My wife is the one who really wants Element. She is all into camping and stuff. Naturally she wants to leave the panels as is. On the lther hand, I know for a fact that I will be the one who takes care of the car. I think I can demand this much. I just personally don't like having plastic parts dominating the car. But, that orange color does look too "flashy" wiht body panels painted... I don't know....
it wasnt long before dealers began doing this to the E, im not going to say that i dont like it painted, but id still rather leave it the way they are, now that a chuck of the owners want this done, there will be few origianal Es left!
My element is being painted as we speak. I will get it back thursday or friday. It will be fully painted, including mirrors. it will have 20 inch wheels, black carpeted floor, and a sound system. i will post pics of the fully painted element soon.
When I bought my E my girlfriend was looking at the painted panel E's they had on the lot. The sales manager who I was getting my car from told her no to get one as the paint job is rather sub-standard.
When we looked closely at the paint he was right, there were very visable waves in the paint and even though the color seemed to match, there still was a big difference between the metal and plastic panels.
The sales manager said that part of the problem was that to smooth down the panels the paint shop used a heat gun, which leave waves in the panels that show up with the paint.
If you really want painted panels, I would wait until some after market company comes out with ones that are purpose bulit and look better. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if someone comes out with painted metal panels that replace the plastic ones by bolting into the existing attachements.
Since you buy the panels for about $40 each, and since they are relatively easy to replace, you could easily have a different set (e.g. painted) for each mood. Just change them out as you desire, you can even mix and match.
Are they realy $40! Does anyone have a honda pn list of all the body panels, that will be cool when they come out with the all painted version, us 2003 E owners can buy painted panels for what sounds like under $500 and update our E and change back when the mood hits us.
ill let everyone know when i get it back tommorow or tuesday. all i no is that they used a sander, and they sanded, primered, sanded, and primered again, so it should be absolutely smooth. im hopign that is the case. the car will be officially done soon, so ill keep you all posted.