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My only comment is it's good for the Element - competition might make Honda take it seriously. If other makers are getting sales from their boxy practical vehicles, it should drive the Element's sales too. Unfortunately the other companies all seem to be after the "street cruiser" box market, not the practical box market...



 

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I had gone through several of these when I was researching the Element, as documented in my comments at the370.com (since we also own a 370Z, of course!)

The Cube was too flimsy. Door panels were about 6 ounces of rigid foam. The car felt dangerously unstable on a normally crowned two-lane country road. If I was driving 90%+ in the city and trading in 3 years, this might have been OK.

The Mazda 3speed "i" hatchback got on my short list as a performance alternative, and off the list after I drove it. I didn't like the idea of tapping another car in front or back and having to replace a couple thousand dollars of brittle plastic.

The Toyota/Scion xB was recommended, and lost out because Toyota zaps customers with add-on crap like a Bluetooth option for $300 ... instead of buying a $100 Garmin that has it built in.

Kia, Kia Soul, nice looking. But I drove a Sportage once and it felt like it offered all the protection and stability of a grocery cart at 70 mph. I just couldn't risk spending time seeing if this car company had grown a design pair. If you like the Cube but the styling's too extreem, the Soul's got your bag.

I backed into the Element by a process of elimination. The Insight and Fit were originally on my list, and the E wasn't. But the Insight was more a "first car" and missed some amenities like leather and HIDs. (The Prius had them, but the package pricing put you into the 30s. Not appropriate for a third car.)

I couldn't get to like the 2nd-gen Fit, despite all the good reviews. And I felt like we really needed more space -- trading down from a Yukon on the clunker program.

We had driven a CR-V and an RDX before we settled on a TL for her car back in the spring, so I knew the underpinnings on an E were solid. The styling always attracted me, but before the 09 tweaks, she had always called the car "hearse-like". When overstock.com told us we'd get $500 off invoice, and the fed clunker program turned my $2000 Yukon into a $4500 trade, we had to move. And so ... we're here! :)
 
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