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Discussion Starter #1
So, I'd had my Element for three years, and while I enjoyed it, I decided it was time for a new ride (reasons below).

I traded my '06 Silver EX-P AWD MT for a 2010 Fit Sport with the paddle-shiftable 5-speed automatic.



Basically, my reasons were as follows:

1. The Element has a poor design for the footwells, specifically the lack of a drivers footrest. I tried rigging something, and the UrsaMinor footrest didn't look like it would solve the issue (too vertical). With a stick shift, I couldn't stretch my left leg in the space where the clutch pedal was located. It sounds petty, but it was something that was really making it uncomfortable to drive.

2. The Element's fuel economy isn't good. I was averaging 19-20 mpg. Since I believe that gasoline will be shooting right back up when the economy gets back into gear, it makes sense to unload a gas-hog while folks are still willing to buy one.

3. Since moving away from the snow, I don't need AWD.

4. For heavy duty hauling, I have friends and acquaintances with real pickup, and pickup guys are always flattered to haul something.

5. It just wasn't fun anymore. The Element handles just like you'd expect. I got tired of feeling it getting wallowy on curvy roads, and missed the zippy handling of a compact car.

There are some things I'll miss, namely the easy to clean interior, the flip-up seats, and the stick shift. I drove it for three years, and I was sorta attached to it.

I did consider a few other vehicles along with the Fit:

1. Nissan Cube: This one was really close. It's got a very spacious interior (I'm 6'1, 190 lbs), and feels very refined for the price. If you haven't driven one, it's a shocker how nice it is. On the downside, there's no manumatic option, the cargo space isn't so great with the seats up, and the handling felt kinda mushy (very French, which makes sense given the Renault control of Nissan).

2. Scion xB: It sucked. The interior was cheap. The steering felt numb. There was no telescoping wheel, and the wheel was too far away. I was VERY surprised and disappointed by this one.

The Fit won out by being fun to drive, especially with the paddle shifters, having a very versatile interior, and the promise of Honda reliability. And fun to drive is no joke - it's way more entertaining than any sub $20K car has any right to be! I can take it down curvy mountain roads, kick it down into sport shifting mode, and it's almost like having a 4-wheeled sportbike, slicing through the hairpins like a knife.

And, I still have about 84% of the Elements cargo capacity with the seats up (21 cubic feet vs 25), and 80% of the cargo capacity with the seats folded flat (57 cubic feet vs the E's 71 with the seats up).

So, the E's been fun, but for me the Fit is Go.
 

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Well, I can't argue with that. We are a two car family, a Fit and an Element. But, if push came to shove, I'd sell the Element and keep the Fit, for some of the same reasons that you stated.

I don't understand the issue with the dead pedal though. I know a lot of forum members have a problem with the lack of a dead pedal, but I don't even notice one way or the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I can't argue with that. We are a two car family, a Fit and an Element. But, if push came to shove, I'd sell the Element and keep the Fit, for some of the same reasons that you stated.

I don't understand the issue with the dead pedal though. I know a lot of forum members have a problem with the lack of a dead pedal, but I don't even notice one way or the other.
Where do you put your left foot while you're driving? For me, not having a dead pedal (or a poorly designed one) will have my foot rotating inward, and put pressure on my knee. That is a mainly personal issue though - My left knee is a little off. I also tend to pop my knee while riding my motorcycle, sitting at my desk, etc. It doesn't bother me if I wear a knee brace to keep my kneecap in place, but that's not that comfortable either.
 

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Fit's are nice, I don't blame you. Good luck with the new ride!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited by Moderator)
Just a heads up:

If anyone is looking for a 2006 Element EX-P 4x4 Manual that has been well care for and problem free (aside from a rocking driver's seat fixed under warranty, a common enough issue for Elements) for the past three years (35K miles).

 

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I just joined the ranks of the Element/Fit owners. Never have I seen a combo that makes as much sense since Holmes and Watson, Lenny and Squiggy, Batman and Robin, or chocolate and peanut butter.
 

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Nice car! The fit is awsome! We thought about having one as our second car but the back seat is too small because I have a daughter in a carseat. So we bought a Hyundai Sonata limited and it is flawless.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just a quick followup... Has anyone shown up in here with the above pictured Element? 2006 EX-P Manual AWD with ~35,000 miles at Ocean Honda in Santa Cruz... I found the radio code card and key duplicate tag!
 

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I'm too darn huge for a Fit, otherwise it would definitely be on my vehicle 'short list'.

Our local Honda Dealer sells very few Fit's and I can't fathom why. They must never show Civic lookers a Fit.

Enjoy your fuel efficient and fun new ride!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I'm too darn huge for a Fit, otherwise it would definitely be on my vehicle 'short list'.

Our local Honda Dealer sells very few Fit's and I can't fathom why. They must never show Civic lookers a Fit.

Enjoy your fuel efficient and fun new ride!
Heh, I'm 6'1 with a 35" inseam, so I fit the Fit a bit better than the Element* (which is a bit short on legroom, unless you want to put the seat at its lowest position).

But I totally agree on not showing Civic owners a Fit. My folks came out to visit, and Mom had never actually sat inside a Fit. Two weeks later, she trades her Civic (a 2009 with 4,000 miles on it) for a Fit. Madness, I tell you!

* I did modify the accelerator pedal slightly to make more right leg room, and keep my knee from bumping against the transmission selector lever. I don't know if it would work the same for the Element, but it worked out pretty well for me. (Basically, the Drive-by-wire throttle pedal assembly is mounted to the firewall with three bolts, two on the top, one on the bottom. Putting washers between the firewall and the assembly on the top bolts tilts the entire assembly slightly, pushing the pedal back slightly. As with most Hondas, the throttle is essentially wide open before you're all the way through the pedal travel, so there was no noticable functional effect.)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So... I dropped by EOC the other day just to have a glance around, catch up on E news.

Still quite enjoying the Fit. I added Clazzio seat covers to it, and I know they make them for the Element. If you're concerned about the wear to the seat fabric, these things are amazing.


 

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It must be an "To each his own" kind of thing. Everything you showed in here and called a plus are the reasons I'd never own one. Paddle shifter? That alone would do it - or the lack of any rear leg room, the low seats, the narrow squashed in cabin, the seats that have to lean back to keep from banging your head, the side doors, the rear hatch, etc. Of course, I've also seen two of them after what I'd have called minor collisions that ended up in serious injuries because of the flimsy construction. The Fit might have a good safety rating on paper but it doesn't seem to do very well in real life.
 

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I do wish the Element got a little better gas mileage. This car is a long term investment for me though. If gas goes up dramatically this year it will really suck, but I plan on eventually living in a city where I can ride my bike to work/grocery store/etc. and my ultimate goal of becoming a traveling nurse will mean I need a car with a LOT of cargo space.

I'm glad you like the Fit, it looks so tiny though! I don't know about the whole 80% cargo space of the Element thing, seems a bit of a stretch.
 

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Haven't seen the clazzio covers before...look pretty good in your pics. I'm "anti-leather" for my E as frequent trips to the beach and toddler footprints make NOT for a good leather seating option.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It must be an "To each his own" kind of thing. Everything you showed in here and called a plus are the reasons I'd never own one. Paddle shifter? That alone would do it - or the lack of any rear leg room, the low seats, the narrow squashed in cabin, the seats that have to lean back to keep from banging your head, the side doors, the rear hatch, etc. Of course, I've also seen two of them after what I'd have called minor collisions that ended up in serious injuries because of the flimsy construction. The Fit might have a good safety rating on paper but it doesn't seem to do very well in real life.
Well, aren't all cars a "to each his own" thing? I realized that I really missed driving a car that stays level and planted when you turn the wheel, especially once I moved to California. I don't sit in the back - only my kids (ages 5 & 7), so it's not a big deal. I keep the seats slid all the way back and leaned way back (just like I did in the Element), and I have a ton of headroom. Even if I sit uncomfortably bolt upright, I still have lots of headroom. I'm only 6'1 though - if you are way taller, and have an exceptionally long torso, it might bother you.

The seats... I wish they were a bit lower, but the fuel tank prevents that. The seating is a bit on the chairlike side - I wish they were lower like the Civic, but the functionality of the rear is worth the tradeoff. The car is 67" wide, the same as my Accord, Civic, Sonoma, a hair narrower than my Wrangler, so that doesn't bother me. I'm kinda tall and lanky though. It felt odd to drive a low vehicle again, but sitting so high was something I'd grown weary of after driving pickups and SUVs for the previous 8 years.

Side airbags and strengthened body construction have done wonders for side-impact safety, which is the biggest concern to me. It's hard to steer around someone that T-bone's you... remember IIHS side-impacts are comparable between classes, as they use the same weight, same sized (simulated SUV) moving deformable barrier. When you have opposing mass in a frontal impact, the mass differential is a major concern, but a light, low-COG vehicle like the Fit is better able to respond and avoid the collision in the first place. It doesn't bode well for what may be the target consumer (young, inexperienced drivers with minimal avoidance skills and situational awareness), but I'm a motorcyclist - I'm accustomed to keeping the Spidey-sense on red-alert, looking 12-secs ahead, etc.

Remember Car and Driver expressing wonder that the Fit was more adept at sudden lane changes (i.e. controlled double swerves) than many expensive performance cars? THAT is an important safety feature, and an area where SUVs, even car-based crossovers are lacking - any of us who have had to make an emergency swerve in the Element are well aware of how easily flustered it can be.

Taking this car on a twisty mountain road is a blast, and if canyon carving isn't your thing, that's fine. As you said, to each his own... the Element was a great vehicle, but I was ready for something different.

I do wish the Element got a little better gas mileage. This car is a long term investment for me though. If gas goes up dramatically this year it will really suck, but I plan on eventually living in a city where I can ride my bike to work/grocery store/etc. and my ultimate goal of becoming a traveling nurse will mean I need a car with a LOT of cargo space.

I'm glad you like the Fit, it looks so tiny though! I don't know about the whole 80% cargo space of the Element thing, seems a bit of a stretch.
The cargo space is a bit different, but in overall volume, isn't that far off:

From Motortrend (2006 Element):
Cargo area dimensions: length (inches): 66.7, front width (inches): 38.7, width between arches (inches): 38.7 and height (inches): 47.6
My quick measurements of the cargo area:

55" long, 42 inches wide, 40 inches high.
"Magic Seat" area in back seat is 48-52 inches depending on whether you measure from the hump or the side footwells.

The Element's overall cargo volumes are:
Behind 2nd row: 25.1
Behind 1st row: 70.1/74.6 (seats removed - Honda no longer reports these separately.. do the seats still flip up with the carabiner, or is removal the only option?)

For the Fit:
Behind 2nd row: 20.6
Behind 1st row: 57.3 Theoretically, it shouldn't matter whether you have the rear seats flipped up or folded down - the cargo space would be the same, just rearranged.

20.6/25.1=0.8207 or roughly 82%
57.3/70.1=0.8174 or roughly 82%
53.7/74.6=0.7680 or roughly 77%

There are differences no doubt, and the Element is superior for loading large or heavy items despite a lower payload rating :)twisted: no rational reason for that!). The Fit, for it's size, is a real-life TARDIS.



Haven't seen the clazzio covers before...look pretty good in your pics. I'm "anti-leather" for my E as frequent trips to the beach and toddler footprints make NOT for a good leather seating option.
I got tired of cleaning the various crap out of my seat fabric - gum, glitter, animal hair, melted candy... I opted for the all-PVC for several reasons.
1 - It's high quality material, that feels so close to leather that most people are surprised if I let them in on the secret.
2 - It's easy to clean - take a damp cloth and wipe it off.
3 - At $270 vs $450, it was a lot cheaper (and the leather seats still have PVC for the side bolsters and backs.
 

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Congrats on your FIT

I went to the CUBE - not because I traded the Element in, but because it got wrecked

I still wanted Square, and agree with you on the Xb
 

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I think we're almost ready to trade to a a Fit too. So are they honest about the Fit's gas consumption? Does it effectively cut your fuel bills in half compared to the E?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So... that didn't last long. 18 mos total... I decided to do the following:

1. Get back in a stick shift. WTF was I thinking. Paddles are neat but not a valid substitute.
2. Get a car without my ex-wife on the loan.
3. Get a car with a lot of legroom, something I haven't had in years (Element and Fit both suck in the front legroom department).

Tadaa!



6 spd Manual, leg-stretching room galore. SO tired of sitting upright like I'm at a kitchen chair; 1000 miles on her so far, and loving it!

(Yes, after only 18 mos. of the Fit, I was slightly upside down, by around $1500 or so. With the remaining payments on the Fit, that $1500 only costs me $15 more in interest in the new loan, even though it's spread across a whole new loan... They didn't have any financing specials, but I was able to get it at 4.39%/72 mos, and plan to pay it off with my next reenlistment bonus)

Cargo volume isnt' a big concern anymore - It seems I always trade beer for use of a friend's pickup anyway when I need to haul something.
 

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My wife is going to go with a Fit at the end of the year so I'm pretty excited about that! I think the Fit is a cool little car! My Wife drives about 100 miles round trip everyday and she currently has an 01 v6 Accord. The Fit will be, well, a Fit lol. I can't believe you went with a Scion, I hate Scion, mostly because Toyota makes them :roll: Honda all the way with me! :grin:
 
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