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Discussion Starter #1
I am on the hunt to buy an element..I initially wanted a manual trans since I have pretty much always owned MT cars (long time Honda guy too). But I have noticed the MT's are pretty hard to find.

So I am curious of some pro's/cons of MT vs Auto. Things like gas milage, performance on steeper grades/etc.

Just some background on me and what I will be using the Element for: I live in Denver CO and will be using the car primarily for outdoors activities. Skiing, mountain/road biking, camping, climbing, etc. I am sure some off road driving will happen frequently to get to these locations so AWD is a must for me. Also considering I-70 during ski season you really need it haha..I am sure it will be driven around town some but very little since I work from home and ride my bike everywhere in town.

I am looking for a 07/08 or possibly newer due to the power bump..I could be convinced the other way too but I figure that will be nice for the steepness of i70 and CO mountain roads especially when loaded up with gear/bikes/people. I am also thinking I may do the ecamper conversion down the road as well. Also gunning for the EX model for the few extra things like aux in/sound/etc but could be convinced otherwise here as well.

Thanks for the help!
 

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The 5 speed AT gets better MPG than the MT. 5th gear on the AT is considerably taller and results in about 1000rpm less at highway speeds. I am not sure what year they switched from the 4 speed AT to the 5 speed AT though.
 

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2005 Honda Element EX AWD
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619 Posts
I think the change in AT from a 4 speed to a 5 speed came in the '08 model year.
 

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As the CO owner of an E for about 1.5 years, I absolutely had to have 4wd and a MT specifically for mountain driving. I've also been partial to MT most of my life and my previous Honda experience was with a CRX (MT) and a Del Sol (AT). The rex was a pleasure to drive in the mountains even on steeper grades, while the del sol was not so much fun as it labored mightily just to get up to the Eisenhower Tunnel.

Also, I've never been one to be influenced by gas mileage in my vehicle choices. I did go from filling up twice per month in the sol to 3-4 times in the E which still doesn't alter my driving habits one bit.

I must've been searching at the right time as I found one MT after another; some in better/worse conditions than others. Take your time and you'll find an E that will make you happy. Good hunting.
 

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I'm an MT man myself, so finding my 05' back in 05' had to be MT. Colorado here also. Downshifting on icey, snow packed roads has saved me tons of times. I do agree the MT at Interstate speeds is high RPM (80mph = 4000RPM in 5th), but the K24 is a high rev. motor and it hasn't been an issue in the 10 years I've owned mine.
 

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I like the manual as well but the automatic would be nice for off road. Sometimes you have to proceed very slowly and end up slipping the clutch.
se
 

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My opinion of the MT is that first gear is a bit short (to make up for low power perhaps?) and that you really need the 6th gear (which you will have to add yourself for $600 in parts, or take it to that one place in Pennsylvania that does it.) to be happy doing anything over 70 on the interstate for a prolonged period of time.

I'm hoping that 225/75/16 tires will make me appreciate first gear more (with the added weight and diameter) and am still planning to go with the 6th speed some day. (though I'll have to find someone willing to let me pay them to do it.)

Always happy that I didn't get the AT (though the wife isn't - i can drive her car, but she can't drive mine.) but 5AT sounds pretty cushy.
 

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07 2wd 5-speedauto
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5-auto started in 07. It has it's quirks. No manual 4th gear, and if you plan to tow you will be struggling with constant toggling between 4th and 5th. The constant downshifting on the highway gets annoying even with out a trailer. If you drive over 75 it puts the engine in the power band , not as bad, but the mpgs go way down.
 

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2005 Honda Element EX AWD
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619 Posts
Welcome Royman! I own a '05 with the 4 speed AT. I also live in CO and have been out to Grand Junction many times. So I've experienced what the E can do for Eisenhower tunnel, Glenwood Canyon area, and Vail pass. The '05 E had a rating of I think 160HP and the newer engine in '07 or '08 had about 10 extra horses, also combined with the 5 speed tranny. Fully loaded I can do highway speed, but I will be in 3rd gear with the RPM's in the low 5K range. The engine is rated to redline at 6.8K if memory is correct. Would I love an MT, yes and no. With stop and go traffic often times MT not so fun. But it may be fine on the open road. All my E experience has been with AT and the older engine with the 4 speed, but I have no complaints. Gets up and goes just fine, but then again I'm a 55 year old and I'm not the speed demon I once was. Hope this is helpful info.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the info everyone! Still a bit torn but leaning towards the AT due to the higher availability in the area (closest MT I saw was over 1k miles away ugh)..plus with how bad traffic has been on i70 the past year it would be nice to not clutch all the time in that haha..downshifting and engine braking is nice too though..argh!

well see though..im still debating and trying to figure out my budget. If I can source the right funds there are a couple 2010 EXs with navigation and honda certified that I would really like..would be nice to have that warranty plus USB for my iPhone :)

Out of curiosity..does the stock navi/USB that came on the 09/10 models work similar to the USB in the honda fit? My dad has one and I love how seamless the controls are..never had problems unlike the garbage that is ford sync and most other brands.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
There was 6 MT E's on Colorado Springs Craigslist alone last week, 1000 miles no way!
I guess I havent really been looking hard on craigslist.. I got burned hard on my last car (Civic Wagon) on it so I am much more wary now..Ill give it a look though. I am being picky I want 07+ EX AWD :-D
 

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I guess I havent really been looking hard on craigslist.. I got burned hard on my last car (Civic Wagon) on it so I am much more wary now..Ill give it a look though. I am being picky I want 07+ EX AWD :-D
Make sure you get an inspection before you purchase someone else's problem. I've used a great local company that will come out to the vehicle anywhere in the Metro area and do the inspection.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Make sure you get an inspection before you purchase someone else's problem. I've used a great local company that will come out to the vehicle anywhere in the Metro area and do the inspection.
Oh nice..whats the company? I might use that!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ended up buying an auto orange 2008 EX from a ford dealer in the mountains in CO..it was my best bet after having a couple get sold before I could hop on em. Really bummed I missed out on the grey 08 ex in tulsa with only 57k on the odo!! This one has 113k but was very well taken care of. Ill post a hello the intro forum in a couple. Thanks again for the input!
 

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time to change your profile to show the new E.

the 2008 "orange" is Tangerine Metallic, the last year it was available.

congratulations!
 

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2004 SOP EX/AWD/MT
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Super Stoked on our 04 EX/AWD/MT.
Don't think it's possible to drive a manual E, without a grin on your face :)

All of that being said, congrats on your Auto.
 
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