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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was looking over the specs and photos of the Honda Freed, and saw some some similarities in design with the Element. I'm thinking that, should Honda decide to not continue building the Element, it would be a good starting platform from which to build a vehicle to compete with the other cubes. It wouldn't take too many changes beyond squaring off the hood, stretching the height slightly, losing the stupid sedan-like side rear window line, replacing the tailgate and rear doors to make it much more Element-like. http://www.honda-indonesia.com/product.php?id=freed&sec=Gallery#re

True, it has a B pillar and the result would be smaller, based on the Fit platform, but the Freed has a longer wheelbase, which could be used for better rear seating or usable cargo width. The interior shot makes it look like its wide enough for a rear bench seat, not that I'd want one. The 3rd photo is the 8 seat version, the last shows the second seat of the 7 passenger version.

ELEMENT/ Freed
Wheelbase 101.4 / 107.9 in
Track front 62.1 / 58.3 in
rear 62.3 / 57.7 in
Length 169.9 / 165.9 in
Width 70.4 / 66.7 in
Height 71.6 / 67.5 in
Ground clearance 6.9 / 5.9 in
Curb weight 3515 / 2800 lb
 

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Too Many Dustbusters!

The Freed has one big problem that it shares with the Fit and most other small wagons. It looks far too much like a dustbuster. I LIKE the square stying of the Element. That is the main thing that made me choose the Element over the Fit. I'd like to have the mileage of the Fit. But I cannot abide driving a car with that long sloped snout that reaks of Dustbuster. It just becomes another mini minivan. I'm sorry, I like edges and blunt snouts.

Just my$.02.
 

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Also the problem with the dust buster shape is half the engine is inaccessible. the ability to repair minor things such as changing the spark plus without having to go through the firewall is why i choose the element over the Fit.
 

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Having seen the remains of two Honda Fits which were both in minor accidents (less than 30mph impacts) I don't think I'd ever ride in one, let alone actually buy one.
 

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Also the problem with the dust buster shape is half the engine is inaccessible. the ability to repair minor things such as changing the spark plus without having to go through the firewall is why i choose the element over the Fit.
I have not stuck my head under the hood of a FIT but I do own its big brother the Ody. There you have a big-6 under the dust buster's snoot and enough room to hide a lawn mower and set of Somsonites.
You could stick a blower atop the V-6 and still not coming through the hood...
 

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Look at the Honda Crossroads...It is a square
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The Freed has one big problem that it shares with the Fit and most other small wagons. It looks far too much like a dustbuster. I LIKE the square stying of the Element. ... I'm sorry, I like edges and blunt snouts. Just my$.02.
No need to be sorry. Though I don't regard exterior styling as a "big problem", I did write "It wouldn't take too many changes beyond squaring off the hood...". :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I thought this forum was "Other Cars, Trucks and Bikes", not "Why I like the Element better."

I never suggested that a Fit-based box could replace an Element; part of the Element's character and utility is its size. What I was saying was that the Freed has a lot in common with the Element, and looks like a logical addition to Honda's line to compete with the smaller boxes.

I've said many times that I like the Element. I don't like the idea of the 200X Element disappearing any more than any other owner, but I recognise that its popularity as reflected by unit sales has plummeted. I doubt that a relatively small group of devoted Element owners will play much part in Honda's financial decision when, not if, to cease production.

After it does, if I'm still able to drive, I'd like to have something from Honda that shares the same basic design philosophy. I'll continue to look for ways that Honda can make a similar vehicle that is more popular.

One way is to grow a market - by taking a smaller, less expensive vehicle in a popular niche and making gradual changes over a few generations to evolve it into something different. I think that Honda goofed with the Element by trying to do too many things at once, and making it too expensive for the demographic they intended to reach. I believe that if they'd started smaller and grown the Element up from a smaller box- the same way that they did with the CR-V, I think that today it would be as popular as the CR-V, and I wouldn't be looking for alternatives.

I'm not going to stick my head in the sand, refusing to accept that I won't have tomorrow what I have today. I need a personal vehicle. I'd like my next one to also be an Element, but if that isn't possible, I'd like to have a choice of a smaller, more economical, similarly designed vehicle, preferably one made by Honda.
 

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It reminds me a bit of the Mazda 5. I kinda like it, especially the 7pass version.

I could see it selling well here as Fit-XL or something, kinda like the Accord and Crosstour....same thing only different.

I coldn't really see a version of it replacing the E in the product line....Honda prolly has better (more CR-V based)stuff for that when the time comes.
 

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Having seen the remains of two Honda Fits which were both in minor accidents (less than 30mph impacts) I don't think I'd ever ride in one, let alone actually buy one.

More important question by far is how did the people in the Fit fare? People often look at a post-crash car and say "Wow, that thing really crumpled, that's dangerous" when the opposite is often true. Modern cars crumple and deform in a designed way to absorb and redistribute the forces of a crash. It's all physics.

Many years ago, I owned one of the original Rabbit-based GTIs. One of the cool features (to us car geeks) was that the front wheel drive system was designed to go UNDER the car in the case of a front end crash, and not intrude on the passenger compartment. Luckily I never tested that on my own car, but years later I'm walking with a buddy through a salvage yard, and there sat a GTI with the engine and trans pushed completely back under the car. My (somewhat dense) friend pointed and said "God, glad I wasn't in that thing, look how it just collapsed." I pointed out that it did exactly what it was designed to do, and, sure enough, when you looked inside, the passenger area looked fine. Course, don't know for sure, but I would bet the driver and any passengers walked away from that crash.

The Fit still suffers from being a smaller vehicle though, it fares well when compared to similar sized vehicles, but in a game of mass vs mass, it's going to lose to a big car or SUV
 

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More important question by far is how did the people in the Fit fare? People often look at a post-crash car and say "Wow, that thing really crumpled, that's dangerous" when the opposite is often true. Modern cars crumple and deform in a designed way to absorb and redistribute the forces of a crash. It's all physics.

Many years ago, I owned one of the original Rabbit-based GTIs. One of the cool features (to us car geeks) was that the front wheel drive system was designed to go UNDER the car in the case of a front end crash, and not intrude on the passenger compartment. Luckily I never tested that on my own car, but years later I'm walking with a buddy through a salvage yard, and there sat a GTI with the engine and trans pushed completely back under the car. My (somewhat dense) friend pointed and said "God, glad I wasn't in that thing, look how it just collapsed." I pointed out that it did exactly what it was designed to do, and, sure enough, when you looked inside, the passenger area looked fine. Course, don't know for sure, but I would bet the driver and any passengers walked away from that crash.

The Fit still suffers from being a smaller vehicle though, it fares well when compared to similar sized vehicles, but in a game of mass vs mass, it's going to lose to a big car or SUV
Crumple zones are the best thing ever created for automobiles. I had a 1995 LeSabre (admittedly a big car, but) in which I was number five in a five-car pile-up that I entered at 60 mph. The car looked trashed. The hood was pushed up so high I couldn't see over it from inside the car, and the front end was pushed back a couple of feet.

But, I walked away without so much as a bruise. The front end crumpled. The plastic fenders shattered. And I was safe.

Crumple zones-best thing ever!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I couldn't really see a version of it replacing the E in the product line.....
Those who fail to learn from history, are destined to repeat the mistakes of the past. Those who fail to listen/read threads before speaking/posting are destined to argue when no disagreement exists.

... Honda prolly has better (more CR-V based)stuff for that when the time comes. ...
IMHO, the CR-V platform is too expensive to compete in the global small box niche, and it's too massive for adaptation to energy-efficient alternative energy operation.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Having seen the remains of two Honda Fits which were both in minor accidents (less than 30mph impacts) I don't think I'd ever ride in one, let alone actually buy one.
If I'd had to base my decision to purchase a 3500# Element on the remains of two 1998 Honda Civics, I might have taken a pass - and been wrong. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
More important question by far is how did the people in the Fit fare? People often look at a post-crash car and say "Wow, that thing really crumpled, that's dangerous" when the opposite is often true. Modern cars crumple and deform in a designed way to absorb and redistribute the forces of a crash. It's all physics. . . .

The Fit still suffers from being a smaller vehicle though, it fares well when compared to similar sized vehicles, but in a game of mass vs mass, it's going to lose to a big car or SUV
And the same is true of any two vehicles of significantly different mass and construction. The smaller one usually suffers more, but the cost of that damage might be less.

What comes to mind is when my stationary 1976 Toyota Corolla was rear-ended by a newer full-size Ford station wagon braking from 30 mph. I got off with a sprained neck, the Corolla was repaired. The Ford was totalled, and its driver hospitalized. The Corollas' rear end worked like a crumple zone, the more rigid front end of the Ford didn't.
 
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