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hey guys! bought the Element!(28 posts)

hey guys! bought the Element!JS Haiku Shop
May 27, 2003 11:51 AM
Sunset Orange Pearl

Actual pics and ride report coming soon.
someone had a busy weekend! cool nmDougSloan
May 27, 2003 11:56 AM
Sweet! I was "virtually" building versions ofsn69
May 27, 2003 1:17 PM
these versus several permutations of Forresters all weekend.

Looking forward to the pix and ride report.

Sweet! I was "virtually" building versions ofJS Haiku Shop
May 28, 2003 5:32 AM
Forester, CRV, Nissan 4-dr pickup were my alternatives. though we were at the dealership for several hours with a sugar-fueled 3 year-old running a circular trench in the floor, it was less painful than expected, and there was no sales pressure. good experience overall.

there's a little cult building around this car, especially the orange ones. :) several websites with driver forums dedicated to the element. you can also get honda accessories for it at 1/2 the dealer price (on the web). beware that many popular accessories are on backorder.

Hey, tell me about it.Spinchick
May 27, 2003 4:58 PM
We've got plans for a minivan purchase later in the summer. Is this thing a van or an SUV? I need details!
good to see you backJS Haiku Shop
May 28, 2003 5:29 AM
good to see you back; you were missed.

van or SUV? neither. it's like a bread truck.

max passenger capacity = 4.

max load = < 650 #, including tongue weight if towing.

with a schweet 270 watt stereo, it's a pimp-mobile. :)

stay tuned for pics and stuff. i have only driven it to work one day this week, as my wife keeps taking it to show her friends and coworkers. "it's so unusual!" ugh.

btw, little ones **absolutely love** to play in this car.
I think it's an SUVDougSloan
May 28, 2003 7:00 AM
I don't see anything that differentiates it from about 2 dozen other "SUVs". I realize it's a horrible stigma, but if it barks like a dog...

barks like a catJS Haiku Shop
May 28, 2003 7:34 AM
agreed that this is an "SUV".

however to call it that we must reclassify the others.

this one was designed around utility. compares favorably to what i hear of the first Toyota 4Runners.

next to our Explorer, it is rugged and bare.

we need a good (new, accurate) acronym for the Lincoln Navigator ilk. IMO/IME they're (Nav, Explorer, Expedition, etc.) either minivans on truck frames, or Towncars/DeVilles on stilts.
agree not all sameDougSloan
May 28, 2003 8:24 AM
You have several classes:

I. Lincoln Navigator, Suburban, Tahoe, Expedition, Excursion, Hummer, Toyota Landcrusher, etc. 5,000+ pounds and usually on truck frames with V8 engines. These are trucks, and the ones most villified.

II. Mercedes ML, Lexus RX300, Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Rover, Acura MX, Jeep Grand Cherokee, etc. Medium weight, usually on unibody frame; really station wagons with AWD/4WD and more ground clearance.

III. Element, Jeep Wrangler, Toyota RAV4, Suzuki Vitara, Ford Escape, Chevy/Geo Tracker; lighter weight, less room, roughly small cars sizes with small engines and AWD/4WD.

The Element could be a Class II, but I'm not that familiar with the size. It's certainly tall, though.

Whaddya think?

element vs. crvJS Haiku Shop
May 28, 2003 9:02 AM
had a chance to get a good look at both in a showroom. didn't realize before that the crv rear seats both fold down and fold forward, leaving the entire rear minus a few inches for storage. it probably is possible, but i couldn't figure out how to remove the rear seat. i could probably fit a 57cm frame with front wheel removed, horizontally (laying on its side) in the back, maybe.

element is built like a hollowed-out crv. make a crv into a cargo van from the front seats to the rear door, include another 1-2 feet of vertical space, strip out the carpeting, throw in a rear set of seats (they almost look like an afterthought--it looks "normal" without the rear seats), redesign all the doors so it's easier to get large stuff in and out of the vehicle, make everything waterproof (all electronics up to knee level are sealed), get the idea.

it rides like a car 'cause it's build on a car frame, but it's more like a van, except despite its utilitarian direction, it's still built around passengers. with the front seats all the way back on the rails, sitting in the back seat, i have 8" between my knees and the backside of the driver's seat, more than enough headroom for a 10-gal hat, and stadium seating--the floor level elevates from front to rear.

perhaps it's a cross between a vw bus (70's "transport") and a jeep wrangler and a cargo van, with an arse-kicking stock sound system. i've noticed also that, while all the creature comforts are there (power, cruise, a/c, stereo), things like the rear pop-open windows and skylight are completely manual (meaning not electric).


The pinnacle of luxury and convenience for the CR-V line, the EX adds to the 4WD LX with front side airbags, an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), remote entry system, power moonroof with tilt feature, AM/FM/cassette/CD audio system with 6-disc in-dash changer and 6 speakers, 15"alloy wheels, body-colored mirrors and rear privacy glass.

Automatic Transmission: $22,400.00


The versatile, new Element has all the reliability that you'd expect from a Honda, plus a multitude of other features that make it big on function. It's got a 160-hp, 2.4-liter, DOHC i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine, unit-body construction with 4-wheel independent suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes. In addition, it has removable flip-up rear seats, waterproof FXC™ seat fabric, a urethane-coated utility floor, side cargo doors and a clamshell tailgate. (EX 4WD:) Real Time™ 4-wheel drive and a removable skylight with tilt feature.

Automatic Transmission: $20,850.00
suppose you could have the plastic panels painted? nmDougSloan
May 28, 2003 10:13 AM
crv vs. elementmoneyman
May 28, 2003 12:30 PM
We just bought the CRV EX a couple months ago. The description you printed would have one think the CRV was the lap of luxury, but it is not. It is utilitarian, comfortabe for shorter trips, fun to drive around town, but it still has that Spartan feel. We looked at the element as well, but if the CRV is Spartan, the Element was like Lunar landscape. Don't get me wrong, I like my CRV. Wife and driving children LOVE it, as it is easy to handle and wheel around town. For reference, my other vehicles are 99 Ford F250 4x4 crew cab (think BIG) and an 83 Landcruiser SW. Compared to them, the CRV is pretty small.

The one thing I have come to not like about the CRV is the bike transport thing. It is really too high to put bikes on top. My 58cm Trek will NOT fit inside standing on a fork mount. Only other option is a hitch rack, and for that I need to get a receiver hitch. The only ones available for the CRV are 1.25" receivers, which limit my options considerably.

We chose the CRV over the Element primarily because of the profile. The CRV is more streamlined and less likely to be pushed around so violently by the wind. In Wyoming, where I live, the wind is constant and crosswinds of 25-50 mph are the standard on I-80 between Cheyenne and Laramie. Since this is a fairly common trip, and since those winds regularly blow semis off the road, it was an important consideration.

Nonetheless, the Element looks like a lot of fun. I hope you really enjoy it! With a little one in your family and the all-plastic interior, you could just hose it down after a trip to Baskin Robbins.

Thanks J.Spinchick
May 28, 2003 9:43 AM
A bread truck, eh? Sounds cool but I need more passenger room. Hubby would like the pimp-mobile quality, though. Maybe that would get him off the Porshe bent.
Cool...I love the orange.MXL02
May 28, 2003 9:51 AM
Almost got one myself, but the Tandem wouldn't fit...
Did you get the front fork hitch for bike transport?
internal bike storage (LOL!)JS Haiku Shop
May 28, 2003 10:04 AM
in negotiations with the dealer (while i was chasing haiku jr. around the showroom) my wife almost bargained for the internal bike (fork) mount. $165.00 retail, $108.00 on internet honda accessories sites. it's the exact same thing that's sold by, right now on special at $19, buy one get one free. yep, nineteen dollars for two.

I have a roof rack and will be adding 2-4 internal bike mounts, plus probably putting on a hitch myself, and buying a performance 2-bike hitch rack (fork mount trays).
Looks like a Mini Cooper on steroids.Spoke Wrench
May 28, 2003 10:12 AM
Do me a favor.

Push the back wheel of your bike as far forward between the front seats as you can and work the garshift and tell me how much room you have between the fork dropouts and the rear hatch. I'm wondering if my tandem will fit inside of one.
photo above - single bike barely fits?DougSloan
May 28, 2003 10:18 AM
From the look of the photo above, it appear that a single bike barely fits, doesn't it?

MXL02 5/28/03 10:51am

photo above - single bike barely fits?JS Haiku Shop
May 28, 2003 11:12 AM
optical illusion, and poor setup. wide bars, etc.--and the seats are still in the vehicle. i'll put together a photo review of how a bike fits in there, and post it fer ye.
will do, and will also measure and provide numbers...JS Haiku Shop
May 28, 2003 11:11 AM
will post results and pic tomorrow.
re: hey guys! bought the Element!steve-z
May 28, 2003 2:29 PM
I haven't shopped one up close, but I like the idea of this vehicle. Can I ask for a good MPG report? Thanks.
still on my first tank, but it's not looking good. nmJS Haiku Shop
May 29, 2003 7:29 AM
Everything in TN seems to be Orange! are you a UT fan? nm.jaybird
May 29, 2003 7:18 AM
sick of UT paraphenaliaJS Haiku Shop
May 29, 2003 7:32 AM
OMG it was awful 2 years ago. last year was a little less painful. this year it's only every few cars. i could've been a bazillionaire selling huge orange "T" stickers. funny thing is they look(ed) like Telekom kits, only the wrong color.

this one looks orange in the pics, but the actual perceived color changes throughout the day. in evening light/at dusk it looks maroon, in the AM and early morning sun it looks burnt orange, in the afternoon it looks red. there is really no time of day during which it appears orange like the fruit.

the color is "sunset orange pearl", but there's no pearl--it's metallic like an expensive fishing boat.

believe you me: if this one screamed "UT", i would have bought silver instead.

-J (dislikes ball sports)
update on dimensions & pics for Spoke WrenchJS Haiku Shop
May 29, 2003 7:38 AM
alas i rode last evening instead of my documentary duties.

however i did borrow a rhode gear truck bed rack from J2 and stuck it in there, but it's not going to work without removing one or both seats, and i was gettin' eaten by 'skeeters big as bats.

for father's day i've requested a few fork mounts and a couple wheel holders and will craft a setup for several bikes. in the meantime, i'm going to remove the seats this weekend to take a few pics of how bikes fit inside the element.

i'm 99% sure a tandem would *NOT* fit with the rear hatch closed.
Thanks.Spoke Wrench
May 29, 2003 10:48 AM
That's kind'a what I thought, but I still held out hope.

Generally, a tandem is about 27" longer than a single bike and you can pretty well bet on both handlebars hitting a seat or something. You also have a chain on both sides of the bike so you have twice the potential to mark up the upholstery. Mine rides on a roof rack in the rain.
i'd suggest a hearseJS Haiku Shop
May 29, 2003 11:02 AM
all customized like the one in ghostbusters. now THAT would be a cool ride.

wait a minute, wasn't that an old ambulance?

really, you guys are missing the boat. we need to get an RBR poster gathering together in St. Louis. i hereby nominate you VP of Routemaking. maybe a saturday in late 2003--how about october sometime? any interest?
i'd suggest a hearseSpoke Wrench
May 30, 2003 7:23 AM
You've been watching too much "Monster Garage." Actually, I've been thinking about that. Blacked out windows for a changeing room, BIG cooler, maybe even a built in workstand. I think that would be the kind of customizing I'd enjoy.

I think that the biggest barrier would be Mrs. Wrench. Sometimes women's ideas of what's cool aren't the same as yours and mine. What's the point of building up a specialized tandem toter if my stoker won't ride in it?

I think that a St. Louis ride might be cool, I think I'd probably have to have plan a "wussie route" option so that I could get back before the rest of you guys had finished dinner. Who else is up for it?
we probably need to nail down approximate details,JS Haiku Shop
May 30, 2003 7:52 AM
then post on the general board once per week for a couple weeks. i think it would go over well. we have many posters within 300-400 miles of STL.