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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I drive an old F150 now, and it's definitely time to replace it. My 2 choices are

a. A late-model certified preowned F150
b. Element EX

The price is comparable between these. I'm leaning toward the truck for familiarity, but drove the Element and really like it. The mileage will be better. I don't do heavy hauling, but Home Depot/skiing/beach etc. My wife drives

c. 2000 Plymouth Grand Voyager with the back seat removed (lots of cargo space, seats 4)

We have 2 small kids, and my biggest reservation is that the Element would not have enough cargo space with 4 people in it to fit the stroller and bikes and cooler and so on and so forth. I'm concerned about getting my cool new 4WD Element, then driving the minivan to the mountains because we can't fit all our stuff. I'm not anti-van, but I want to drive MY car sometimes.

Anyone relate to this? The cubic feet of cargo space seems to disappear quickly with those back seats in place.

My second reservation is the styling. I think the E looks cool, but I keep vehicles for a long time -- will I still like it in 8 years? No one can answer that for me, but does anyone regret their decision at this point?
 

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"My second reservation is the styling. I think the E looks cool, but I keep vehicles for a long time -- will I still like it in 8 years? No one can answer that for me, but does anyone regret their decision at this point?"

after 3 weeks i still make an extra trip down to the parking garage to tuck my E in for the night...i think it is the coolest looking thing on 4 wheels
 

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Well, this weekend we took our first roadtrip, up to the Olympic National Forest. We camped one night, and stayed at a Lodge for two nights, which meant we had to take double the stuff- camping stuff and hotel-type stuff.
We took: a large cooler, tent, 3 duffel bags, a large rubbermaid box (bigger than the cooler), a tarp, poles for the tarp, an ax, hiking poles, 2 backpacks, tabletop stove, jackets, etc. This all fit behind the seats, leaving the rear seats empty for people. It was roomy for two, but four would fit easily since the back seats were empty, and they'd have a lot of legroom.

A pretty cheap option for getting more cargo space is to get the roof rack, and buy a cargo box- then I'm positive you'd have enough space.

Incidentally, it's a great road trip vehicle. Handles well on pavement and dirt roads, roomy, great for picnicing with the doors open during the rain, decent sound system. We got it pretty muddy and dirty in & out, and it cleaned up quickly and well. I was concerned about all the dirt scratching up the floors, but no scratches. Very cool. A big improvement over my old Subaru.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I guess one part of my concern that I didn't say very clearly is whether a truck owner will smoothly make the transition to an Element. As stated, I'm not doing heavy duty hauling, but my F150 cab is roomy for a 6'4" 220 pound guy, the extended cab has room for the kids, and the cargo space is tremendous. The downside is fuel economy and sometimes a big vehicle is not as convenient (like parking). Also, although the F150 is pretty reliable (for a Ford anyway), it's no Honda.

Any ex-truck owners have an experience to share?

Thanks.
 

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[quote:dcf8979f92="softarch"]I drive an old F150 now, and it's definitely time to replace it. My 2 choices are

a. A late-model certified preowned F150
b. Element EX

The price is comparable between these. I'm leaning toward the truck for familiarity, but drove the Element and really like it. The mileage will be better. I don't do heavy hauling, but Home Depot/skiing/beach etc. My wife drives[/quote:dcf8979f92]


The mileage is way better with the E. My sister has a 2002 F150 and her gas bill is almost double mine.


[quote:dcf8979f92="softarch"]c. 2000 Plymouth Grand Voyager with the back seat removed (lots of cargo space, seats 4)

We have 2 small kids, and my biggest reservation is that the Element would not have enough cargo space with 4 people in it to fit the stroller and bikes and cooler and so on and so forth. I'm concerned about getting my cool new 4WD Element, then driving the minivan to the mountains because we can't fit all our stuff. I'm not anti-van, but I want to drive MY car sometimes.

Anyone relate to this? The cubic feet of cargo space seems to disappear quickly with those back seats in place.[/quote:dcf8979f92]


You can easily fit more stuff in the back of the E. There is room for a big cooler, a stroller, blankets and chairs, umbrella, whatever you need. The difference between the van and E is the people space. If you are going to have more kids, there may not be enough room in there for all of them.


[quote:dcf8979f92="softarch"]My second reservation is the styling. I think the E looks cool, but I keep vehicles for a long time -- will I still like it in 8 years? No one can answer that for me, but does anyone regret their decision at this point?[/quote:dcf8979f92]


If you like it, thats all that matters. Plus you can always it mod it down the road if you don't like the looks. Style is something that you have to make your own. If you are a person who cares what others think, the E might not be for you. As for 8 years down the road, ask anyone who owns it if they don't have a smile on their face everyday they drive it. What other car gives you that kind of satisfaction?[/b]
 

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I managed to fit 15 bags of mulch, some lumber, and various plants (flowers, vegetables, shrubs) into the Element last week and had room for more. It holds at least as much as my Mazda B2500; maybe more with all the vertical space. The only drawback I see is that I'm not exactly comfortable throwing a bunch of loose debris (sand, dirt, garbage etc.) into it. I'll keep the Mazda for this purpose. All in all, it's a great utility machine.
 

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As for the size of yourself, the E has to be one of the roomiest vehicles I have ever driven in. You would fit in the back seat comfortably.

Rick

"I guess one part of my concern that I didn't say very clearly is whether a truck owner will smoothly make the transition to an Element. As stated, I'm not doing heavy duty hauling, but my F150 cab is roomy for a 6'4" 220 pound guy, the extended cab has room for the kids, and the cargo space is tremendous. "
 

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I moved over from 14 years of driving pickups to the "E'. I would not go back for love nor money. I never could use the room in the back of the pickup, it was too long with the extended cab, and it was a pig on gas. My "E" with it's seats that fold up will do all the pickup ever did for gauling the occasional long set of boxes and will allow me to have more than one passenger!
 

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I spent the last 8 years behind the wheel of a Ram 1500 Club Cab, Long bed, 2WD pickup. I loved that truck and thought I'd never give it up. I used it as my daily driver and occassionally for hauling parts for my antique cars.

It was BIG and roomy, with room for 6 adults. I never had more than 4 people in it at any one time. When I drove the E, it was instant karma! :D

Far better on gas (avg 25 mpg with the SOP EX AWD vs 14 mpg with the Ram 360 V8 and 2WD!) :oops: So far, I've had the E for 2 months and have put 4200 miles on her. No regrets what-so-ever! :D For about half the price of a new Ram 4X4 Quad Cab, I have one of the COOLest vehicles on the road and lots of cash left over for gas and oil! How can you hate it?

Trust me, you will not miss the pickup! However, you will probably find youself spending a lot of time out in the driveway, admiring the E. I don't think I'm the only one that has been affected like this. BTW, I'm no love-sick kid, I'm 51 and still appreciate the beauty of a well built car/truck. I may be getting old, but I refuse to grow up! 8)
 

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I have found after a long trip to Florida this past week that the E holds more behind the rear seats than I had imagined. And with the addition of a roof rack and a Thule Playpen Basket for the beach chairs and boogie board we had plenty of room. I transitioned from a 1995 Toyota T100. I do miss it not because the E isn't a great vehicle, but because I had an emotional attachment to my truck! :( I think if you decide to go with the E you will love it, especially since you don't use your truck for heavy duty hauling. I can tell you that a truck will NEVER have the turning radius of the E--what a joy when it comes to parking and turning around!
 

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I'll share that I'm a 5'9" girl and I'm built for comfort, not for speed, if you catch my drift. I'm totally comfortable in the Element. I feel like I'm in a much bigger vehicle. I'm confident you'll have head, leg, hip and shoulder room, to spare.

Others have spoken about their experiences with hauling stuff and people, and gas mileage - and soon I'll have stories like that to share too!!

As for aesthetics, if you are quirky, confident, and individual enough to like the Element now, I don't truly see your tastes changing enough that in a couple of years you go "Yuck!". People don't, in my experience, truly change like that very often. You've either got what it takes in you now to appreciate the E, or you never will have it.

I hope you'll find the right vehicle for you. I bet it'll be an Element!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, this is certainly a convincing group of folks. Seriously, though, I'm now leaning in favor of the Element, in part due to your feedback here (which I appreciate a lot and welcome more responses), and a lot due to research I've been doing. I need to take another test drive to make sure the E is comfortable for me (everyone is different).

I also have to resolve that my eyes say "EX 4WD Auto" and my budget says "EX 2WD 5spd." I don't "need" 4WD, but it would be nice for our few times a year that we go skiing (Mammoth/June Mountain). The reality is that we always take tire chains for our 2WD vehicles, and we've never used them, but sometimes the roads are restricted to "4WD or vehicles with chains." It would be nice to just cruise on through in 4WD.

The 5 speed manual sounds nice for fun driving, but in LA/Orange County/San Diego traffic-jams, having an automatic is MUCH nicer. And I like being able to hold my coffee in one hand, steer with the other, and not worry about shifting.

Decisions, decisions. I need to do something pretty soon, 'cause my old truck needs to be retired.
 

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I traded in a 95 Chevy Silverado Extended cab 4wd. (5.7 v-8)
My main reasons for getting rid of the truck were:
1. Fuel Consumption of the 95 chevy, man that thing was always thirsty.
2. Living in the city made parking that beast next to impossible. i spent more time backing up, pulling forward, backing up, pulling forward trying to get into a space...just to have 1/4 of the truck sticking out over the space or having no room on the sides to get out.

i did a lot of hauling, going to lowes, home depot, buying plants, mulch. so far, there has been no problems w/hauling.

there is sooo much room in the element. but i will probably purchase a roof rack and a cargo carrier for the top to insure there's always room for the passengers in the rear.

love the e, only miss the power of the truck.
 

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Gave up a 2000 Toyota Tundra regular cab because it was frustrating to not have enough interior space (still love the Tundra though!). The 8' box was great when it was needed, but most days it wasn't. Hauled our tandem kayak really well too. Replaced that with a Toyota Highlander to get more interior space, got a great price on the Highlander & couldn't pass it up. Now find that the Highlander is too nice to get dirty inside. So we're replacing our Subaru wagon with an E - EX 4wd auto. The E can get dirty with no problem, will handle all the dirty stuff (not the heavy stuff) that the truck would do. The Highlander takes the kayak, the roof rack on the E doesn't have enough weight capacity. We were torn between a new/used Tundra extra-cab to get more inside space & still have a box, but decided that for most days the E fit the bill better (groceries, errands, landscaping, dogs, hiking, etc.). And for about a $5K price savings we can rent a truck for the big heavy stuff when we need to. Plus we save on gas, sales tax, excise tax, etc. and have fun to boot! The E was the best choice for us.
 
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