Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 112 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
I got one very early in 2003. Leased it and am planning to buy it out next month.

One downside: I put 5 windshields in it. I would come out in the morning to find a huge crack across it. Honda was surprisingly unhelpful. I haven't had it happen in the last 10 months or so, so perhaps they've got it figured out.

Nonetheless, the vehicle is exactly what I needed and I love it. 4WD handles nicely in NE snow, flexible interior setup lets me get 3 bikes inside, and the no-carpet thing is great for muddy bikes, kids and dog.

If you want a hitch, go to UHaul. They'll put one on that looks just like the factory hitch, for less than 1/2 the price.
 

·
ballbuster
Joined
·
12,718 Posts
More info please

pin-it said:
Anyone have one of these babies? Tell me about it.
I'm drooling over one myself, especially now that they have a body-colored panel option.

What is the real world gas mileage like for the AWD/manual tranny version?

How capable is the AWD? Does it have any kind of anti-slip?

What's up with the 5 windscreens?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
I have one

The cracking windshield was a design flaw in the early 03 models. I bought my E in July of 03 and never had a problem, the problem was fixed long ago. No worries man. Awesome active lifestyle car!

As someone else mentioned be sure to check out the boards at http://www.elementownersclub.com/
 

·
paintbucket
Joined
·
2,825 Posts
I've got an 05 model. The windshield cracked about 2 months after I bought the car, and I haven't bothered to replace it yet. Mine's a 2wd with a manual tranny. Mileage is between 22 and 26mpg depending on conditions.

Great car. Truly a versatile interior. I even cram my tandem in there with just the front tire removed (fork mount on a 2x4), and there's still room to shift gears. Plus 6 year olds dig it.
 

·
Category Winner
Joined
·
6,100 Posts
nobody's mentioning..

A twin size air matress fits in the back perfectly. I also have a single air matress for when it is just me. Plenty of doo-dads to hang clothes lines in the interior of the vehicle. Awesome for pitting out of at a 24 hour race.
4cyl engine has plenty of pep.
Most practical vehicle I have ever owned. I really wanted to hate it, but I ended up falling for it.
 

·
Give'r or go home!!
Joined
·
113 Posts
Did you know there was a TSB on that?

RJR said:
I got one very early in 2003. Leased it and am planning to buy it out next month.

One downside: I put 5 windshields in it. I would come out in the morning to find a huge crack across it. Honda was surprisingly unhelpful. I haven't had it happen in the last 10 months or so, so perhaps they've got it figured out.

Nonetheless, the vehicle is exactly what I needed and I love it. 4WD handles nicely in NE snow, flexible interior setup lets me get 3 bikes inside, and the no-carpet thing is great for muddy bikes, kids and dog.

If you want a hitch, go to UHaul. They'll put one on that looks just like the factory hitch, for less than 1/2 the price.
If you haven't already, check out the honda element owners club on tyhe net. They'll give you info about the TSB on the windshield. I believe that HONDA should be replacing them for you. There was a defect or something that was causing this.
 

·
Hey, wait up!
Joined
·
1,541 Posts
Elemental Attraction

I've had my 2WD EX for a year (50,000 miles). Luv it. 24-26 mpg. No windsheild trouble (or any trouble).

If you haven't driven one yet, take the test drive. Sit in one of the back seats and feel the room. Much roomier feel than way bigger and more spendy SUVs.

Practical, reliable, and affordable - for plus/minus 20K I don't see anything else that compares.

.d.

Last year, I was able to fit into the Element 3 bikers, 3 bikes and enough stuff for 3 bikers to camp for 2 nites on a 600 mile round-trip racer road trip weekend. Two bikes on a hitch rack - the 3rd bike and everything else inside. We didn't have much, if any, room to spare, but we all rode comfortable.
 

·
Appalachian Singletrack'n
Joined
·
1,444 Posts
pin-it said:
Anyone have one of these babies? Tell me about it.
I've had one a year and a half. It's been the best vehicle for a traveling cyclist I could ever hope for. I have a 2wd 5 speed and get 20-26mpg depending on load, route, and speed. The versatility is unmatched by anything on the market. Roof racks bolt to the frame and are super solid. I can put my Dh bike in the back with both wheels on or two regular mnt bikes with the front wheels off and only 1 seat folded up or a full tandem. Direct Ipod hook-up is a big bonus for me. I haven't had a spec of trouble with it in 38,000 miles. I couldn't recommend the Element more.
 

Attachments

·
Mtbr Founder
Joined
·
35,126 Posts
Endomaniac said:
I've had one a year and a half. It's been the best vehicle for a traveling cyclist I could ever hope for. I have a 2wd 5 speed and get 20-26mpg depending on load, route, and speed. The versatility is unmatched by anything on the market. Roof racks bolt to the frame and are super solid. I can put my Dh bike in the back with both wheels on or two regular mnt bikes with the front wheels off and only 1 seat folded up or a full tandem. Direct Ipod hook-up is a big bonus for me. I haven't had a spec of trouble with it in 38,000 miles. I couldn't recommend the Element more.
Frick dude. Is that a Retrotec??

One thing great about the Element is the bikes fit inside the car. Mileage wise, that means a lot. At freeway speeds, my 32 mpg car only gets about 25 mpg when there are bikes on top of the roof. So mileage is not bad if you compare it to a car with bikes on the roof all the time.

fancois
 

·
Back of the pack fat guy
Joined
·
4,008 Posts
pin-it said:
Anyone have one of these babies? Tell me about it.
I have an '03 EX AWD with the 5spd manual transmission. Bought it used last January with 18K miles on it for less than $16,000. I've owned something like 16 cars in the last 18 years and I can say that, hands down, this is my favorite. Lots of interior room, rubber floor works wonders when your 3 year old throws up in the back seat or you have to load a wet or dirty bike in it, the 270 watt 7 speaker stereo kicks bootie, and it actually has surprisingly good get-up-and-go --- much better acceleration than the 2002 Outback wagon I replaced. I built a custom interior fork mount and took one back seat out entirely for day-to-day bike transport, but I also have 3 fork mount Thule carriers on the roof racks. Mileage has averaged around 23 mpg in mixed driving - I commute 16 miles each way for work, about 2/3rds of which is interstate driving at 60 - 70 mph; however, I do have a lead foot, so my mileage numbers may be lower than most.

Things I don't like: the handling is sub-par, at least compared to the Outback. Heck, it's a refrigerator on wheels, so it's not going to handle like a car, right? It's LOUD inside - I don't think there's any sound insulation in the doors or body panels. It rides very stiffly - you feel every single bump, pothole, etc... My gas gauge has never worked correctly - it tells me I'm out of gas when I have 3 - 4 gallons left in the tank, and Honda swears the fuel sending unit is working correctly. I've found the snow handling to be off-putting with the stock tires - when the front wheels start to lose traction, the power gets shifted to the rear, which makes the E tend to understeer on slick surfaces. Snow tires do help with that. The final gear ratio with the 5 speed manual is too low - at 75 mph, you're turning about 4000 rpms, so gas mileage goes WAY downhill after about 65 mph. (I live in Idaho and outside of the cities the freeway speeds are around 80 mph.) As for the windsheild, I have not yet had the dreaded crack, but any rock that hits it seems to leave a star or small crack, like the glass was not tempered correctly.

All in all, I think that despite its stupid looks, stiff suspension, and noisy interior, I love it and can't think of a more useful vehicle or better bargain at its price point. Here's a gratuitous photo of it before a race I did this season - a good indicator of the spaciousness.
 

Attachments

·
Adobo Lover
Joined
·
985 Posts
I had a friend who took it 4 wheelin and he said it held it's own. Granted it doesnt have the clearance of a jeep or humvee but he said he was amazed on what it could do. He loved everything about the element until he totaled it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
Element

My wife got one and I have to say I wasn't originally thrilled with the choice, but the Element has really grown on me and it's got a great motor, is fun to drive, and the AWD is great when snowboarding season hits. 3 bikes on the hitch rack is no problem, plus others on the inside if we take the seats out.
 
1 - 20 of 112 Posts
Top