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Discussion Starter #1
I currently drive a 1998 4-door Toyota RAV4 (the cute one, before they updated in 1999).

I've never driven anything as big as an Element. It was fairly comfortable, but I did feel that I was awfully far away from the windshield and the steering wheel. I could see it being a little intimidating in difficult driving conditions (it's sunny and dry here in Portland today).

So this is for the short women out there. Are you comfortable driving the E? Did it take you awhile to get use to it? Has your driving position every been a problem?

Thanks to everybody at the forum. I'm thinking about becoming an E owner sometime next year.
 

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Hi, RJHinPDX.

Sorry to ask the obvious, but did you adjust the seat height as well as the fore-and-aft adjustment? And you adjusted the steering wheel too?

Junebug, one of our moderators, is about your size and might have something helpful to add.

Also, try a search on "short" or "short driver" in Shoppin' and Test Drivin' (the advanced search feature allow you to specify forums); there might be a relevant thread or two. I know there has considerable discussion on seat pads; try in Problems & Issues, Interior, 'E'ccessories, and Do-It-Yourself / Mods.

Best of luck.
 

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I think I'm a rather short female, standing at 5'4". My mother-in-law was actually concerned that I would be mistaken for a kid and pulled over because of how low I sit in the Element.

Previously, I owned a Ford Explorer which had all the bells and whistles as far as the seats go. I cranked the drivers side seat all the way upwards and most of the way forwards towards the dash. When I first stepped into an Element, I was concerned about not having anywhere as many seat adjustment options. It really scared me when I first started test driving the E... I can be easily spooked by the size of a car, and was really surprised at how easy it was to navigate the Element through sketchy situations and such.

(Not so) oddly enough, I am way more comfortable driving in my Element than I did in my Explorer. From my experience, you kind of have to get used to feeling like you're in a sunken position. I think it feels that way because the doors come up so high. I do not feel like my vision is being obstructed by anything because of my stature and have had no problems.

As far as positioning goes, I just have my seat really close to the steering wheel.

Are there seat height adjustment options? I haven't really bothered with it much and now my Honda manuals are MIA (someone stole them when they broke into my E).
 

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The Mrs. drove two Trackers ('95, '03) before the E. She's 5'2" and has had no trouble adjusting. She just says it feel like a grownup's car (we're both AARP material).
 

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I'm a fairly small woman (115lbs and 5'6") and have no trouble. I drove a RAV4 for years but this feels very natural. Agree that the height of it is probably playing a mental trick on you.

My only complaint, and it is minor, is that I'm used to leaning against the left armrest on the door, and this car doesn't suit that well for me, but I'm actually more comfortable on the right, so its just a matter of getting used to something different!
 

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Fellow shorty here.

I'm all of 5'. I don't have any problem with it now, at first I was little intimidated, but it just takes getting used to it. I have the seat up as high as it will go and the seat back up fairly straight. I don't have to push the seat up all the way forward, but it is a little close.

You can add a small pillow if that makes you feel better.:)

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I didn't read all the responses, so pardon me if I repeat some. As an owner of a '97 RAV4 AND an Element, and my wife is "only" 5' 2+", we understand your questions.
Yes, our E did take a little getting used to, with the space of a truck interior (even for me, being 6'). After the initial differences (a week or so), the placement of the shifter, space of everything, and the layout became the norm. After driving just the E for a bit, getting back into our RAV4 seemed almost cramped!! We still enjoy our RAV, but, the versatility of the E puts our RAV as a firm "2d" car, not the primary means of transport. :shock::roll:

Hope this helps....... :razz::razz:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the replies! I'm not quite 5'2", by the way, so when I say short, I mean really short.

I did adjust the seat forward and the seat back upright but didn't fiddle with the height adjustment. I will certainly try it if I do another test drive (or more likely when I buy the car). The other thing I didn't do, which the sales person pointed out AFTER the test drive, was adjust the position of the steering wheel.

I think it may, as several people have pointed out, just be a matter of getting used to another and quite different kind of car.

I really liked the drive otherwise and I love the big interior and the adjustability of the seating/cargo area. I was surprised how easy it is to get in and out of the front seat. I think the side doors are great for getting stuff in and out of the back seat. I've never owned a Honda, but I hear good things about them as far as reliability and quality of the engine. And I think the Element is one of the few cars on the road that is as cute as my RAV4. So I think there is an Element in my future.

Wish the EX had the SC's center console, though. Ah well.
 

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Fwiw

Warren Brown's column in today's Washington Post:

"... The bottom line: The Honda Element remains elemental after eight years in the marketplace, and that's a good thing. It has a stronger engine along with a few new features, such as onboard navigation and satellite radio availability. But nothing has been done to tinker with its reason for being, which is to provide solid, basic wagon transportation in a high-quality vehicle at an affordable price. ..."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/11/AR2009121102075.html

G.J.

P.S. The Jammeress took down a white tail deer on US 17 with her Element. Her Element left under its own power. The deer was totaled. Estimate from the Body Shop tomorrow. :-(
 

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Warren Brown's column in today's Washington Post:

"... The bottom line: The Honda Element remains elemental after eight years in the marketplace, and that's a good thing. It has a stronger engine along with a few new features, such as onboard navigation and satellite radio availability. But nothing has been done to tinker with its reason for being, which is to provide solid, basic wagon transportation in a high-quality vehicle at an affordable price. ..."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/11/AR2009121102075.html
I read the story and found this odd...

"Head-turning quotient: With its rubber cladding and boxy body, the Element looks like something charmingly designed by school kid." (emphasis mine)

Seriously?! On a '10?!? :?
 

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I read the story and found this odd...
"Head-turning quotient: With its rubber cladding and boxy body, the Element looks like something charmingly designed by school kid." (emphasis mine)
Seriously?! On a '10?!? :?

Keep in mind that the front and rear bumpers as well as the rear fenders are still made of composite materials.
 

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This is true, but it's not like the earlier models where the plastic fenders were gray
Perhaps it is in reference to the interior sans carpet?
 

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short people

As someone who is recovering from a head-on crash I can tell you the element is not designed for short people. (really no car is)
I'm 5'1". I've never owned a car of any make or model that had a seat/shoulder harness that would adjust properly. It's been the norm for me to have to keep yanking the strap away from my neck. From the crash that totaled my brand new element I've learned that I need to find a way to adjust whatever vehicle I end up with.
I'm writing as a warning to all you shorties - Don't put up with that strap setting too high! I've learned from 2 days in the hospital & numerous scans - that shoulder harness can cause massive trauma to your torso and often death to us shorties. If it's on or near your neck, it can cause damage to the artery in your neck resulting in stroke.
 
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