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  1. #1
    AOK
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    Paging Padre (and other Honda Element owners)

    Hey Padre - I'm pretty sure that I have seen a previous post where you mentioned that you own an Element.

    Do you have any pics you can post of the bikes in the back? I'm considering getting one, and have been wondering how easily the bikes would fit back there, and how I would secure them.

    Also, do you have any real world gas mileage #s?

  2. #2
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    No Problem

    I drive an Element AWD and get real world mileage of 19-21City- and up to 24 on highway. Remember it is a traveling box(no aerodynamics) I took the rear seats out of my element, since it opens the back up a little more. My road bikes fit in without removing wheels. I just slide them in an bungee cord them to the back bins for short trips. The mountain bikes fit well with fork mounts. The Element is probably the most practible bike car I have ever owned. I'll try and post photos tomorrow.

  3. #3
    giddy up!
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    I have a 2005 4wd EX. It rocks. Best car I've ever owned.

    As for bikes, I currently stuff them in the back with the seats folded up. I can fit three bikes in the back with the seats folded up and the front wheels off. I have a few cords looped through the luggage loops to secure them.

    B
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  4. #4
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    A pair of 29’ers

    Quote Originally Posted by AOK
    Hey Padre - I'm pretty sure that I have seen a previous post where you mentioned that you own an Element.

    Do you have any pics you can post of the bikes in the back? I'm considering getting one, and have been wondering how easily the bikes would fit back there, and how I would secure them.

    Also, do you have any real world gas mileage #s?

    Onetrack is right it is a very practical car. Besides the ridicule I receive from family and friends for driving a “go cart” it has been great.
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  5. #5
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    Madre carries her bike on the back 50% of the time. The other 50% she carries her road bike inside on a fork mount attached to a piece of plywood. One seat up. This way she can leave it in her car while at work no worries.

    Since we've been married, (7 years) Madre has had about 5 different cars. The Element is the first one she's ever wanted to wash on her own! That says a lot. She loves it. It's so easy to go from bikes, to the dog, to bringing home a lazy boy from Costco, to people carting, to whatever.

    In mixed driving she sees a constant 21mpg.

    On the trip from Irvine to Santa Barbara last year with Donkey and another rider, they totalled more than 300 miles in a day with 3 bikes off the back on the Sportworks.
    That tank was 24mpg+. Let's not forget, rider #3 dumped an entire bottle of cytomax on the floor. Thank God for the Element's vinyl floor. A few paper towels later and voila...gone.

    Here she is.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOK
    Do you have any pics you can post of the bikes in the back? I'm considering getting one, and have been wondering how easily the bikes would fit back there, and how I would secure them.

    Also, do you have any real world gas mileage #s?
    To add to the thread, I have an 05 Element too and have stored bikes in three places; inside, top, and rear bumper.

    The top has an aftermarket Thule rack with Rocky Mountain Noose trays. Can store two.
    The bumper at times has a Thule Trailblazer hitch mounted carrier. Claims to hold 4, really holds 3.
    The inside can hold a couple with seats folded up. I usually run with one rear seat removed though and roll in a bike.

    Folding up the seat on the side is just dangerous as it creates a bad blind spot, so I try to avoid that.....like what is shown in the pics above.

    You can fit bikes in the back with great ease and secure them pretty easy with either luggage or bungies. You can even go so far as to use a cable lock and thread around the depressed channel the seats clamp into, if you are worried about break-ins. However I've found the best way is to just throw a towel or blanket over the bike/bikes and the tinted windows hide your contents really well.

    Just remember thoguh, that you might need a roof rack or hitch mount if you want to sleep in the vehicle...because where will you store the bikes at night?

  7. #7
    College
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    Isn't that car mad sluggish and slow. I like cars with a little more juice in them, especially if you're hauling stuff.
    College boy

  8. #8
    paintbucket
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    I use 2 biketites on a 2x4 in the back. Mileage is 25mpg highway consistently with a standard transmission and 2wd.

    <img src ="https://forum.bikemag.com/photopost/data/500/medium/1212cowbell1.jpg">
    <img src ="https://forum.bikemag.com/photopost/data/500/medium/1212bikes.jpg">
    <img src ="https://forum.bikemag.com/photopost/data/500/medium/loaded.jpg">
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  9. #9
    Belltown Brazer
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    I drive a twin to Padre's Element: same color, same sportworks rack. Mine has a Kingdom Trials sticker on the back rather than a Path sticker though. And, with 2 little kids aboard, I'm sure mine is more littered with graham crackers and goldfish and juice spills.

    I always carry my bike on the rack due to the kid seats.

    I get 24 mpg with mixed driving. Standard tranny and 4wd.

    I like the car. I also own a VW Vanagon and a VW Thing, so the Element fits right into my ugly car collection. The Element has a *huge* A-pillar, such that you have to bob your head from side to side to keep your eye on the apex at times. It's sad to say, but the 160 hp toaster is the "zippiest" car we own. But, reference the other cars. The car handles fine.

    The Element is remarkably roomy for such a small vehicle. It's great for little kids, because you can hop in the back and get them belted in without the rain running down your backside. I have on occasion taken the kid's seats out and filled the back with stuff...you can carry a lot of crap back there.

    Good car.

    B

  10. #10
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    In case you get a tandem..

    These pics were on one of the E forums-its not my pic,but I've had 2 Elements.

    dan
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  11. #11
    try driving your car less
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDEnvEngr
    I drive a twin to Padre's Element: same color, same sportworks rack. Mine has a Kingdom Trials sticker on the back rather than a Path sticker though. And, with 2 little kids aboard, I'm sure mine is more littered with graham crackers and goldfish and juice spills.

    I always carry my bike on the rack due to the kid seats.

    I get 24 mpg with mixed driving. Standard tranny and 4wd.

    I like the car. I also own a VW Vanagon and a VW Thing, so the Element fits right into my ugly car collection. The Element has a *huge* A-pillar, such that you have to bob your head from side to side to keep your eye on the apex at times. It's sad to say, but the 160 hp toaster is the "zippiest" car we own. But, reference the other cars. The car handles fine.

    The Element is remarkably roomy for such a small vehicle. It's great for little kids, because you can hop in the back and get them belted in without the rain running down your backside. I have on occasion taken the kid's seats out and filled the back with stuff...you can carry a lot of crap back there.

    Good car.

    B

    can you fit 3 child car seats in it? if it's 160 hp, why does it get such bad mileage? our passat wagon has 170 hp and always gets over 30 mpg on the highway, around 26 or so around town. that's with a roof rack no bikes. comes down a bit with bikes on the top.

    we looked at one, but my wife thought it was ugly. it's very NON-european. she said it looks like a retarded midget Hummer.
    Only boring people get bored.

  12. #12
    Always Learning
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    Quote Originally Posted by AOK
    Hey Padre - I'm pretty sure that I have seen a previous post where you mentioned that you own an Element.

    Do you have any pics you can post of the bikes in the back? I'm considering getting one, and have been wondering how easily the bikes would fit back there, and how I would secure them.

    Also, do you have any real world gas mileage #s?
    Real world gas mileage #'s for my AWD 2005 comes out to about 18-20 city, 21-23 highway (unless I'm driving 80). I've got a safari basket on top and the sidesteps. The added weight and wind resistance zaps about a mile per gallon. And, this Element creature is a box on wheels - so don't expect any aerodynamic help unless the wind is at your back. I'll settle for around 20 mpg for the type of driving I do and the things I use my E for in my life.

    Pictured below is an XL 293 which easily slides into the back if I don't want the bike hanging outside on a rack to be exposed to road grime. I've also got a rear Yakima rack. The rear seats fold up and you can either use the Honda floor bike fork attachment that installs on the floor and you remove the front wheel to mount in in place - or do what I do and use bungee cords. The Honda floor fork mounts cost $108 and you can mount 2 of them to haul a pair of bikes. Here's a link to a website that sells Honda accessories. Scroll down, and you will see the interior bike attachment for the Element:

    http://www.handa-accessories.com/elementint.html

    A lot of threads over at the 2 major Honda Element websites that talk about hauling bikes, making your own fork mounts, etc... .

    Do a search at this site:

    http://www.elementownersclub.com/

    Bottom line - it's a very versatile vehicle when it comes to hauling stuff. I figure if my XL sized 293 and my XL Karate Monkey can be hauled around in the back simply by flipping up a seat or two and wiggling them in there and attaching them with bungee cords - then most people's bikes can fit in there without any trouble.

    BB
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  13. #13
    inner peace to make peace
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    2004 Ex Awd 5spd

    Quote Originally Posted by AOK
    Hey Padre - I'm pretty sure that I have seen a previous post where you mentioned that you own an Element.

    Do you have any pics you can post of the bikes in the back? I'm considering getting one, and have been wondering how easily the bikes would fit back there, and how I would secure them.

    Also, do you have any real world gas mileage #s?
    my wife, son and i can fit inside two bikes, our bags, one Cheaspeakbay Retriver.

    gas milage: 22~23 average, mixed driving

    best $20K car I've ever owned...and still the best car for under $25k.

    i had the fog light added, real nice.

    while i like my Nissan Titan 4wd pickup, i luv our Honda Element AWD

    one note: get the 5spd, an automactic tranny will kill much of the fun in driving
    Everyday is a good day, from the Blue Cliff Records, Yun-men (864-949 AD).

  14. #14
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    Oh yes, ours is a 4wd EX also.

    My daily driver is a 305HP Nissan Titan and the HP of the Element is plenty. It's got punch!

    Gas mileage is likely not as high as the Passat since it's shaped like a shoebox. I'll take a decrease in mileage though since my windows will probably always go up and down like they should, unlike every VW I've ever owned.

  15. #15
    try driving your car less
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Oh yes, ours is a 4wd EX also.

    My daily driver is a 305HP Nissan Titan and the HP of the Element is plenty. It's got punch!

    Gas mileage is likely not as high as the Passat since it's shaped like a shoebox. I'll take a decrease in mileage though since my windows will probably always go up and down like they should, unlike every VW I've ever owned.
    ha! yeah, but I save ~ $500 a year in gas over an element (20 vs 30 mpg, 15k miles a year) and probably more in the future. i can fix a lot of windows with that. hopefully i will never need to... but yes VWs are not reliable lately... and hondas seem very reliable. i wish honda made a wagon.

    i like the element. if it looked a little different the wife might have been into it. i like the vinyl interior for cleaning and the folding seats.
    Only boring people get bored.

  16. #16
    Always Learning
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    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    can you fit 3 child car seats in it?
    Man, if I had 3 kids all within the same ages to have to be in car seats at the same time - I'd worry more about what car I was driving and my energy level. The "E" only hauls a maximum of 4 people at a time and everyone who purchases one is well aware of that. 2 adults and 2 kids - no problem though.

    You need a station wagon or mini-van - so the Passat Wagon makes sense for you. Honda makes plenty of other vehicles that would target the needs of those who have 3 kidlets.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    if it's 160 hp, why does it get such bad mileage? our passat wagon has 170 hp and always gets over 30 mpg on the highway, around 26 or so around town. that's with a roof rack no bikes. comes down a bit with bikes on the top.
    Hey, a Hummer gets 9 mpg - so the Element has to be considered "great" in terms of mileage.

    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    we looked at one, but my wife thought it was ugly. it's very NON-european. she said it looks like a retarded midget Hummer.
    Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, but we won't judge your wife's looks.....


    Yup, it's a vehicle that draws either the ugly comment or mucho love comments. Functional comes to the fore in my mind after having driven one for the past 5 months. Great for muddy mountain bikes, filthy dogs, hauling whatever, driving in snow and ice, cruising on gravel roads and it always gets cat calls from the middle school kids who holler "Cool! Suicide Doors!" whenver I drop off or pick up my son.

    Who cares if something looks European or not?

    Scratch that last comment. I married a European...

    Regardless, I can fit 2 two-niners without taking the wheels off right in the back of my E and head to and from the local trails with my wife or son (mud and all - as this is a wipe and clean interior).

    BB

  17. #17
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    why not a minivan?

    Definitely not a negative comment here about the Element (I've been reading about it thinking maybe its my next vehicle in the future) ... but I'm wondering what the real utility of it is compared to a minivan? Why would a mountain biker get a vehicle other than a minivan?

    I've been driving a minivan for more than 10 years, not because I have kids (I don't have any kids) ... but because you can throw a number of bikes in it without having to break them down, get anything you want at Home Depot, load the dogs in it, use it as a changing room at the trailhead, etc. Plenty of room, smooth quiet ride with plenty of power, fancy features like power doors and such.

    Anybody care to comment on why you would get an Element before a minivan? Seems like they would get about the same gas mileage, but you would have more room and comfort with a minivan, perhaps better insurance rates and chicks dig minivans, right? What's the real attraction of the Element, is it the Honda reliability, uniqueness of it, cleanability, something else?

  18. #18
    try driving your car less
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    or a real van!
    recently got rid of my old 1980 ford e150 for a new-to-me 1995 model. you may have seen it at SSWC05 with the classy 'tony's plumbing and heating' decals. got it used for $1500 with 90k miles on it!

    here's a pic of my old one. this van rocked! but would no longer pass inspection. drove this guy cross country... many adventures. windsurfing at the gorge for weeks.
    now i have kids and will get a minivan.

    Only boring people get bored.

  19. #19
    Don't be a sheep
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave.
    Why would a mountain biker get a vehicle other than a minivan?
    Hummmm, because I'm not a psycho driving, no life of my own, living vicariously through my children soccer mom? Seriously though, I totally agree, I had a friend who bought a mini-van as a bike race transport vehicle and it rocked. Too bad it has the soccer mom stigma.
    "Do not touch the trim"

  20. #20
    Appalachian Singletrack'n
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    Absolutely love my Element (2wd 5 speed EX) there is nothing else on the market I would even consider. My wife and I travel all over the place in it we camped out of it 17 weekends last year. Multitude of day trips to trails or rivers. I get a much better gas mileage (20-25mpg) than the small pickups I have owned the last 15 years which is the only other type of vehicle I would consider for my use. Hauls bikes, people, dogs, you name it. Its got the most comfortable back seat of anything short of a limousine. I’ve gone two races in comfort with 3 people, a dog and 5 bikes several times. Roof rack connection is very solid with factory plated to bolt into with aftermarket racks. Power is adequate for driving near legal speeds, clearance is adequate for poor condition fireroads. I’ve got 35,000 miles without a single mechanical issue. The only negatives I would point out are wind noise, height of roof racks off the ground, and always having to drive whenever a full crew goes out for a ride.
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  21. #21
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    I tested a minivan

    1. I cannot bring myself to buy an autometic
    2. I wanted AWD
    3. No more Chrysler for me
    4. Floor of the E can be mopped
    5. E is fun to drive and handles well.
    6. Its a Honda
    7. Minivans make me sleepy.

    A minivan has more room,makes more sense,etc.I just detest them.The E puts a smile on my face everyday.

    dan
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  22. #22
    Don't be a sheep
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    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    or a real van!
    recently got rid of my old 1980 ford e150 for a new-to-me 1995 model. you may have seen it at SSWC05 with the classy 'tony's plumbing and heating' decals. got it used for $1500 with 90k miles on it!

    here's a pic of my old one. this van rocked! but would no longer pass inspection. drove this guy cross country... many adventures. windsurfing at the gorge for weeks.
    now i have kids and will get a minivan.
    Check out Brian Lopes Sportmobile Dodge Sprinter (Mercedes) rig. The thing rules.

    https://www.brianlopes.com/images/Sp...s55_Page_2.jpg
    Last edited by Rivet; 01-24-2006 at 08:46 AM. Reason: Ninja's....again
    "Do not touch the trim"

  23. #23
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    My wife and I looked at an Element for myself the day we bought her CR-V, and have to admit after all the initial jokes, we decided that we really liked it, so its still on the list of possible purchases. My one concern was with the back windows, if I remember correctly, dont they only pop open like vent windows? I was just curious if it gets stuffy in the back for passengers if you dont have the air on.

    walter

  24. #24
    try driving your car less
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rivet
    Check out Brian Lopes Sportmobile Dodge Sprinter (Mercedes) rig. The thing rules.

    https://www.brianlopes.com/images/Sp...s55_Page_2.jpg
    YES! the sprinter sportsmobile is my dream vehicle. i have driven one in europe and they are AWESOME! they are mercedes or VW badged there.

    actually, i really really really wanted a pop top eurovan. but they are stupid expensive and talk about unreliable and expensive to fix!
    Only boring people get bored.

  25. #25
    AOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by walter
    My wife and I looked at an Element for myself the day we bought her CR-V, and have to admit after all the initial jokes, we decided that we really liked it, so its still on the list of possible purchases. My one concern was with the back windows, if I remember correctly, dont they only pop open like vent windows? I was just curious if it gets stuffy in the back for passengers if you dont have the air on.

    walter
    Similar situation here. My wife owns a CRV and I am amazed at how much cargo room it has. With the seats folded up, I can fit my bike back there upright with a fork mount.

    I am considering both the CRV and Element, but am so far leaning towards the Element as I think it would be a better fit for me and my bikes. I just wish the Element got a little better gas mileage. The Element gets better mileage than the Tacoma I am driving now, but not quite as good as the CRV.

    I can't speak as a rear seat passenger, but when I was test driving an E recently I did take note that I could easily reach the rear pop-out window from the driver's seat. Reminds me of an extended cab Ranger with rear pop-outs I used to have.

  26. #26
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    I went with the Back side approach. Modified a Yakima to strap to the back.

    I added a third mount to the center, that config hauled 3 bikes from MN to CO with three guys and gear.

    I hauled 4 bikes and 4 people a couple of times this summer. I don't think I can squeez the fifth in, but why, you can only carry 4 people.

    Hardly compromizes MPG, our trip to CO averaged 21 mpg.

    Shane


  27. #27
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    We looked at Elements and were pleasantly suprised by the interior room. But we're going to wait until the Toyota FJ Cruiser is out and compare. FJ looks better (I wouldn't call it pretty though) and can tow more courtesy of the 4.0L V6 and gets similar mileage (18/22 vs. 21/24). No idea how roomy the interior is as they're not out yet but it's a similar shape as the element and it also have the suicide 2nd doors.

  28. #28
    Belltown Brazer
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    Carseats: the Element is approved for only 2 car seats. However, you can fit 3 in there in a pinch. The middle seat would share the inboard latch anchors from the 2 normal seats. Or, so I've heard...

    Mileage vs Passat: Element = brick, Passat = river rock. 2wd vs 4wd (unless your Passat has 4wd).

    Now, recall that I currently own *2* VW's...and another fact is that I've only been without a VW for 1 year of my 24 driving. But, the fact is that the Honda will stay out of the shop much more than the VW, and it will always get you where you want to go. That'll make up for the difference in mileage...the real cost of ownership of the Element is pretty damn low.

    The Element is about the most form-follows-function vehicle in production right now...if you appreciate that, then the Element is a good choice.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    can you fit 3 child car seats in it? if it's 160 hp, why does it get such bad mileage? our passat wagon has 170 hp and always gets over 30 mpg on the highway, around 26 or so around town.
    But that means you have the 1.8t which means you have to use premium fuel. That's the thing stopping me from buying either a passat wagon or a WRX wagon. I love the HP of the WRX wagon, but don't want to have to use 93 octane when I fill up. The Element is non turbo and is putting out 160 hp... not too bad. The new Si Civic is like 196 hp and can't hold half of the Elements stuff.

    I agree on the looks dept. It looks like a toaster on wheels to me. But since I need better gas mileage and my current ride gets 14-17 mpg, 24-27 sounds great.

  30. #30
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    I've my had Element (EX 2wd 5-speed) since November of 2004 and I like it a lot. The versatility is probably the best aspect of this vehicle, along with a Honda reputation. I camped in it at the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo last year and it was awesome not having to deal with the rainy conditions. This is my 14th car that I have owned at the age of 28, I get bored with cars and am currently growing bored with the E. I wish that Honda offered the Accord wagon like they did in the mid 90s. Overall, it is a great vehicle. I get around 23 a mix of city and highway driving with the a/c on. Highway mileage is about the same, I have a leadfoot and traffic moves here in Arizona. I drove to San Francisco last summer and averaged about 22mpg (average speed was about 82mph). I just wish that it had a little more pizzaz, it is kind of boring. The element is the perfect vehcile for a cyclist. I can put my road bike and my niner in the back with ease and still have room for 2 passengers.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shmeefer
    We looked at Elements and were pleasantly suprised by the interior room. But we're going to wait until the Toyota FJ Cruiser is out and compare. FJ looks better (I wouldn't call it pretty though) and can tow more courtesy of the 4.0L V6 and gets similar mileage (18/22 vs. 21/24). No idea how roomy the interior is as they're not out yet but it's a similar shape as the element and it also have the suicide 2nd doors.
    I'm also curious about the FJ Cruiser... and would appreciate the bigger motor and manual tranny. Anyone know the dimensions of the rear cargo area - particularly the vertical height?

  32. #32
    try driving your car less
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Bob
    But that means you have the 1.8t which means you have to use premium fuel. That's the thing stopping me from buying either a passat wagon or a WRX wagon. I love the HP of the WRX wagon, but don't want to have to use 93 octane when I fill up. The Element is non turbo and is putting out 160 hp... not too bad. The new Si Civic is like 196 hp and can't hold half of the Elements stuff.

    I agree on the looks dept. It looks like a toaster on wheels to me. But since I need better gas mileage and my current ride gets 14-17 mpg, 24-27 sounds great.
    first, you dont need the high octane fuel, it just runs better with it. i read somewhere that if they ask the EPA to use high octane fuel to get the better mileage estimate, then they must require it in the manual. you get about 10% increased efficiency when the knock sensors do not retard the timing ignition with premium fuel (depends on conditions, obviously). 93 octance costs about 20 cents more on a 2.50 a gallon, so less than 10%. so it's a wash. people are scared by premium fuel costs, but it's small change in the grand scheme of things for your car.

    14-17 sounds scary! about twice as expensive to gas up!

    enough about cars! i hate em. i wish i could ride all day to get everywhere!
    Only boring people get bored.

  33. #33
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    a minivan is...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave.
    Definitely not a negative comment here about the Element (I've been reading about it thinking maybe its my next vehicle in the future) ... but I'm wondering what the real utility of it is compared to a minivan? Why would a mountain biker get a vehicle other than a minivan?

    I've been driving a minivan for more than 10 years, not because I have kids (I don't have any kids) ... but because you can throw a number of bikes in it without having to break them down, get anything you want at Home Depot, load the dogs in it, use it as a changing room at the trailhead, etc. Plenty of room, smooth quiet ride with plenty of power, fancy features like power doors and such.

    Anybody care to comment on why you would get an Element before a minivan? Seems like they would get about the same gas mileage, but you would have more room and comfort with a minivan, perhaps better insurance rates and chicks dig minivans, right? What's the real attraction of the Element, is it the Honda reliability, uniqueness of it, cleanability, something else?
    not an option for most people that dont have kids. utility be damned, its just an extremely boring vehicle that not many people will drive without being forced to (meaning kids). there's a mercedes billboard that states "you've got the degree, you've got the job, you've got the wife, you've got the home, you've got the kids, DONT GET THE MINIVAN". that sums up me and my wifes feelings exactly.
    my wife drives an element and we both ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!. it has more leg room than any minivan ive been in, the way the seats fold up, how easy it is to clean, its awesome reliability, gas milage, 4wd, i could go on and on. my wifes does triathlons and we pack up all her gear, our luggage and pretty much what ever else we need, no problemos. at the tri's youd think the Element was the official car, their every where!.
    on top of it all the vehicle does have decent pick up, much better than some would have you believe. we drove our element, fully packed, up into the mountains of western north carolina with out a problem. were averaging 25,000 miles a year and other than regular maintenance, we havent spent a dime. nuff said.
    Last edited by edouble; 01-24-2006 at 02:36 PM. Reason: correction
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by aosty
    I'm also curious about the FJ Cruiser... and would appreciate the bigger motor and manual tranny. Anyone know the dimensions of the rear cargo area - particularly the vertical height?
    Not many of them around, so I doubt anyone would know. Specs say the FJ is 71.7" tall and the Element is 70.4" tall, but the FJ will have more ground clearance (Element is 7" minimum) so I would expect less vertical interior height. Pester your Toyota dealer to call when they get one so you can check it out. Beware, the FJ has been highly anticipated by the Toyota faithful so there likley won't be any deals to be had for a while.

  35. #35
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    Mini-vans rool

    I really wanted to like the Element but struggled to get "there". No sack, loud, tight quarters for humans in that knee-in-dashboard sort of way, and a FWD-biased AWD system. I'd rather get a a Liberty CRD with real power and MPG than the Element - granted the Element fits more bikes inside. A used Odyssey is a better deal IMO. Better at everything for lower cost - especially when you look at cost of ownership (MPG and depreciation). No AWD though.

    We have an Odyssey. Had to trade in my souped-up WRX wagon to get it. Ouch, still pains me to think of the day REXNEFX and I parted. I've come to really like Odysseus though. Up to 3 riders with everything inside or 4+ with bikes up top. 4 clydes >6'3" and all related gear travels very comfortably. Quiet, powerful and real porn with surround sound!

    If you're a "must have 4wd/Awd" person the Toyota Sienna is a solid vehicle.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by edouble
    there's a mercedes billboard that states "you've got the degree, you've got the job, you've got the wife, you've got the home, you've got the kids, DONT GET THE MINIVAN". that sums up me and my wifes feelings exactly.
    .
    you're a sucker for advertising. mercedes makes minivans, they just dont distribute them in north america. it's a sweet vehicle called the viano.

    Only boring people get bored.

  37. #37
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    wrong!...

    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    you're a sucker for advertising. mercedes makes minivans, they just dont distribute them in north america. it's a sweet vehicle called the viano.

    if that were true id drive a mercedes, which i dont. the billboard just sumed up the way we felt BEFORE we ever read it. it was someone else putting our feelings into words. ive never liked minivans, and i never will, not even the "sweet" mercedes viano. you can have it.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDEnvEngr
    Carseats: the Element is approved for only 2 car seats. However, you can fit 3 in there in a pinch. The middle seat would share the inboard latch anchors from the 2 normal seats. Or, so I've heard...

    NEVER EVER EVER do this!!!! I own an Element, and am a NHTSA certified carseat tech (took a comprehensive course in car seat installing). Never use different latch points to secure a car seat. The way the Latch is designed it is meant to take forces in the forward and back directions, but not twisting forces on a single end of the assembly. This is a seriously bad idea especially in the element, due to the lack of a third seat in the back. Please lets keep the kids safe, and get a different car for hauling 3 kids.

    My impressions of the Element: I have had the car 2 years this week, and I love it! I have 42K miles on my 4wd EX with manual transmission. I was in a very bad accident in an Element got hit on two sides of the car (not my fault) and the car took it like a champ. The body shop owner was very impressed at how well the car held up. I get 25 MPG on the highway, I typically run around 75 MPH. The car, especially the manual is suprisingly quick and responsive. Other adults are very impressed at the room when they ride in the back. My kids love the car, and it is nice to be able to buckle them in their seats with the doors closed, instead of having to lean in from the back door.

    At least take it for a test, and bring your bikes to check how much fits in the rear. Honda actually sell some fork mounts that attach to the floor. I think you will be ordering one.
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  39. #39
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    We also own an element

    My kids called it "The Ugly" and "The Short Bus". Now we all seem to like it just fine. So ugly it is in fact pretty in some way.

    For a long trip it somewhat porpoises since the wheelbase is shrort. But you do get used to that. There are some big blind spots and you have to be aware of that.

    The stereo is great, best we've ever had in a car. The flat floor is great. If you have pets you can blow out the interior with a leaf blower if you like. The roof rack mounts for yakima are super quick. You really can ckick a rack on/off faster than any yakima I ever had.

    Bikes fit easily as you've seen. If you are at a race you can store the bike in the car and make a bed on the other side and with a sleeping pad and bag have a pretty comfy sleeping quarters.

    Yeah poer is not great but ok. Better than vanogon I had. And at least it will be reliable for a good long while.

    Oh yes, when we got ours, maybe Honda was having a tougher ime selling them cause they had good deals while CRV were still up there in cost.

    I think our local tv honda commercials say something like "We don't even know what these things are but we're selling them anyway!"

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