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2003 Vs. 2004

1565 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  MikeQBF
OK spoke with four dealerships today and one flat out said the 2003 doesnt have an EX 4WD Manual. I think they were hight but I humored them. I did get some info on the 2004 models thought and there are some interesting issues.
2004 will not have a DX model at all!
The armrests and keyless entry will be stock so I know that.

Heres the issue:
1. I can get 4WD EX with AT not manual trans for invoice $19262 or slightly below today in almost any color.
2. In a few days (September 25th) the 2004s roll in.
3. The price will be up 700-1100 more for 2004 so theres one hit, but ya get the diff in options.
4. Honda may stick to MSRP for awhile on the new model year car so Id be in worse shape figure min $20,000 for the car.

Any ideas???
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>one flat out said the 2003 doesnt have an EX 4WD Manual

Funny... NOT! We had exactly the same experience today when the salesman tried to tell us that the manual transmission was not available at all. Then he went back to his reference books, and came back with "DX only". I scowled and asked him to look again, and then he found the real answer. ...sigh... Chalk our experiences up to salesperson ignorance.

>2004 will not have a DX model at all!

That's a bald-faced lie.

It sounds to me like they're trying to push standing inventory on you (after all, that's their job), although that's a pretty good price on an EX/4x4. If you want the 5-speed, stick to your guns, but you'll have to let them know that you are ready to purchase if they do the search for your preference.

I don't know if you've driven one yet, but I already know that I do not want a 4x4/auto - it's going to be 4x4/manual, or no E for me. The 4x4/auto can't get out of its own way, unfortunately. The 2wd and manual transmission models don't seem to have this problem.

In addition to the other truth-stretching going on, I'd take that "MSRP" and "700-1100 more" with a big grain of salt, especially in SoCal, where Toyota has the Scion xB available (another quirky-looking functional box if you haven't seen one yet). The Element is overpriced for its target market and the xB, at 20% less, is stealing buyers who might otherwise be interested in a DX. The E has not exactly been a brisk mover and the competition is heating up, so if I don't buy now I suspect that there will be dealers here (St. Louis) who will be downright desperate come year-end to get the 2004's off their floorplan.

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I was told by two dealers that 2004's are due mid-October, and I have a 2004 brochure in-hand (which is why I know for certain about the DX thing). Sounds like there might be some distinctions with the Canadian models that cause them to be produced at a different time. There's been discussion in another thread about the wiring being different, so production line ramp-down/ramp-up may be a distinct possiblity in your case.

I just found an ad in today's paper from a local dealer featuring the 2003 EX auto/4x4 for $18,488, delivered from stock. That includes the destination charge, so that's $1300 below invoice. Wow!!!!

:shock: :shock: :shock:

I was given the impression from the salesperson at this dealership that they overbought Elements, and have stock languishing on the lot. Like I mentioned above, the Element has been less than successful (watch that resale value, folks), but in some markets it has been a complete toad. Good for those of us who like it and haven't bought yet... with a couple of regional exceptions, it's mostly a buyer's market.

According to this dealer's website ( they only have two of the advertised models in stock, both SSM. They have ten other E's including one 4x4/manual DX (EBP) which I am fairly certain they're also itching to clear out. If anyone is shopping and wants to make the trip to St. Louis, there are good deals to be had here. A dozen of anything at year-end is a Bad Thing, a dozen of a slow-moving model is a Very Bad Thing.
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