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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Commencing therapeutic rant:

I have owned a Tahoe for some time now and enjoyed it. However, I am ready to move on due to its increasing miles. I know one thing...I want a Honda. I just don't want to worry so much about problems and Honda seems to have the market cornered in this area.

So I looked at honda.com and lo' and behold I saw the Element. I saw a few on the road before and could not believe how ugly they were. What shocked me even more was the fact they were made by Honda. Honda's reputation has always been to leave no stone unturned and I just couldn't believe they would make something so ugly.

So then I decided to go look at one up close. I was shocked. It was like they took my Tahoe and a Civic and smashed them together. The drive, the usable space, the attention to a "no mess" sort of car were all things that really impressed me. To top it all of the price is right.

So now I'm stuck and I just can't decide. There are so many things about the element that I like but the Accord just feels like a better made vehicle to me. The road noise is noticable but not terrible. What concerns me is 3 years down the line after a ton of vibrations. Will the road noise sound unbearable? Will the removable seats start to clank around? Will those plastic quarter-panels start to fade or discolor? My point is this: dollar for dollar the accord feels like a quality step up to me. You can get an LX Accord for about the same price as an EX Element. The Accord feels very solid to me while the Element feels a bit more like a Civic level of quality...not sure if that makes sense.

Anyway, did anyone else out there have a similar situation? I realize the Accord and Element are very different and I like them both for completely different reasons. Does anyone have any advice on how they decided?
 

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I have been wanting an Accord Coupe for 5 years, but the last time I was car shopping, it was just out of my price range. My car will be paid off soon and so I planned on getting the Accord. And then came the ELement. Boo Hoo. It's so ugly and the Accord is so slick...but I'm going for functionality and practicality. I have a 3 year old who has no respect for my leather interior and somehow the "No eating in the car" rule disappeared. It's safer (I hope), I have a better view, and now it's so ugly it's almost cute. I think I'm gonna custom paint it to make up for the military look. So if you can talk me back into the Accord, I'd like to hear your case!
Can you tell I'm a girl?
 

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[quote:87c3689372="E-Wanna-Be"]I have been wanting an Accord Coupe for 5 years, but the last time I was car shopping, it was just out of my price range. My car will be paid off soon and so I planned on getting the Accord. And then came the ELement. Boo Hoo. It's so ugly and the Accord is so slick...but I'm going for functionality and practicality. I have a 3 year old who has no respect for my leather interior and somehow the "No eating in the car" rule disappeared. It's safer (I hope), I have a better view, and now it's so ugly it's almost cute. I think I'm gonna custom paint it to make up for the military look. So if you can talk me back into the Accord, I'd like to hear your case!
Can you tell I'm a girl?[/quote:87c3689372]

All I can add is that I too would have never giving it a look if it wasn't because my wife decided to look in the Honda dealer's showroom as I was getting parts for my RSX-s....after a closer inspection, test drive and most of all the price....another coupe in the family was out of the question...

She loves it and is her first FOREIGN car, I on the other hand owned Hondas for the past ...uhmm well since 1981...wow I'm old...anyway I know it will outlast the payments and one important factor...if the horse gets tired...I can do an engine swap and not get rid of the carriage... :D ....there are plenty of engines that would fit this Ugly vehicle...
:D
 

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continuing therapeutic rant....

JP:
I am in the same situation....and I have always liked the looks & promise of the E.
Test drove Accord EX V6 and EX i4 in Nov....nice, powerful, luxurious
Test drove the E (AWD Auto EX) in Jan...harsh gutless I thought.
Test drove a 5spd DX in mid-Feb....wow!, same vehicle ?! Sporty dynamo..what's with the unintentional first gear burnouts ?
Test drove AWD Auto E & Accord EX V6 back to back in mid-March...came away with your exact impression....better value in the Accord. Definitely a step up in quiet, luxury....but put a deposit down on a 5spd E...!?

Early April spent an hour in an AWD Auto E while waiting for wife's Pilot to be serviced. Loved it ! Had enough power especially once under way. Had better acceleration than the 99 Ody I drive and much more fun to drive than either Pilot or Ody.

I cannot stop thinking about the utility of the E inspite of the less than Accord like accomodations. I don't think I can go back to sedan cargo capacity having owned vans and now an SUV for 10 years.

I find it's more about what we, me and the kids, can do with the E than just the vehicle itself. The E encourages me to pursue the fun things we're planning like kayaking, biking, camping like no other vehicle......while promising to be a fun, economical daily driver.....:)
 

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Dear JP,

I can relate to what you are going through. I have been driving an S10 Blazer for about 8 years now. About a month ago I started to look around for a new car and decided to concentrate on Honda because of their excellent reputation, reliability, etc.

I started out with the CR-V, but just was not impressed. I know it is a great SUV, but it just did nothing for me. Then I shifted my attention to the Element. At first glance, I had no interest; thought it was ugly! But when I took a closer look I was quite impressed by its functionality/layout and over time it's (looks) began to grow on me. As a result, I began to research it on the Internet and came across this site. For the most part, Element reviews and test drives have been favorable. However, there (appears) to be several issues/problems with the Element:

Leaky Windows
Cracked Windshields
Flimsy Spare Tire Cover
Low Load Capacity (only 675 pounds)
Dash Rattle

I kept on trying to find excuses to purchase an Element (even put down a deposit on one) but just the other day decided to go with an Accord (for now anyway).

My feeling is that I would give the Element a couple of years to get all the kinks out and then reevaluate my situation. I really love the Element but am not comfortable going with a first year new model. I guess it was that "not knowing what I am getting" feeling that turned me off in the end. And (in my case anyway) the price of an Accord V6 with Leather was only about $1500 more than an Element EX 4WD with all the accessories. I realize it is like comparing apples and oranges, but for $1500 more, I was getting:

Much more power (a V6 240 HP Engine)
Security System
6-Disc in-dash CD Changer
Power/Leather/Heated Seats
Front and (Side) Airbags
Power (front) Moonroof
More Seating Capacity and Load Capacity (about 1000 pounds)
Better Gas Mileage, etc.

But as for (looks), the Element wins hands down!

Again, I love the Element and will probably end-up with one at some point down the road. I just figured for now I would go with the Accord and it's proven track record and give the Element some time to mature.

Goof luck!
 

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I'm so glad that you posted this. I've been busy with school so I haven't posted on this site yet but will soon put up pics of my element. When I was searching for a car in January, my choice was basically between the accord and the element. I couldn't even decide whether I wanted the 2 or 4 door accord. All I knew was that it was one sweet car, excellent build quality, and so many little touches that screamed "high end" to me. The electroluminescent dials and controls made me feel like I was in a Lexus and the handling, power and control of the car, not to mention the lack of noise really impressed me and I was sure that was going to be the vehicle for me. However, I decided to fully check out the element before I made a hasty decision and I was so surprised by the outcome. I thought that the element was not very attractive when I first saw the press photos and couldn't understand why Honda would take its first extreme styling risk and have it come out like this. But after seeing it in the showroom, it just sort of grew on me. The utility and functionality of it are unsurpassed by anything else. I must have gone to the dealers like 12 times and I just couldn't help smiling at it every time I saw it. Ultimately, I chose it because it was available in 4wd (useful in Ontario's show storms) and it was a perfect camping vehicle (my favourite pastime). I've had it since Feb 21/03 and done about 5000 km on it. I find it well put together and not loud at all. It may not be a Lexus, but that really isn't the purpose of it. I'll just say that whatever you choose, you can't be disappointed. I know I'm not. People give me weird looks and tell me the thing is ugly, but anyone who has seen what the interior does or taken a ride with me has changed their minds. But beyond all else, it'll make you smile every time you see it. Well I'm off to my last exam - wish me luck.
 

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The Accord will get better high speed highway milage, with a lower seating position and fewer bugs on the windshield.

The Element probably will rattle, but I won't care because of all the other things it does.

Biggest concern right now?

Will I wear through the windshield by cleaning the bugs off of it with every tank of gas?

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow! Great replies. I find one thing very interesting here. There are Accord owners who still come to this forum thinking about the Element. Something tells me I might end up the same way.

I still find my own situation so strange. Two vehicles that are completely different and yet I can't make up my mind between the two.

In case anyone is interested here is sort of where I am at right now. I am leaning towards an Accord instead of an Element. I have to spend about an hour and a half in the car each day due to my commute. It is not often I need to haul anything and currently my wife and I have no kids. The Accord would give me better gas mileage and probably a better resell value eventhough I bet I will be in this thing at least five years.

Of course the perfect scenario would be for me to get an Accord and get my wife an Element but unfortunately we can't afford it right now.

Probably the biggest thing that attracts me to the Element is comfort. I'm 6'4" and about 250 pounds. I am shocked each and every time I sit in the Element. It is far and away the most comfortable vehicle I have ever sat in. I don't even fit in an Accord EX because the moonroof takes away too much room and my head hits the roof. I barely fit in an Accord LX because there is no sunroof. In an Element I have something like 6-8 inches of headroom and there is just tons of room for my very wide shoulders. I still think it is such a strange experience because sitting in a CRV I feel like it is a toy car. I sit in my Tahoe and I feel fairly comfortable. I sit in an Element and I feel like I have room for days...too weird when considering it from the outside it seems so small.

Geesh this is tough. Now I'm actually talking myself back into an Element again. This nightmare (or dream depending on how you look at it) will never end :)
 

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Hate to make it worse for ya, JP, but one of the main reasons I like my E is because of my commute. Going from a Tahoe to an Accord, you will feel like you are 3 ft. tall. With so many trucks and SUV's on the road, you'll have to maneuver in and out of traffic just to find someone you can comfortably be behind in traffic and still see some of the road ahead.

Although the Element is not as tall as the Tahoe, it sits up high enough so that you can be comfortable just about anywhere on the road. Couple that with the comfort advantage and decent, but not stellar, mileage and I have found my perfect commute-mobile for the rudest commute in the SF Bay Area, the Nasty Nimitz!
 

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I was thinking that the rattle issues probably wont be that big overtime. It seems like Honda has put a whole lot of thought into this design, even if it was only 2 years in the making.


And the CRV being the basis of the Element means that Honda has had some experience with the guts of the truck at least. Engine and Suspension are proven I would imagine, the new thing is just the sheet metal and plastic, which I can't imagine would baffle Honda regarding how to secure them at this point.

My mom just bought a Nissan Altima, and I like the looks of it. Didn't like the looks of the Accord, thought it was trying to copy Nissan. Of course the Accord wins in relability and build quality, but even the Accords are built in the USA. So not a big difference between Element and Accord in that dept I'm thinking. You have to spend big $$$ to get a Japanese made Honda in the S2000 and such...

I'm leaning toward the Element because it's more fun , pure and simple.
I hope I get more use out of the space it provides... I'm sure the Accord is a great car, but it's a crappy SUV, and absolutely no one will be thinking how cool my Accord is, or asking me "Where'd ya git that thing?"
 

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JP

I am 6' 5" and about 245 so I also agree with you that the E is great for people our size. I have never owned a car I felt so small in. This seems to be one of the many gifts of the Honda engineers. Even in my little 93 Civic I was always amazed how small it was outside and roomy inside.

My wife has a 2002 Accord that is great but is just not as fun to drive as the E. The only thing I don't like on my E is the gas mileage. So far I have been stuck at about 21 MPG which is way to low to me but so much better then many comparable vehicles. I also think the Accord is very vanilla looking (the 2003 is a nice improvement) but again my wife likes it so to each their own. Keep in mind the whole drive train of the E is from the CRV so there is no new engineering that might mess up. Also the new Accord is just that new. The drive train is not new but like the E the body is new.

Either way you go having a Honda is a win/win situation. Between my past 3 Honda cars, motorcycle and lawnmower I am always pleased my the reliable and simplistic design of Honda.

Enjoy.
 

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I just traded my 99 Accord EX V-6 on a Element. The Accord was a wonderful road car with good pick up. The leather appointed cabin felt luxurious. I enjoyed this car more than any that I have had.

But, I wouldn't take my Lab for rides because he might scratch the leather. I didn't want to load flats of flowers in the trunk for fear of dirt. And I certainly wouldn't think of loading up the Accord and heading to a campsite.

If you want a very good road car, the Accord is it. If you need more versatility in a vehicle...the E may be it.

I actually enjoy driving the E. It handles better than the front heavy V-6, having more of the quickness of the Civic. The E doesn't accelerate like the V-6, however. The E is almost as quiet (my Accord had road hum from the tires).

You can't miss with an Accord, they are very good cars and bulletproof. I am hoping my E will be the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Again, thanks for the responses from everyone. I took another test drive comparing an accord EX sedan and the Element 2WD EX. The accord drove very nice but again, I don't fit very well in it. In the element I fit perfectly but on the interstate I felt it was a bit lacking. I had two problems. First, at 75 mph I felt the engine was sort of struggling. Part of this may have been due to the wind causing resistance. This was my second issue at high speeds. The wind was really tossing this vehicle around on the road. My Tahoe doesn't suffer from this at all I'm sure because of the sheer weight of the Tahoe.

So do I take the vehicle I fit in perfectly but not so comfortable with at high speeds or do I take the vehicle which handles high speeds great but I don't fit perfectly in? This is simply hypothetical and I know I am the only one who can answer this question. Just more pondering. :)
 
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