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Discussion Starter #1
My Scion TC was recently t-boned and insurance decided they'd rather total it then fix it. =( However, this has allowed me to look around for a new car and I've decided on getting an Element EX 4WD. (My boyfriend has a Vanagon and we love to camp and want to start off-roading)

I've got a couple questions which I've seen some topics on around these boards but it would help to have them answered in once place rather then go through 10 pages a thread.

1) Any years considered as "the best" or are they all very similar? Would a used 2006 be a good choice with the 2010's coming out?

2) Any problems start after a certain number of miles? Asking because dealers are selling same year/model for very different prices:
Green '06, 70k miles, $14k
Blue '06, 79k miles, $17k
Blue '06, 38k miles, $19k

3) Would you suggest a manual or auto? (for both street and off-road)

4) Would a dealership install the cooler console in an older year?


I think that's all I can think of right now. Any help is much appreciated. :)
 

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1) There are minor differences amongst the many years, but in the big picture there isn't that big of difference. 2006 introduced the EX-P(painted panels instead of plastic), which is now standard on all EX.

2) As someone who is actively looking for an 06 EX-P/ 07 EX the pricing is just silly. You can have $4k price swings for the same vehicle! Just keep your eyes open. All models are very reliable, so no huge worry there.

3) As much as I want a stick they are just hard to find. I'm being picky about color which doesn't help either. People love the stick that have it, and the same for an auto, all about preference really.

4) The center console isn't present on the years you're looking at. I assume if you're willing to pay there's no reason they wouldn't, the inside is the same.
 

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Sounds stupid, but starting in '07 they started to put the seat belts in the seat instead of the door, which to me is a HUGE thing.

Good call on the EX as well. The little things it has over the LX seem just that....small...but they're actually really nice things to have in the long run and you'll appreciate having them.

The sunroof, upgraded stereo, overhead console, painted fenders (if you go with the '07), steering wheel stereo controls, alloy wheels instead of hubcaps, and I'm sure I'm missing some things.

Seriously give the '07s a look before settling on an '06. Especially try the seatbelt thing. Being able to open the doors to let people get in without having to undo your belt is another one of those small but nice to have things.

Oh yeah, and side curtain airbags...especially for the people sitting in the back.
 

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Welcome, Czechchick5. Spend some time reading here, and you will see that most of your questions have been addressed. However I'll add an important caveat: The Element is not a real off-road vehicle like a Jeep. The 4WD is great in show, but road clearance is inadequate for fire roads and such. It won't go (and more importantly, get you out of) very many places that the Vanagon wouldn't.
 

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Welcome to the group - no real off roading in the Element, more like soft roading

Post some pictures when you get a chance
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for answering my questions. I've got a couple more. =P

It appears that I'm getting much less than I was originally told from my insurance so I've got $4k total to spend up front and don't want to make $400 payments from my under $200/wk job. :-(

With what I've been reading around, and seen from my friends Element, they seem to last for an extremely long time so I'm fine going a couple years used to save some money. One major need is the side airbags. I've searched around on the internet and these boards and get mixed/old answers. What year do they become standard on the EX model?

Light off-roading as in like pretty flat dirt or some snow? Can I do basic "off-road" dirt driving in a 2WD?
 

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I've searched around on the internet and these boards and get mixed/old answers. What year do they become standard on the EX model?
See

Light off-roading as in like pretty flat dirt or some snow? Can I do basic "off-road" dirt driving in a 2WD?
The limiting factor is clearance. You could have adequate traction right up until the moment you get high-centered or puncture the gas tank.
 
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