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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering the E to replace a Passat. My two boys are 10 months and just under three years old, and I've already had enough of the back of the driver's seat being constantly kicked! Plus, those boys are pretty squished back there with their car seats (the infant still riding backwards!).

How difficult is the two-door situation with small children? How do you feel about the back seat? How tough is it for your kids to climb up into the E? How well do your child seats fit back there?

And, mostly, are you happy with the E as a family car?

Any feedback much appreciated.
 

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It work great. Our daughter is will be 3 in Aug. and we have another one on the way. With the rear doors opening out it is very easy to get her in and out of her carseat. Get an EX so that the rear seat are waterproof also. On the DX its only the front. We spent a week in Florida earlier this year doing the beach and Disney thing. We got home and had a ton of sand, Cheerios, various crumbs etc. It was easy to clean. Just sweep everything into a corner then shop-vac it out. The distance from the rear seats to the front is more than my brother in laws Trailblazer. They would need to have some seriously long legs to kick the seats. My wife has a Civic and I know how much of a pain that is. I have 4500 miles now and a full week of 'Family Vacation' in it, next week we are road trippingto Chicago (from Atlanta) for a wedding. I am very happy with it so far. Plenty of space, good mileage. The one thing that I am adding is a DVD player. It makes travellign with kids so much easier.
 

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So I'm going to get flamed for this I'm sure - but I think the E is a pain in regard to kids for 3 main convenience reasons and one safety reason...

Convenience:

1. Try holding a child's hand in a parking lot and opening the front and back doors while you're parked between cars. You have to move the poor kid out of the way like 3 times.

2. Getting the child into the car seat is harder than one might think because the back seats are so far back. Honda should have made them sliding but that still would'nt solve issue #3 below...

3. Buckling the child in is difficult because the seat belt is positioned very far back and of course leaning in and reaching around that far to actually buckle the belt is difficult because of #2 above.

Safety:

1. Everyone recommends that children be in the MIDDLE of the back seat but since the Element is a 4 passenger vehicle there is no middle portion of the back seats. There is only seating for two (and no middle seat belt)and the seats split in the middle so they can fold up against the sides.

So in the end - I'd say the E is far less kid friendly than many of the other vehicles in its class. This is probably not what you expected to hear :cry: based on the fact that the doors make things appear to be helpful with kids but it is truthfully based on my experience and yes, I do have kids and an Element. :D

Hope this helps,
->eMass
 

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I traded in my Jeep Wrangler for an Element because I needed a more family-friendly car. I've got 2 daughters, 4 and 2, and the Element appealed to me as both a fun, Jeep-like ride and as a very versatile, kid-carrier. And it hasn't disappointed. The kids climb in easily and LOVE the stadium-style seating, not to mention the big sunroof over their heads. The LATCH system makes putting their car seats in a breeze (granted, all new cars have it). And they can spill their Ritz crackers and juice boxes all they want - I just wipe it right up. They always want to go in "daddy's car" now. The only drawback is that we've got #3 on the way, and that'll rule the Element out for full-family trips, since there's no 5th seat. But hey, that's why my wife drives a minivan.
 

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We have a six year old and he loves the E. The only hassle is the door opening fire drill that e-mass mentions. He really loves it when it is just the two of us, because I remove the front passenger headrest and with the elevated rear seats, he can see out all around him. It's also nice that he can recline for a nap on longer journeys.

It's also much less stress for the entire family, since spills are not a big deal in my Element as opposed to Mom's 740iL with the oyster leather interior... :)

peace,
-jdef
 

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My kids (3 & 6) love our new Element. They can both open the doors and buckle themselves in, so it's all pretty easy now. If you are in a spot where you can swing both doors open, getting seats in & out is no problem. We haven't had much trouble in parking lots getting them loaded and unloaded either.

They love the extra legroom and the view. But, as already noted, the back seat only accomodates 2. Overall, the E works great, we all love it and it's a great break from our van. Good luck!
 

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When my kids were little, I would have loved the space and utility of the E. (I don't think I would have liked the way it looked at all back then.)

Remember though the E was developed to be a "Dorm-On-Wheels" not a "Nursey-On-Wheels"

How Honda missed that obvious use though cracks me up. :lol:
 

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[quote:2ba78948fd="SPACE E"]Remember though the E was developed to be a "Dorm-On-Wheels" not a "Nursey-On-Wheels"

How Honda missed that obvious use though cracks me up. :lol:[/quote:2ba78948fd]

Well - I don't think Honda missed the point I think they know exactly what they are doing.

If a Gen Y kid sees an ad for an Element with a mommy cleaning up a juice spill then the youthful effect is spoiled and the "target market" becomes vaporized.

And if a mom sees an ad for a radical Gen X/Y hauler with muddy mountain bikes and scuba gear well then she typically get's the wrong impression too and looks elsewhere.

But there is a strange marketing phenomenon referred to commonly as "inner child marketing" that I think Honda is silently and very cleverly playing to. This is when you cleverly associate a product with the most widely appealing segment of an audience in order to appeal to the majority of buyers with the greatest means and motive to purchase.

It goes like this:

Honda advertises the Element as a utilitarian vehicle for todays active youth.

Naturally, nobody likes to be told they are too old for anything and to prove it, will buy the vehicle to subliminally prove to themselves (and perhaps others) that they are not too old to be defined as anything. This is how they play to the buyers aesthetic senses (satisfying the heart).

And of course the utilitarian features of the vehicle helps the purchaser rationalize the decision for more practical reasons (satisfying the head).

In terms of marketing and sales if you have the buyers heart and head - that equals $ale$! This is truly how marketing folks think - I should know as I have worked in advertising/marketing. I guess I am "the enemy".:D

This is a brilliant strategy and Honda seems to be executing it perfectly since polls and reports from dealers are dead on.

The younger buyers like the E but don't seem to purchase - the older buyers are the ones scooping the Element up! And guess which type of buyer has more disposable income? :D

Best,
->eMass
 

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I'm in the ad biz, and I couldn't have said it better myself, eMass. Excellent theory...and as a 32 year old with 2 (soon to be 3) kids, I can't deny that when I traded in my Wrangler, a big part of me didn't want to leave the "cool car" factor behind. Do not go gently into old age!
 

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I am a mom with a 6 month old and one on the way. We currently have a jetta and with the baby seat rear facing there is no room up front at all. and with my belly expanding in the next few months I don't think there is no way i will be able to fit in there at all. I can't imagine two car seats in the back of the jetta as it is already hard to get my daughter in and out already. We should be getting our Shore line mist element in the next few weeks. i love all the room up front and back. The only draw back I see will be getting my daughter in and out while the car seat is rear facing but as soon as it goes forward it should be a breeze.
 

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If one compares the E to a car rather than a van, it is less parent friendly.

I have a 4 year old and a 10 month old. We placed the back-facing baby carrier/seat on the driver side so that my 4 year old can climb onto the car from the driver side and then sit and buckle herself. Not a big deal. Of course, this is not ideal compared to a van which is specifically designed for a family and kids.

The other plus for a E compare to a car, more space to change diapers on the floor or the car seat since the upholstery is water-proof.
 

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Car Seat Problems with the 2004 Element HELP!!

HELP ME!! I have a 2004 Honda Element and I can not find an infant car seat that will fit. Well, actually I found the Britax but it is so huge you can not see out the back window and it is about $300 + dollars.
Are there any parents out there that have a newborn with this car and found a good car seat that fits well?? Thanks!!
 

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Re: Car Seat Problems with the 2004 Element HELP!!

kedgar01 said:
HELP ME!! I have a 2004 Honda Element and I can not find an infant car seat that will fit. Well, actually I found the Britax but it is so huge you can not see out the back window and it is about $300 + dollars.
Are there any parents out there that have a newborn with this car and found a good car seat that fits well?? Thanks!!
What're you talking about? ANY LATCH compatible car seat will fit.
 

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Re: Car Seat Problems with the 2004 Element HELP!!

kedgar01 said:
HELP ME!! I have a 2004 Honda Element and I can not find an infant car seat that will fit. Well, actually I found the Britax but it is so huge you can not see out the back window and it is about $300 + dollars.
Are there any parents out there that have a newborn with this car and found a good car seat that fits well?? Thanks!!
We used a Graco infant seat that comes with a stroller.
Similar to this...



We now use a forward facing one, similar to this....



I have used other types of seats in the E as well and I have installed them in family members vehicles.

I found the E to be the easier to install the child seat than any of the other vehicles I've experienced.
(XL-7, xB, Xterra, Passat, Explorer and a Buick.)

If you can't get it to fit right, you may be doing something wrong.
I strongly suggest getting a lesson in installing it properly from your local law enforcement or fire department before using the seat.
 

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My response to this is coming from someone who has two kids...

eMass said:
So I'm going to get flamed for this I'm sure - but I think the E is a pain in regard to kids for 3 main convenience reasons and one safety reason...

Convenience:

1. Try holding a child's hand in a parking lot and opening the front and back doors while you're parked between cars. You have to move the poor kid out of the way like 3 times.
I don't have that problem... kids are small, we all fit next to the drivers seat with the door open... then I open the back door and the both climb in. I don't see the issue. It is a pain when there are adults, and sometimes when people park too close, but then that's a pain anyway.

2. Getting the child into the car seat is harder than one might think because the back seats are so far back. Honda should have made them sliding but that still would'nt solve issue #3 below...
I will grant you that putting an infant in a car seat might be difficult (I don't think it would be), but I have to buckle my kids into their boosters, and because of the wide opening and the high ceiling, I can go in on my knees and not even bang my head. It's actually easier than the minivan, and I imagine it's certainly a lot less annoying to put an infant in one of those seats then to have to bend over, holding the baby, and play contortionist trying to get the child into the middle of the back seat of a typical passenger car.

3. Buckling the child in is difficult because the seat belt is positioned very far back and of course leaning in and reaching around that far to actually buckle the belt is difficult because of #2 above.
Well, again... we have two booster seats and just leave the belt hooked around the armrests. I haven't had that problem. Moreover, if you're talking about an infant, then you don't use the seatbelt anyway... you use LATCH and semi-permanently attach the baby seat to the car's seat... then you are dealing with the belt in the carseat only.

Safety:

1. Everyone recommends that children be in the MIDDLE of the back seat but since the Element is a 4 passenger vehicle there is no middle portion of the back seats. There is only seating for two (and no middle seat belt)and the seats split in the middle so they can fold up against the sides.
This is true, but when you have two kids, you can't put one in the middle anyway (two carseats generally don't fit right next to each other in a passenger car). Besides, for this very reason you'd be calling our five-star minivan unsafe because the two second row seats are next to the doors and not in the middle (it's easier to get to the back when the seats are on the sides). Moreover, even if we only had one, we'd still probably put the seat on the driver's side... I can stand up straight and put my kids in the seat. I suffered back problems for years with our first child being in the middle of our sedan.

I'm not saying it's not a valid complaint, but there are plusses and minuses either way. Moreover, it's not THAT much safer. It is safer, thus the recommendation, but it's far more critical that the seat is installed properly and the child is restrained properly.

Overall I don't think that the E is the best choice for parents - the Honda Odyssey is a much better, much safer vehicle. But as a second family vehicle, I think it's just great.
 

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Just wanted to lighten everyones mood... :-D

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
a tale of a fateful trip.
That started from this tropic port,
aboard this tiny ship.
The mate was a mighty sailin' man,
the skipper brave and sure.
Five passengers set sail that day,
for a three hour tour, a three hour tour………
The weather started getting rough,
the tiny ship was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew,
the Minnow would be lost; the Minnow would be lost.
The ship took ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle,
with Gilligan, the Skipper too,
the Millionaire, and his Wife,
the Movie Star, the Professor and Mary Ann,
here on Gilligan's Isle
 

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Part of our resoning in buying our E was that we'll have kids soon. the ez-clean interior was a definate bonus in our minds. Everything elce in our price range did not seem kid friendly... The E was actually a streach, the 1.9 for 60mo and near invoice price is the only reason we could afford it.
 

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robkap said:
And, mostly, are you happy with the E as a family car?

I have a 13 year old and a 10 year old....one of the big selling points for the Element was the back seat room....my 13 year old is 5' -6" and the 10 year old is not far behind him.
 

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eeeeiiiii! yer kiddos are big... As I remember it I was shorter than my mom at 13, that would put me around 5'2" or so. though I was taller than my dad (5'8") by the time I was 16, now I'm 6'... :) Tallest living person on both sides of the family for now, my 15 y/o cousen is almost 6' now but a size 14 shoe :-o (I'm a lowly size 12) so my time as tallest is limited ;)
 

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Don't feel bad, insane, my 16 yr old is my height (6'6") and my 13 year old is 5'10", but wears between a d 14 and 15 men's shoe. I'm don't want to guess how tall he will be once his growth spurt kicks in.

Bottom line on the E is that even tall kids like these fit great in back, and they love being able to recline the seats and sleep on longer trips (definitely a teenage need.)

Good luck
 
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