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I used to live in Northern California and at the time owned a jeep. However many of my friends did own older TLCs and invariable they hadreplaced the Toyota motors with some GM product. This is not an indictment of the Toyota motor (although my 4 Runner motor went up in smoke after 68000 miles) but Toyotas do not have the reputation nor track record for quality low cost vehicles of Honda. Current styling and cost of newer Toyota vehicles is what encouraged my wife and I to begin looking at Hondas. We purchased our First Honda in August 2002 (A civic EX) andmy experience has been so wonderful with this vehicle that I have decided that the element is most likely the replacement for My 95 4 Runner. Although not as offroad capable as my old Jeep or 4Runner I am too old to spent much of my time going off road. I agree with some of the things I have seen in here that while the target demographic is the over amped gen Y crowd the element is the perfect vehicle for the 30 something crowd and up. I am going togive up leather interior and electric sunroof if I go with an Element ( which I will) but the Element cost half as much as many of the alternatives. It is no less comfortable and is far more utilitarian. Ultimately I don't see how Toyota can effectively compete with the element in price and quality coming to market 3 years after the Elements introduction.
 

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My late hubby owned a Toyota Camry (he was not an SUV man, loved his smooth ride and comfort) and found it to be an excellent vehicle.

I looked at Toyotas (4 Runner, RAV, and the pricey Highlander) when car shopping and I thought they were okay, nothing fabulous. The RAV and 4-Runner both felt cramped in terms of head and body room. The Highlander was way pricey for what it was, and in the end, I eliminated Toyota from consideration quite early in my shopping.

One thing I noted about Toyota - they strip the car to its absolute basics and then every little thing costs extra. The car starts reasonably priced and then all the extras add up really fast. I suppose you could say the same of the Element - especially the DX model, but somehow this annoyed me with the Toyotas. At least with the Element, the add-ons are 'a la carte' - you don't have to get a 'package' of a certain number of extras to acquire some of them.
 
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