Honda Element Opinions- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Honda Element Opinions

    I am thinking about getting rid of the pickup and getting one of those funny lookin' Honda Elements. Since they are marketed towards outdoorsie type people, I was hoping there'd be a few of yall here who have them, or know somebody who has one. Thoughts and opinions please? Thanks.

  2. #2
    KuNgFuDeViL
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    I don't know anyone who has one, but I can give you my opinion anyway. Much like that one Scion model (I don't remember which one) I think it is just a big ass box. I am sure they are pretty nice vehicles, but I personally wouldn't want to own one. Just looks like it was put into a trash compactor and that is what came out. Go with a Subaru! I love mine.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboy
    I am thinking about getting rid of the pickup and getting one of those funny lookin' Honda Elements. Since they are marketed towards outdoorsie type people, I was hoping there'd be a few of yall here who have them, or know somebody who has one. Thoughts and opinions please? Thanks.
    I see a lot of them at cycling races and triathlons. They're great for holding bikes. I think you can actually get skewers attached to the floor so you only have to take off the front wheel and get to leave the bikes upright. No, they're not the coolest looking vehicles on earth, but they might be one of the most practical. They get good gas mileage too.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboy
    I am thinking about getting rid of the pickup and getting one of those funny lookin' Honda Elements. Since they are marketed towards outdoorsie type people, I was hoping there'd be a few of yall here who have them, or know somebody who has one. Thoughts and opinions please? Thanks.
    The only thing stopping me from getting one is the lack of a bench rear seat. With 2 kids, we simply need space for a 5th passenger (kids' friends, mother-in-law, etc).

    It's not just a "big box" like the other poster said. Go to the Honda site and fool around with some of their flash animations. It's a pretty cool car, and you can set it up a lot of different ways, including to haul multiple bikes.

  5. #5
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    I've had mine for about a year and a half and 24,000 miles. Best car I ever had. Excellent in snow and ice. When the back seats are folded up, 2 bikes fir nicely in there with all wheels on. I can lay down full length in there. And, it is not a chick car or lesbian car. It also has nice screw in mounts built into the roof for my Thule rack.

  6. #6
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    Element vs Scion

    Quote Originally Posted by KuNgFuDeViL
    I don't know anyone who has one, but I can give you my opinion anyway. Much like that one Scion model (I don't remember which one) I think it is just a big ass box. I am sure they are pretty nice vehicles, but I personally wouldn't want to own one. Just looks like it was put into a trash compactor and that is what came out. Go with a Subaru! I love mine.
    Element has 160 hp versus Scion's 108 hp.
    Element is marketed towards outdoors type (option of seats that you can hose down, for example) versus Scion marketed towards urban/city.
    Honda base price almost 18 grand
    Toyota base much lower at almost 14 grand
    The Honda is a bit longer, wider, and DEFINITELY roomier, and maximises space better.
    Toyota significantly better on gas, though the Honda is not bad (honda 21/26 vs toyota 31/34)
    A better comparison for the Element is the Toyota Rav 4, which I just traded in, but I don't even think those two are a good comparison. The element blows the rav 4 away, IMO. The only reason I had the Rav was the Element didn't come out till after I had gotten the Rav.

    All in all, though they might appear somewhat similar (the Element and Scion), they are VERY different, and are marketed and appeal to different buyers.

    I almost bought an Element, stangely enough the wife and I were torn between the Element and the Odyssey (yes, a minivan), and if I didn't have a daughter and plan on another in the near future, we would've gotten the element.

    Personally, I really liked the Element, both driving it and the features, and the look. My wife hated the look until we drove it, then she fell in love with it. I like how the seats fold up for more storage, fold down for sleeping. The cockpit of the Element feels big and roomy, and with seat pushed way back there was still tons of leg room in the back seat. I also love Honda's and am constantly amazed at how well they hold their value versus other cars (Toyota's are similar but I just recently had a horrendous experience with Toyota on both the dealer and Corporate level, and would never personally buy another Toyota NO MATTER WHAT). And Honda's are reliable. I've also got a 97 Honda Accord wagon, which maybe one day will be replaced by the Element (if the Element is still similar in at minimum 5 years, which is how long I plan to have the wagon)

    The model Element I looked at besides coming with a cd player also had a built in aux line-in feature so I could plug my mp3 player right in.

    Subaru's are good cars, but they're not a great comparison to the Element. Compared to either the Subaru Forrester or Impreza Wagon, the Element has more cargo space, more rear leg room (not important to some, but the first time you and four buddies go on a long trip to the trails you'll be hearing about it as well as probably moving your seat up), and is cheaper. Granted, all models of Subaru's come all wheel drive, important to some, not so to me (as long as I've got front wheel drive, anyway), but for the price of a Forrester (a better comparison to the Element than the Impreza) you can definitely get an all wheel model Element, probably fully loaded down to side bars and a roof rack.

    I'm not knocking wagons, as I noted above I own a wagon and I admit I love wagons but if I had to pick a wagon or the Element, I'd go with the element any day. But that's just me.

    Go test an Element, and you'll probably buy an element!
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  7. #7
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    I thought I wanted one until I drove my neighbor's. The visiblity really sucked for me - I couldn't see out the sides very well at all without totally relying on the mirrors. Disappointing.
    The more complicated it is, the more that can go wrong.

  8. #8
    telemarc
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    We love our element

    We have had our element for almost 2 years now after ordering one and getting the first one on Vancouver Island. I have not 1 complaint about this vehicle and have done 2 trips across the province with 4 bikes on the back. We can easily get 2 DH or Xc bikes in the back , 3 if you really had to. We don't use the skewers as you don't need to take the tires off. Just wheel em in backwards and use hold downs .There are lots of loops to tie to.
    I originally had the 1-1/4 hitch with a swagman X-treme 4 bike rack ,but with our new bikes this year that are not as rack friendly we are changing the setup to:
    2" Valley hitch. Took 30 minutes to install.
    Sportworks T2 2 bike rack with 3rd and 4th bike add on.I have the 2 bike rack already and it is awesome.I also got the riser assembly to get more clearance for ferry ramps. The bike add on's should arrive this week.The toaster has tons of power and is great in the snow.Easy to clean out(big sponge) and it is the first vehicle that has a good enough stock stereo that I didn't have to install a custom one, and I'm fussy about my music.When we daytrip we usually just put the bikes in side .Then we don't have to worry if we stop along the way.The rear seats came out the first week and have stayed in the garage.(NO KIDS!!!!!)But are easy to install( 2 minutes)If we had 2 new vehicles we would but another one without a dought or a WRX for fun not function.

  9. #9
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    Fugly!

    maybe if they did one up in a Partridge Family Bus Scheme That'd be cool!

    a cars a car. to each their own! but this one cool!
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  10. #10
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    I have a Scion XB and it has a lot of room for its occupants (I am 6'3" and have plenty of leg/head room). I believe the Element is better for fitting bikes inside even though the XB's back seats fold flat. I can get my bike in there, but have to remove the front wheel and lower the seat.

    IMO the XB is better looking than the Element. I think the Element looks good when the quarter panels and bumpers are painted.....Come on Honda! Comparing horspower (160 vs. 108) isn't really a good comparison because the XB is much lighter than the Element. Expect the Scion to knock down close to 10 mpg more.

    Quality wise both are top notch, but I beleive Toyota makes a more reliable product in general. My family had nothing but problems with their Honda Odyssey....two transmission, abhorent road noise (we decibel metered it and it was louder than my nephews tacoma with a flomaster!) and other smaller less than perfect attention to details. For what I paid for my XB.....the quality is outstanding.

    If you do get the Element....paint the quarterpanels and bumpers to match, then lower it with some 20"'s...that would look very nice.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboy
    I am thinking about getting rid of the pickup and getting one of those funny lookin' Honda Elements. Since they are marketed towards outdoorsie type people, I was hoping there'd be a few of yall here who have them, or know somebody who has one. Thoughts and opinions please? Thanks.
    I've had an element since 2003. I got one of the first with side air bags.

    I love it. It handles well. easily holds both of my bikes....with the wheels on. It can easily carry 3 bikes inside with wheels on and the 2 back seats up.

    It's great. I now can bike...then go eat somewhere without having to constantly worry that my bikes would be stolen...like I used to with my pickup. It's also great around the city. It's short so you can park it anywhere.

    I highly recommend it. I like the way it looks.

  12. #12
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    They Kick ass

    My buddy has one and he can put mtn bikes and all his camping stuff with room to spare. Not to mention, leg room in the front is insane. I am 6 foot and can almost walk around in the damn thing. I have an explorer with a V-6 and his little 4 banger is a straight up tie in a drag race with me. Plus...I think they look kind of cool. When I get back from Japan...I might get one. Honda makes good ****.
    Over and out...

  13. #13
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    Son of a b&&$#@

    I've been wanting one of those but the ferry clearance had me wondering. Now I know. Your post just cost me about $25,000+, CAD. Jim ((Bowen Isl)

  14. #14
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    You know that Dateline special every year where they go to the Insurance Institute place and watch them crash cars? The Element is the only car I have ever heard the guy actually say, "You will die in this crash, there is no doubt about it." Usually they throw around the maybes and what not. This time it was a "will". Pretty scary.

    I don't know about the Scion, and I am sure other cars test porly as well, but that statement turned me off for sure. Now their data doesn't seem to be as scathing, and they did only test the non-side air bag model (they are available, but Honda did not submit one for testing.) I watched the dummy's head smash through the window and down on top of the concrete smasher-thing. It was the only car where the driver's head actually left the vehicle.
    http://www.highwaysafety.org/vehicle...side/s0308.htm

    All I am saying here is really think this through. If you get one, definitely go for the side airbags.
    Last edited by 24601; 04-10-2005 at 09:00 AM.

  15. #15
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    Don't compare with Xb

    If you see them side by side, nothing like each other.
    Element is by far the best vehicle for MTB and skiing combined, which are my two favorite sports.
    Muddy bike fits upright inside without taking off anything, and mud just wipes off the interior.
    I can change into ski clothes inside the heated car, just need to stoop but I can stand with my legs straight (i'm 5'11") to put on a pair of ski pants.
    Another good option would be a small pickup with locking camper top.

  16. #16
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    You Should Read the Whole Article

    Quote Originally Posted by 24601
    You know that Dateline special every year where they go to the Insurance Institute place and watch them crash cars? The Element is the only car I have ever heard the guy actually say, "You will die in this crash, there is no doubt about it." Usually they throw around the maybes and what not. This time it was a "will". Pretty scary.

    All I am saying here is really think this through. If you get one, definitely go for the side airbags.
    I read the article, but there is no mention of death...or heads flying off. The only areas where there were problems was the side....and that was without side air bags. I'd like to see a comparison of similar vehicles without air bags

    You also forgot to mentin that the Element got excellent..."Best Pick Frontal" for frontal crashes. It got the highest ratings for that.

    Just get the Element with side air bags and you'll have a vehicle that's most likely safer than most in it's catagory.

  17. #17
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    No Scions in Canada

    and I don't buy my vehicles based on safety ratings, I buy them to drive. If we all bought based on safety, there'd be no pickups (lack of crumple zones), no SUVs (higer centre of gravity= rollover when unstable), etc etc etc.

    I do drive defensively and would get side airbags. But just as I risk a broken neck doing FR at 58, (had 2 fellow riders break backs in /04), I choose to drive and take my chances with other less-responsible drivers that may, or may not, hit me.

    Life's a risk. Thanks for the warning.

    Jim

  18. #18
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    Look again at the site

    It got 'Best Pic' for frontal crash (Good in all catagories, the highest rating), and the side test was done without airbags. I wonder how much that would throw the test off?

  19. #19
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    They so much as say that Honda should have provided a side airbag model, but Honda chose not to.

    I understand the written report is less scathing. That is why I said it is less scathing. I am telling you what the guy actually said on TV, and what was obvious in the video. The head smashed through the window and onto the top of the barrier. There were no bones about it, you gonna die. Why they chose not to be as blatant in print I do not know. I am just telling you what was said and what was seen. Yes, side airbags would lessen that, which is why I said get the airbag model.

    I have nothing to prove here, just providing information. I would not buy the vehicle without side curtain airbags, but there are plenty of other cars for which the same would be true. Quite frankly, the XB doesn't look too safe either, but doesn't seem to have been tested that way yet.

  20. #20
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    OK, and to make me look dumb, I just looked up my car and it seems it got the same rating for the same reasons. So I guess I should have looked at this before I bought it a few years ago and chances are I will die.
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  21. #21
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    My brother has one

    Overall my brother likes his. For functionality only. He calls it the lunchbox. His biggest complaints.

    1. Gas Mileage, regardless of the ratings, he is typically pulling 20-21 mpg.

    2. The size of the gas tank. It's a small tank, he has to fill it up a lot on longer road trips.

    But, it's reliable as is any honda, and the flexibility is great.

    If he could change anything it would be that gas tank, and of course if they could come up with slightly better styling.
    "The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care."

  22. #22
    KuNgFuDeViL
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    I wasn't comparing any of those cars to the Element. With the Scion I was just pointing out that they both look like boxes, if you like to drive squares around be my guest. I wasn't comparing the Element with a Subaru. I own a 2.5RS 4DR, not a wagon. It all comes down to preference. I can fit 4 people comfortably and easily in my ride, there is plenty of storage space for my needs, and the engine is pretty damn quick, quicker than any Element would be. The Element is nice for cargo space and all that jazz I'm sure. I'm not a fan of driving Trucks, SUVs, mini-SUVs, wagons, or minivan/wagon boxes. Hondas are nice cars however and I am sure the Element would be a good choice for a vehicle, I owned an Integra for many years and it never let me down.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by KuNgFuDeViL
    I wasn't comparing any of those cars to the Element. With the Scion I was just pointing out that they both look like boxes, if you like to drive squares around be my guest. I wasn't comparing the Element with a Subaru. I own a 2.5RS 4DR, not a wagon. It all comes down to preference. I can fit 4 people comfortably and easily in my ride, there is plenty of storage space for my needs, and the engine is pretty damn quick, quicker than any Element would be. The Element is nice for cargo space and all that jazz I'm sure. I'm not a fan of driving Trucks, SUVs, mini-SUVs, wagons, or minivan/wagon boxes. Hondas are nice cars however and I am sure the Element would be a good choice for a vehicle, I owned an Integra for many years and it never let me down.
    If you think Element looks like a box, then all SUV's look like a box.
    Element is a lot less boxy than half the SUV's out there. The roof line, hood, and front end have nice curves, and sides flare out under the windows.
    Xb on the other hand, is a box.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by KuNgFuDeViL
    I don't know anyone who has one, but I can give you my opinion anyway. Much like that one Scion model (I don't remember which one) I think it is just a big ass box. I am sure they are pretty nice vehicles, but I personally wouldn't want to own one. Just looks like it was put into a trash compactor and that is what came out. Go with a Subaru! I love mine.
    Speaking of trash compactors...that's what one feels like when riding in a Suburu....like you've been compacted. If you like riding around with your elbow touching the other person..go with a Subaru.
    The Subaru is also great if you are 5'8 and 150lbs.

    We've had an Element for about 2 months now. My wife has never been happier with a car she's owned. With bikes and dogs and people, the thing is just awesome.
    21mpg around town and 25 on the fwy it's a great active lifestyle vehicle.

    Some plusses...
    you can sweep the dirt out...
    I can put my bike inside with the front wheel on and seat up...try that in a Subaru!
    You can lay any of the 4 seats flat....

    Anyway....the Element is all we hoped for and more...my wife loves it and we plan to keep it for about 150k miles....
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  25. #25
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    absolutely love ours!!

    We have had ours for about a month now (couldn't pass up the 1.9% financing offer). We have had zero problems. Most highlights have already been mentioned. One thing to think about--the automatic is significantly less "peppy" than the 5-speed stick. I hated how the auto transmission shifted around when trying to accelerate quickly. We ended up getting a stick and I am glad we did. It accelerates a lot faster. The 05s also come with XM radio. Not anything fantastic unless you live in a small town like I do with garbage for radio station choices.

  26. #26
    telemarc
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    No Xm

    Unfortunately the canadian goverment is denying us satellite radio. It sucks.

  27. #27
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    I got to drive one for a day when my CRV was in the shop for a recall fix. Compared to the CRV, I thought the Element felt a little cheap and tinny. Especially the doors. Maybe that's why they do so poorly in side impacts. Honda needs to put a little meat in the sides and doors.

    On the plus side, it had gobs of head room and interior room in general. There's so much room in the cockpit that if you got a bug on the inside of your windshield, you'd have a hard time reaching it to squish it. The glass is way out there. The Element also seemed to handle a little more like a car than the CRV. The CRV feels more top heavy and has more body roll in turns than the Element. Dunno if the Element is lower, but the center of gravity seems to be. It's also very short front to back. A friend who lives in NYC has one and loves it because he can park in spaces too small for many other vehicles, which is a big deal there.

    That's my $0.02. Hope it was helpful.
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  28. #28
    KuNgFuDeViL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strafer
    If you think Element looks like a box, then all SUV's look like a box.
    Element is a lot less boxy than half the SUV's out there. The roof line, hood, and front end have nice curves, and sides flare out under the windows.
    Xb on the other hand, is a box.
    I agree with you on that. Basically I don't like SUVs because they are a waste of space and gas. Where I live the only people you see driving SUVs are housewives, businesswomen/men and/or rich ass pricks who have no use for them. They buy the SUVs because they can and have no practical use for them. It is basically a status symbol, complain about the gas prices and buy a vehicle that gets about 15 mpg. I tip my hat to you...

  29. #29
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    Like I said, the Subaru meets my cargo needs. I don't haul people around on a regular basis. I am not sure what situations you have had with the vehicles, but there is plenty of room in mine when I do have a full load. Basically, when I was looking for a new car I didn't base my decision on how it fits bikes...because I can buy a bike rack. Personally I look more towards performance rather than cargo space, I don't have a family or a need to keep my bikes inside the vehicle at this time. Thank god for Saris or I guess I would have been screwed, because you can't clean off seats when they are full of mud...

  30. #30
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    oh yeah...we get snow here too and it is a f*$%ing blast to mess around in the snow with AWD. I realize a lot of people are afraid of the snow though, friends enjoyed those rides for sure

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucky
    Honda needs to put a little meat in the sides and doors.
    If you only knew what was under your plastic bumpers, in either vehicle.

  32. #32
    richeyr
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    I test drove a Element because they are very practical and was sold on one before I even tested one. I was a little turned off that at about 80 mph the road noise was super loud and I was at 4800 rpm's. I tend to drive 10 to 15 over the speed limit on the interstate and at that rpm I can't see it getting that good of gas mileage. My 4 banger stratus is right at 3200 rpm's at 80 mph. I also had complaints from my wife of getting motion sick in the back seat on the 15 minute test drive, even though you sit higher and can see out the front window better than most vehicles. Other than that, a great vehicle with very little to complain about.
    Live Life or Watch it go by. I'd rather be living it!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by richeyr
    I test drove a Element because they are very practical and was sold on one before I even tested one. I was a little turned off that at about 80 mph the road noise was super loud and I was at 4800 rpm's. I tend to drive 10 to 15 over the speed limit on the interstate and at that rpm I can't see it getting that good of gas mileage. My 4 banger stratus is right at 3200 rpm's at 80 mph. I also had complaints from my wife of getting motion sick in the back seat on the 15 minute test drive, even though you sit higher and can see out the front window better than most vehicles. Other than that, a great vehicle with very little to complain about.
    That's odd. you're right about the RPM's being high, but not that high. I have a manual transmission and it's running about 4Krpm at 80.....not 4800.

    Did you mean 3800? Do you have an automatic? I think they turn slower rpm's for equivalent speed.

  34. #34
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    Test drove one a month or two back - vehicle was nice enough (for "outdoorsy" adventures for a couple folks....any more than 2, and there's not enough capacity, imho - seems Honda wanted to have a lot of rear seat room at the expense of storage space behind the rear seats). Handled better than it looks, although I felt it was kind of a dog, considering the engine power - we drove the manual tranny, and it was boring. Obviously, being a Honda, I doubt you could go wrong......just didn't fit our overall needs/wants (a big plus for the vehicle is the ease of keeping interior clean....it may not be "plush" but would sure look a lot better after several years of kid hauling/camping/etc than either of my old cars has looked)

  35. #35
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    I can echo many of the positive responses already posted: the Element is appealing in its usable space, gas mileage, easy-to-clean-ness, and plain functionality for being active outside and toting around stuff. I've liked the styling from the first time I saw one, but it's insane to generalize that aesthetic judgment.

    I've reached a point where, when I rent cars while traveling, I just think they're silly. I end up thinking to myself, e.g., why isn't the space in back totally flat and boxy?, and how come there is all this nasty synthetic carpet to absorb my spilled drinks? and why is it such a pain to put my bicycles in this thing? and what's up with the side doors not opening like barn doors, making it hard to jockey stuff around? and how come the rear seats don't just swing out of the way in fifteen seconds? The Element has spoiled me on these fronts, and I suspect that my next car will be an Element (hybrid?). My spouse wants one, but we think it would be goofy to have two.

    Last year I took a road trip out West for six weeks. I mostly slept in the back of the car on an inflatable twin-sized air mattress on top of crates of gear, often with the bike inside, too. I had a great time, and the Element was perfect.

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  36. #36
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    ive had one for 2 yrs...

    and me and my wife love it. we go on all kinds of road trips to different places to ride and its never let us down. not a single problem, plus room for our bikes and gear and luggage.
    we drove up into the moutains of western NC, fully loaded with bikes and gear, no problemo's. my wife does triathalons (she's a neebie) and its great for that too. the best vehicle for people with outdoor life style's bar none. especially when you include price and reliability to the picture.
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  37. #37
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    Question about loading bikes...

    I went back to the dealer to take a look at the back end of the Element and how much room is in there for bikes. I noticed in the brochure they have two DH bikes with the wheels on. It kinda looks like the front seats are pushed way far forward (which is why I went back out to the dealer). So, what I am wondering is if a bike actually goes in the back of this thing without taking anything off or loading it weird. Also, my bike is pretty big at 71" long, so that might have something to do with it. Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboy
    I am thinking about getting rid of the pickup and getting one of those funny lookin' Honda Elements. Since they are marketed towards outdoorsie type people, I was hoping there'd be a few of yall here who have them, or know somebody who has one. Thoughts and opinions please? Thanks.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboy
    I went back to the dealer to take a look at the back end of the Element and how much room is in there for bikes. I noticed in the brochure they have two DH bikes with the wheels on. It kinda looks like the front seats are pushed way far forward (which is why I went back out to the dealer). So, what I am wondering is if a bike actually goes in the back of this thing without taking anything off or loading it weird. Also, my bike is pretty big at 71" long, so that might have something to do with it. Thanks.
    My XC bike can fit in the rear door or from either side. I load my bigger bike...5 Spot w/Z1FR from the side....it fits much better.

    The wheels need to be angled for complete bikes to fit. I've had both of my bikes in there at the same time....with the passenger seat all the way back. In fact....I always have the passanger seat all the way back.

    Suggestion: Do what I did....Wash your bike and take it to the dealer and try to load it. There's no better way to know for sure.

  39. #39
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    I think I figured it out...

    Taking the front wheel off is no big deal, so I think Im going to do that. I found a post on a Honda Element owners forum that took a 2x10 board and bolted a couple of truck bed mounts to it. The ends of the boards were angled so they'd fit right in the back of the cargo area. I think I am going to use that idea to haul my bike(s) if I get one of these.


    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboy
    I went back to the dealer to take a look at the back end of the Element and how much room is in there for bikes. I noticed in the brochure they have two DH bikes with the wheels on. It kinda looks like the front seats are pushed way far forward (which is why I went back out to the dealer). So, what I am wondering is if a bike actually goes in the back of this thing without taking anything off or loading it weird. Also, my bike is pretty big at 71" long, so that might have something to do with it. Thanks.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerboy
    I went back to the dealer to take a look at the back end of the Element and how much room is in there for bikes. I noticed in the brochure they have two DH bikes with the wheels on. It kinda looks like the front seats are pushed way far forward (which is why I went back out to the dealer). So, what I am wondering is if a bike actually goes in the back of this thing without taking anything off or loading it weird. Also, my bike is pretty big at 71" long, so that might have something to do with it. Thanks.
    My buddy has an Element, and we've successfully loaded an Armageddon w/888 and Mountain Cycle 9.5 w/Shiver in the back without taking anything off. Slid in rear-wheel first, you do need to angle the wheels just right, especially if one or both of the front seats is adjusted back to accommodate a tall driver and/or passenger.

    That said, it's much easier to load two big bikes and gear if you take the front wheel off one of the bikes, especially if the front end is tall (and with a 888 running stock crowns, tall is the order of the day; the Shiver is compact by comparison).

    IMHO, the Element is a work of streamlined art compared to the Scion xB. And as low as the Element is (not a whole lot more ground clearance than my '92 Nissan Sentra!), the xB has the clearance of a vaccum cleaner.

  41. #41
    Is this thing on?
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    I have the ugly car household!

    I own an Aztek, and my wife has a Scion Xb!

    That being said, the Aztek is perfect for long trips, I can haul 3 bikes, 3 people and luggage for three people, or 6 bikes with nobody in the back seat (that's only if we're caravaning (sp?) in a large group).

    We can do 2 bikes and gear in the xb.

    If you're thinking about the Element, go for it! My friend has an Element, and side by side, it has comparable storage to the Aztek.
    if i were any older i might act my age

  42. #42
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    88.7 is good..no its great WNCW public radio..

    Quote Originally Posted by luvsingletrack
    We have had ours for about a month now (couldn't pass up the 1.9% financing offer). We have had zero problems. Most highlights have already been mentioned. One thing to think about--the automatic is significantly less "peppy" than the 5-speed stick. I hated how the auto transmission shifted around when trying to accelerate quickly. We ended up getting a stick and I am glad we did. It accelerates a lot faster. The 05s also come with XM radio. Not anything fantastic unless you live in a small town like I do with garbage for radio station choices.
    Except on Saturdays when its old time country,bluegrass..
    Been getting more accustomed to the hills??
    Sticking with the thread i really like my 03 Element...

  43. #43
    Forging Elite Awesomeness
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    My opinion, hate em'. But that's basically my opinion of any car made in the past 30 years.

  44. #44
    inner peace to make peace
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    Good job! Element AWD (4wd) rocks!

    Element AWD (4wd) rocks!

    http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/index.php?

    my other car is a black Element AWD (4wd) EX 5spd with Side Air Bags and Fog Lights, had it for 14 months.
    gets 20~22 MPG, acutal.
    can sleep 2 adults on a flat surface and a dog comfortablely with lots of ceiling room to sit up.
    does well on easy sand, snow or dirt with its 4wd.
    can sit three adults, two MTBs with front wheels on and gear, all inside.
    looks handsome...people love it or hate it...i like that aspects.
    rear 'threatre' raised seating.
    can sit four tall and large people very comfortably.
    removable moon roof.
    Honda reliability.
    less then $21K cost for the top of the line, new.
    the 5 speed tranny pulls well, as fast on 0 to 60 MPH than a Hummer 2 or a Tahoe (about 8 seconds): that 2.4L I4 "Accord" engine really pulls once you get the rev up a bit.
    can cruise easily at 95 mph (but please do not try it, as my ticket was $290 - that CHP cruiser was literaly hiding in the bushes -- and that's if you're not taken to jail).

    the other two cars i recommend are:
    '05 Nissan Titan 4wd pickup (~$29K) -- i luv it --
    or
    '05 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited (~$28K) -- i want it --

    we love our Element!
    Last edited by TrailNut; 04-14-2005 at 04:44 PM.
    “Everyday is a good day,” from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

  45. #45
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    The reason the Element doesn't do so well in the side impact test is because there is no B-pillar. Notice how when you open the front and rear doors it is just one big opening?

    Also, the Element and Accord have inline 4 engines, not a V-4.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by @dam
    The reason the Element doesn't do so well in the side impact test is because there is no B-pillar. Notice how when you open the front and rear doors it is just one big opening?

    Also, the Element and Accord have inline 4 engines, not a V-4.
    Have you ever opened the doors on one?
    The midsection of the doors is in every way stronger than the b pillar on most cars. They are reinforced specifically for that purpose.

    The reason for the poor crash test rating is probably the huge side window by your head...
    but mine has side airbags so I don't worry so much.

    The element is quite possibly the most utilitarian small vehicle out there and I have nothing but love for it. I have had it since october of 03 and about 30k miles. In that time I have had 0 mechanical issues and the performance and function has been great.

    There are only 2 little issues I have with it...

    First is that the gas gauge is a straight up liar. Its supposedly a 16 gallon tank but the light comes on when 12 gallons are emptied out. So either its got a heck of a reserve or they lied about the fuel capacity.

    The second is that the windshield, being so large and upright, is very susceptible to stones cracking it. But that would be the case with any vehicle with a similar shield.

  47. #47
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    Element's sturdy

    Quote Originally Posted by lucifer
    second is that the windshield, being so large and upright, is very susceptible to stones cracking it. But that would be the case with any vehicle with a similar shield.
    yea people said the same about my straight up winshields on my '95 and '00 Wranglers, but had no glass issues. Turns out my Titan pu with thick and more inclinded windshield cracked first: luck of the draw, i guess.
    “Everyday is a good day,” from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

  48. #48
    it's....
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucifer
    First is that the gas gauge is a straight up liar. Its supposedly a 16 gallon tank but the light comes on when 12 gallons are emptied out. So either its got a heck of a reserve or they lied about the fuel capacity.
    Who told you it's got 16 gallon tank?
    Mine comes with 14.7 gallon tank.

  49. #49
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    Its a box
    Quote Originally Posted by Stinky05rider
    bmx is not dh/freeride....tight jeans are for girls

  50. #50
    it's....
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Coast Bender
    Its a box
    And you're a maroon.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by East Coast Bender
    Its a box
    That's helpful

  52. #52
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    It really does look to be a very useful vehicle. Tons of versatility in a small package. I don't like the plastic side pannels. I wish they would clean it up a little bit. But i suppose the goal is not to blend in. An exterior apperance option maybe?

    It is also nice to see the vehicle acutally being used for its intended purpose. Mountian bikes are often just a marketing tool for selling SUV's to non-active people.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    It really does look to be a very useful vehicle. Tons of versatility in a small package. I don't like the plastic side pannels. I wish they would clean it up a little bit. But i suppose the goal is not to blend in. An exterior apperance option maybe?

    It is also nice to see the vehicle acutally being used for its intended purpose. Mountian bikes are often just a marketing tool for selling SUV's to non-active people.
    At first, I wasn't too crazy about the plastic fenders. After using it for over a year....they're perfect. I lean my bikes and friends bikes against it and don't worry about scratching paint. The vehicle really was designed to be used for an active life style.......not as a kid carrier or for grocery shopping

    When I get back from a long ride..and I'm tired, I sometimes just leave the bike in the Element. No worries. A lot of thought went ito it 's design, and it shows.

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