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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well- it is with mixed emotions that I parted with my very much loved 2005 Fiji Blue AWD EX M/T Element. I had hoped to trade the big blueberry in on a 2008 or 2009 E, however after test driving an '07 M/T, an '08 M/T and a Citrus Fire 09 A/T I discovered that Honda no longer likes tall (6'3") hefty (395lbs) folks. The seat mounted belts just don't fit me well enough to drive comfortably like the older door mounted belts in the '05 I had.

I ended up defecting back to a camp where I resided in 1985- the Subaru Camp- bought a 2009 Subaru Forester X in Steel Silver with the 5 speed M/T for $19,900 including PA/Calif emissions and destination charge AND got 3.9% for 63 months- over $4000 less than the quote I received for the '09 Auto E and $2800 less than a used '08 M/T E (which had a VERY odd throttle tip in) plus the best rate I could get on a Honda was 6% from my credit union (same rate I was paying on the '05) The dealer I purchased from is also a Honda franchise, so I got a respectable trade for my very clean E- and hopefully it finds a good new home. I really wanted a newer E- but it just won't work for me driving fit wise. The Forester is tighter in the hip area but has a couple inches more legroom and seatbelts that will fit Andre' The Giant size guys. Handles better, is much quieter, has 2 inches more ground clearance,and far superior 4WD capability. Negatives- stereo just plain sucks, less rear cargo space and not 'funky' like the E.

I'm not quitting the EOC- the wife may end up with another E when she gets back to work. It will have to be a pre '07 though.
 

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Those seats and belts may be a deal killer for many of us!

Dom
 

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my g.f. often speaks of getting a newer E when the '04 gets old and tired. But there are a few things w/the newer model E's that make me wonder if we will appreciate them as much as our '04.... only time will tell i guess.

good luck with the forester! now post some pics! we won't mind :D
 

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I don't know what peoples deals are with the 09's. I actually find the new 're-design' if that's what it is, pretty kick ass. I haven't owned one prior to 09' and actually found the new wheel wells awesome, and the older circular wells pretty heinous.

Also, never owning models with door mounted seat-belts, I think I would find them obtrusive and annoying. Other than those 2 things, I don't see what is different about the 09's. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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I don't know what peoples deals are with the 09's. I actually find the new 're-design' if that's what it is, pretty kick ass. I haven't owned one prior to 09' and actually found the new wheel wells awesome, and the older circular wells pretty heinous.

Also, never owning models with door mounted seat-belts, I think I would find them obtrusive and annoying. Other than those 2 things, I don't see what is different about the 09's. Correct me if I'm wrong.
i personally have not test drove the '09 but it seems the biggest complaints so far are:
-seat belts not being comfortable (for short,and now tall(steamloco) people)
-no rear sunroof
-new fabric seats
-new "Dodge Nitro" styling
i don't think any of these things will bother me too much except the rear sunroof....:-(
so as long as the seatbelt is comfy enough for the g.f. & i, i'm sure we will be "upgrading" to the newer model one day down the road..... :rolleyes:
 

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Say it ain't so . . .

although I had my suspicions that you were going to end up trading into something else!

Of all the vehicles I have owned over the years I have never owned a Sube, but I have friends that are partial to them just like many of us are with Hondas.

Congrads on your purchase, post some pics, and if I can still be around here after all my E juggling so can you!!! ;-)

And hope your wife's rehab is going well!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here are some photos - taken yesterday which was gray and gloomy- of the Forester which replaced my much loved '05 E.

With my wife not working, and having 18 months left to pay on the E, I decided I can afford to keep making a car payment, but I couldn't afford to start a list of $500 to $1200 parts replacements as my E drew closer to 100K.
(Struts, suspension bushings,clutch,battery,rocking seat-again -in fact the seat is what pushed me over the edge-started to squeak like fingernails on a chalk board!) The seatbelts the PRICE of the 2009 Elements were the deal killers, along with 2% better financing on the Subie.
 

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Seat belt design won't be the only reason why many current E owners will be reluctantly forced to look at non-Honda solutions for replacement vehicles once Honda pulls the plug on the Element. :-(

Please keep us posted on your experience with the Sub. Your being an dedicated Element owner gives you credibility and a perspective to which we can relate. :cool:
 

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Sorry, but there's nothing cool about your Subie. I can't live without my suicide doors and cavernous interior. I plan on keeping my E until plug in electrics become more popular. Hopefully the next E will be a hybrid electric of some kind. I'll either wait or build it myself. I don't need a new car every couple years like some people.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sorry, but there's nothing cool about your Subie.
gibroni- I don't purchase vehicles based on if I think they are "cool" or not-
I WAS planning to keep my E for 200K- as I stated earlier the loss of one income and still having 18 payments on a 76K E that WILL need $$$'s of normal wear out parts replaced soon tipped the scales toward a new vehicle.(Lowered the payment-lowered the rate- no damn $$$ repair bills for a while- the Honda Certified and Honda Care warranties are nearly worthless- struts-not covered as they are worn but didn't leak- rear bushings-not covered-worn but not broken-I can go on-but why bother...)
Wanted another E-but the '09 didn't cut it- also stated before.

PS-The Forester handles like a sports car compared to the E.
 

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Yeah, I don't mean to be a negative nellie, but I second what gibroni said, cool factor is dead and buried with that subie. People say the new 2009 E is now generic, well I think that if people see the 09 as generic, then this must be an 11 on the cool scale cuz i sure as hell aint seeing it. but to each their own I guess.

I came from a pontiac vibe, one of the coolest uncool cars ever, so I may be biased.
 

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Yeah, I don't mean to be a negative nellie, but I second what gibroni said, cool factor is dead and buried with that subie. People say the new 2009 E is now generic, well I think that if people see the 09 as generic, then this must be an 11 on the cool scale cuz i sure as hell aint seeing it. but to each their own I guess.

I came from a pontiac vibe, one of the coolest uncool cars ever, so I may be biased.
like steamloco said(read previous post)..... he doesnt CARE if its cool or not..... it fits his needs/wants.

and the fact that you owned a pontiac vibe just brought your "coolness" factor down a whole lot..... :rolleyes:
 

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Sorry, but there's nothing cool about your Subie. I can't live without my suicide doors and cavernous interior. I plan on keeping my E until plug in electrics become more popular. Hopefully the next E will be a hybrid electric of some kind. I'll either wait or build it myself. I don't need a new car every couple years like some people.
Wow !! That will be really cool. Please post pics of your build :cool:

loco - Nice Subie . . . . I've got an '07 Outback and love it. I'm going to be taking a serious look at the Forester if it comes out with the diesel in 2010. I think you will find Subaru's customer service better than Honda's as well . . :smile:

I still have the E and use it as the "dog" car whenever the need arises; difficult to beat in that category.

Keep us posted.
 

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It must be a regional thing as Subaru CS sucks in my part of the world.
Maybe . . . any details? I was impressed with their offer to pick up an OUT of warranty claim ($1400) that wasn't even their fault (brake calipers gummed stuck due to the new "beet juice" stuff they spray on the roads here in the winter to make the salt last longer)

Honda stiffed me on an IN warranty claim (battery cable clamp, front struts) :-(
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I still have the E and use it as the "dog" car whenever the need arises; difficult to beat in that category.

Keep us posted.
Right on about the dog car- as long as it has the rear sunroof. The salesman I bought the Forester from also was with me on the '09 E drive. He said every single former or current E owner that has looked at the '09 asks why no sunroof?- They have sold 4 of the 5 '09 E's in their inventory and were happy to have my '05 stick in trade since they sold the only manual '09 in their allotment.

A note on extended warranty info- The Honda bumper to bumper new warranty, 12/12 Certified Warranty and Honda Care Warranty all specifically exclude ALL clutch components- master cylinder, slave cylinder, clutch disc, throw-out bearing, clutch lining etc. The Subaru New warranty covers everything but the clutch lining (the wear part) and the Subaru (Zurich) extended 100K Warranty also excludes only the lining. Kinda curious as to why Honda excludes ALL clutch parts from warranty coverage.

By the way- I am still a huge fan of the Element and can whole-heartedly recommend buying one. If the wife and I get back to where we can afford three vehicles again-I'm betting their will be an E (auto, so the wife can drive it) in the driveway again.
 

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Just out of curiosity, what are the inside measurements of the cargo area in the Forester with the back seat down versus the Element?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Here are the specs:
Exterior
Length: 179.5 in. Width: 70.1 in.
Height: 65.9 in. Wheel Base: 103 in.
Ground Clearance: 8.7 in. Curb Weight: 3250 lbs.
Interior
Front Head Room: 41.6 in. Front Shoulder Room: 56.1 in.
Rear Head Room: 40.4 in. Rear Shoulder Room: 55.6 in.
Front Leg Room: 43.1 in. Rear Leg Room: 38 in.
Luggage Capacity: 33.5 cu. ft. Maximum Cargo Capacity: 68 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 5

I need to measure the "box" size that will slide into the Forester, it will be smaller than the taller/more square E.

The lower curb weight of the Foz allows a 900lb load capacity and 2400lb towing.
 

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E/Forester

We were also looking to replace our vehicle & had decided on getting a used Forester. But then when a deal went South (prices were fair, but not what dealer had told us they would be - ended up being over $2,500 more than he said it would be on top of our trade), we decided to rethink our purchase & look at other dealer's used vehicles. We looked at Foresters at other dealers (only looking for a low mileage vehicle), and then found a 2007 Kiwi E EX-P auto with 12,500 miles on it about 1.5 hours away. Ended up with a fair deal - fair price for the E & fair price for our trade. Not a killer deal, but fair on both sides & that's fine with us. The E is beautiful! At first we didn't know if we liked the Kiwi color or not, but the more we look at it the more we like it. We also still had the floor mats & cargo mat from our 2004 E, so those still fit. So we are very happy with our purchase. The seat belts at the seats work fine for us, even though I'm only 5'4" & they are out of the way when opening the side doors (and even better they aren't twisting around anymore). We really like the Foresters too & would have been happy with that vehicle as well. I'm sure the Subaru will serve you well. The biggest decision is making sure you buy the vehicle that will meet your needs (driving, space, comfort, price, etc.) & you did well.
 

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If I was buying a new one....we'd be getting the Forester.

If we were getting a used one (say '04 or 05)....it would be an Element.

We have an '03 Forester, which is nice, but the new ones are much more roomy. I like my '04EX, but a newer E just wouldn't "cut it."

I guess I'm stuck with my "classic."
 
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