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After reading through much of the posts here I finally decided to pick up an AWD EX (silver). I went to one of the dealers recommended on this site and paid 20,100 with mud flaps, couple of oil changes, and a pin stripe thrown in. Pin stripe will probably go, it’s trashy anyway. In the D.C. area it appears the prices are starting to rise and as gas goes up and the weather gets warmer I wonder if we won’t start seeing prices similar to places like Ca. They had one DX and 3 EX listed on Saturday and on Sunday I think the DX was still left but someone was taking it for a test ride; and this is in terrible weather. It makes a great beach car and I will be moving to Fl. so I think it was probably a good idea to buy it now and in this area.

Thoughts after 24 hours: This car is a blast to drive and though it appears fairly small on the outside it’s like a cavern on the inside. After reading the driving tests, I was surprised at the pep in the car. Not fast but beats the (Montero with a 3L / 6 / 15mpg / high test gas), I just got rid of. Maybe because the Montero was a very noisy car, but the EX seems very quite in comparison.

On the down side I did the scratch test and yes, both the DX and EX will scratch with a thumbnail. Only difference I saw was that because of the metal-flake appearance on the EX, the thumbnail test was much less noticeable unless you really looked. Honda could have done better but because this is my (sailing, diving, fishing, hiking, dog carrying) vehicle it is not a big issue for me. The cover panel over the spare is cheap, no doubt about it. Thanks to this bb for the warning, I’m sure my 190 lbs will crack it. If someone comes up with a good fix please post. And last, there was a stripped screw holding the glove compartment which fell out on one side. Called Honda and they said they would fix it immediately.

Strange experience: Stopped at a red light on a 6 lane (3 each way) and someone on the far lane backed up so he could stare at the car until the light changed.

Oh, it has my 12 yr old daughter’s seal of approval with a score of “awesome” and “way kewl”. She likes the fact that I said she could eat in this car (usually one of my pet peeves). Sorry this was long.
8)
 

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I just bought myself an Element today.........I'm glad to hear you are enjoying yours........I am getting a type of sealer on it this week to help with the effects of mother nature, birds, etc........suppose to be guaranteed for five years......I'm also getting side-rails........(don't laugh)....I'm looking forward to spending a lot of fun time in this useful unusual vehicle.
 
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