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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, everyone:

This forum is terrific--it's been ten years since I've bought a car, and I love how the Internet has changed the power balance between dealer and purchaser. But I digress. I'm seriously considering the Element; it's just about perfect for my needs. (I'm a single woman who hauls around four dogs in dog crates to sheep dog trials on weekends--I love the wash-and-wear flooring of the E, love the height [since I need it to stack the dog crates], love the outlet for my Ipod, and love the funkiness of it after ten years with a grey mini-van. It's time to reclaim my adolescence!)

I have a couple of concerns, and I wonder if you guys can provide some answers. To wit:

(1) I want the EX, because I really need four-wheel drive (I don't need genuine off-road capabilities, but I drive on muddy fields quite a bit). The EX has a kickass stereo system that I really like, but it does *not* have a cassette player. I need a cassette player, since I drive long distances and listen to books on tape while I'm doing it. I know that I can plug a Walkman-type thing into the aux port, but I'd rather not have to do that (since I want to plug my Ipod there, it would mean a lot of wires and a lot of shuffling). Is there any way that I can have the EX stereo system and somehow also get a basic cassette player installed?

(2) Can the E by rigged so that the power outlets work with the engine shut off?

(3) I don't like the center console in the E--it's really pretty low. Is it possible to order an E without the console, so I can use my own there?

(4) I read on one of the threads in this forum that the E is going to have Internet access in a later model, but I haven't heard anything else about that. Is that for real?

I apologize for the length of this post and the number of questions I'm asking, and I hope someone will indulge me with answers. Thanks!
 

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Crashdown,

In answer to your questions

1) Not on the EX, you would need to get an after market system. The EX has a CD player.

2) Yes, but, it involves rewiring under the hood. From what I have heard (I did not do it) you have to jump something with the fuse box.

3) No, the E comes with the standard console.

4) The model with internet access is a prototype. It may be available down the road, but it is not currently in production.

I hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, followups:

(1) I don't mind getting an aftermarket something-or-other, if aftermarket is possible. So I guess my question is, is there a SPOT on the EX somewhere for someone to install a cassette player and still leave the regular CD player intact?

(2) Would my Honda dealer do the rewiring if I asked them, or is that something I'd need to find an outside mechanic for?

(4) Since I'll need to buy a car this fall, I'll obviously be too early for Internet access. But where can I read more about this prototype? And how does the Internet access work, anyway? Is it wireless technology, like a cell phone?

Thanks for your help!
 

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First, my thoughts on cassette and ipod. You only need 1 wire. It will work for both. I keep mine in the over head storage. To switch simply unplug one and plug in the other. If you really want cassette, any good shop will find a nice place for it. When you test drive again, take a walkman and ipod with you the dealer should have a cable. Try it out.

Second. the console. I first tried to take mine out, not go. But after searching I found a good solution. If you check my site (www at bottem) and follow the link to the install.
 

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I think they make books on CD now also...but you could always just buy your own deck with a cassette player and hook it up. Heck you can hook up an 8-track if you want.

The console comes with the E, haven't heard if anyone has taken it out yet.

The internet thing is in the Studio-E i believe, maybe if you keep your fingers crossed.

As for the outlets, you're on your own there.

oh and as for the 4-wheel drive, its all-wheel drive that kicks in when its needed. Don't have it, don't need it, just wondering if anyone who would use a 4-wheel drive normally could comment on its difference and feel.
 

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So far as books on tape go, it's usually less expensive to download audio books from audible.com. I've got a couple on my iPod right now.

As to the internet access prototype, that was in the original show car that led to the Element--i haven't seen anything that indicates that Honda has plans for the feature in the production vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, well, I'd be thrilled to be able to use audible.com. Unfortunately, I'm a Windows user, which means that I'm stuck with the Windows version of the Ipod that uses MusicMatch instead of ITunes. MusicMatch doesn't support audible.com and has no plans to do so. It's really maddening to pay the same small fortune for an MP3 player that Mac users pay and get a crippled product, but there's nothing much I can do about it. I love the Ipod enough to have chosen it over a more-dedicated Windows MP3 player. (As far as Books on CD go, the selection is vastly more limited than Books on Tape--I want to be able to go to the public library right before I leave for the weekend and grab something.)

The internet access prototype thing sounds weird to me, since I'm not the sort who hangs out at autoshows. Is it common to show a prototype with features that aren't planned for production? What's the point of it, short of frustrating everyone?
 

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Crashdown, the internet access feature was built into the original Model-X concept car that was first shown by Honda in 2000 and which then developed into the Element production vehicle. Like all other manufufacturers, Honda built features into the Model-X that didn't make it, probably for production cost reasons, into the final product - internet access, satelite navigation module, removable rear roof and front passenger seat that could be flipped to face rearwards are the ones that come to mind. My guess is that the concept model was loaded with all the things that Honda thought would be cool to have, but that if the above had been engineered into the production model it would have priced it out of it's own market. All manufacturers face the same economic compromises when moving a vehcile from concept to production.

As an EX 4WD owner I'd say the compromises they made were quite reasonable ones and my only complaint is the silly prices they charge for accessories. Whether the need to have a tape player installed or the inconvenience of swapping a tape unit and your iPod, the low console and such like are compromises that make the vehicle undesirable or impractical to you is a differnt matter of course, but all the reports I've seen so far -and my own experience in a snow storm a week ago- say the 4wheel drive system is quite capable, and undoubtedly the vehcile is among the most versatile on the market.
 

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The aftermarket accessory list that my dealer sent me says you can get a factory installed cassette deck, so if you want one, it's available. I'd totally recommend the MP3 player instead though... higher capacity and better quality.

Drew
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry to be dense, but what do you mean that you'd recommend the MP3 player instead of the cassette deck? Do you mean a separate, installed unit that plays MP3s? Or do you mean the CD player that comes installed in the EX that has an aux port into which one can plug a portable MP3 player like an Ipod? What I want is to keep the pre-installed CD player with aux port so I can use my Ipod, *and* I want an installed cassette deck so I can play books on tape. Can that work?

(Gosh, it would be beyond cool if the Element had internet access-I wish they didn't ditch that!)

There's so much about the E that I like that I want to make it work--it's very close to perfect for my needs. I wish it were as big as a minivan, and I wish it had a few more power ports scattered about (a power port in the console, for instance, would have been terrific.) But those are all minor things. Thanks to all for your help!
 

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I was suggesting you simply get a portable cassette deck to plug into the jack... certainly a lot cheaper than the in-dash. But I do think there's a cassette option from the factory (although it may be for the DX model only, like the in-dash MP3 player is).

Drew
 

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few more power ports scattered about (a power port in the console, for instance, would have been terrific.)
The aftermarket console I instal can be equiped with a power port.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hnmm. The thing of it is, I'm WAY unhandy. I don't see myself sawing blocks of wood and installing my own console. But are there places that I could take the car to have a console (along with a power port) installed professionally? If so, where would I find such places?
 

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internet access? plug in your laptop,(equiped with wireless modem), and your set... :D
 

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Crashdown, I don't know where you are but most 4x4 shops that sell the Jeep console would be able to get it installed no problem. I did it in a way that I could remove it later. Chances are you have friend that could set it up for you.
 
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