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Discussion Starter #1
Having a really tough time making a connection with the Element.
I went from a 2001 Ford F-150 with a V-6 to a 2008 Black Element SC.

I made the switch for a number of reasons, but mainly for fuel economy. My new job requires me to log a lot of miles.

The obstacles to me loving this box are:
- The improvement in fuel economy hasn't been what I expected.
- The ride of the Element is more of a go-cart than a grown-up car.
- Now shopping for a trailer to haul my motorcycle. (receiver hitch added)
- Overall lack of power from the motor.

I am tempted to take a loss on it and trade it in on a 2008 Ridgeline that my favorite dealer has in stock...this will not address the fuel economy thing, but will give me a truck with power again.

Any thoughts, ideas, opinions?

Did I make a mistake? or am I just focusing on the negative?

I mean, I love the look of the Element. I think the Black SC is sweet. The storage is great for work samples. When travelling my 4 yr old son loves the room he has...plus my old black lab has his own place. Have not taken it camping; and I am holding back on getting a rack for my mountain bike.

Help me love her.

-simpson
 

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Just reading your points I'd venture to guess that you may never be satisfied with the vehicle. If you have to spend a lot of time in it then you should be more satisfied. You might want to bail and get the Ridgeline you mentioned or something else entirely.
 

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I love my TRP-E!

I love my TRP-E and it seems like the longer I have it, the more it love it! I love the look, I love the room, I love the way it makes me feel to drive it. Yes, the gas mileage is not what I wanted-I'm now driving almost exclusively in town and am averaging 16-17 MPG-that really sucks. I was getting around 25-26 MPG when I was doing mostly highway driving. And, yes, on anything but smoothe roads, the ride is, well, however you want to describe it! I've read some articles that refer to the ride as "truck-like", but I don't think even current trucks have a ride like this. And, yes, you really have to mash the pedal to get the car moving, but, I installed an Injen exhaust and CAI, so I really love the sound when I step into the gas(which, I'm sure, is one reason my MPG is so crappy!). I have to admit I really like the Ridgeline(have never driven one), so I'd have a hard time saying don't get one. I would suggest looking at what you do like about your E and how much that's worth, then make your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am going to test drive a Ridgeline Monday. We'll see what that does.

Just sitting here looking at the Element...I just put on the "Screw Aerodynamics" decal.

I'll post an update Monday evening.

-simpson
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Looked at the Ridgeline....then looked at the price difference...

I'm keeping the Element. I will drive it for a while, then see where I am.

Taking it to the beach soon, and will also be getting a small trailer for my motorcycle.

-simpson
 

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It sounds to me like you might be taking advantage of a lot of the pluses about the E, which you would miss now if you did get rid of it.

For my own part, in my 65 years, I've owned lots of vehicles, some fully loaded and some sporty ones including a '57 corvette.

My SPO E is one of the few that I've held on to for 7 years and the only one that I'm still this happy with after 7 years.
 

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I sold our second vehicle -- a mint condition '97 BMW 328is -- so that we could buy our Element outright when the lease expired. I loved that car to no end, so this speaks volumes for how much I enjoy the E.
 

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I like my 2006 E. It is by no means a "luxurious" vehicle. I love the room, it is safe and I can put almost anything I want in it. Yea the ride is somewhat stiff (I live in pot hole riddled metro detroit), but I still like my E.

You came from a V8 to a 4. You will NOT have the same power. I have owned Honda's since 1991 and this is a good engine. Honda has been reliable for me and I plan on sticking with them.

FYI - I have a budy with FORDS and they keep taking them back and sinking $$$ into them. Not for me......

Another buddy has a 2005 Dodge Ram, 56,000 miles and has replaced FROZEN calipers already and the truck sqeaks like a siv on bumps already....

Honda has been good to me and the price is right. Might try a Hyundai some day tho.......the Sante Fe had a better ride.......
 

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Coming from a history of 8 cylinder engines myself, the 4 cylinder Element engine has also required adjustment for me. Everyone says the 2.4 iVTEC is a good engine, and it generates a reasonable amount of power at 3,000+ RPM. I wish it did so in a whisper-quiet way, and without revving so high. But I tell myself that Honda also makes some really good motorcycles, and that motorcycle engines are designed to rev high, and that in comparison with a motorcycle engine it's not revving high at all.

As for the ride, I think it has something to do with the Element being so short. Swapping out the stock tires helped the ride somewhat. Mostly I'm driving relatively smooth streets, so it's not so much of an issue, and I try to avoid potholes regardless.

My son called the Element the "Boxer Car" when he first saw it. I love the cargo layout more all the time - the tailgate, being able to slide things in and out, and the seating configuration.

I don't have any great answers on gas mileage other than to offer perspective:

Gas burned per 100,000 miles (and costs at $2.50 per gallon):
10 mpg - 10,000 gallons - $25,000 (truck territory)
20 mpg - 5,000 gallons - $12,500 (Element territory)
30 mpg - 3,333 gallons - $8,300 (compact cars)
40 mpg - 2,500 gallons - $6,250 (Toyota Prius)

For me, the important thing is to avoid paying $25,000 in gas to drive a truck. And 10 mpg is about all I averaged (at best, city/highway combined) in an E-150 van.

While I'd rather pay $8,300 for compact car gas usage, the Element offers an additional $4,000 in functionality that has value to me, so it's worth the extra gas. I have a hard time justifying the extra cost for the Prius in any case, as the diminishing returns make the fuel economy savings hard to justify.
 

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My 2 cents on the Element vs. Ridgeline thing since I have both.

Both are awesome vehicle and I have a problem deciding which one to drive when both are available.

Interestingly enough, I'm finding that my Ridgeline really doesn't get that much worse mileage in the city than the Element. I was going to say that I prefer the Element to the Ridgeline in the city but it is really a toss up.

The Ridge definitely has more power to get in and out of traffic but the Element is far easier to park. I sometimes think that the Ridgeline has the turning radius of the Queen Mary.

Hell, I don't know. I'm sticking to both are awesome vehicles.
 

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Having a really tough time making a connection with the Element. I went from a 2001 Ford F-150 with a V-6 to a 2008 Black Element SC. I made the switch for a number of reasons, but mainly for fuel economy. My new job requires me to log a lot of miles.

The obstacles to me loving this box are. . . .

Any thoughts, ideas, opinions?

-simpson
The obstacle to me loving a vehicle is that I don't see the point of loving anything that can't reciprocate. Like? Sure. But love?

Love comes from inside. It's an emotional recognition of some kind of compatibility with your needs plus commitment. I can't imagine what anyone could tell you that would make you love something other than them self. A vehicle is the second largest purchase that most people will make, but you can't buy love.

Why would you buy something that expensive without knowing what you were getting? Before you buy another one, I suggest that you either borrow or RENT the same model.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Great points, all. Thanks for the responses!

When I first posted, I was frustrated with the Element not being everything that the truck was, with half the fuel cost.

The Element is winning me over with its personality and soul.

I am really, really, really digging the interior storage. (I think it may have more cubic feet than my apartment) I like getting all of my gear inside the vehicle.

The power thing was, as a couple of you supposed, a V-8 to 4 cylinder perception issue. I miss the pull of the V-8, but am learning to appreciate the 4. I have a tow hitch for a light trailer for my motorcycle and can't wait to try that out.

The mileage is what it is. So far I have the following data:
Avg 20.869 mpg* (high 23.672/low 18.112)
*this is based on 21 fill-ups

For comparison, my truck was as follows:
Avg 16.465 mpg** (high 18.499/low 15.778)
**based on 16 fill-ups

With me averaging 500 miles/week, and with an average fuel cost of $2.649/gallon, I figure that I am saving $16.98 per week in fuel.

I know that's not enough of a fiscal savings to justify the purchase, but maintenance/repair on a Ford with 125,000 miles versus a Honda with 25,000 miles will be weighted in the Element's favor...plus I was fortunate enough to nearly triple my money on the truck when I sold it. :)



...



One other thing:
I find myself smiling more when I'm driving now...I think that's a good sign.

I love my son, dog, fiance', and motorcycle...I think there is room for this little black box, too.

-simpson
 

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It's all about time...

Simpson my E-brother, "time" is really what it's all about... ChrisM makes great points since he owns both vehicles... Wish I knew where you were hailing form ("Location") so we can know what issues (city vs. country) you'd have to deal with in your ownership... Goosler is a dual owner as well and I'm surprised he hasn't chimed in on this issue...

Anyways, post some pics (if you haven't already) so you can get a proper EOC welcome... Remember, the Element has ONLY been around 7-½ years!!! I ABHORRED ("HATED" isn't a STRONG enough word!) this vehicle when it first came out because of the panels...

Once Honda painted the panels, I came back around and bought one...! They got me...!!! Oh the humanity...!!! LOL!!! Just my 2¢...!

LBD

PS: Are you using Fuelly to monitor you gas mileage...? Mine's been sucky lately because of all the city driving I've been doing...
 

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I came off a 97 F=150 (2wd) that I had since new(and still have). May gas mileage was like 15-18 and that was on a good day! The E has been great for me. I get a solid 25 mpg on the highway. The storage is awesome! I love the seats and the look. For my business as a personal chef I can stack coolers and gear. It can do things that my F=150 can't (4WD).
 
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