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Another new face here!

Hi, I'm Kim !

I'm looking for the next great Kimmobile, with 4WD this time, and I think I've got a little crush on the Honda Element. The other car I've strongly considered, in fact almost had my mind 100% made up, is the Kia Sorento. It's quite nice, but a whole different animal than the Element.

I've spent all weekend fiddling with the Honda website and pretty much decided that if I go with this vehicle, I'll get:

4WD EX automatic
Galapagos Green
foglights
the interior trim doo-dahs
front and rear bumper trim
keyless entry and security
maybe a CD changer
one or two other doodahs.


The test drive will probably prove it to me.

As the purchase of an Element applies to ME, the pluses and minuses I see are:

PLUSES:
affordable
better on gas mileage than what I have
comfortable to sit in
easy to clean
the Honda name
good stereo
funky looks
good crash test results
good stats on turning radius, etc.

MINUSES:
4 cylinder when I'm used to 6
lower than I'm used to sitting
I wish it had more ground clearance
the suicide doors might be difficult for my mom to get in/out when my father rides up front.
I'm a little uncomfortable with the visibility out the back window
my parents and friends will not quite appreciate my funkiness
first year model - bugs to work out?
will it retain value on par with other Hondas?

The posts here are really informative.

A few questions:

(1) Anyone here gone from bigger SUV w/ 6-cylinder to a smaller SUV like this? What's your perspective?

(2) How is it to drive around town?

(3) Tell me about getting on the freeway.

(4) Am I correct in thinking that Shoremist Metallic is a champagne beige color? You really can hardly tell from the computer photos.

(5) How exactly did you test drive your Element? What did it feel like to you? What told you it was right?

(6) If anyone's from Dallas, Ft. Worth, Waco, anywhere nearby, can you recommend a dealer? One in Mesquite has given me a quote of over $20K base, plus TT&L, and they are adding as much as 75% to some of the accessories. Sheeze.

(7) Has anyone bought accessories from this website's advertising sponsor, Hand-a Accessories? Any experiences to share? I'm wanting to save money, but I'm also deeply scared of getting in over my head in the installation. Thoughts?

Thanks for your time in providing any insight you can. I kind of think I'll be joining you as an Element owner. I just want to really think this through, do it right, spend the right price.

All the best to you,
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Well, I can't answer all of your questions, but here's some answers:

(1) Anyone here gone from bigger SUV w/ 6-cylinder to a smaller SUV like this? What's your perspective?

Nope... I didn't... sorry!

(2) How is it to drive around town?

Great! Short length is superb for cornering and parallel parking. Moves well in traffic.

(3) Tell me about getting on the freeway.

Well, first you speed up, then you turn on your signal, and then you move over. :) But seriously, no trouble at all... I have the 4WD EX and the pickup for getting on the freeway is just fine. The car rides really smoothly at freeway speeds.

(4) Am I correct in thinking that Shoremist Metallic is a champagne beige color? You really can hardly tell from the computer photos.

Yeah... I think you're right. It's not quite as "beige" as you might think from the site, but yes.

(5) How exactly did you test drive your Element? What did it feel like to you? What told you it was right?

I test drove in the area of the dealer... down the street, around some residential area, back up a sizeable hill. I was impressed with the smooth ride, the comfortable seat, the "small feeling" for an SUV (I'm used to a coupe and I hate 'big truck' feeling vehicles). If you're expecting a Chevy Tahoe, you might be dissapointed. It just felt really easy to me... when I'm 'in my Element', I feel like I'm in command of the vehicle and that I'm safe, without feeling like I'm taking up a ton of road or invading the space of other cars. It's a nice balance of power and size... it's not a behemoth, but it makes you feel comfortable.

(6) If anyone's from Dallas, Ft. Worth, Waco, anywhere nearby, can you recommend a dealer? One in Mesquite has given me a quote of over $20K base, plus TT&L, and they are adding as much as 75% to some of the accessories. Sheeze.

I ended up around $22k for an automatic EX with keyless entry and no other accessories... I'm in Ohio.

(7) Has anyone bought accessories from this website's advertising sponsor, Hand-a Accessories? Any experiences to share? I'm wanting to save money, but I'm also deeply scared of getting in over my head in the installation.

I haven't, but I've heard nothing but positive remarks from people who have. As for installation, I'm sure anyone here on the board would be glad to give you pointers if you're unsure.

Good luck and enjoy!

Drew
 

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I traded a v8 dakota for my element. The 160 hp is plenty and I do not miss the power of the truck. getting onto the freeway is no problem.

I do miss the clearance and the ruggedness of the truck but only sometimes.

the back is really easy to get in and out of.

The kia was my dad first choice until he drove the element. I personally think that they put too much into the kia for what you pay so they may have cut back on quality. I could be wrong, but I think the kia has a very poor resale.

I was a guy who believed that all men should drive big trucks until my social conscience got the better of me. I like the element because it gives me everything I want in a truck (except serious off road which I do miss aliitle) with the added bonus of being environmentally responcible.


It is your dollar so buy the one you love the most but I am willing to bet that over the years you will be least likly to regret the element.
 

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I drove a Sorento a couple of times and was surprised to find it very comfortable and refined. It seemed to have plenty of power, was pretty quiet on the road and it behaved itself rather well, though it wasn't what I would call an exciting car to drive. There were two things that more than anything, put me off. The first is that in reality it wasn't much different than any of the other small-mid sized SUVs on the road, so aside from price there wasn't much to make it stand out. The second was that however good the vehicle, and in it's first year of production it isn't going to be certain just how good, it's value would drop rapidly.

The Element on the other hand is anything but refined and it's not really possible to sit in it and drive it without being aware that this is a very different vehcile altogether. The thing I find remarkable about the E is that almost everyone I see get out of one after driving it have a smile on their face - and I know I do. It's engaging and involving to drive and behaves very well on the road - surprisingly so. It's responsive and lively and although it has a 4 cylinder engine, it has plenty of power for most situations and it's rather easy to look down at the spedometer and find you're going much faster than you think.

I went from a V-6 3.4L Chevy to the Element and can't say I notice a significant lack of power.

But it's not a perfect car. A quick look at the forum will show there are a few regular faults that are being reported: cracking/stressfracturing of windshields, leaky back windows, rattle in the dash around the left-hand A pillar, slight rocking in the driver's seat, susceptibility to scratches, etc. Some suffer these problems and some don't. Your concern about whether your mom would have difficulty getting in and out the back is valid also, and the only way to tell for sure is to take her to the dealers and let her try it. A solution would be to add side steps, but these are really rather expensive. Some dealers also seem to be less helpful and responsive than you might want, particularly after talking to those who sell makes where incentives are offered for purchase. Honda dealers can give you the impression they are doing you a favor by letting you buy a car... the answer is to go elsewhere.

My experience with my own E, now just 3 weeks old and 2300 miles on the clock is that it's a delight to drive in town on the daily commute or out on the highway where it gets up to speed quickly and has absolutely no problems getting in and out of traffic. If you like driving, you'll like the Elelemt a lot because it connects you to the experience like few other cars. It was that aspect of it that decided me to buy one. I saw one at my dealers and laughed because it looked so odd. I looked inside and I couldn't imagine who would want a car that seemed so spartan inside. Then I drove it and was immediately hooked. I flung it around for maybe half an hour, ending with a 10 mile run on a local highway and every moment was great fun. So I bought one and it's difficult to imagine anything that would cause me to regret having done so.

To some extent I put my faith in the Honda name for quality and resale value since the E is too new to have much of a guide to either in practical terms, and I take the view that if there are problems, a competent and trusted dealership will work to get them resolved anyway. I didn't regard the fact that this is the first year of production as a disincentive to buy at all. Certainly not after the experience of driving one.

If the Element fits your practical needs (big enough, sufficient seating, easy to get into/out of etc) then take one for a drive. You'll know if it's right or not from that experience. If it's not right in practical terms, strike it off the list of possibles and look elsewhere.
 

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Hello,


Here are my answers...


1. I went from a Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo to the 4wd EX. Not only have I not had any trouble, but the E drives a lot smoother and quieter than the jeep.

2. It's great. Zippy is a good term. The turning radius is incredible.

3. No worries accelerating. Rides smoooooth at 80. (so I have been told 8) )

4. I felt ShoreLine looked too much like silver.

5. I drove it all over on 3 different test drives. Mainly all conditions I drive in. Even went once when raining.

6. I paid right at MSRP

7. I purchased accesories direct and some from H-and-A. I suggest the latter. The dealer (who was great, by the way) just charged too much. Install them yourself, or get a friend who is handy to help.

Hope this helps!!!
 

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I went from a Chevy S-10 V6 4x4 to the EX 4WD and the big thing I notice is the revs. The Element revs at around 2500 at 65 mph vs. around 2000 for the V6. The Element is revvier vs. the ancient 4.3L V6 that the S-10 has, which I think is a good thing. That was a low-tech, low-revving engine but had gobs of low end torque.

Turn radius is another thing. The Element handles like a Civic in this regard. Turns on a dime compared to the larger truck.

Ground clearance. That's another difference.
 

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How is it to drive around town?
>>>sweet<<<

Tell me about getting on the freeway.
>>>2wd 5spd,,, no problem...<<<

How exactly did you test drive your Element? What did it feel like to you? What told you it was right?
>>>around town, fwy, and up my drive way...<<< :mrgreen:
 

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SLM is what I'd call a variable color. It looks golden in the right light, silver in another, tan in another.... It also blends really well with the EX plastic panels (they appear to have a brownish tinge). I was going to get a GG, but saw a SLM at nigth and fell in love with it. It really glowed - must be the metal flecks.

Power - it has plenty! I never find myself going come on, come on when I'm trying to enter a freeway or pass a car. However, I do have the 5sp.

Yes, there are blind spots, but mirror adjustment can alleviate somewhat the problem. Someone on this board or another one, suggested placing them so they just barely see the sides of the car and slightly aiming down which really helps.
 
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