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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Test drove a 4wd ex today and was very impressed: handling, power, comfort exceeded expectations. The E inside and out is an extraordinarily well-designed/engineered vehicle-- the result of somebody thinking way out of the typical automotive box (pun intended). I have several questions: I understand the load limit for the E is 675 lbs. Is this correct? What does that figure actually mean--is that the recommended maximum load into an otherwise empty vehicle? in addition to or including driver and passengers? or something else? We make many long distance trips and have always used a waterproof, soft rooftop carrier (Hurricane) that we tethered to a rack (not supported by the rack but anchored within its frame). The loaded carrier usually weighs about 75 pounds. Does anyone have an idea if this would be problem for the E, given the lack of side pillars. Would the roof itself support such a load?
 

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Straight from the owners manual - 675 pounds includes passengers, gear and tongue weight of a towed item. In other words 4 sumo wrestlers wouldn't cut it or even 4 football defensive players. Wish it was more myself.
 

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already built into the roof, I don't think you will have a problem with your carrier. The weight of the driver, any passengers, the weight of your loaded carrier and any other cargo you may be carrying should not exceed the 675lbs limit. However, these are very conservative numbers and I wouldn't worry if I was a few pounds over. With the large interior space of the Element, I wonder if you would even want/need a carrier? :wink:
 

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Thats the one point on this vehicle which has me scratching my head. If I pull up into work in this thign and take three of my chunky tech co-workers to lunch, we are easily tipping the scales at 800 lbs - if not more. How can they build a car like that when the average American is overweight?

I know it's a conservative estimate, but it still makes me wonder. I mean, the RAV-4 is hardly a powerhouse but it is rated at 1047 lbs. Really crazy. Hope they find a way to beef that up. I'm also having a tough time convincing the wife that the 4-seat thing is ok. Crazy enough, but that could be a deal-breaker for us. Would be nice if they could find some way to amend that without screwing up the car itself.

I really like the concept of the Element - I just wish there were a few things different (or I weren't a stick in the mud :wink: )
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies. We too are perplexed by the low load rating and it may indeed break the deal for us as well, though we love everything else about the vehicle. I wish I knew the authentic spec here--that is what the Honda engineers actually figure the "real" carrying capacity is. I am tempted to view the load rating in the same way as the low fuel indicator light--both very conservative measures and designed to compensate for those of us who routinely ignore warnings. But then that may be because I really want to be able to buy an E. But the bottom line is we don't want to buy one and screw it up because we overload it occasionally.

I wonder what is the determining factor here--is it safety, that the E become increasingly unwieldy to drive as you overload it? or is it mechanical, that the powertrain is not equipped to deal with loads exceeding the limit? I realize these two factors are related. I assume the cause of the problem is the weight of the unloaded E which is pretty hefty as I understand it. One other thing--4wd surely adds weight (though it apparently improves the balance between front and rear weight). Same is true of automatic over manual, right? Why wouldn't the 2wd (and especially 2wd manual) have a slightly higher load rating?
 

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Does anyone think that the 675lb. weight limit is quoted just so that Honda can meet some government mandated specs? Or could this low limit be due in part to the fact that there is no 'B' pillar? I read about an Element road trip where they stuffed 8 people inside, which is probably double the maximum load! They made no mention of how the vehicle handled at that capacity though...
 

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I've had 2 different experiences

1) It was overloaded with 2 other people and I noticed the difference in driving and handling immediatly when a very very large person was in the back seat. It was not so apparent when he was in the front seat and the other guy was in the back seat.

2) Long drive with over the 650 limit - total of 4 people weighing about 800 lbs total but was distributed better. Most of the weight was in the front seat :oops: (sigh). There felt to be no problem then.
 

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This can't be right. The back seat has leg room enough for someone 6' tall, but how many people do you know who are 6' and weigh 168.75 lbs. (675/4)? If each person has to weigh 168 lbs. or less to accomodate for extra gear, how can this limit be justified in America? In my household, alone, we might soon be overloading this vehicle. One more question remains. If the total load capacity is 675 lbs., how can the towing capacity be 1500 lbs.? These two don't seem to correlate to one another. Can any of the dealers associated with this website give us some additional guidance?
 

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towing capacity doesn't necessarily mean that is the "total" weight the car can tow. It is the RECOMMENDED weight that can be pulled. There are considerations to the actual length of whatever you are towing...ie boats Vs trailers...,and with or with out transmission coolers/power steering coolers. Remember this is a 4cyl and not a 6.

The payload of 675 lbs is surprisingly low, I will definately agree with that.
 

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I think that load limit is low, but I wonder how seriously it should be taken. I just did a quick calculation...3 of my buddies and I drove to Boston from Hartford yesterday for the Celtics game, and I estimate our combined weight at 680, or roughly 5 pounds over the "limit." But it didn't seem to have any effect whatsoever on my Element...several times I looked down at the speedometer and I was doing 85 without even realizing it. I'm extremely impressed by the Element's performance, especially considering its aerodynamics (or lack thereof) and the fact that it was extremely windy yesterday. And man, you wouldn't believe the number of stares we got on the trip - just about every other car on the highway would drive up while everyone checked it out.
 

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it has to be the lack of support from the pillars. even though the doors provide the extra strength when closed.i have looked under the car a few times to see where everything is laidout and the U shaped framing isnt very big.thats probably why the load rating is not high.maybe in 10 years these cars will start to sag in the middle .who knows? but if you go well over the limit it might have an earlier effect. this is just my opinion, im not an expert.hey my porsche 914 folded up after awhile without the roof for support.
 

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[quote:55deef61d2="ALMONDOG"]it has to be the lack of support from the pillars. even though the doors provide the extra strength when closed.i have looked under the car a few times to see where everything is laidout and the U shaped framing isnt very big.thats probably why the load rating is not high.maybe in 10 years these cars will start to sag in the middle .who knows? but if you go well over the limit it might have an earlier effect. this is just my opinion, im not an expert.hey my porsche 914 folded up after awhile without the roof for support.[/quote:55deef61d2]

914 ?
Folded up ?
Gee, I thought those burned up first
 

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i found a really good article on weight and load carrying for cars. it answers all of the questions about load ratings etc. its a good article check it out.the website is www.businessfleet.com go to the site map then click on "past features" from there go to NOV. 2002 click on "view articles".
 

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That article was great! However, the rationale for having such a low limit remains. Why is the limit low and what are the results of exceeding that limit?
 

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Think about your hair dryer and the warning to not use in water, etc..

These are idiot avoidance recommendations.. Alot of auto manufacturers, etc.. are going with extreme caution, and I doubt the 675 limit is a hard and fast written in stone rule.

RE The vw bug and its load limit it is 750 but try driving a vw bug with 4 people nearing 190 each..

I have noticed Honda being more and more cautious in recommendations, even more so then other companies.. so I would not freak out about it.

I would like to hear more about the weight amounts people are including in their vehicles and their drive experiences.
 
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