I took my 2WD 5-SPD Element on a recent ski trip. 1 hour through the winding mountains and 4 hours on the highway. It was a very smooth trip. Especially on the highway. I averaged 25 mpg on that trip. I am averaging 24 in normal driving.
One thing that I loved about the Element is that I can fit 4 pairs of ski and 4 people, all inside the car. I slide the skis under the rear seats. So I have no need for a ski rack.