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I currently own a 2005 VW GLI. I waited years to own the car, love the car, but it’s just not practical as of now. At the time I had one kid, now 2 (7months and 2 ½ years) so both in car seats and both in need of rubber floors.

I drive 100 miles round trip each day for work, 5 days a week, and I’m willing to sacrifice the amazing gas mileage of a small car with a turbo and a 6 speed manual transmission.

I’m in the Midwest so the Climate here goes from 100F+ to a record of -40F with wind last winter. The Jetta is a blast in the summer but just isn’t cutting it in the winters.


Anyway. I’ve always been interested in the practicality of the element and fell in love with the SC when it came out. Minus the fact it doesn’t have the AWD option right? So I’m looking at buying either used or new, new I’m guessing because around here it’s next to impossible to find used. I assume this is because people hang on to them and love them?

The biggest issue I'm having is A) it looks like the latest new models do not have a manual transmission for option? One thing I won’t sacrifice. And B) Finding one used.

Any Comments or suggestions for the future Element owner? First time Honda owner. And first time Point A-B kid taker/getter.


Thanks!
Nick
 

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Welcome Nick!

I think the E will fill the bill perfectly for you.

What part of the Mid West ?

We have other members that will post when they see something, if they know what area your in.

Dom
 

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Welcome! (guess I can say that now that I have had my 2010 Element for a week now)

I too have swapped out a VW for the Element (an 07 Touareg V6) but I still have a VW left in the family (wife's 01 New Beetle).

I personally prefer the looks of the 09+ models. I've heard you can still get MT in the 09s and 10s, Honda just doesn't advertise it, you just have to be willing to wait a while and look high and low. When I was looking for my 2010 AT a couple of the dealers I was shopping at asked if I wanted MT or AT.

I would talk to several dealers and see if they can find you a new EX 4WD with MT, they are out there.
 

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I don't own an Element, still deciding, but I read people complain about the rear doors being a pain in parking lots to get in and out of the rear seats. I am not sure how that will translate for you getting your kids in and out of their seats while in a parking spot with another car next to yours. The Elements backseat is made to sit two people, so you, your wife and two kids. Another kid (you still have .5 to go)? The mother-in-law? A friend? Another/new car. The Element is not horrible for gas milage, but 25MPG (at best?) is nothing to brag about and with 100 mile commutes per day, it'll add up, although few SUV does much better and many do worse. Think a Hyundai Tucson gets 30 on the highway and I heard one small SUV even gets 32 (GMC Terrain?). Not a game changer for me, but I don't commute 100 miles each day and not looking to be a bus driver.

I know you said you are ready to deal with worse MPG, but reading some of the milage threads here, looks like you'll be filling the gas tank every 2 to 3 days if you only do 100 per day. Maybe a VW Jeta Sportwagon turbo diesel 6-speed manual would be a consideration since it will carry more people, has cargo space, can collapse back seat for even more space, can carry stuff on top of the roof with it's rack and gets 30/city 42/highway.
 

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I currently own a 2005 VW GLI. I waited years to own the car, love the car, but it’s just not practical as of now. At the time I had one kid, now 2 (7months and 2 ½ years) so both in car seats and both in need of rubber floors.

I drive 100 miles round trip each day for work, 5 days a week, and I’m willing to sacrifice the amazing gas mileage of a small car with a turbo and a 6 speed manual transmission.

I’m in the Midwest so the Climate here goes from 100F+ to a record of -40F with wind last winter. The Jetta is a blast in the summer but just isn’t cutting it in the winters.


Anyway. I’ve always been interested in the practicality of the element and fell in love with the SC when it came out. Minus the fact it doesn’t have the AWD option right? So I’m looking at buying either used or new, new I’m guessing because around here it’s next to impossible to find used. I assume this is because people hang on to them and love them?

The biggest issue I'm having is A) it looks like the latest new models do not have a manual transmission for option? One thing I won’t sacrifice. And B) Finding one used.

Any Comments or suggestions for the future Element owner? First time Honda owner. And first time Point A-B kid taker/getter.


Thanks!
Nick

Nick - Welcome to the EOC. Like Herc130 mentions be fully aware of the gas MPG for the Element. You're not going to get high 20's. More like 20 in the city and 23-25 (at best) on highway. In the dead of Winter or when you have the AC on, those numbers will lower. Just be aware because a lot of people buy E's and are expecting higher MPG. Wind plays a huge factor too since the Element has a horrible drag coefficient (a brick). However, if you are ok with 20 MPG then I say the Element is pound for pound, dollar for dollar the most flexible, versatile, and reliable vehicle currently made. Research on Consumer Reports for reliability (outstanding). I like the stereo, the seat comfort, the functionality, and styling. I have real-time 4WD version and love it. Does very good in snow. My advice is to get the 4WD version if you're in the Midwest (I had the 2WD AT version and it did average at best in the snow). I searched for two months on the web to get my 2007 MT. Had to fly to Louisville (from KC) to buy and then drove 8 hours back home. Got a GREAT deal. The MT sat on their lot for 90 days and was listed at $14,995. They "wanted to move it" so they dropped it to $11,995. My Autotrader search agent then picked it up since it was in my price range ($13,000 or less). I called immediately and bought it the next day. You can find one but you'll have to do a nationwide search. Remember that the E has seating for 4 (4 seatbelts). Also - my kids LOVE "Ellie." They never want to take the van.

This forum rocks and the E has a loyal following. Lots of smart people with great ideas, pictures, DIY stuff on here.

Good luck!
 

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I've had mine for over two years and, in the summer (different fuel mix) I average 24-25 MPG, which is about 75/25 hwy/city. The 2WD will get better mileage, probably 27-28 (judging by other owners feedback), but you DO sacrifice the AWD, of course. You can also add a 6th gear to the MT - http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25635 - giving you better MPG, probably adding 2-4 on the HWY (from one member who has several miles on his). I plan to "upgrade" mine VERY soon. :roll::grin::)
Since yours will be mostly hwy, the MPG will be consistently on the high end, but, still mediocre, IMHO. :|

Hope this helps and GOOD LUCK!! :razz::razz:
 

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I've had mine for over two years and, in the summer (different fuel mix) I average 24-25 MPG, which is about 75/25 hwy/city. The 2WD will get better mileage, probably 27-28 (judging by other owners feedback), but you DO sacrifice the AWD, of course. You can also add a 6th gear to the MT - http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25635 - giving you better MPG, probably adding 2-4 on the HWY (from one member who has several miles on his). I plan to "upgrade" mine VERY soon. :roll::grin::)
Since yours will be mostly hwy, the MPG will be consistently on the high end, but, still mediocre, IMHO. :|

Hope this helps and GOOD LUCK!! :razz::razz:
Alaskan Toaster - Those MPG's are great! How fast do you drive? I got 27 MPG once with mine but that was with a 25 MPH tailwind.....serious.
 

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I'm with Herc130. Let's face it , E isn't 2 kids friendly and MPG is mediocre at best. My vote goes for Jetta sport wagon TDI Manual.
 
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