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Hello,
I am new. I just took long test rides of the Element (E!) and the Aerio SX. Both have pluses and minuses. If both are marketed for first time and younger buyers, I think the Aerio may be a better, less-expensive choice. If you have the cash or have dogs/kids the E! would be better.

First the E!: I really liked the E!'s engine. Torquey, smooth, and responsive. The E! also had a great ride (smooth and firm at the same time) which I found very surprising. The dash was very modern (perhaps even ahead of its time) and the seats/floor would be easy to clean if there is bad weather or you have dogs. I think the flat folding seats and flip up feature are nice, but I doubt I would use them for sleeping and the rear side visibility would be dangerously impaired. The E!'s cargo floor is flimsy (65 lbs !?!?) but the large flat surface is nice (I ride bicycles). The pricing in Richmond, VA is not very friendly ($850 market value added to the MSRP). The EX does not come stock with a 6 CD changer or keyless entry. The pricing ($23,650 the way I wanted it) means it is a better car for well heeled Yuppies, not 20 something Gen Yers. The dealer said that older people are buying the E!, not the intended target group. The gas tank sits very low which is a bit concerning. The exterior is very interesting with a lot of rubber necking "what is that?" kind of looks.

Next the Aerio: The 145 HP enginge is responsive and well suited to this smaller car, although it is not as torquey as the E!. The AT is eager to down shift if you mash on the pedal so passing is no problem. You can get this car in wagon and sedan and with 2WD or 4WD (for only $1000 extra). The ride is firm and a little choppy, but not unexpected or unpleasant for a compact car. The car was solid with no rattles or squeaks and the handling was nimble. The interior is not as nice with a digital speedo (which I like) and black "mouse fur" velvet on the seats (which I did not like and would be a dog hair magnet). With the rear seat bottoms flipped forward and the rear seat backs folded forward, the cargo area is flat and good size. The rear cargo floor (wagon) is very sturdy (looks unbreakable) and underneath it is a multicompartment waterproof basin above the spare tire well. The pricing is very competitive with the Aerio SX AWD AT 6CD AC Keyless entry at $17,500 with a $2,000 incentive before negotiations. That means you can get AWD for about $15,000. The waranty is 7 years/100,000 miles and fully transferable. The look of this car is very distinctive. On my test drive I got a honk of approval from the driver of heavily modified Japanese import. With better gas mileage and a low price, the Aerio is a car Gen Yer's could afford.

In a perfect world the Aerio would have the E!'s interior and engine. As it is, it is hard to choose between the two.
 

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These are two different animals in my mind.

1st, the seats being up doesn't impair the rear side vision.
2and an aftermarket cd change is usually a better value
3rd you can't fit a bike in the suzuki.
4th the element is made for dogs
5th More money but holds its value which can make a lease cheaper.

I have been a hardcore truck owner for years. the element changed that. I needed a truck that could do everything. Carry passangers, carry building supplies, my bike, my dog, take me to the cabin, to the trail head and above all I had to be able to sleep in it. Was all set to by the Nissan Frontier until I saw the mpg.

The Suzuki is a sharp car but I preffer utility over style.

Make you own decission after ready all you can. I would be willing to bet that if you bought the element you would not be dissapionted. Especially in 5 years when you trade it in and it still has value.

Just my thoughts Let us know what you decide.
 

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I beg to differ.

Yes one is trucklet and one is a wagon. But they are both utility focused. There is a trend these days (which I like) to make cars/trucks that can do everything you want. They are bought be anyone with a active lifestyle. the CRV, RAV and subaru were the first generation. Now we have the Element, the Suzuki Aerio and the Mazda 5. (yes I know there is more)

Not the same class but very similar. I would like the element to be classed as a truck, because I drive trucks, but really the dmv says it is a station wagon. (dirty word)
 

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They have a comparision of the Aerio SX and Element EX. In the end the would choose the E over the Aerio, they feel it is "more complete experience". But they still liked the Suzuki, the said it was "a damn good car".
Again, it comes down to what is more important to you. You get a lot of car for the money with the Suzuki. In the long run the Element will have a better resale value. The Element is also bigger and has more utility. I perfer the E!
 

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Which vehicle will have the greatest resale value in five years? Look at the Kelley Blue Book, and compare the price of a five year old Honda anything with any Suzuki of the same vintage.

Where can you get the Suzuki serviced? A friend of mind has been trying to sell his son's Suzuki for several months, and hasn't received even a nibble. He says he has to dirve 20 miles to have the car serviced. In SoCal, that means he probably had to pass four or five Honda dealerships.

And you don't have to pay over MSRP. Join the American Automobile Association. They have a program where you get cars at or below MSRP.

Check this site for posts about price. You can get an 2WD DX in Chicagoland for $13,995!!! Try searching for key work "Chicagoland."

I bought an off brand years ago, and it was a huge mistake.

Honda rules! :p :p :p
 
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