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About a week ago, I saw my first Element and fell in love! Since then, I have been reading everything I could find on the Internet. 3 cheers for the folks who have brought us this forum!!! Now, on to my observations:

We have 3 Honda dealers in my city. The first one I went to has tacked $795 onto the sticker for a "protection package," consisting of a teflon coating, wheel locks, and FABRIC PROTECTANT! I thought this was supposed to be a very durable vehicle, complete with "tought-to-hurt body panels" and "water-proof and stain-resistant FXC seat covers." Guess this dealer didn't get any of the good Elements, just the ones without the aforementioned features . He also added on $995 for "Market Value Adjustment." While I'm not quite sure what the MVA is, is must be quite good if he can get almost $1000 for it. Still, I wonder if I can get the MVA from an aftermarket supplier for less? Or maybe I could have the dealer leave it off but I would hate to drive around without my Market's Value adjusted. :wink:

The second dealer I went to must have also received the same inferior elements because he also tacked on a protection package. However, he must not have any of those wonderful MVAs because he didn't add them on. Or maybe his Element's came with their Market Values pre-adjusted at the factory.

The third dealer must have received the better, more durable Elements also. He didn't add on a protectant package. However, he is also out of MVAs because he didn't add that on, either. :( Yet, his sticker price is also the lowest of the 3 dealers. Guess which dealer I'm going to be talking to?

I currently drive a Saturn which is nearing the end of its extended warranty (which signals trade-in time). Until I saw the Element, I was decided on a Vue, because I'm a big fan of the ding-free side panels and ethical car dealers. Now, I'm leaning hard towards the Element but not if I have to buy from a dealer who puts carp like "protection package" and MVA on the sticker. Are car buyers really that gullible that they will put up with stuff like that?

Thanks for listening to my rant.
 

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First of all, I think the Element's sheet metal will ding horribly, or atleast as bad as a civic's door. We'll know more about this as time goes on. If dings bothers you to death, I recommend the Vue (which I think is a fine looking car). However, I think your left brain will pull you towards the Element.

As for the dealers, simply REFUSE to pay for the fluff package. It probably cost them all of $35 to put it on, and chances are they screwed it up and amor-all'd the plastic panels anyway. I am one who thinks some cars actually didn't get ANYTHING put on them, except the extra charge on the sticker.

Refuse to pay anything more then sticker + TTL + $50 document fee. Chances are they will take the deal rather than let a fat profit deal out the door. In my case, it took several hours to get them to accept it. Keep in mind it was Dec 31, 2002 and there were NO ELEMENTS in Texas other than a handful.

Stock is creeping in now, so there is NO REASON to pay over sticker. If you know your color, call around and see if someone will take several hundred below sticker. If worse comes to worse and sticker is the best you can do, go to the dealer, say you will ONLY pay sticker with no funky non-state fees, and that is that. Be a hard ass-- and don't worry about hurting their feelings. They are making a lot of money selling this car at sticker.

In short, tell them to stick the BS protection package where the sun don't shine.

Derek
 
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