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So I just took the '09 for a test run today. And I gotta say... I wasn't impressed. Don't get me wrong. It drove great. Just like any element should. But I dunno going from an '03 to an '09 there wasn't any wow factor.

I really didn't like the seatbelts. The way they come out of the seat (I know this happened before '09. I just didn't test drive one with it) really pulls on my shoulder. I'm 6'2" and this was pretty uncomfortable. It reminded me of when I got in my wife's car and forgot to adjust the seatbelt. Plus it's not adjustable now so that is a major bummer.

The floor was UGLY!!! I drove a CFM with tan (at least it looked tan) interior. The floor was a flat black rubber. I seriously thought it was a protective coating over the floor until I looked closer and saw that it was just rubber. It reminded me of the rubber mats that bartenders have on the floor behind the bar. It really clashed with the tan interior.

No sunroof. Disappointing.

Front quarter panels=sheet metal. Rear quarter panels=plastic. WTF!?!?! did 2 different people design the front and rear? That really bothered me. It should be one or the other all around the car. Not both.

The drive by wire was a little sluggish. It just didn't have the same response my '03 has. It was just me in the car. I had the A/C on and was accellorating to get into traffic and it didn't really seem like it wanted to go. I was expecting a little bit of an accel boost with the few extra HP but not so much.

The seats aren't the same kind of FXC fabric anymore. Now they're just normal fabric which kind of takes away from the uniqueness of the E.

I took it by my parents house and even my mom said she didn't care for it too much. She was bummed to see the sunroof was gone.

If this is your first E you'll probably love it. But being settled into mine for the better part of 6 years I was pretty let down on the new model.

But on a side note driving the new one made me realize its about time for new shocks. The new one was alot quieter and rode a whole lot smoother.
 

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I had an 06 and sold it last year and have regreted it ever since. I bought an 09 a month ago and love being back in the 'element family.' There are differences between the 'old' and the 'new' Elements and you either like change or you don't. Driving-wise, I don't see much difference between the 06 and the 09. I've found almost all of the differences otherwise are physical changes to the car, which I like, for the most part.

I like the seat belts attached to the seat rather than the interior wall of the car. It's a cleaner look and I don't notice any difference in 'feel' (where the seat belt rides) between the 06 and 09.

I do miss the 'old' little mesh cabinet in the ceiling between the driver and passenger. The new 'cabinets' provide more space, and they're more 'refined' but I preferred the 'old' style.

Lack of sunroof - I've seen a lot of people complain about the 09's not having the sunroof. I never used it in the 06. In the weird rear configuration, you couldn't open it unless you stopped and got out. It didn't appreciably increase the amount of light in the 06 over what I'm experiencing in the 09, so, as far as I'm concerned, I don't miss it.

Driving - I don't know about anyone else, but the 09 seems to drive just like the 06 did, only I now get better gas mileage (around 19mpg in the 06 / around 24mpg in the 09) and the shifting (automatic) seems smoother

My overall impression is the 09 is a more 'finished' looking car, inside and out, than the 06 was, and that 'finish' makes it a different car than it was, which will bother some people. The 06 was still anti-establishment, the 09 is more like an Accord....the element has joined the mainstream in a lot of ways.
 
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