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Hello All, I am new to the site and am thinking of getting an Element. However, I am not the typical user that Honda has targetted for this vehicle. I am middle aged, married, 2 kids, 2 dogs etc and have NEVER been on a snowboard. I am an advertising photographer who shoots on location so I have to bring along lots of gear. Over the last 10+ years I have driven Dodge minivans and they have done the trick quite nicely. However, I am ready for a change.Are there any former minivan owners out there who can comment on their Element/MV experience. Also, I usually keep my vehicle for 6,7,8 years and put on 150,000 miles.Can this 4 cylinder engine take it? My Dodge 4 died at 85,000. I am wary. It seems like a big vehicle to be powered by a 4. Thanks.
 

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Jaybird, the number of people I have seen on here who match the Honda "profile" for an Element owner would probably be less than 5%. I think that your "profile" is more the norm for Element purchasers than you think.

We have loads of dog owners here who have spoken to how well their dogs like the "E", and in fact we have a subsection of the board just for pet owners in which you'll find anecdotes as well as some hints and tips on what to do about shedding hair and how to keep 'Rover' from getting up front when you're driving.

Look through our other posts as well, you'll seee there are a number of kind parents who have added DVDs and other such things for their children. There good tips to be found such as how the small lever on the back of the passenger seat allows the seat to scoot forward so that a passenger being dropped off for school can let themselves out from the back seat.

I certainly hope to speak for everyone here that we hope that you'll join our family of Elementals!
 

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The other day we had four people, two dogs, and stuff all fit comfortably in our E. It's a great dog car because of the lack of carpet.
 

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[quote:5a65aeb4e8="bush555"]Honda's four-cylinder engines are considered among the best and most durable in the world. My current 145 horse-power CR-V, at 70,000 miles, has hauled all manner of weightier cargo (I work as a set dressing buyer in the film industry) and continues to run beautifully.

Best luck with your decision![/quote:5a65aeb4e8]

I concur!

I've hauled a lot of crap in the E... i give you... the Element Grip Truck!


 

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Prior to getting my Element I bought a new 1995 Plymouth Voyager and then a new 1998 Plymouth Voyager. Both vehicles never gave me a day of trouble with a combined 270,000 miles.

The Element definately has less cargo space then the mini-van (with all passenger seats out). If you have specific items that need to be hauled, measure the equipment. I can still fit two large dog crates into the back of the Element. In the mini-van, I could fit 3 dog crates.

The Element handles better and gets better gas milage(even with all-wheel drive).
Cargo access is better in the Element (suicide doors)

I do have some peace of mind because of Honda's reliability reputation and higher resale value. I'm now a 2 Honda family as my wife as a Honda Accord.

Then there is the "funk factor" if that matters to anyone. I'm a forty year old who needs practicality. The "funk factor" is included at no additional cost. Somedays looking at my E, I just scratch my head and say to myself,
"it will never be mistaken for a red Ferrari" (then again, neither did my mini-vans)
 

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i'm outside the "target" market for the e as well. 33, married, kid, dog. i do indulge in mountain biking, camping, skiing, some of the "target" activities.
in my former life, i drove a minivan as a company vehicle. i loved the space and the versatility. but there were drawbacks. having to physically remove seats (then store them), etc. the element has some drawbacks as well. one of the things that makes it such a fantastic vehicle, the suicide doors, is also annoying in some situations--tight parking spaces for example. but for my money, the element offers fantastic versatility, cargo hauling room, ease of maintenance (though some on this forum might disagree as it seems some of the interior materials have a tendency to get scuffed and scratched easier than some people like).
plus there is that "funk factor" (good phrase Nat!).
as for power and reliability. i don't think you can go wrong there. the engine in the element is a well-proven engine. in other formats, this engine has been modified backwards and forwards to get more power so, in my opinion, its well over-engineered for its purpose in the element.
i would, without question, recommend the element, but i do suggest you read through some of the discussions here about various problems and issues that people have had. i've not had nearly the problems (i.e. windshield) that others have experienced but i'm a late model buyer so i'm hoping that honda made design changes on the fly that corrected some of the issues that a lot of people have had.
all in all, i feel like the element, far and away, offers the most versatility, most fun and best value for the money.
good luck with the decision !

peace.
 

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Jay, I am at the high end of the curve, I am 57 years old, have no kids, do not bike, camp, ski, fish, go to football, baseball, or basketball games (never have, never will). My hair is very grey, I have worked at the same place of employment for 35 years, do not drink, smoke or go to school. I was a hard core Dodge/Plymouth/MOPAR dude since 1971, driving that vehicle for over 11 years, until I bought my first Honda CRV in 2001. I have never looked back. I consider this E Machine (My "Flaming Box", if you will), my second childhood car. I put bigger chrome wheels and tires on it, which I only did with the first car I ever owned, and they were "mag" wheels. I have installed a better exhaust system, which is a little louder and deeper toned and which should help the mileage/performance situation, and I never did that with any other car I owned when I was younger and growing up with the muscle car era. I put accessories on it that are different than the average bear, like a roof mounted spotlight, big rig air horns, the front bumper/brush/shopping cart guard to protect the front, and flame decals on the side, to be different. (Hence the name, The Flaming Box) Am I passionate about this boxy Honda that I own? You bet yer ass, I am!! I am the answer to the Harley Davidson motorcycle nut who believes in his "Hog". I can, and do, haul just about anything I want to in it, except a sheet of plywood laying flat.
I do not like the mileage of it, however, but that does not stop me. The CRV before this was a better mileage vehicle and almost as much fun. The Dodge Colt WAY before this squeaked 40+ mpg out of it, so I am a nut when it comes to gas consumption. Had I relied on gas mileage alone to make my mind up on purchasing it, I prolly would have skipped buying it and stuck with the CRV, or maybe bought the 2nd gen CRV. BUT..... I would not have as much fun as I am having with my E Machine. This is my mid-life crisis answer. I usually keep my cars a long time. This car seems to be a candidate for keeping a VERY long time!

Thanks for letting me get passionate and rant on about MY Element

Ger
 

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Can the four cylinder engine take 150,000 miles? Yeah - it's a Honda. This from a 59 year old. Kids gone and married, etc. Demographics are important only to those who think they are important.
 

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Don't worry about the engines. I have a CRV with 70k miles and it's hauled a lot of stuff. The element has the 160hp engine from the accord with more torque. It's a 2.4 liters vs my old CRV 2.0. Every other Honda I've owned has went well over 100,000 before I traded or sold. A 1988 accord went over 250,000. I may be biased, but I think Honda has the edge over Chrysler, Ford, GM with engines. Granted, they do not make a V-8 (yet).

The mini-van has more space, but not much more. Don't let the element looks fool you. It can haul a lot of cargo, especially when you remove the back seats.

Good luck.
8)
 

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[quote:41b9237966="elemantal"]Can the four cylinder engine take 150,000 miles? Yeah - it's a Honda. This from a 59 year old. Kids gone and married, etc. Demographics are important only to those who think they are important.[/quote:41b9237966]

i have a 1991 accord with the F22 2.2 liter engine... it has over 200,000 miles on it and it's still going on strong.
 

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I had a Dodge Caravan prior to my E. I wanted something more functional due to a 9 year old daughter - carpet stains in the Dodge drove me nuts! I also removed the back seat a lot, which was a pain. I love just flipping up a seat for extra storage in the E (I keep one up most of the time).

My daughter loves the E - lots of leg room for her. We had a DVD unit in the Dodge - haven't installed anything like that for the E as we will be getting a class B in the near future. That unit will have all the bells and whistles.

As far as the E goes, I just love how easy it cleans up. A few wipes of the floor and it's staying sooooo nice. My criteria for a new car was "high, smooth, safe, small and functional". I feel the E gives me all that and more. And my dog loves it too! :D

Carrie.
 

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From Consumer Reports and other material I have read, Honda engines and other components are very reliable. That said, however, we need to be careful about comparisons to other Honda vehicles that weigh less.

Because of the Element's higher weight, the final drive ratio is geared lower. This means more engine revolutions per mile, and per 100,000 miles. We could reasonably expect, therefore, more wear for the same mileage as compared to an Accord with the same engine.

One evidence of this is the gas mileage. The Element gets lower mpg than an Accord with the same engine because more work must be done to move its weight and shape. More work requires more fuel, and to get more fuel through it requires higher rpm.
 

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I traded in a Ford Aerostar for the E. I loved the Aerostar but since my kids were grown, I found myslef alone in the big minivan a lot of the time. On the other side I was always filling up the Aerostar hauling things, camping, road trips as well. I wanted to get rid of space while still keeping it. Sounds silly I know but it is true. The E is perfect for this.

I also have 2 dogs who ride with me each day and with the 2 back seats flat and a blanket over the top. I have never kept a car so clean as I do my E. I can not ever imagine carpets and cloth again.

Personally, I would have not traded in the van if I still had the 2 kids and the 2 dogs, since all of us went places together. The E would be a tad tight, but remember I have 200 lbs of dogs in mine. Your dogs might be smaller. My Rottie prefers on of the back seats for herself.

I hope this helps
 

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zetemo_52 writes:

"Because of the Element's higher weight, the final drive ratio is geared lower. This means more engine revolutions per mile, and per 100,000 miles. We could reasonably expect, therefore, more wear for the same mileage as compared to an Accord with the same engine"

Well maintained Honda engines frequently exceed 250,000 miles. My automatic AWD E does 80 mph at 3100-3200 rpm. My wife's 1998 2.3 4 cyl. 5 speed Honda Accord does 80 mph at 3000 rpm. IMO, 1/10 or 2 1/0ths of 1 point isn't a significant real world factor. Time will be the true Judge.
 
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