Honda Element Owners Club banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I suppose I sort of know the answer as the E is not build "heavy duty". But I'm wondering is the E only recommended for light off road duty because of the ground clearance or is it because the suspension components are to fragile? I also understand that the 4wd system is not really ideal for severe conditions. I don't really plan on taking the E muddin', but just wanted to get a better idea of how the E is built and why they say it's mainly built for on road use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I kinda figured as much...I was actually backing into my yard today and there is a little bit of a drop from the pavement to the grass...and I'm pretty sure I bottomed out a little bit just from that. I looked under to see if there were any scraps...but wow...there is hardly any room under this thing! This happened after my first post. I still wouldn't mind hearing others opinions! Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
551 Posts
I think its OK for mild off-roading. Or on the beach. You can graunch a hole in the gas tank or get it stuck, but you can get nearly anything stuck. The deal is we go as far as we can till we get in trouble and then we realize our limits. Then maybe next time we look at something and say "I don't think I'll try that".
se
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
510 Posts
Having done some ridiculous things in my e (with the pictures to prove it) The E will surprise you if you take it easy, but it will quickly go the other way if you get ballsy and test its limits.

Ive gotten her stuck on sand and mud, both times i was pushing her beyond what would be considered "light" off roading. The sand was mainly because I didnt air down, and the mud... well it had just rained the day earlier, and it was a clay min maintenance road... very slippery and i found the only culvert on that road... see off road pics thread for pics =)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
963 Posts
I suppose I sort of know the answer as the E is not build "heavy duty". But I'm wondering is the E only recommended for light off road duty because of the ground clearance or is it because the suspension components are to fragile? I also understand that the 4wd system is not really ideal for severe conditions. I don't really plan on taking the E muddin', but just wanted to get a better idea of how the E is built and why they say it's mainly built for on road use.

Isn't the E built on the Accord frame, if so that would be a good reason it's not an off road vehicle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
510 Posts
Frame would be incorrect... its a unibody. circle slash frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
662 Posts
The E's AWD function is to assist you when you've driven your vehicle past the point of driver control that conditions will allow.

Old, beat up Jeeps are great for trying to go somewhere you shouldn't be trying to go.:razz:

Personal testimony: The E's AWD system works great for saving your butt on an icy road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I didn't buy the E to do any off roading besides getting down a couple of country roads. I don't think that is really off road. I do like the look of the chuncky off road tires some put m their E as well as the lift...but as soon as you start doing things like that you uave nonstop things cropping up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
510 Posts
The E's AWD function is to assist you when you've driven your vehicle past the point of driver control that conditions will allow.

Old, beat up Jeeps are great for trying to go somewhere you shouldn't be trying to go.:razz:

Personal testimony: The E's AWD system works great for saving your butt on an icy road.
Youve been around long enough to know its actually a 4wd system. AWD systems have power to all wheels all the time, ours does not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Isn't the E built on the Accord frame, if so that would be a good reason it's not an off road vehicle.
My understanding is that is is built on the CR-V platform and engine. Only reason I opted for a first year model.

Now, the CR-V platform may use the Accord platform, but I don't believe that is so.

Anyone else?
 

·
Retired.
Joined
·
12,183 Posts
My understanding is that is is built on the CR-V platform and engine. Only reason I opted for a first year model.

Now, the CR-V platform may use the Accord platform, but I don't believe that is so.

Anyone else?

The E is based on a modified CRV platform. They don't share actual floorpans But they do share selected components,mounting points etc....


http://www.hondanews.com/categories/945/releases/975?archive=2003


Element's chassis features a Toe Control Link MacPherson strut suspension in front and a compact double-wishbone suspension in the rear. Although similar to the underpinnings of the Honda CR-V, significant adjustments have been made to the unibody construction to allow for the B-pillarless design, larger tires and the low, flat floor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,263 Posts
'off road' is a vague concept. To some anything that isn't paved is off-road. Others think of a road as anything that has seen a grader in the last 20 years. Honda's concern is that people will naively think that the Element's boxy shape and AWD mechanism makes capable of driving anywhere.

Compared to Jeep Wranglers and 4wd pickups the Element lacks two key things:
- ground clearance
- low range
If you don't understand the significance of those differences, you shouldn't try anything beyond a graded gravel road.

However the Element does have one advantage - it has a tight turning circle. That means you can easily turn around if there is any doubt about the road ahead. Don't be afraid to use it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Paulj,
I think you nailed what I was trying to get at...but for what ever reason was not able to spell out very well when you said, " don't be afraid to use it". I'm not looking to mow down saplings or take the thing to Baja, but I also hope I don't have to treat it like a car either.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,749 Posts
Very well put. It is a very capable vehicle and will get you pretty far off the beaten path before it gets stuck or just off the side of the road depending on the circumstances.

The limiting factors Paulj pointed out are very true and important factors. The E lacks the slow power control for technical situations. The ABS brakes don't jive well with steep off-road descents either.:shock:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,263 Posts
... The ABS brakes don't jive well with steep off-road descents either.:shock:
I've wondered how abs behaved on steep descents. My 03 DX doesn't have such bells and whistles. 1st gear (AT) isn't particularly low, so engine braking only keeps speed to 20mph. Below that I have to pump the brakes. That works ok.

Years ago I drove down one road near Moab in a 4x4 pickup, and was glad to have low range engine braking. I repeated it in the Element, depending on the brakes, without problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
My geocaching hobby (see www.geocaching.com) takes me to some pretty remote locations in rural and wilderness areas. I've driven up steep hills, over washed out roads, and down minimum to no maintenance roads with no problems. Once I ended up on an overgrown precipice barely qualifying as a road. The "road" ended. I tried backing out and nearly ended up in the ditch. I successfully turned my Element around on the precipice which was about 4 feet wider than the vehicle. I've been very pleased with the off-road performance of my E, but I do not push its limits. I do feel I can rely on it to get me where many other vehicles would never go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
282 Posts
Youve been around long enough to know its actually a 4wd system. AWD systems have power to all wheels all the time, ours does not.
You have it backwards. All-Wheel Drive systems are compensating systems, with power going to the wheels that slip (generally being the front or rear two wheels). A true 4-Wheel Drive system has locked four wheel drive, exactly what its name says, with equal torque to all 4 wheels. That said, the Element's "Real Time" 4 Wheel Drive is neither neither true 4WD or true AWD. I'd count it closer to an All Wheel Drive system than it is to a real 4x4, since it is computer driven based on slippage, and the vehicle runs on 2WD when not engaged, like AWD vehicles do. The only difference is that instead of relying on 2-wheels at a time during slippage, like most AWD setups, the RT4WD can send torque to all four wheels when needed.

In essence, it IS an all wheel drive system that can engage all 4 wheels at the same time.

What it is not, however, is a true four wheel drive vehicle with locked in four wheel drive/torque to all four wheels.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top