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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After having to cancel my Element and then re-ordering, the dealer called last Thursday with the news that they'd picked up what I wanted- green 4WD auto EX- in a trade with a dealer in Ohio. It's got 140 miles on it from the transport- did I want it? Sure. (I did have some concerns about what kind of bozo drove it dealer-to-dealer... especially given Honda's break-in advice for the first 600 miles. Just the other day I overheard an idiot at a coffeehouse bragging about how he drove customer cars taken in to the business he worked at. Wish I'd heard *what* business it was ;-)

I took Friday off to pick it up, taking along a couple of friends (1) to drive my other car home and (2) for general amusement. Ours, not the dealership's. IRiding home the Element was characterized as "a Lego car" and "Tupperware". Both seem appropriate. I'd love to have an inflatable Lego-person I could leave in the driver's seat when I had it parked ;-) Back at my house friend John was coming up with alternative items to stick in the fog light slots, like fake .50 cal machine gun barrels. "Hummer dead ahead! Range, 20 meters! Engage with coax!"

Saturday I drove it 80 miles (round trip) to go kayaking. Great highway manners, fine handling, quiet, good stereo (once I cranked down the +5 setting on the subwoofer) and generally pleasant to drive. I love the headroom and the general feeling of spaciousness. The milage is... well, not great. I averaged 22mpg on the highway. I uaually drive very modestly, but I was pacing traffic on the way back and noticed how often I was hitting 80. I'd typically more of a 65-70mph driver. The car is so smooth compared to my '94 SW2 and '94 Caravan that I was driving much faster than usual. I would guess that milage goes down very fast as you get over 60. Halfway back I remembered the car had cruise control so I kicked that in. I'd really like a milage monitor like my old Voyager had, that would enable me to monitor mpg in real time.

Funny thing; I thought of the element as a sort of micro-van, until I measured all three of my cars. The Element is perhaps 6-8" shorter than the Caravan (which it will be replacing), and much taller. As small cars go it's pretty big. Of course as large cars goes it's pretty small. Interestingly all three of my cars are within half a foot in length and width.

I didn't get any accessories, figuring I'd drive it a while first to see what I needed. I did just order a carpet from HandA, and I think I'm going to get a roof rack as well. The "cabana" is intruiging, particularly for waiting out storms when kayaking, as there's no rear hatch overhanmg. But I think instead I'll make my own rear rain shelter from a nylon fly and some fiberglass wands. .

Summary: Neat car, reasonably priced. It'll be great for camping and adventure. Things I'd like to see on it: Hybrid power plant (of course). Trailer hitch receiver built in. MP3 option on the EX CD player. The aforementioned milage monitor. More dash room to mount accessories. Passenger side armrest- all four passengers mentioned this. Seat lumbar adjustment. Dummy pedal for the left foot. That's about it.
 

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Congrats on your acquisition of an E. I hope you'll have many happy and safe miles together.

Driving mine for the first time yesterday (250 miles home from the dealer) I noticed that I was humming along at 80+ mph like Ms. Leadfoot, 2003, and the car felt strong and steady and so smooth that it fooled me into thinking I was going slower.

Photos - with kayak - would be super!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
[quote:fb1c31ebca="TheLusciousHellcat"]Congrats on your acquisition of an E. I hope you'll have many happy and safe miles together.

...

Photos - with kayak - would be super![/quote:fb1c31ebca]

I paddle folding kayaks- so you'd need to see the *inside* of the car!

http://www.foldingkayaks.org
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Perspective after a week and a half and 400 miles:

I'm a little more used to the E. I thought of it as something that would replace both my '94 Saturn wagon and my '94 Dodge Caravan, but it's really very different from both. I'm still driving the wagon for my inner-city commute- I like driving a small, nondescript, disposable car in town. And the E doesn't have quite as much cargo room as the Caravan- not that I do that much hauling of large objects.

On the plus side, it's smoother driving than either the Saturn or the Caravan, it, gets much better milage than the Caravan, and it's better than either vehicle when it comes hauling me to my kayaking and fishing sites. It's much more reliable for long trips than either of the oldies. And it should be great next winter in the slop.

Overall, I think it's a keeper. I suspect I'll still be driving it in 2013.
 

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a little off topic mikey, but great website! still reading it, and i now am considering a folding kayak as well as the more standard and cheaper molded ones.
 
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