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Picked up my 2003 Honda Element, EX model, front-wheel drive, 5-speed in Nighthawk Black Pearl with a roof rack today.

It was an excellent experience.

Only yesterday did I call to try and see if one could be located. It could, and it arrived this morning on a flatbed truck, was prepped, roof rack installed, and I was home by 5:30pm.

I leased it. Thanks to everybody here I knew what I should be paying (under $300 a month before taxes and registration).

The dealership also put my first month's payment and security deposit on my credit card, so I have 45 days to pay it off.

I walked out the door with a new Element one day after I inquired for the price I wanted with the options I wanted. AND WITH NO MONEY OUT OF POCKET! That is sweet.

The kids love it. They're 2 and 3 1/2 years old. Now they can no longer kick the back of our seats. No more rolling down windows. No more accidentally opening the back doors. No more complaints about the sun creeping into the car during long drives.

Wife loves the 5-speed. So do I. We're used to manuals.

We felt we didn't need 4WD, despite being in the midwest. We've never had it and never felt we needed it. All you need is good snow tires and good driving habits/abilities. My fwd Audi with Nokian Hakka NRW tires made it fine through this past winter on a 65 mile daily commute.

Plus the 4WD models have that sunroof above the back seat. The kids would have complained about the sunlight even though it is filtered.

And if we decide to buy at the end of the lease and perform all the scheduled maintenance at the dealership then, because it's fwd and not 4wd, it qualifies for the "Honfidence" program, the 7-year, 100K mile warranty on specific items.

There's practically zero Elements where we live. When we went out for a drive this evening we saw nothing but eyeballs and smiles gazing towards us.

A few simple pics here: http://www.markrushton.com/mark/element.htm

Thanks everybody - your posts helped!
 

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Great looking E, sounds like it was a good buying experience, and your family is just lovely.

Happy driving to you!
 

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Great pics. Just what it is all about. Check out all the smiling faces! Enjoy the ride. My husband wishes I would have fallen in love with the black. We have the Shoreline Mist. Same interior as yours.

Thanks for sharing :D
 
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