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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

This is my first post to this board. I've seen a few of the Elements around, and my first impression is that this could be a very versatile vehicle.

I need a vehicle with plenty of space for my Mountain bikes and camping gear. I also want something which is safe, fuel efficient, and comfortable for long trips. A decent amount of power and good handling are also important to me.

AWD is not essential, I would like a manual transmission though.

I currently own a 2002 Saab 9-5 Aero wagon which suits my needs quite well. The Element however, is half of the price so its worth considering!

Here's my concerns:

Safety
I noticed some posts indicating the design may be modified to include a B pillar- is this true? Will side air bags be an option in the future as it seems Honda's not offering them this year?

What about cargo retention? In my Saab, I have a net which divides the passenger area from the cargo area. There's also "cargo rails" which can be used to secure the cargo. Is something like this available for the element? I'm not really interested in getting hit in the back of the head with a cooler or camp stove travelling at 100kms/hr!

Is there seating for 2 or 3 in the back? If three, does the center position have a headrest and 3 point belt?

Mileage
What kind of mileage are you seeing on your Element? I realize its only a 4 cyl, but it doesn't look too aerodynamic. I'm currently getting about 8L/100kms with the Saab.

Comfort
Taken any 5 hour drives lately? How's your back? How adjustable are the seats? Are heated seats an option? What about automatic climate control? I've been quite spoiled in the Saab.

Interior
Is the rear hatch the only "sunroof" available? What about a front sunroof?
When the rear seats are folded up, is visibility an issue? Are the rear seats completely removeable?

Drivetrain
It appears that the 5 speed manual is only available on certain models. What options will I be giving up to get the manual?

How does it go with 160hp? At what engine speed is the peak torque output?
I'm used to considerably more power than that, but anything that's not sluggish is OK for me. Is it better than a CRV in terms acceleration and mid range passing ability?

Demographic
How old are all y'all? I've heard this vehicle is aimed at twenty somethings. I'm 29- will I still like this car next year?

What features do you like best? Why did you choose the Element? What other vehicles did you consider or own before the Element?

Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance for your help!

bRAD
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You guys (and gals) are great! Thanks so much for your insightful answers. I dropped in to the local Honda dealership after work yesterday to check it out. I learned far, far more from your posts than I did from the salesman!

After some consideration though, I don't think I'm ready for an SUV... yet. Generally I wouldn't buy a first model year of anything (Even Honda's not perfect, but I'd say they have an above average ability to release a new model with most of the bugs worked out. The engine and AWD system on the Element are already proven, as is the chassis)

I bought a wagon because I don't have room for a utility car and a sports car- so I bought what I think was a good comprimise. From a financial point of view, I suppose I'd be stupid to sell such a new car anyways. Between the initial depreciation and the sales tax I've already paid, I'd be taking a pretty big hit to trade it in now. As I get older and am looking for something to put a child (no kids yet!) in and don't have extra money to blow on fancy cars I think the Element will be a very strong contender. Perhaps I'll be buying one of yours after you've put a few thousand kms on it!

Thanks again for your help, and enjoy your Element! :wink:

PS, The silver/blue combination looks great IMHO!
 
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