Our neighbors have one, a couple of years old. I haven't talked with them much about it, but haven't heard any complaints. They manage to fit 2 kids and grandma in it for local trips. It's as long as the Element, but not as tall. A little hood length.
My buddy has a KIA Sportage,(similar to the Tuscon),and he loves it. Rides nice, lots of bells and whistles, Great MPG, and similar structure and feel to a Honda. You know, how the doors close with a whoomph! Not a SLAM!! Anyway. just an idea.
When I bought the Element in 2003, I also test drove a Sorento, and a Santa Fe (this was before the Tucson). At the time I was driving a 1st generation RAV4.
The Santa Fe had lots of bells and whistles (like lights on the front door ends), but generally felt 'soft', especially compared to the tight suspension and steering of the RAV4. The Sorento felt more like a big SUV. It had a progressive sensitivity steering the felt weird (though I could have gotten used to it). But the poor gas mileage, compared to the Element, turned me away from it.
That plus the fact that I was really in love with the Element's interior. What I really wanted was a better long distance camper than the RAV4 - quieter and more comfortable on the highway, plus the option of sleeping in the car.
Since those days, Kia has also reworked the Sportage.
i had a hyundai santa fe...the car was nice,,a little small...i had it 3 years and the only issue i had was rear brake calipers,,dont know why but went for 2 rear calipers on the same side about a year apart from each other.
This is really helpful. Reading more about the Tuscon, it is definitely out in front of the Nissan Rogue... my wife made my day when she said she is going to be waiting until the second generation Elements come out before making any final decision!