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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to find a vehicle I can drive from coast to coast... in any type of weather... and also have fun doing it. the element seems to be my answer.

plus I really love the look of this vehicle...

but I'd like to know from you, real element owners and not car salespeople, how it handles in snowy/icy conditions. and is the element's 4 cylinder engine really strong enough to handle hills? like northern california hills with a cargo full of gear?

((THANK YOU FOR YOUR RESPONSES. I hope to be an element owner soon!!!))
 

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abbynormal,

I don't know if I qualify as a real person, that is still up for debate, but I am not a dealer or salesman. I am a Lawyer, sorry.

As far as your questions....

Snow and ice, well, no vehicle is going to deal with stopping on ice, unless it has studded snows, and even then it only helps. As far as driving, the Element works great. The ability to have the Element change by itself, automatically from front wheel drive, to 4 WD is great. I got up my father's driveway in NH in the snow. It is snowing here in NY today, and while I am not going speeding down side streets, I will have no problem getting to where I need or want to go. Even before they plow the streets. Depending on where you go, you need to keep an eye on ground clearance, as if the snow is really that deep, you gotta be careful.

The 4 cyl. Well, I would love to have a 6 in it, but you really don't need it. There are plenty of hills and mountains in NH. On our trip up, we had a full load, back packed, as well as some things in the back seat. 2 adults, and it had no problem at all. The gas mileage is one of the wonderful things about the Element. On our trip, mostly highway driving, still will under 1000 miles on the engine we were getting about 21/22 with a full load. I am sure that will go up, but for an SUV, that is great.

Everyone drives differently, so you are best off taking it out on a test drive, and try getting on a highway, try it on the open road a bit, and see how it feels. I know I was about 75% sold before my test drive, and bought it after.

Good luck, I hope that you let us know what you buy.
 

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Summed up well, with no lawyer speak!!!! Snowing in MD this morning and was pretty confident having my wife conquer the downtown streets despite her lack of snow driving experience. I plan on taking our Element from MD to Vancouver this Fall and can't wait to make the trip. Any cross country tips will be much appreciated.
 

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Drove in to work on this snowy PA morning on hilly, windy back country roads with no problems. Talked to some other folks (w/ 4x4 pickup & ford escape) who said they did some slippin' & slidin' this morning.
As far as the power goes... w/ 4 big guys (probably exceeding the load limit) coming back from lunch at the chineese buffet, I can still pass people on the hills!
 

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Humm you are getting alot of East Coast peoples.. and here isanother one, I am in DE (northern) we have about a foot of snow now, and I have been doing driving on the winding, steep roads around her with out the slightest problem, it is like floating on air, very smooth & effortless.

The turning radius is amazing, smooth and easy!

For a vehicle that has such a utility concept to it, it serves to be smooth, comfortable, and just a dream. The power is absolutely impressive for just a 4 cyl! I have a v6 and have driven other v6s and they have no more pep then this little 4 cyl.. plus the advantage of better gas milage with a 4!!

Grab one, drive it, love it, really! Good luck on your decision we will impatiently await your choice, grin!
 

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I drove mine this past Thursday night in the snow storm around DC. I drove about 75 miles total from highway speeds to little white roads. It handled very well. Nothing to complain about. I was passing every one with confidents. I don't think 4wd is a big deal. It only helps keeping you moving and front wheel drive does that well already. No car is perfect on snow but I was very pleased.
 

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hey i just got to Lake Havasu, AZ from sothern Oregon no snow on this trip but i have had it in snow and ice and no problems, but on this trip i did have about 700lbs of stuff that i was bringing to my dad and the E had no problem zipping up the mountains of course i did turn the OD off.I did notice that when you have the rear vent windows open that the wind seems to push you around a bit, and it wasnt the extra weight cause ive gone snowboarding 3 other times and on one of the trips i had the rear windows open and seemed like it didnt want to stay on the road. Well off to Vegas tomorrow then back home in a few days, maybe ill hit some snow :lol:
 

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I wrote this on another post, but the true test for my E was simply to get me home from work. My last car failed to make it up the steep hill I live on, not to mention an even steeper driveway. I made it home safely, without a blink of the eye. I'm glad this terrible winter forced me to buy my E!
 

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I have found that anti-lock brakes (on the rear end) with exceptional quality all weather tires combined with knowing what your vehicle can and cannot do should keep you from filing insurance claims. I'm not sure but I think anti-locks on the rear end are optional on the DX and standard on the EX. Looks like most of the weight is on the front of the Element, which is my reasoning for anti-lock brakes on the rear. Or maybe go 2WD with traction control on the front, had a LHS a few years ago, it worked great up here in Alaska.
 

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This is my first non-4X4 dedicated vehicle. On my street in N.V. no one was moving without a 4X4. EVeryone else got stuck. I bought the AWD E and then it snowed again. The E did fine while again, everyone else was getting stuck. I live on a steep hill. It was not quite as sure-footed as the 4X4 I traded in but it did a very good job and I am happy with it. Also happy with the increased room inside and about a 50% increase in gas milage. I would buy it again tomorrow if I had to make the same choice again.
 

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[quote:82fe2046ad="Jake"]This is my first non-4X4 dedicated vehicle. On my street in N.V. no one was moving without a 4X4. EVeryone else got stuck. I bought the AWD E and then it snowed again. The E did fine while again, everyone else was getting stuck. I live on a steep hill. It was not quite as sure-footed as the 4X4 I traded in but it did a very good job and I am happy with it. Also happy with the increased room inside and about a 50% increase in gas milage. I would buy it again tomorrow if I had to make the same choice again.[/quote:82fe2046ad]

Awesome glad to hear how well it is doing for you, and how happy you are with it!

Those other drivers, (as often computer techs refer to clueless users) Operator Error!

ENJOY!
 

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[quote:840bf3b7dc="abbynormal"]<snip>but I'd like to know from you, real element owners and not car salespeople, how it handles in snowy/icy conditions. <snip>[/quote:840bf3b7dc]

We've gotten quite a bit of snow since I've purchased my Element and handles like a charm.
 

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But lots of rain and mud. Mine has handled very well in heavy rain, disgusting muddy roads, and high winds. Kinda of flat in the Houston area though.
 

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Drove mine down a snow covered mtn road in Taos. Was very nervous but did real well. Drove a lot of mntn roads free of snow and had ample power. Mine is a 2WD and I was feeling good all the way down. Almost got stuck in a muddy driveway
 
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