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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Knock wood that I won't, but I may (very sadly) need to "replace" my 2010 LX at some point. I know that's heretical and ungrateful, but what current (2022) vehicles make at least adequate successors?
 

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2004 EX AWD
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The obvious answer is nothing. But I will throw out two idea that come close in utility.

The Ford Transit Connect is frequently mentioned as a potential replacement. Lots of storage and low load height. Sliding doors too! But, it doesn't have AWD, clearance, or the versatility of the Element. The rear seats in the Element and box shape allow for lots of easy loading options. I don't think the Ford TC seats can easily fold out of the way. If you have to remove the rear seats to get usable space, that is a bit of a deal killer for me.

Another option that strikes me as having similar to utility would be to get a minivan where the rear (3rd row) seats fold flat. Remove the second row of seats and store them. That way, you have plenty of storage and can easily fir 3 more passengers by folding up the rear seats. Easy loading with the sliding doors too. Hard to find an AWD minivan with fold flat rear seats, although I think recent Sienna have that. Minimal ground clearance with a minivan, however. The Dodge products have fold flat floors where even the second row folds flat, but I will never buy a MOPAR product unless it was built before 1972 or says "Viper" on the side. (OK, I probably won't buy a Viper either)

Different people will obviously have different ideas of what they find useful about the Element. For me, it is being able to throw my mtn bike in there easily or load it up. The option for 4 people is a plus too (unlike a Ford TC cargo van). I like the AWD, but am realistic about the capabilities of the Element.
 

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2003 Honda Element AWD EX 4AT "Galapagos Green Metallic"
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I decided a couple of years ago that if/when my E bites the dust (which it almost did April 2021) I'm replacing it with a Toyota Hiace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
The obvious answer is nothing. But I will throw out two idea that come close in utility.

The Ford Transit Connect is frequently mentioned as a potential replacement. Lots of storage and low load height. Sliding doors too! But, it doesn't have AWD, clearance, or the versatility of the Element. The rear seats in the Element and box shape allow for lots of easy loading options. I don't think the Ford TC seats can easily fold out of the way. If you have to remove the rear seats to get usable space, that is a bit of a deal killer for me.

Another option that strikes me as having similar to utility would be to get a minivan where the rear (3rd row) seats fold flat. Remove the second row of seats and store them. That way, you have plenty of storage and can easily fir 3 more passengers by folding up the rear seats. Easy loading with the sliding doors too. Hard to find an AWD minivan with fold flat rear seats, although I think recent Sienna have that. Minimal ground clearance with a minivan, however. The Dodge products have fold flat floors where even the second row folds flat, but I will never buy a MOPAR product unless it was built before 1972 or says "Viper" on the side. (OK, I probably won't buy a Viper either)

Different people will obviously have different ideas of what they find useful about the Element. For me, it is being able to throw my mtn bike in there easily or load it up. The option for 4 people is a plus too (unlike a Ford TC cargo van). I like the AWD, but am realistic about the capabilities of the Element.
I like the part about the mountain bike. My Element can hold my recumbent trike without folding it if I swing the back seats up. It's a little awkward, because either the rear wheel or the chainring sticks out between the front seats and the driver's seat can't go all the way back. Still, it's one of her charms that she'll hold the trike and some luggage besides. It is getting a little harder for me to swing the seats up than it was a few years ago.

There's something nice about a car that can hold all those flats of flowers come June, too. After almost 80,000 miles, she just had her first major repair, and that wasn't really the car; mice did a number on the heating system. I don't think the crisis will come for a while yet, and hope it doesn't.
 

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I'm pretty bummed the Jimny isn't sold in the U.S. I'm not really into off-road vehicles, but I would have one of those if I could. I wish GM would import it and rebadge it like they did with some Suzukis in the past. I think that's the only way we could get it as I don't see Suzuki automobiles ever making a return to the U.S. A shame really.
 
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