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You are correct that Honda slowly made the Element more mainstream over the years it was in production.

In the beginning (2003) the target audience was 20's and 30's types. Just one look at the brighter paint colors offered at first should confirm that!

But, as the amount of competing vehicles increased, and with the economy slowly getting weaker (~ 2008 - 2011), Honda found that it was us aging Baby Boomers who were then buying Elements. Hence the more subdued colors available on the later models; which they figured was what the 50's and 60's types wanted. (Mistake!) Even with the SC model being made available starting in 2007, was an attempt at making the Element a bit more mainstream, with the carpeted interior and such.

But Honda forgot one thing: the old adage "You can sell a young mans car to an old man; but you can't sell an old mans car to a young man!"

But now with the economy greatly improved, I believe if Honda made a new & improved Element, it would sell very well for them! : - )
Yep. Same is true for the Toyota/Scion Xb. Fifty somethings were buying them to carry their antiques in, but unfortunately there weren't enough older or younger folks buying them for Toyota to keep them in production.
 

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As @Esmutko noted, there is a massive waste of space in van mode because the seats don’t come out; also, the element tailgate design is genius because it gives you somewhere to hang out when the vehicle is full of crap or there is a bed platform.

The element is a crap car but a fantastic form factor. The engine is terrible, brakes underpowered and it corners like an unweighted donkey. I would love to stick decent running gear under it (including the truly awful suspensio), soundproof the whole thing and replace the interior. But I’m not on an episode of car masters and I’m not rich so I’ll put up with the terrible car because the utility of the thing is unbeatable.
 

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To be honest when I saw it for the first time, it seemed to be very ugly for me, but after I showed it to my friends and they told me that it seems to be nice, I started to like it as well. Despite of the fact that it looks unusual, I think that it is very comfortable for everything. As I am a keened traveler I should have a car like this where I will put all my stuff. Btw, when I visited Ukraine, I rented a Nissan Leaf from Car Rental in Kiev, Ukraine - Cheap & Best car hire | NarsCars, they have very good prices and I like them very much, but the car was realy ugly. So, in comparison with Leaf, TJ is a princess.
 

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If it i offered in the uS, I'd add it to my plausible Element replacement list.
I like the interior and don't mind the sliding doors-the rear doors of my '08 are less usable than my '04s were because of the front seatback change. Outside "styling" doesn't normally bother me, but any vehicle with a huge "mouth" or a chin looks odd. That front end could be made more conventional by painting the "chin" body color, or by carrying the grey of the corners all the way across- almost like a real bumper.
 

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Yep. Same is true for the Toyota/Scion Xb. Fifty somethings were buying them to carry their antiques in, but unfortunately there weren't enough older or younger folks buying them for Toyota to keep them in production.
There weren't enough people buying Scions to keep the badge going. The Kia Soul seems to have no problem selling +100,000 units/year.
 
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It'd be worth a look. The thing is, I can roll in my wife's and my road bikes in the E. I can haul lots of fairly big stuff in it. Take out the back seats and it's a big box. That Toyota didn't look like it could match that. But, I would give it a look. I've only got 82K on my E and I figure I might just be rolled into my grave in it.
 

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Toyota has allegedly listened to a mix of Element and FJ Cruiser drivers to come up with their next vehicle. The Toyota TJ Cruiser. It'll look almost exactly like the element, and have a hybrid motor available for higher gas mileage. Also an Awd version...
Thoughts? ?
Kind of cool, but I say, BRING BACK THE E!
 

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It'd be worth a look. The thing is, I can roll in my wife's and my road bikes in the E. I can haul lots of fairly big stuff in it. Take out the back seats and it's a big box. That Toyota didn't look like it could match that. But, I would give it a look. I've only got 82K on my E and I figure I might just be rolled into my grave in it.
I like the size of the E, and I'd like to have one as long as I can drive. The plastic fenders and lack of dings and apparent rust gives my spouse the illusion of durability. We've had another +12 year old vehicle that has held its appearance or been as easy for me to work on like our Elements. None of the newer cars, especially the turbos", hybrids or BEVs seem to be designed for typical DIYers or mechanics to repair or maintain.

Unfortunately, like most other cars, the actual real world crash worthiness of Element is not nearly as good as the lab test results. (The rear bumper structure is actually stronger than the front.) A 5mph front corner collision was enough that my 2004 E was totaled. When I was searching for anther E I saw a LOT of them with what looked like minor front or rear body damage being scraped, torn down for parts.

The newer Toyota and Civic sedans seem to be more honest about their lack of functional bumpers, with large scooped out areas in those locations.

I get that the intent is to help the occupants survive a collision, not the cars. But if vehicles are designed to be disposable, why aren't there recycle emblems on their components?[/QUOTE]
 
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