The quote below is an email I sent to Natalie Neff at Autoweek regarding her review of the Element. I haven't heard anything back from her. I'll keep you posted.
See complete review hereNatalie,
In your review of the Honda Element you wrote, “We like the Element’s optional full-time four-wheel drive, too, as it gives the Element a solid, stable on-road feel.” I’m wondering if you drove both a 2WD and 4WD on identical conditions to make this conclusion. The reason I ask is that the Element's 4WD is not truly full-time. It comes on only when the computer senses the front wheels slipping and kicks in the hydraulics to transfer power to the rear. I've seen reports that indicate that the process is not instantaneous - some 4WD drivers can squeal the front tires before it kicks in. Given that fact, how would 4WD that's turned off most of the time affect the "on-road feel" of the car? Do you know when the 4WD was on and when it wasn’t?
I admit that sometimes I’m a bit cynical, but mostly it’s an honest question to clear up my confusion.