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hey everyone! im a 16 year old with a permit (muahah) and my mom is in the position that she wants to trade her 98 Toyota 4runner for either a Toyo Highlander (which we arent crazy about other than the fact that we love toyota) a Nissan Murano or an E! im most excited about the Murano or the E. Mostly the E :-D

but anyways...i had some questions that im hopin u all can answer...

what size tires/rims are standard on a EX AWD ???
has anyone driven the E in snow and how does it handle??
does the E with its 160 hp take "big" hills well without having to floor the beast??
what else is there....hm.....
OH! is it possible to seat 5 ??? is there a seat belt for a 5th person??
we havent driven it yet...but we will be soon (this weekend hopefully)

thanks for all the help! happy motoring
 

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Well, I think the highlander or the Nissan Murano are at least 5 to 10k more -- so ther are not exactly in the same price class as the E. That said, I think the E is a lot more fun and better looking.

I haven't driven it in snow yet, but since its fairly heavy and its wheelbase is not that wide or long, I would imagine it would do quite well. Its 4WD capabilities should be similar to a CRV, since its mechanicals are so similar.

Obviously the 160hp doesn't feel like a V6 -- but its torqued in such a way that I was happily surprised with its actual mountain driving abilities. You won't be blowing anyone away -- but its respectable, in my opinion.

I don't think it seats 5 and I don't think there is even belts for 3 in the back seat. THe back seats have drink holders in the middle, so its really designed for 2 and not 3. 3 would be pretty awful. THe legroom in the back is enourmous -- probably more than in the front seats, honestly.

Its fun factor is way up there -- and the unique controls are great.

You definately draw some looks here and there. Some folks don't like it -- but it seems like most do.
 

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The Element is a four seater. I can't think of a way to safely seat one more person. As for horsepower. It is a four cylinder so it doesn't have a lot of power, but I haven't had any problems on hills. I haven't been on a steep incline though.

I saw a Murano the other day. Those look sweet. So if you are looking to turn some heads, the Murano and Element would be great.
 

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[quote:7988f59312="ElementalWon"]The Element is a four seater. I can't think of a way to safely seat one more person. As for horsepower. It is a four cylinder so it doesn't have a lot of power, but I haven't had any problems on hills. I haven't been on a steep incline though.

I saw a Murano the other day. Those look sweet. So if you are looking to turn some heads, the Murano and Element would be great.[/quote:7988f59312]

I love the Murano - real nice car, but it's at least $10K more, so I got the Honda. For the dollars per fun factor, I think the Element is a better deal.

I like the Highlander too, but it's too blahhh for me. "Indistinguishable in a sea of look-alike SUV's."
 

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When I test drove my E, I took it up one of the steepest hills around here.

Performance with (auto) downshifting was okay. For prolonged mountain driving, I'd probably run in D2 to save brakes and minimize the frequency of downshifting.

No way this holds five adults (unless one curls up behind the rear seats!)
 

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I've driven my E (4WD EX) in snow and it did just fine. In deep stuff there was a fair amount of noise from slush beinmg thrown up against the underside of the floor, but it behaved well. There's a slight lag in the drive take up to the rear wheels when the front wheels slip, but power delivery to the rear is smooth.

Power from the engine is also fine. I've driven mine up steep mountain roads and have no complaints. It also has plenty of 'get-up-and-go' in normal driving. No sports car, but plenty fun and very responsive. In fact the driving experience is really very good indeed, and my only real complaint is that it's noisy and blustery when driving with the windows down. Otherwise, it's a very versatile vehicle with great agility that's hard to beat for anything like the money.

It does, unfortunately, only seat 4 with no way to safely carry anyone else. If there is a need to carry more than 4 even rarely, the E isn't going to work. Otherwise, take one (or two) for a drive - you'll find it quite a remarkable expereince.
 

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[quote:f4cba45e90="hilfiger10025"]
what size tires/rims are standard on a EX AWD ???
has anyone driven the E in snow and how does it handle??
does the E with its 160 hp take "big" hills well without having to floor the beast??
what else is there....hm.....
OH! is it possible to seat 5 ??? is there a seat belt for a 5th person??
we havent driven it yet...but we will be soon (this weekend hopefully)
[/quote:f4cba45e90]

Honda's website can answer many of your questions

WHEELS: 16" rims, alloy on the EX, with P215/70 R16 99S tires (Goodyear Wranglers on mine)
SNOW: bought ours April 29, no snow yet...
160HP & Hills: any 4-cylinder vehicle is going to labor a bit on hills, but the i-VTECH engine handles them very well. On a couple occassions I've turned off the overdrive to get an extra boost. Even my 190 V6 car kicks down a gear for some bad hills. You'd need a V8 to really make them invisible.
Seating Capacity = 4.

Most important: the Element is made in Ohio. Nissan owned by parent company Renault (the damn French).
 

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I have fit 6 people in the E for a shirt ride. Although everyone was 22 or under, so they were still young and spry. And I think there was some lap sitting in the back. Another time, I was going to carry 5 and someone folded of the rear seats flat so he could sit with his legs in the trunk area. But plans changed and we did not take anyone out like that.

As a driver there is plenty of room, and I always tell people they are welcome to squeeze in, there is plenty of physical room, but just not necessarily nice belted seats. If you are going on long trips, do you really want more than 2 people in back of a car anyway.

No snow yet, but I drove through some really heavy rain and hail the other day. The Element handled great. I was cruisen through confortably and feeling safe as others were pulling out under overpasses.
 
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