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Friend and I got into a debate about what vehicles you can compare to the E. He said the Sicon and Nissan Cube (I had to hold myself back) but to be honest the only vehicle I could think of that is as versatile at the E (AWD with cargo Space and "descent" gas mileage) is the Subaru Outback.
What are your thoughts?
 

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Are you talking currently sold or something just recently sold? To me there isn't a Subie sold that can be compared to the Element. 2 things make them vastly different other than the obvious (engine and size). Those 2 things are the AWD systems and the storage. The Subie has the E beat hands down with their AWD and the E has it easily beat in terms on storage capacity and interior configurations, etc.

The Scion (gen 1 and 2) and Cube are only similar in terms of basic exterior design style, other than that they have nothing in common. Most mini vans can be more easily compared to the Element then either of the above.

The Pontiac Aztec has much more in common with the Element than most vehicles on the road currently I believe. Forget about the looks of the vehicle, but look at what it was designed to do. AWD, outdoor adventure, versatility, etc.

Another vehicle would be the small GMC cargo van with 4wd. It is similarly shaped, has awd/4wd and can hold a ton of stuff. I know someone that has had one for years and loves it.

3 more vehicles that can be compared to the Element would be the CR-V, Rav4 and Honda Fit. The CR-V for obvious reasons (engine, drivetrain, awd, Honda, etc), the Rav4 for being so similar to the CR-V and the Fit for having the same versatile seating configurations.

Other than those few vehicles I can't think of too many that are similar to the Element and none that match the versatility entirely.

Oh, one last one... VW Vanagon or Microbus, depending on how far back you want to go. :) :cheerleader:



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Are you talking currently sold or something just recently sold? To me there isn't a Subie sold that can be compared to the Element. 2 things make them vastly different other than the obvious (engine and size). Those 2 things are the AWD systems and the storage. The Subie has the E beat hands down with their AWD and the E has it easily beat in terms on storage capacity and interior configurations, etc.

The Scion (gen 1 and 2) and Cube are only similar in terms of basic exterior design style, other than that they have nothing in common. Most mini vans can be more easily compared to the Element then either of the above.

The Pontiac Aztec has much more in common with the Element than most vehicles on the road currently I believe. Forget about the looks of the vehicle, but look at what it was designed to do. AWD, outdoor adventure, versatility, etc.

Another vehicle would be the small GMC cargo van with 4wd. It is similarly shaped, has awd/4wd and can hold a ton of stuff. I know someone that has had one for years and loves it.

3 more vehicles that can be compared to the Element would be the CR-V, Rav4 and Honda Fit. The CR-V for obvious reasons (engine, drivetrain, awd, Honda, etc), the Rav4 for being so similar to the CR-V and the Fit for having the same versatile seating configurations.

Other than those few vehicles I can't think of too many that are similar to the Element and none that match the versatility entirely.

Oh, one last one... VW Vanagon or Microbus, depending on how far back you want to go. :) :cheerleader:
That pretty much covers it! I've owned Subaru's and like the AWD, but, there just isn't anything around that has the room the E has. I looked at a previous gen Forester before I looked at the E, but it didn't have the cargo room that I wanted. And, let's face it, nothing looks like an E!
 

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Whilst shopping for a new car, I considered these:

Another Outback, for the winter handling, outdoor sporting stuff

Ford Transit Connect, for the cargo space

Mini Cooper Clubman, for the looks.

In the Element, we get aspects of all three of these, in different degrees. Because of its versatility, there is no single car to compare it to.
 

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Another vehicle would be the small GMC cargo van with 4wd. It is similarly shaped, has awd/4wd and can hold a ton of stuff. I know someone that has had one for years and loves it.
+1

That would be the GMC Safari/Chevy Astro and they were great little 4wd vans. If they had clamshell rear doors they would have been freakishly Element like. Too bad GM has nothing like it in their current offerings.
 

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As the owner of a 2009 Subaru Forester and a past and now present Element owner I'd like to chip in my two cents.

The new generation Forester has the E beaten on handling, ride, stability in a cross wind, ground clearance, AWD capability on and off road, front leg room (barely) and visibility. Gas mileage is also a small amount better than the E.
It also has decent cargo capacity, up a fair amount over the last model.
Another plus for the Forester is towing capacity-2500lbs with trailer brakes.

The Element's hauling versatility in such a short, narrow package can't be matched by any other vehicle. The wipe down floor and interior panels are a big plus, as are the legendary "64 seating configurations". The E's transmissions-both manual and auto are smoother and shift better than the Subaru (My Forester does have a better clutch feel than my MT Element, but the E's shift feel was much less notchy). The E's clamshell rear is really great when loading plus makes a sturdy seat.

As for other vehicles, the Pontiac Aztec had a lot of the "Swiss Army Knife" versatility of the E, too bad the exterior styling team was hitting the hookah a bit hard. The Astro van was loved for its cargo capacity vs. small size, but it got lousy gas mileage and AWD versions were either fairly reliable or a nightmare depending on what day the thing was assembled. Current production really offers nothing really comparable to the Element.
 

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...AND THE CORRECT ANSWER IS:

NOTHING compares to the Element!!!

(I am just a little bit bias.)
 

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...AND THE CORRECT ANSWER IS:

NOTHING compares to the Element!!!

(I am just a little bit bias.)
Word to that, I didn't see the Kia Rondo, CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Mazda 5, hmm.. what else.
I simply love how the E drives and it's utility.
 

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I had the Astro AWD before getting the Element and it was a nice ride but did terrible in the snow as it had all diffs open and as others said it got terrible milage. It held a lot more but hated the drivers floor area as I have big feet.
 

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There really is no straight-across comparison to the E in key model features. The Transit Connect mentioned above is the closest equivalent to date in overall capability, function and performance, but that comes by completely ignoring seating configuration flexibility and basic creature comforts.

As far as intended purpose, yes, the Aztek was supposed to be the first pass at the E's market target, but GM's interior engineers couldn't leave well enough alone, and carpeted- and cup-holdered-away the utility. We briefly cross-shopped the Aztek when the E came out, and were turned-off by the feature-itis, loss of capacity due to the rear design, interior clutter, and poor access through the rear doors. We could actually deal with the quirky exterior, as we could with the E.

We never considered the Astro/Safari since MPG is high on our list, and the GM midi-box was, as mentioned, infuriatingly bad in this department. All the lousy mileage of a full-size van without the hauling space. I don't get this, really. Seriously, check it out for the last year of Safari production (2005)... the full-size GMC Savannah van with AWD was only 1 MPG worse than the Safari.

The last vehicle I considered "equivalent" to the E in form and function were the 1st-gen Japanese minivans (1st-gen in US market), the wedge-nose designs that erred on the side of "utilitarian". Small, short wheelbase, lots of haulage potential, decent mileage, non-fussy interiors. They could even carry seven passengers if everyone packed light. Toyota's was the best known, Nissan's was nearly identical - I had one of those - and Mitsubishi had a boxier version, as well. These were all RWD... however, although didn't somebody eventually offer an AWD in this configuration? Toyota, maybe?
 

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The last vehicle I considered "equivalent" to the E in form and function were the 1st-gen Japanese minivans (1st-gen in US market), the wedge-nose designs that erred on the side of "utilitarian". Small, short wheelbase, lots of haulage potential, decent mileage, non-fussy interiors. They could even carry seven passengers if everyone packed light. Toyota's was the best known, Nissan's was nearly identical - I had one of those - and Mitsubishi had a boxier version, as well. These were all RWD... however, although didn't somebody eventually offer an AWD in this configuration? Toyota, maybe?
Mike Toyota did have a 4wd model from 1987-89 but i cannot confirm if it was full time or part time. I drove a 1986 cargo version for a couple years and if anyone thinks the E is bad in crosswinds....the Toyota was down right brutal.It was however a great van for tight parking lots and city driving.Winters were a nightmare even with snow tires on the rwd versions.
 

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Thanks, Adrian. Memory wasn't completely playing tricks on me.

I'll second the "snow" thing. The Nissan was absolutely, totally dreadful in the white stuff. I don't recall the wind buffeting being that bad. Maybe it was, I just don't remember it. That memory thing again, I guess. :|
 

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The poor ugly duckling Aztek is a prime example of 'Focus Group' design added to GM's 'Design by Committee'. Just keep agreeing to add more features until you hit the BLIVOT stage.

(BTW-BLIVOT= 5lbs of S&#T stuffed into a 1lb bag)
 

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Eagle Summit came in an AWD version. The bench seat came out easily to make it a cargo hauler. While it did not have the floor to ceiling height that the E has in the rear it came close in my mind. I liked the Summit a lot. I was reminded of it when the E came out.

I think its easy to forget a lot of niche vehicles that have been around. Some come and go so quick.
 
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