on my Pike.

  27. #27
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    Holy crap! What's the matter with you guys?

    These things weigh less than a semi, you will never be able to pull that tandem axle horse or boat trailer that you'll never own, reliable, good gas mileage, costs less than $40K, is not designed for off-road use, which 86% of 4WD SUV owners never do anyway, and the absolute worse........its practical. Oh, the horror! Isn't there laws against vehicles like this?

    You guys give me hope.

    Brian

  28. #28
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    they look cool, but i DO want something that can handle off-roadin really well, and for the money you cant beat a jeep cherokee, and parts will be around for them forever also.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdaleTony
    4WD or AWD?
    It's called RT4WD (Real Time 4 Wheel Drive) It is basically a front wheel drive vehicle, but when a front wheel starts to slip, the rear ones are engaged automatically.

    I don't know how well it works on the Element, but I am pretty unimpressed with it on my CRV. I mean, it is still 4wd and it got me through a winter in Norden, CA (50 feet of snow last winter), so I can't complain. What it does do well is allow a 2-ton 4wd vehicle with a TON of room to get mileage in the low to mid 20's, and that's pretty cool.

  30. #30
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    Side impact safetly the only reason I didn't buy one...

    The first time I looked at one and the way the doors work, I wondered about that. Sure enough, the tests on the side impact weren't great. If they improved that I'd feel better about putting my kids back there.

    I saw a side impact a few months back on a brand new 4 door F-150. Got broadsided at 50+ mph (car ran red light). The f150 flew through the air and landed on its side. Two women in front and two kids in the back. Barely a scratch on anyone (lots of screaming though).

    Lesson learned.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by 95Stumpy
    I had a friend who took it 4 wheelin and he said it held it's own. Granted it doesnt have the clearance of a jeep or humvee but he said he was amazed on what it could do. He loved everything about the element until he totaled it.
    My Element eats Humvees for lunch!
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  32. #32
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    If you do get the Element, cover that big opening in the front to protect the condenser.
    I made mine for under $10 with stuff you find at Home Depot.
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  33. #33
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    Ours has 30k on the dial, SAME windshield.

    This is the first car my wife has ever washed on her own. She loves it!

    We had a custom hitch installed so the sportworks handles most of the bike duty.

    But, she often brings a bike to work so she puts her road bike or SS inside wheels on and leaves it there.

    Dog likes it too.

    Oh yes, it does have to pull heavy duty work sometimes. I had to drive 60 miles away to pick up 400lbs of mail for work. Didn't know it was going to take up this much room. Still had space for 14 boxes AND my 7'2 gun and 6'8 shortboard.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by carnage
    they look cool, but i DO want something that can handle off-roadin really well, and for the money you cant beat a jeep cherokee, and parts will be around for them forever also.
    since you'll be needing them regularly!

  35. #35
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    I thought they were interesting. Shortly after they came out I saw one at a bike race. The owner was in the back with the hatch open so I walked over to talk...and slammed my forehead into the edge of the open hatch.

    After I picked myself off the ground I decided the Element was not for me.
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  36. #36
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    Thought you were a contractor..

    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    They reimburse me for mileage when I use my car for company business... which isn't that many miles. I rack up most of my miles in the monster 8 ton (no kidding) Ford F550 diesel bucket truck with dualies.
    nevermind...

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by pin-it
    Anyone have one of these babies? Tell me about it.
    Don't own one, but seriously test drove one earlier this year (we test drove Elements, Civics, CR-Vs, Corollas, RAV4s, Matrices, Scion Xbs)....I thought it was a great vehicle for it's purpose - had I been a single guy with a slightly better job, I'd likely have gotten one. However, my wife is the majority breadwinner, and it didn't suit her fancy, so much - we ended up getting a great deal on a Corolla S, and am quite happy....but I must add that I think the Element would be a GREAT vehicle for someone with an "outdoorsy" lifestyle - something I tried to impress upon Mrs. Fuelish, as we go camping a few times a year (with kids, etc), hiking, and I do the biking deal.....so now vehicle duty for that falls to my inherited (from my old dad who's no longer able to drive) Olds 88 - big car, decent power, old enough I don't mind it getting trashed and dirty, and YES, it IS my father's Oldsmobile (....or, as I refer to it...my Oldmansmobile )
    In nutshell, if you like the Element, I think you'd be happy - as a poster above noted, chances are much greater for long term happiness/reliability with a Honda or Toyota than pretty much anything else in their respective class. After decades of buying /leasing Ford F-150s, my father in law leased a big ol Toyota Tundra (??? I think - Toyota's full size pick'em-up truck...think it's the Tundra) and is a new convert - that thing is nice.... really nice truck.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    I thought they were interesting. Shortly after they came out I saw one at a bike race. The owner was in the back with the hatch open so I walked over to talk...and slammed my forehead into the edge of the open hatch.

    After I picked myself off the ground I decided the Element was not for me.
    Wow, Shig, what a huge design flaw.

    I'm surprised that the owner was able to get past the menacing hatch without being taken down.

    Seriously though, our hatch opens above even my head. Where you wearing platform shoes or something?

  39. #39
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    Okay, that's an Element with clearance. Dude that's smooth. How big is that lift? When I said he totaled his Element it wasn't off roading, I think he fell asleep at the wheel on the highway. He survived with minimal scratches though.

  40. #40
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    You mean this F150?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jouster
    The first time I looked at one and the way the doors work, I wondered about that. Sure enough, the tests on the side impact weren't great. If they improved that I'd feel better about putting my kids back there.

    I saw a side impact a few months back on a brand new 4 door F-150. Got broadsided at 50+ mph (car ran red light). The f150 flew through the air and landed on its side. Two women in front and two kids in the back. Barely a scratch on anyone (lots of screaming though).

    Lesson learned.
    Dit it:

    https://www.bridger.us/2002/12/16/Cr...operVsFordF150



    "The numbers are expressed in fatalities per million cars, both for drivers of particular models and for the drivers of the cars they hit."

    <table border="1" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody><tr> <td class="headline">Make/Model</td> <td class="headline">Type</td> <td class="headline" align="center"> Driver Deaths</td> <td class="headline" align="center"> Other Deaths </td> <td class="headline" align="center">Total</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Toyota Avalon

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">large</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">40</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">20</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">60</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Chrysler Town & Country

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">minivan</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">31 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">36 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">67</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Toyota Camry

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">mid-size </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">41 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">29 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">70</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Volkswagen Jetta

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">subcompact</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">47 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">23</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">70</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Ford Windstar

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">minivan </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">37 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">35</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">72</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Nissan Maxima

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">mid-size </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">53 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">26 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">79</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Honda Accord

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">mid-size </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">54 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">27 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">82</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Chevrolet Venture

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">minivan</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top"> 51

    </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top"> 34

    </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top"> 85

    </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Buick Century

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">mid-size </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">70 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">23 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">93</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Subaru Legacy/Outback

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> compact

    </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">74 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">24 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">98</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Mazda 626

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">compact </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">70 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">29 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">99</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Chevrolet Malibu

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">mid-size </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">71 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">34 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">105</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Chevrolet Suburban

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">S.U.V.</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">46 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">59 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">105</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Jeep Grand Cherokee

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">S.U.V.</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">61 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">44 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">106</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Honda Civic

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">subcompact</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">84 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">25 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">109</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Toyota Corolla

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">subcompact</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">81 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">29</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">110</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Ford Expedition

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">S.U.V.</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">55 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">57</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">112</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> GMC Jimmy

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">S.U.V.</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">76 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">39 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">114</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Ford Taurus

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">mid-size </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">78 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">39 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">117</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Nissan Altima

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">compact </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">72 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">49 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">121</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Mercury Marquis

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">large </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">80 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">43 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">123</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Nissan Sentra

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">subcompact</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">95 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">34 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">129</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Toyota 4Runner

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">S.U.V.</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">94 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">43 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">137</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Chevrolet Tahoe

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">S.U.V. </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">68 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">74 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">141</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Dodge Stratus

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">mid-size </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">103 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">40 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">143</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Lincoln Town Car

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">large </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">100 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">47 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">147</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Ford Explorer

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">S.U.V. </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">88 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">60 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">148</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Pontiac Grand Am

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">compact </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">118 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">39 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">157</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Toyota Tacoma

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">pickup </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">111 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">59 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">171</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Chevrolet Cavalier

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">subcompact</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">146 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">41 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">186</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Dodge Neon

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">subcompact </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">161 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">39 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">199</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Pontiac Sunfire

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">subcompact </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">158 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">44 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">202</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Ford F-Series

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">pickup </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">110 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">128 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">238</td> </tr> </tbody></table> "Are the best performers the biggest and heaviest vehicles on the road? Not at all. Among the safest cars are the midsize imports, like the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. Or consider the extraordinary performance of some subcompacts, like the Volkswagen Jetta. Drivers of the tiny Jetta die at a rate of just forty-seven per million, which is in the same range as drivers of the five-thousand-pound Chevrolet Suburban and almost half that of popular S.U.V. models like the Ford Explorer or the GMC Jimmy. In a head-on crash, an Explorer or a Suburban would crush a Jetta or a Camry. But, clearly, the drivers of Camrys and Jettas are finding a way to avoid head-on crashes with Explorers and Suburbans. The benefits of being nimble--of being in an automobile that's capable of staying out of trouble--are in many cases greater than the benefits of being big."

    I guess they had a redesign in the last year, so this may not relate to the new F150s.

  41. #41
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    Not quite. The photo shows a front impact, not side impact. The Element has pretty good front impact rating. As I said the SIDE impact is rated poorly. Your chart below doesn't even list the Element.

    Wanna compare apples with apples? Take a look at:
    https://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ncap/cars/3301.html
    https://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ncap/cars/3334.html

    Head injury criteria for the Element is twice as high.

    Now just because I saw an accident with an F-150 (which still has highly rated side impact) doesn't mean I'm saying its a truck you should buy. No interest in arguing nhtsa tests or having a 'good-ole time' exchanging pictures of Calvin pee-ing on Ford emblems.




    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    Dit it:

    https://www.bridger.us/2002/12/16/Cr...operVsFordF150



    "The numbers are expressed in fatalities per million cars, both for drivers of particular models and for the drivers of the cars they hit."

    <table border="1" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody><tr> <td class="headline">Make/Model</td> <td class="headline">Type</td> <td class="headline" align="center"> Driver Deaths</td> <td class="headline" align="center"> Other Deaths </td> <td class="headline" align="center">Total</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Toyota Avalon

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">large</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">40</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">20</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">60</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Chrysler Town & Country

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">minivan</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">31 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">36 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">67</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Toyota Camry

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">mid-size </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">41 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">29 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">70</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Volkswagen Jetta

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">subcompact</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">47 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">23</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">70</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Ford Windstar

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">minivan </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">37 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">35</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">72</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Nissan Maxima

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">mid-size </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">53 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">26 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">79</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Honda Accord

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">mid-size </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">54 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">27 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">82</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Chevrolet Venture

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">minivan</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top"> 51

    </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top"> 34

    </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top"> 85

    </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Buick Century

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">mid-size </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">70 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">23 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">93</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Subaru Legacy/Outback

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> compact

    </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">74 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">24 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">98</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Mazda 626

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">compact </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">70 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">29 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">99</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Chevrolet Malibu

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">mid-size </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">71 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">34 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">105</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Chevrolet Suburban

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">S.U.V.</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">46 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">59 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">105</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Jeep Grand Cherokee

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">S.U.V.</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">61 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">44 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">106</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Honda Civic

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">subcompact</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">84 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">25 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">109</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Toyota Corolla

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">subcompact</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">81 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">29</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">110</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Ford Expedition

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">S.U.V.</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">55 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">57</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">112</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> GMC Jimmy

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">S.U.V.</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">76 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">39 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">114</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Ford Taurus

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">mid-size </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">78 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">39 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">117</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Nissan Altima

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">compact </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">72 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">49 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">121</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Mercury Marquis

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">large </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">80 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">43 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">123</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Nissan Sentra

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">subcompact</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">95 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">34 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">129</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Toyota 4Runner

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">S.U.V.</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">94 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">43 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">137</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Chevrolet Tahoe

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">S.U.V. </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">68 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">74 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">141</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Dodge Stratus

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">mid-size </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">103 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">40 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">143</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Lincoln Town Car

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">large </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">100 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">47 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">147</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Ford Explorer

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">S.U.V. </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">88 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">60 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">148</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Pontiac Grand Am

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">compact </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">118 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">39 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">157</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Toyota Tacoma

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">pickup </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">111 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">59 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">171</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Chevrolet Cavalier

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">subcompact</td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">146 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">41 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">186</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Dodge Neon

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">subcompact </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">161 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">39 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">199</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Pontiac Sunfire

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">subcompact </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">158 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">44 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">202</td> </tr> <tr> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top"> Ford F-Series

    </td> <td class="article" align="left" valign="top">pickup </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">110 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">128 </td> <td class="article" align="center" valign="top">238</td> </tr> </tbody></table> "Are the best performers the biggest and heaviest vehicles on the road? Not at all. Among the safest cars are the midsize imports, like the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. Or consider the extraordinary performance of some subcompacts, like the Volkswagen Jetta. Drivers of the tiny Jetta die at a rate of just forty-seven per million, which is in the same range as drivers of the five-thousand-pound Chevrolet Suburban and almost half that of popular S.U.V. models like the Ford Explorer or the GMC Jimmy. In a head-on crash, an Explorer or a Suburban would crush a Jetta or a Camry. But, clearly, the drivers of Camrys and Jettas are finding a way to avoid head-on crashes with Explorers and Suburbans. The benefits of being nimble--of being in an automobile that's capable of staying out of trouble--are in many cases greater than the benefits of being big."

    I guess they had a redesign in the last year, so this may not relate to the new F150s.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Wow, Shig, what a huge design flaw.

    I'm surprised that the owner was able to get past the menacing hatch without being taken down.

    Seriously though, our hatch opens above even my head. Where you wearing platform shoes or something?
    Maybe they changed the hinge design. This one was all the way up and the underside/inside was just parallel to the ground.

    If there is anything I can possibly run my head into, I will do it. It is a family trait.
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  43. #43
    ballbuster
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    Good point.

    Honda added side impact airbags and ABS on the '06 as standard, instead of just the top trim level. I noticed that this test does not include side airbags. I guess we'll wait until the '06 crash results come in.

    The reason I brought this up, was that the F150 in '02 was so off the charts badly designed for safety, that I had a hard time believing that Ford released it in good concience. That is scary. Makes me wanna never buy a Ford, I tell you what.

  44. #44
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    Agreed. No Fords for Me

    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    Honda added side impact airbags and ABS on the '06 as standard, instead of just the top trim level. I noticed that this test does not include side airbags. I guess we'll wait until the '06 crash results come in.

    The reason I brought this up, was that the F150 in '02 was so off the charts badly designed for safety, that I had a hard time believing that Ford released it in good concience. That is scary. Makes me wanna never buy a Ford, I tell you what.
    Yeah, I recall shopping for minivans for the wife in '02. The Ford Windstar had carpets that you could lift up by hand exposing the wires underneath. No thanks!

    The 06 Element tests are out:
    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ncap/cars/3658.html

    No side airbags tested again as you pointed out.

  45. #45
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Maybe they changed the hinge design. This one was all the way up and the underside/inside was just parallel to the ground.

    If there is anything I can possibly run my head into, I will do it. It is a family trait.
    Hehe

    Look at post #33 again.
    You can see the hatch top and bottom. The top hatch sits about at my eye level, 6'3 or so.
    Perhaps that's why I notice it always.

    The little part at the bottom is a very useful tailgate.

  46. #46
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    Thanks for all the info guys. I thought these were more expensive.

  47. #47
    ballbuster
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    Yep...

    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    Honda added side impact airbags and ABS on the '06 as standard, instead of just the top trim level. I noticed that this test does not include side airbags. I guess we'll wait until the '06 crash results come in.

    The reason I brought this up, was that the F150 in '02 was so off the charts badly designed for safety, that I had a hard time believing that Ford released it in good concience. That is scary. Makes me wanna never buy a Ford, I tell you what.
    Looks like the rear seat side impact is still a serious safety concern on the Element. No side airbags in the back seat makes the back seat dangerous in a side impact.

    Then again, in my case, I haven't had anybody in the back seat of my car in over a year, so maybe I'm not that worried. I may worry once I have kids.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 12-18-2005 at 01:17 PM.

  48. #48
    fc
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    If you don't like the plastic fender panels of the Element, for 2006 they now offer painted fender panels. It's called the EX-P model. More money but at least now you have a choice.


    Another car to consider is the new Toyota Rav4. It goes on sale tomorrow! It's much bigger and looks a lot better.

    <img src="https://www.tundrasolutions.com/photopost/data/739/medium/06RAV4_Sport11.jpg">

    Lots of new cool things but the greatest thing is the V6 engine option. It makes 269 horsepower and gets 22/29 mileage city/highway. Is that crazy or what???????????? V6 option is not available until feb.

    Rav4 starts at $20,300.

    francois

  49. #49
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    This looks pretty cool...

    I'm even considering this car when it comes out. The new 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe. Might be worth waiting for...
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  50. #50
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    I have 2 bikes equipped with older Boxxers so both are regular style 20mm axles.

  51. #51
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    That is great!

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by BundokBiker
    this thing was made for mtb and camping. get the tailgate cabana from an online retailer cause you'll use it for your next Gooseberry trip.
    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/wcoast...42.jpg&.src=ph
    What does it do for you?

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jouster
    The Ford Windstar had carpets that you could lift up by hand exposing the wires underneath. No thanks!
    Good choice, check out the Lemonaide car book reports on the Windstar & Freestar.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    If there is anything I can possibly run my head into, I will do it. It is a family trait.
    LOL!

    The guys at work joke that the job isn't complete until I run my head into it.

  55. #55
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    Did anyone hear that the Element was being discontinued? Any truth to that?

    Also, given it's owner loyalty - I get the feeling the Element is going to be something like the VW microbus. Despite it's short-comings - it's price, versatility and *ahem* unique appearance will have it collected for years afterwards. Just a hunch - I could be way off.

  56. #56
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    I've had my Element about a month and have been really pleased with it. I have carried 2 bikes in there with plenty of room for more gear. I use fork mounts bolted to a 2x6 to attach them. I've owned several vehicles and this has been the most versatile I've ever had.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH
    What does it do for you?
    The Honda tailgate Cabana is pretty worthless.
    It does not seal out bugs for what it costs.
    Campertop tent from campmor.com is much cheaper and practical.

  58. #58
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    cool!

    Quote Originally Posted by Strafer
    The Honda tailgate Cabana is pretty worthless.
    It does not seal out bugs for what it costs.
    Campertop tent from campmor.com is much cheaper and practical.
    I wish I would have known about that option when I purchased mine... would have saved $80. They don't seem to have one that fits the Element, at least I couldn't find it. maybe the CRV version will fit? http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/st...roductId=11998

    craigh, the element is a fairly short vehicle and the cabana give you extra room when sleeping inside the vehicle. also with the hitchrack I have it gives me additional storage room inside the vehicle... I put a very large duffle on top of the rack inside the cabana.

    it's nice sleeping off ground, but the honda version of won't hold up to high winds so I pack a tent just in case.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Maybe they changed the hinge design. This one was all the way up and the underside/inside was just parallel to the ground.

    If there is anything I can possibly run my head into, I will do it. It is a family trait.
    I feel your pain. My skull is in constant danger.

    When I make my megabucks in the bike industry I will have an entire country built for the vertically advantaged. BTW, how's the Element for tall folks (6'5"ish)?
    Comparisons are odious.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilbike
    I feel your pain. My skull is in constant danger.

    When I make my megabucks in the bike industry I will have an entire country built for the vertically advantaged. BTW, how's the Element for tall folks (6'5"ish)?
    I'm about 6' and have at least 8 inches of headroom left.
    I can't even touch the windshield from driver's seat.
    You have to sit inside to really get a feel for how much space you have around you.
    Since you are so tall, your view of the speedo may get partially blocked by the steering wheel.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilbike
    I feel your pain. My skull is in constant danger.

    When I make my megabucks in the bike industry I will have an entire country built for the vertically advantaged. BTW, how's the Element for tall folks (6'5"ish)?
    At 6'6, I feel I can comment on this.
    Headroom dept. is incredible. Safe for up to 7' prolly.
    Legroom, could be longer but not uncomfortable for me.
    Shoulderoom...great, not touching the other passenger. A+ for me.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by EsHan13
    I'm even considering this car when it comes out. The new 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe. Might be worth waiting for...

    I looked into Hyundai's a while back simply because they were cheaper than Hondas and Toyotas, but I recall they seemed kind of junky to me, and not very solid. (They reminded me of my current Ford). I think my final conclusion was there's a reason they are cheaper.
    I've defected. Viva la pavement.

  63. #63
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    Have any tall people tried to sleep in it? Is it long enough?

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by bergziege
    I looked into Hyundai's a while back simply because they were cheaper than Hondas and Toyotas, but I recall they seemed kind of junky to me, and not very solid. (They reminded me of my current Ford). I think my final conclusion was there's a reason they are cheaper.
    Cheaper = lower resale value. At least thats the way it was when we had and Elantra. Had so many problems with the thing which was the main reason for selling it. Converted to a Toyota and couldn't be happier.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strafer
    My Element eats Humvees for lunch!
    That...is...so...sweet! Sometimes I miss my lifted and rednecked out Grand Cherokee. Never seen an E with a lift before!

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by bergziege
    I looked into Hyundai's a while back simply because they were cheaper than Hondas and Toyotas, but I recall they seemed kind of junky to me, and not very solid. (They reminded me of my current Ford). I think my final conclusion was there's a reason they are cheaper.
    You gotta realize every newer version is much better than previous.
    Mark my words, Hyundai will be competing directly with Honda and Toyota in 5 years, and they already are headed there.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    That...is...so...sweet! Sometimes I miss my lifted and rednecked out Grand Cherokee. Never seen an E with a lift before!
    Hehehe, it's a photochopped pic I found on the net.
    Elements can't be lifted that high due to transaxles.

  68. #68
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    Anyone remember the first Hondas imported to North America back in the late 70's & early 80's?

    Quality wise they were similar to the first Hyundais imported.

  69. #69
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    We are really pleased with our 4WD ex. It is not as good in the snow as our Outback, but it's competent. My wife was a little put off by the looks in the beginning (called it the troll-mobile) but she now says "I can't see it when I'm driving it"
    It is much easier to park that the Subaru, the gas mileage is a little worse, but it can hold SO MUCH STUFF inside. I really like the no-carpet thing too. Who's idea was it to put carpet in cars anyway?
    I'll have to agree that the 5th gear could definately stand to be a bit higher, and that the stock tires are pretty marginal.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH
    Anyone remember the first Hondas imported to North America back in the late 70's & early 80's?

    Quality wise they were similar to the first Hyundais imported.
    I don't agree, they were incredibly basic, small, and Spartan inside, but for the time they were a heck of a lot better built and more reliable. It's not really fair to compare something from 1980 to 2005. Cars in general today are ahead of what they were 25 years ago in terms of longevity and reliability. I mean, look at everything else available in 1980 if you want to compare the old Hondas to something. There was a reason they caught on as well as they did.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH
    Anyone remember the first Hondas imported to North America back in the late 70's & early 80's?

    Quality wise they were similar to the first Hyundais imported.
    I had a 1980 Honda. Extremely Reliable car. The paint was not good though. Drove it for a few years and got almost as much as I paid it on trade in!

  72. #72
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    I was talking about how they had major problems with rust, big holes in fenders, bumpers, etc.

  73. #73
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    What I was comparing was the first few years of cars imported from both Honda & Hyundai were nothing to write home about. That probably goes for most economy imports.

    I've never owned a car by either company though. An ex girl friend had an early 90s Honda Civic which I drove often and liked.

    The point of my original post was to say that from what I've read Hyundai has come along way since their first cars.

  74. #74
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    Element does what other SUV's can't.......

    Quote Originally Posted by EsHan13
    I'm even considering this car when it comes out. The new 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe. Might be worth waiting for...
    RAV 4 and Hyundai Santa Fe were mentioned. They, and all other SUV's for that matter, cannot carry full size MTB's neatly and efficiently inside the vehicle without taking at least the frt wheel off. Period, done deal. That's the advantage with The Element. Even HUMMER cant do that...........

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    I'm drooling over one myself, especially now that they have a body-colored panel option.

    What is the real world gas mileage like for the AWD/manual tranny version?

    How capable is the AWD? Does it have any kind of anti-slip?

    What's up with the 5 windscreens?
    I have an AWD 5 spd (2003). Up to almost 50,000 mi to date. Gas mileage - about 23 mpg average, give or take. (mix of city/hwy). Best I've done was 28 mpg (all highway, pretty well loaded with bikes and stuff, averaging between 70 and 80 mph on the NY thruway on my way to VT). Worst was probably somewhere around 21. It depends a lot on the way you drive it. Shift at 3k rpm every time? You'll hit 24-25 routinely. Rev to 5 - 6k? 21.

    The AWD isn't perfect. Basically, it runs in front-wheel drive until a wheel slips, then diverts power to the rear - I'd prefer the opposite (like Infiniti), if only because there's a fair amount of torque-steer from the FWD. That aside, it works incredibly well on snowy streets here in PA.

    Windshield issues plagued some early '03 models (mine was outside the VIN range covered by a Honda-issued tech service bulletin/recall) and also affected some 2004s.

    The windshield is large, nearly vertical, and probably not as thick as it should be - it's a big target for flying debris. Mine was hit by a very small piece of gravel six days after I bought it. The stone left a 1/2" crack, that spread overnight to about 6". Stayed like that for more than a year before finally spreading all the way across the lower portion of the windshield.

    I had mine replaced by Safelite last June for ~ $240 (I think). No problems so far with the replacement.

    All told, it's a fantastic vehicle for the price and I'd buy another in a heartbeat. Don't let the windshield horror stories scare you off. Go test drive one, and if you buy it - get one of the plastic bug deflectors for the hood. Seems to reduce the chance of something hitting the windshield.
    "mmmm....Beeeeeeer." - Homer J. Simpson

  76. #76
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    How about a Forester?!?!?

    Not sure on the pricing in the US. Here in Canada it's about $35,000 or so for the mid-range.

    I bought the '98 used back in early '03 with 60,000kms for just under $20,000 all in. A bit pricey at the time but low km's and now it's at 98,000kms and no big problems (replaced tires and struts last year but other than that only squeaks and rattles assoc. with an older, former city-only vehicle).

    Can sleep in it with the back seats folded (personal experience after a night of hard partying) and has transported 3 people and 3 bikes...INSIDE!!! with front wheels off (Rocky RM6, Ells Joker, Cove Hummer). It was tight and a relatively short trip but I was wow-ed!

    Also getting an itch to replace it but have only concluded that a newer Forester would be the way to go (Xterra = worse mileage than Forester but cool vehicle, Infiniti FX350 = too much $$$ for the vehicle).

    Good luck! Imports rock!

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Can't w8
    Good luck! Imports rock!
    Aren't all cars imports in Canada?

  78. #78
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    We love our 03 awd 5 speed with side airbags. It did have one new windshield after being hit by a rock but other than that everything has been great. We drove it from GA to CO last summer with two small children in the back and three bikes on top and it did great. It is truly the perfect car for bike nuts.

    Only two things I would change would be to add a sixth gear for highway cruising and possibly offer it with the new honda diesel from the euro market. The only real gripe I have is the mileage. 20-24 on avg. Oh and the lying fuel gauge.

  79. #79
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    No....not really....

    Quote Originally Posted by Earthpig
    Aren't all cars imports in Canada?
    We do have a Honda and Toyota plant, respectively in Ontario (can't remember the cities) that actually build and make the cars. Similarly, we also have a Chysler plant too, which I think make the minivans for the NA market!

  80. #80
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    Don't always believe those statistics. I walked away from this truck after being hit head-on at 65 mph by a Durano. My truck was a 99 F150 Supercab.
    c
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  81. #81
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    I must be getting old....

    Quote Originally Posted by CraigH
    Anyone remember the first Hondas imported to North America back in the late 70's & early 80's?

    Quality wise they were similar to the first Hyundais imported.
    The first Honda imported to the US market was the N600 in 1969. It featured a two cylinder motorcycle type (air cooled) engine that was around 650cc. The Civic was introduced to America around 1972.

    I remember when the "Made In Japan" label or stamp on anything meant it was basically junk and it was generally true in most cases. It was almost like a warning. Honda (and Toyota) have played a large part in putting that stereotype to rest. Reliability has always been the first word that comes to mind with the mentioning of Honda.

    When it comes to automobiles, the students (Japanese auto makers) have truly become the teachers.

  82. #82
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    There are also Ford & GM plants too.

    Not sure if there are other "import" plants in Canada.

  83. #83
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    love the element, went to buy one the first day they came out...but they only fit 4 passengers. That's it period, not even a 5th seatbelt in the car...i used to send an email once a week to honda begging them for a scrunched in 3rd row so i can carry my kids around and still have a killer bike vehicle on weekends...that thing is perfect for kids, and it's not a freakin minivan. why carpet in a minivan, i want the washable floors and seats for my kids!!! I can't believe they won't make some kind of hybrid between the odyssey and element!
    disclaimer: i (NO LONGER) live with my mom...

  84. #84
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    It's probably an economic decision...

    Quote Originally Posted by mcd
    love the element, went to buy one the first day they came out...but they only fit 4 passengers.... I can't believe they won't make some kind of hybrid between the odyssey and element!
    is my guess. To keep the costs down and the same versatility with the foldup seats, the 5th passenger was the compromise. There's plenty of room for a middle passenger in the back. If you're creative you might be able to fashion a lapbelt that's anchored by the other two seatbelts at the buckles.. of course I wouldn't want to ride in the seat that's not DOT approved.

    or, it could be a marketing decision... they want you to buy both vehicles

    Maybe your emails are working, I can see it now... new for 2007 5-passenger seating. That will suddenly make my 2005 out of date.

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    damn it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Strafer
    Hehehe, it's a photochopped pic I found on the net.
    Elements can't be lifted that high due to transaxles.
    I thought that was the new H4. I was just about to go to the Hummer dealership.

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    Lots of new cool things but the greatest thing is the V6 engine option. It makes 269 horsepower and gets 22/29 mileage city/highway. Is that crazy or what???????????? V6 option is not available until feb.
    Weight and aerodynamics have as much, if not more, to do with gas mileage than engine size. The old Wrangler's with the 6 cylinder got better mileage than those with the 4 banger. A corvette gets surprisingly good freeway mileage. My WRX wagon gets very similar gas mileage relative to the Element numbers posted here and has about 225 horsepower...in fact, it only gets a couple mpg's less than my '97 Civic which had about HALF the horsepower!

    I think the Element is a great design - versatile, unique and practical. If they swapped out the Haldex awd for a Torsen awd system, and offered an engine with a little more grunt, I'd be more likely to seriously consider one.

  87. #87
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    my Element

    I get approached at trailheads and gas stations by folks wanting to know about my Element. After more than a year of answering their questions I have my review of my ride down to:

    It's sportier than it looks
    .
    It's faster than it looks
    .
    It's not as economical as it could be due to the short gearing. It seems that Honda is a high-revving motor philosophy company. I drive around in fifth in town all the time. 4000 rpm at 75 is just too damn low a fifth gear. Give me a sixth gear and I'd get 30+ on the highway easy. Usually 22 in town, no more than 26 on the highway. AWD, five speed.

    It's not for everybody. I completely took out one of the seats in back and carry my bike lashed to the side back there. Blam, only 3 passenger carrying capacity. If you need more than 4 seats, forget it. With all four seats you don't have near the capacity to haul stuff that you'd think you would. Fold a seat up to the side (great idea, right?) and you block your line of sight out that rear window.

    I also own a Toyota Tacoma. When I go to Moab I take the truck because it gets about 24 mpg on the highway and has a lot more storage in the truckbed (and a topper so I sleep back there with a ton of stuff all around me).

    The seats fit me perfectly. Very comfortable no matter how long I sit in them. It's like sitting in your living room, so much headroom. No way do I feel cramped when driving.

    Very tight turning radius. Can u-turn on small streets easily.

    Got rid of the stock tires about two weeks after I bought it. They really suck. Replaced them with Big O Bigfoot Dual Grooves. Much quieter, smoother riding, corner much better. If you think the stock Element tires are OK you have a much higher tolerance for a rough riding loud horrible cornering tire than me!

    Since I also own a truck the tailgate of the Honda is not something new for me but it is cool to fold down the tailgate to work on stuff or sit on. The way the rear doors open up take some getting used to (don't shut the front ones first!) but all in all I'd like the Element more if the doors opened regularly or had a sliding side door like the Odyssey. That way when you sleep in the rear you could open the back doors easily without having to reach over, open the front doors first then wrestle with opening the rears. And they should put in a handle to be able open the tailgate from the inside if it's completely shut.

    The muck-proof interior is great. Even Honda doesn't recommend hosing out the interior but it's sure made to take more abuse than a normal vehicle.

    Lessee, what else? I like the steering feel and the clutch works wonderfully. I point out these kinds of details because I've owned other vehicles where little things like the steering feel etc. finally drove me nuts. Not so with the Element. It's a very fun car to drive. Sure, if I'd been in the designing meetings with Honda engineers I'd have lobbied for some different things (raise hand, meekly say do you HAVE to have the gearing so low? Do the consumers HAVE to be able to drive around town in fifth?) but I'm glad for my purchase. I'm going to have this car for a long time (I'm a previous Honda owner and know that it WILL last a long time).

  88. #88
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    by Strafer:

    "My Element eats Humvees for lunch!"

    Anything eats Humvees for lunch.

    ...Jeep owner


    Cheers

    El Cid is Spanish for The Cid..
    cmdrpiffle • 7 points •1 day ago
    Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for Cinco de Mayo

  89. #89
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    Dang....

    Quote Originally Posted by carter1
    Don't always believe those statistics. I walked away from this truck after being hit head-on at 65 mph by a Durano. My truck was a 99 F150 Supercab.
    c
    Look how deformed that cab space is. Dude, you are super lucky.

    Reality is, the cab area should not be that deformed. The front crumple zone should have absorbed the impact.

  90. #90
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    I looked at the Element a bit, due to having two huge dogs. The mileage was a factor, and while the sparse interior was kind of nice in a spartan sort of way, it did make for a louder car on the highway. Hondas are about as reliable as a car can come, though.
    I'm a longtime VW owner though... so we ended up getting a Passat wagon. It's fun with the big 2.8L Audi engine and a stick. Still gets pretty good mileage for a big car, and the dogs fit in the back well. This may be the first car i've ever kept the stock stereo in... that Monsoon system does sound good. I just need to get a hookup for my Ipod.

  91. #91
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    Yeah, these elements are super functional and they ride real nice too.
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    "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." (Ferris Bueller)

  92. #92
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    Twin Pugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by konacoffee
    Yeah, these elements are super functional and they ride real nice too.
    Keepin' a spare around, eh? Nice bikes.
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  93. #93
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    Thanks everyone!

    Thanks to everyone who posted to this thread!
    Around new year's I got mine and since then I've had quite a few adventures, never been happier with a car.
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  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Clyde
    Keepin' a spare around, eh? Nice bikes.
    Yeah, they are actually owned by Alpha bikes in Colorado. One of them is a large and the other is a medium. Pretty cool though.
    "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." (Ferris Bueller)

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    I love mine and I work for (cough) Chrysler

  96. #96
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    I love mine. Best damn car ever. It's utilitarian, filled with thoughtful touches, and a great value. The size belies it's storage; the interior is so spare and minimal that it has more useful space than most SUVs that are 50% larger. It's like a concept car that actually got built without being beaten by the 'mediocre' nerf bat that most marketing departments seem to carry around.

    I was't sold until I took a lunch-time surfing trip with three other buds one day. Before that, I used to say 'people pay money for a car that ugly?!?' Now I say, 'I'll never give it up.'


    Click the thumbnails

  97. #97
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by schnee
    The size belies it's storage; the interior is so spare and minimal that it has more useful space than most SUVs that are 50% larger.
    I think you hit the nail on the head. That's also what I found with the newer CR-V's. Very simple inside = lots of room. The other thing both cars (especially the Element) have going for them in terms of room is that by going with a more car-like chassis that sits lower to the ground you gain tons of vertical space inside the car. The same reason mini vans have so much more room than much larger SUV's.

    Quote Originally Posted by schnee
    It's like a concept car that actually got built without being beaten by the 'mediocre' nerf bat that most marketing departments seem to carry around.
    "Mediocre bat", I like that. Yeah, the reason the car works so well for an outdoor lifestyle is that they did not try and make it LOOK right.

  98. #98
    telemarc
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    Here is mine

    No problems . Love it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  99. #99
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    Ive owned an 04 for over a year now.
    Love it.

    The road noise really started to get to me after awhile so I bought some soundproofing mat. Took me about 2 days to take all the interior floors and panels out and line it with the soundproofing.
    HUGE DIFFERENCE!

    Heres a link for anyone interested.

    http://www.elementownersclub.com/for...ad.php?t=13929

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by telemarc
    No problems . Love it.
    I'm curious about your hitch/rack. One source I looked at mentioned that there are some rack and tailgate interference problems with some racks. What's worked and what hasn't worked?

  101. #101
    telemarc
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    .....
    Last edited by telemarc; 02-20-2006 at 08:17 PM.

  102. #102
    my girl rides also
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    I just bought one this past weekend, took it on an inagural road trip, its now a pigsty, and I love it.
    Moving to Montana soon, gonna be a dental floss tycoon.

  103. #103
    huh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jouster
    The first time I looked at one and the way the doors work, I wondered about that. Sure enough, the tests on the side impact weren't great. If they improved that I'd feel better about putting my kids back there.

    I saw a side impact a few months back on a brand new 4 door F-150. Got broadsided at 50+ mph (car ran red light). The f150 flew through the air and landed on its side. Two women in front and two kids in the back. Barely a scratch on anyone (lots of screaming though).

    Lesson learned.
    Yeah, but what would have happen if it landed upside down.

  104. #104
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    Not the point

    Quote Originally Posted by huh
    Yeah, but what would have happen if it landed upside down.
    Don't know. The F150 is heavier and the roof area is smaller which is a disadvantage, but smaller structures can be made stronger depending on the construction. Haven't seen info for either.

    I don't think it's as important though. The number of people dying from vehicles landing on their roofs is likely far smaller than deaths from side impacts.

    Head ons are even more likely and dangerous which is why all the front impact safety features appeared first.

  105. #105
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    I have been seriously thinking about getting one of these. I didn't really like the way they looked originally but it is soooo practical for the stuff I do. (Mt. Biking, Skiing, hauling a lab and 2 kids...etc) I did test drive the 5 speed 07 and really liked it alot. I'm in the process of redoing our home loan so I can't get the car until that's all over with. I am so anxious to get on though!

    I have one question for you all out there. It seems like most of the people said they have the manual 5 speed. Why? I have a Jetta now and actually all the cars I've owned are manual. But with traffic in CA like it is on my commute I've grown to hate it. I love it at any other time but while commuting it just flat out sux! I was considering buying the Element with an automatic. I'd like to hear some opinions on how the automatic is with pick-up or the reasons that people decided on the manual.
    </robert> ::: B1KER.com - Be One

  106. #106
    it's....
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    Manual is faster!
    But 5 spd is geared higher (numerically) so rpm is higher at highway speed, so hwy mileage is 1-2 mpg lower than auto.

  107. #107
    over 50 years of cycling
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    The Element is the Ultimate Bike Carrying Vehicle IMHO.

    I have had all sorts of bikes in my Element since I bought my blue 4WD, Auto, EX '03. I flip up the rear seat behind the driver and just roll the bike in, and hold it in place with a single strap. Wheels stay ON the bike. I ride my bike at lunch at work regularly and literally every second counts to get in a bike ride on a lunch break. Wheeling the bike out and riding it away without fiddling about is important to me. The tinted back windows are nice for being more discreet about having a bike in there all day too. And the rear sun roof is nice to have popped open to keep from baking out the bike in there day after day during the summer.

    I live in the western WA, in the Seattle area. If I can't get somewhere on the backroads with the 4WD and moderate clearance of my E, then its time to park it and get the bike out and start riding anyway. That IS The point, isn't it? To RIDE?

    Maybe it doesn't handle as well as a Subby STATION WAGON, but then you aren't stuck with a dinky station wagon either.

    The thin OEM windshield is getting to be a common problem on MANY new cars. Safelite glass seems to be a problem too. When I got the inevitable crack (Hey, my nissan truck cracked a windshield too. Thats life on the road!) I had it replaced with a higher quality, thicker glass. Pilkington is good glass, but even my FYG is holding up to stuff that easily takes out the OEM eggshell glass. Think of it as an upgrade.

    The OEM tires are also junk, just like most new cars these days...and bicycles, and are meant to be disposable. Turn them in for credit as soon as possible at your local tire dealer and get REAL tires. I switched to Nokian WR SUVs. They are AWESOME. Think of them as the Kenda Nevagals for cars. I have driven in snow in the Cascades and long winter drives deep into BC and passed by many spun out and flipped VERY pricey SUV's.

    And remember the Honda Element is CHEAP(if we ignore the Korean SUV garbage). I figure my new Ellsworth Epiphany is about the cost diffference I would have paid for any other of the cheapest SUVs.....Now if only I could convince my wife that is a fair trade off.

    So, save your money for a good bike and get a cheap but PRACTICAL Element.


    I am "Honu" on the Honda Element owners club forum. And I do NOT work for Honda...or Ellsworth.

  108. #108
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    The windshield was only an issue with 2003 models and has since been death with from 2004-present.

    I love my element: 2 guys, 4 bikes, full gear, no problems.

  109. #109
    over 50 years of cycling
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Honda 600...the original

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj
    The first Honda imported to the US market was the N600 in 1969. It featured a two cylinder motorcycle type (air cooled) engine that was around 650cc. The Civic was introduced to America around 1972.

    I remember when the "Made In Japan" label or stamp on anything meant it was basically junk and it was generally true in most cases. It was almost like a warning. Honda (and Toyota) have played a large part in putting that stereotype to rest. Reliability has always been the first word that comes to mind with the mentioning of Honda.

    When it comes to automobiles, the students (Japanese auto makers) have truly become the teachers.
    One of my sisters had the original, first year, Honda 600. Also known as a "pregnant skateboard" back then. It was a basic interior, suprisingly fast, could actually fit 4 people(5 even....but we were young and foolish back then), and built like,,,,,,well, like a swiss watch. It only died when one of my other sisters managed to put it in front of another car, coming out of a driveway.....and somehow live to tell the tale. I remember seeing one up in a tree one time off a windy mountain road. In an accident they got punted like a football.

    Otherwise a darn fun car and amazing gas mileage.

  110. #110
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    That Honda 600 had air cooled 2 cylinder motor, basically a motorcycle with 4 wheels and a roof.

  111. #111
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    If you guys don't have to travel much to work or generally don't drive too much I would recommend a full-sized rig. I hated full-sized rigs with a passion but recently I've realized they do serve a purpose.

    Check out my thread about this if you care to hear me out: http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=236290

  112. #112
    over 50 years of cycling
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Not much here showing how easily a bike loads into an Element, which SHOULD be a critical concern in this forum. I am trying my first photo upload showing one of my bikes loaded. It takes about 3 seconds to load/unload and tie down.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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