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Discussion Starter #1
I've been an Element owner for 7 years. When I bought, I was looking for an EX model with AWD and the sunroof. The only ones available in my area were out of my price range or junked out. I found one that suited me well price wise, but was the 2wd lx. It's treated me right all these years. That having been said, I'm considering an upgrade to the version I always wanted. Mine has some suspension problems at the moment and I'm looking at spending about $2k to fix it up (with me doing most of the work.) If I'm going to throw more money at it, might as well have the version of it I originally wanted right?
I've got two I'm REALLY interested and I truly need other element owners opinions.
One is an 06 EXP AWD manual transmission. The current owner bought it, fixed all the suspension stuff that's slowly going out on mine, did a whole lot of upgrades including a touchscreen and a backup cam, and has seemingly well maintained it. That having been said, it has almost 160k miles on it.
The other I'm looking at is an 03 EX AWD AT that's the color I always wanted (UT Orange/Burnt Umber), with no other bells and whistles other than those standard in the 03 EX. I'd be fixing up any future suspension issues etc + adding the touchscreen/backup camera myself. That being said on this one, it has less than 70k miles. 馃槻
They've only got about $1000 difference on the sales price.
Which do y'all think I should aim for, and why?
 

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06 gets my vote. Manual AWD is on the rare side and it has been maintained. Just the fact that the owner knows about the suspension work that has been done means he is focused on maintenance. Plus you get s 3 year newer car. Plus presumably the 03 doesn鈥檛 have side airbags unless it was optioned that way.

The trade off of the difference in miles is somewhat offset by the fact that the 03 has 3+ more years of parts that have been exposed to weather. Do the underneath conditions of both look comparable? Is one worse than the other?

I鈥檇 say that 06 sounds like a nice car.

Get a mechanic/third party to check it out regardless of what you do.
 

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Welcome aboard Jonny5.

Manual transmission Elements are much harder to find; roughly only about 10% or less of all Elements are manual. So if that is high on your want list, that's one in the '06 EX-P's favor.

But an '03 EX in Sunset Orange Pearl with only 70K miles: That would be hard to pass up! Even if it was the one that costs more. Plus with 90K less wear and tear; I'd go with this one myself.

However, I am a bit biased about the SOP! : - )
 

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Welcome to EOC...
With the excitement in your words about these possibilities, it sounds like you'll fit in nicely around here...

My vote would be the '06 AWD EX-P with a manual trans... because:
Manuals are relatively simple... and Slushboxes are the devil... :LOL: (y)
Slightly more sophisticated exterior with the painted panels...
Just over 12,000 miles a year is a classic average mileage... seemingly well cared for...
You will put in WAAAAAAY more than $1000 difference in new stuff that you'll want to add...

(but just like te1966 and the SOPs, I'm also biased toward a manual transmission... I own two!)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Welcome aboard Jonny5.

Manual transmission Elements are much harder to find; roughly only about 10% or less of all Elements are manual. So if that is high on your want list, that's one in the '06 EX-P's favor.

But an '03 EX in Sunset Orange Pearl with only 70K miles: That would be hard to pass up! Even if it was the one that costs more. Plus with 90K less wear and tear; I'd go with this one myself.

However, I am a bit biased about the SOP! : - )
This may help put perspective on it. The manual transmission one is 2 hours from me, the auto trans is 5 hours from me.
I thought the same thing about the mileage, but I had no clue the 03 didn't have side airbags. I looked into that a little more, and they also didn't have xm capability. I was definitely leaning that way until I found that out.
Another thing to consider, the manual is from Ohio (been in snow, may have more rust under), the auto has always lived in that little town 5 hours from me in Texas. The owners just drove it very little (under 5k miles/ yr). This is a REALLY hard choice...
I passed on a 2008 EX AWD with everything I wanted that was here in my hometown because the ac was out and they were asking 10k for it after ttl when it already had 129k miles on it. They tried to tell me "acs just work less in older cars". 馃う鈥嶁檪锔 This After they "fixed" it. I told them if they'd come down to $8k after ttl so I could really get the ac fixed, I may consider it. They laughed, I walked.
 

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In that case, I would check that manual out closely - sounds like a true rust belt car. A car that has been in Texas its whole life should look much better underneath. There has to be a significant difference underneath both of these cars which alone may affect your decision. The 03 with 70,000 miles may not even need suspension work, although as has been discussed above if you are adding features, that is $.

I would base my decision on current structural condition of both.
 

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I hate rust even more than my disdain for Slushboxes... You're right, a tough call...

Nothing good comes out of Ohio... (Please note my location... 馃し鈥嶁檪锔 Sarcasm is strong with this one.)

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I hate rust even more than my disdain for Slushboxes... You're right, a tough call...

Nothing good comes out of Ohio... (Please note my location... 馃し鈥嶁檪锔 Sarcasm is strong with this one.)

Good luck!
Thank yall very much. It is indeed a hard decision. I'll have to make an update post when I make a final decision. I won't be seeing either in person till Monday. 馃馃馃
Maybe I'll post some pictures..馃 Yall do that here right? Lol
Also, thanks for the welcome. I've been eyeing this forum for a while, and finally made the commitment with this decision at hand. Greetings to all my fellow E owners. 鉁
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Welcome aboard Jonny5.

Manual transmission Elements are much harder to find; roughly only about 10% or less of all Elements are manual. So if that is high on your want list, that's one in the '06 EX-P's favor.

But an '03 EX in Sunset Orange Pearl with only 70K miles: That would be hard to pass up! Even if it was the one that costs more. Plus with 90K less wear and tear; I'd go with this one myself.

However, I am a bit biased about the SOP! : - )
There's an '08 ex awd in port st Lucy fl I thought about because it has under 110k miles, but that's a FAR drive or an expensive one way ticket if there's something wrong with it. So i opted out of that one too. If you live close by there, may be worth the check out for the last year model with the sunroof and the lower mileage. 馃し鈥嶁檪锔
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The debate has grown. 馃う鈥嶁檪锔
I just found another 08 ex awd. Further away, but less miles than the 06, and newer. Looks in impeccable condition. Uuuugh, why do the three each have the different components I want. It makes the choice SO hard. 馃様
P.s.s, the one in Florida sold earlier. Cargurus told me. 馃檮
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Not to mention, after speaking with each of them in detail, I could get any of the 3 for the same price at this point. 馃槻馃槵馃う鈥嶁檪锔忦煠
 

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Hi there, I feel your pain! I just went through this myself and had a few must items on my list which were AWD, MT, Sunroof, roof rack and decent miles. Everything I found had this or that and more of what I didn鈥檛 want like the 2WD, Fed, LX, no sun roof, too many miles added to those, etc.. I was extremely hesitate about settling with too much less than I hoped for when I came across an 03 EX AWD, MT5! I looked at the pics online and it also had a roof rack and tow package,
Mileage was 170k. Well, I went for it and have had it for two weeks now and love it. Oh, and the car belonged to a light smoker and had a few dings, both inconsistent with what was advertised; no dings and previous owner was a non-smoker. I got the car for $3,900. It had been newly painted black, interior is an 8-9, except for light smoke. I am the original owner of a 2001 CRV AWD which I am very happy with and I am hoping to enjoy the Element for as long as possible. It passed inspection today with flying colors, except for possible leaks underneath but nothing significant. The car lived in Arizona so no rust issues. Best wishes on your decision!
 
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