My son, thirty two, talked me into buying the Element. I may be one of the oldest buyers, at seventy one. My wife and I have traveled and driven in many parts of the world where roads are often no more than dirt. or non exiting, so we looked at the Element from the point of view on how it would fit into what we still like to do now. getting into the mountains and desserts of the South West. We both enjoy the way the Element takes the road. We recently climbed Sonora Pass in California with 26% grades in D1, with no audible or visible strain. A friend of mine told me years ago, and I agree, that four wheel drive is an invitation to get stuck, so I bought the two wheel drive EX. although I have the experience of handling all types of vehicles under all types of weather and road conditions. Thus far, I agree that for the money, you would be hard pressed to find a more useful vehicle.