I didn't like the Rabbit gearing, but it suited the HP of the car and the diesel engine. I wouldn't want to drive a gas car with that same set up. I had a few Accords from the Element era and thought they were better RPM wise at highway speeds.Interesting about the VW Rabbit. Diesel engines may not have allot of HP but do have lots of low-end torque. A real big gap between 3 and 4? So, it had 3 forward gears plus a tall 4th? If so and you liked that, then there is a solution for the E using the 5th gear from an Accord and a donor MTX from a Accord is cheap. It's on this forum. But beware, the E has a short 4th gear and the Accord 5th is real tall so you'll have to wind out your engine revs to get to it. Keep us up to date with your plans - we would love to hear from you.
I drove Subarus and VW's for a long time and for many years they were plagued with the same issue as the Element....5th gear on the 4 cylinder was wailing at highway speeds. It seems like they matched 5th to the torque band of the engines so you wouldn't have to downshift to pass on the highway or something like that. Does the CR-V have the same 5th gear as the Element?
My wife's 2017 Forester has a 6MT and it's a little better but not much. They keep getting heavier and the flat 2.5 has been around forever, so it's seriously underpowered to the point of being dangerous with the AC on. Plus, they must have dorked with the body to subframe bushings to make it "ride better" so it handles like a pregnant yak, and now you can only get a freaking CVT on them so Subarus are off of my list.
BOT for a minute, I will probably wait on deciding on the swap because I need to drive the Element this winter to keep the TDI out of the salt/keep the miles down. The TDI is a dieselgate car from California with an extended warranty and kind of a unicorn feature wise so I'd like to hang onto it for a while.