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The Lienerts Go Elemental

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The Lienerts Go Elemental

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Ma and Pa Lienert have finally gotten off of their lazy behinds and have finally decide to grace us with a new vehicle review. This week's subject is the 2006 Honda Element 4WD EX-P (the painted panel package -- try saying that 3 times fast). Check out what the car reviewing tag team has to say about the latest version of Honda's resident box-on-wheels.

Read "Honda's no-frills people hauler adjusts its look, adds more features" @ The Detroit News

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Great quote: Element: A great pansy hauler.

The rest of the "review" was rubbish. Since when is 21/24 "fairly good gas mileage"?

The 21/24 figure is the AWD model - so to make a comparision, we'll use the FWD version's numbers (which are only marginally better @ 22/26):

Here's some other compact "crossovers" for comparison:

Toyota Matrix: 28/36

Scion Xb: 30/34

Chrysler PT Cruiser: 22/29

Chev HHR: 23/30

Geez - that's not fairly good - that's a runaway WORST IN SEGMENT. How about the rear-seatbelt design? I see that Paul and Anita missed the fact that the Element's design has the vehicle lacking a B-pillar. Because of that design aspent, the rear doors can ONLY be opened after the front doors are opened. That's a HUGE inconvienience.

So, in summary, you've got a plasticy ("urethane-coated"), worst-in-segment gas mileage, poor performing ("bit anemic"), poorly-designed (rear doors), sloppily assembled ("test vehicle was not as nicely put together as you'd expect from Honda") vehicle that lacks safety features found in competitors vehicles.

For all of that, both Paul and Anita rate this car a 4.

A FOUR.

WTF?!?!?

:censored:

And you wonder why people B@!TCH about their reviews?

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These two should be hosting tupperware parties &

discussing the vitues of solar panels, not reviewing

cars or giving society their opinion on the

automotive world.

Edited by Sixty8panther

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Great quote: Element: A great pansy hauler.

The rest of the "review" was rubbish.  Since when is 21/24 "fairly good gas mileage"? 

The 21/24 figure is the AWD model - so to make a comparision, we'll use the FWD version's numbers (which are only marginally better @ 22/26):

Here's some other compact "crossovers" for comparison:

Toyota Matrix: 28/36

Scion Xb: 30/34

Chrysler PT Cruiser: 22/29

Chev HHR: 23/30

Geez - that's not fairly good - that's a runaway WORST IN SEGMENT.  How about the rear-seatbelt design?  I see that Paul and Anita missed the fact that the Element's design has the vehicle lacking a B-pillar.  Because of that design aspent, the rear doors can ONLY be opened after the front doors are opened.  That's a HUGE inconvienience.

So, in summary, you've got a plasticy ("urethane-coated"), worst-in-segment gas mileage, poor performing ("bit anemic"), poorly-designed (rear doors), sloppily assembled ("test vehicle was not as nicely put together as you'd expect from Honda") vehicle that lacks safety features found in competitors vehicles.

For all of that, both Paul and Anita rate this car a 4.

A FOUR.

WTF?!?!?

:censored:

And you wonder why people B@!TCH about their reviews?

Sigh....

Just because it's a "small crossover" it's on a level playing field with everything else in this "miscellaneous" category? The Honda Element which is basically a two-door SUV-like vehicle gets slammed by you because it has "poorly-designed" rear doors that allow far more access than, say, a two-door Chevrolet Tracker did? And the AWD Element, as you've pointed out, gets basically the same gas mileage as the SMALLER and TWO-WHEEL DRIVE HHR? The Element has nearly 20% more interior space available and you're bashing it because the AWD model gets 2 mpg (city) worse than the HHR in an EPA test?

C'mon.

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Great quote: Element: A great pansy hauler.

The rest of the "review" was rubbish.  Since when is 21/24 "fairly good gas mileage"? 

The 21/24 figure is the AWD model - so to make a comparision, we'll use the FWD version's numbers (which are only marginally better @ 22/26):

Here's some other compact "crossovers" for comparison:

Toyota Matrix: 28/36

Scion Xb: 30/34

Chrysler PT Cruiser: 22/29

Chev HHR: 23/30

Geez - that's not fairly good - that's a runaway WORST IN SEGMENT.  How about the rear-seatbelt design?  I see that Paul and Anita missed the fact that the Element's design has the vehicle lacking a B-pillar.  Because of that design aspent, the rear doors can ONLY be opened after the front doors are opened.  That's a HUGE inconvienience.

So, in summary, you've got a plasticy ("urethane-coated"), worst-in-segment gas mileage, poor performing ("bit anemic"), poorly-designed (rear doors), sloppily assembled ("test vehicle was not as nicely put together as you'd expect from Honda") vehicle that lacks safety features found in competitors vehicles.

For all of that, both Paul and Anita rate this car a 4.

A FOUR.

WTF?!?!?

:censored:

And you wonder why people B@!TCH about their reviews?

The Element has a lot, lot more usable interior and cargo space than the Matrix, xB, PT, and HHR.

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Sigh....

Just because it's a "small crossover" it's on a level playing field with everything else in this "miscellaneous" category? The Honda Element which is basically a two-door SUV-like vehicle gets slammed by you because it has "poorly-designed" rear doors that allow far more access than, say, a two-door Chevrolet Tracker did? And the AWD Element, as you've pointed out, gets basically the same gas mileage as the SMALLER and TWO-WHEEL DRIVE HHR? The Element has nearly 20% more interior space available and you're bashing it because the AWD model gets 2 mpg (city) worse than the HHR in an EPA test?

If you re-read my post, I mentioned that I was comparing 2wd models instead of AWD because not-all small utes have AWD.. so all numbers there are for FWD (the Element gets a paltry 22/26 btw). The Element is *not* a two-door. It has four doors - it's just that Honda forego practical use of the doors (i.e. passenger entry/exit) in favor of something new and cool (no B-piller -> look how easy it is to load a TV into my Element).

The poorly designed rear doors allow for easy side loading, but crappy passenger in-out access. What occurs more with small four door vehicles - side loading of cargo, or passenger use? I'm sure some delivery companies may love the feature, but for everyday people use, it's just plain bad.

If you really want a full comparison of the HHR and the Element, you'd find that:

(all stats from Intellichoice, links at end of this post):

The HHR has a payload of 3,500 lbs as compared to the Elements 1,500 lbs

The HHR costs almost $2k less than the Element

The HHR offers more HP and torque and weighs 200lbs less

The Element has a HIGHER cost of ownership than the HHR

The Element loses MORE in depreciation than the HHR

Also, let's not forget that the HHR has standard features/options available that the Element simply doesn't offer: Power seats, Power Sunroof, Auto headlights, Daytime runninglights, Child Safety, Door Locks, Traction Control, 17in Tires, Seating for 5 (Element seats 4)

The Element does have 70 cu ft. of cargo space, the HHR has 63 cu ft - a 10% difference (and not the 20% you claimed). I'll put up with all of the above-mentioned benefits for that.

Links, as promised:

HHR:

http://www.intellichoice.com/reports/vehic...rolet/model/HHR

Element:

http://www.intellichoice.com/reports/vehic...a/model/Element

HHR/Element Comparison:

http://www.intellichoice.com/reports/compa...&model=0&trim=0

Edited by cmattson

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If you re-read my post, I mentioned that I was comparing 2wd models instead of AWD because not-all small utes have AWD.. so all numbers there are for FWD (the Element gets a paltry 22/26 btw).  The Element is *not* a two-door.  It has four doors - it's just that Honda forego practical use of the doors (i.e. passenger entry/exit) in favor of something new and cool (no B-piller -> look how easy it is to load a TV into my Element).

Make excuses if you want. The Element is a two-door just like an extended cab pickup is essentially a two-door; it should be viewed that way. If you want a four-door Honda crossover, it's called CRV. Making the Element a two-door with access panels does two things...it makes a two-door SUV (-like vehicle) practical and it takes the Element out of competition with the CRV.

The Element isn't designed to haul people around. It's for people with an "active lifestyle" where they haul stuff...bikes or snowboards or whatever. If you're hauling people on a regular basis, get the CRV.

And you NEED to compare 2wd to 2wd because the HHR and the PT Cruiser and xB aren't offered with AWD. MY POINT, if you cared to notice, was that there's more to comparing crossovers than just simple statistics. The Element has more interior space...it's offered with AWD...and it's not aimed at the buyer of an HHR or PT Cruiser.

My numbers were slightly off on cargo, but your numbers are WILDLY off on other things. A 3,100 lb vehicle with a 3,500 lb payload capacity? Try 900lbs (source: GM). STANDARD horsepower on the HHR is 143hp compared to the Element's 156hp (source: GM and Edmunds). Cost of ownership and depreciation, especially on a vehicle that's been on the market only ONE YEAR is an estimate; let's talk about that one again in two years.

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The gas mileage is actually what drove me away from the Element. That and the fact that I couldn't find one equipped how I wanted.

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f*ck them...hands down the worst reviews.  without a doubt.

now thats garbage.

agree. how do those dolts earn a living off writing so much crap?

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according to my research last fall, you'll be lucky to get 20mpg consistently with an Element.

So much for 'economy'. Its underpowered, so why the crappy gas mileage?

Great quote: Element: A great pansy hauler.

The rest of the "review" was rubbish.  Since when is 21/24 "fairly good gas mileage"? 

The 21/24 figure is the AWD model - so to make a comparision, we'll use the FWD version's numbers (which are only marginally better @ 22/26):

Here's some other compact "crossovers" for comparison:

Toyota Matrix: 28/36

Scion Xb: 30/34

Chrysler PT Cruiser: 22/29

Chev HHR: 23/30

Geez - that's not fairly good - that's a runaway WORST IN SEGMENT.  How about the rear-seatbelt design?  I see that Paul and Anita missed the fact that the Element's design has the vehicle lacking a B-pillar.  Because of that design aspent, the rear doors can ONLY be opened after the front doors are opened.  That's a HUGE inconvienience.

So, in summary, you've got a plasticy ("urethane-coated"), worst-in-segment gas mileage, poor performing ("bit anemic"), poorly-designed (rear doors), sloppily assembled ("test vehicle was not as nicely put together as you'd expect from Honda") vehicle that lacks safety features found in competitors vehicles.

For all of that, both Paul and Anita rate this car a 4.

A FOUR.

WTF?!?!?

:censored:

And you wonder why people B@!TCH about their reviews?

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The Element has a lot, lot more usable interior and cargo space than the Matrix, xB, PT, and HHR.

My aztek has yet even more space than the element, sounds like it has a tighter turning circle, and it gets 20/21 everyday like the element does.

40,000+ miles and no defects. seats 5. hauls plywood. nicer interior.

cheaper.

maybe GM was on to something?

my point: the Element is successful in many ways but i don't think its 100% hit the mark in being the 'ideal' cargo hauler like this article would suggest and like some use as a basis for defending it.

The FJ base is a huge advantage over the Element.

I would go so far to say that a SWB Chysler Van would suit most people much better and for less money than an Element.

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don't forget: asshole Honda dealers too :lol:

The gas mileage is actually what drove me away from the Element.  That and the fact that I couldn't find one equipped how I wanted.

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My aztek has yet even more space than the element, sounds like it has a tighter turning circle, and it gets 20/21 everyday like the element does.

40,000+ miles and no defects.  seats 5.  hauls plywood.  nicer interior.

cheaper.

maybe GM was on to something?

my point: the Element is successful in many ways but i don't think its 100% hit the mark in being the 'ideal' cargo hauler like this article would suggest and like some use as a basis for defending it.

The FJ base is a huge advantage over the Element.

I would go so far to say that a SWB Chysler Van would suit most people much better and for less money than an Element.

The FJ and Element cannot be compared.

BTW, me and my dad went to look at the FJ last night and both major Toyota dealerships around us had waiting lists and none available to test drive. It's pretty cool (3 windshield wipers are hot) but can get expensive very quickly with a few options.

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I'm not making excuses. I'm trying to compare people/cargo hauling vehicles. Granted that they are styled a bit differently, but they are still fairly comparable vehicles. The Element does have AWD - which is a significant selling point unto itself, but past that, there just isn't that much different about their function/niche.

As for the door/"access panel" point, we can each have our own opinion on that. My personal belief is that "if it has a hinge, and it lets people pass through it" then it's a door. Interesting to note that Honda's own website calls the Element a "5-door" and not a "3-door + 2-access points". Just food for thought.

Lastly, on the 3,500 "payload capacity" number:

- It was actually listed as the "towing capacity" number - I read the wrong description.

- It's available by clicking on the intellichoice comparison link I previously provided, and then click on specifications.

- It's an obvious error (as you pointed out). I seriously question the HHR's 4cyl can tow 3,500lbs.

I guess if Honda wants to continue making niche vehicles that target a very select audience "active-lifestyle youth's that don't care about power and/or gas mileage and/or styling (witness the large sections of unpainted plastic of previous years), have $21k+ to over-spend on a vehicle", then they'll continue to reap the limited sales that go along with it. More power to them.

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Did you guys actually read the review?

They simply stated that it's a "no-nonsense utilitarian hauler." Neither of them raved about it. In fact, both made several remarks about it's geeky styling and humdrum performance. I'm no fan of the Lienert's either, but this certainly isn't an instance in which they were unfair or biased.

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Did you guys actually read the review? 

They simply stated that it's a "no-nonsense utilitarian hauler."  Neither of them raved about it.  In fact, both made several remarks about it's geeky styling and humdrum performance.  I'm no fan of the Lienert's either, but this certainly isn't an instance in which they were unfair or biased.

Don't waste your time. Hater-ade being served...

Newsflash-this is a niche vehicle, designed as such...and selling at a slow but steady clip...if this had a GMC or Hummer badge on it, you be raving about its 'unique styling', 'great price point' or 'target audience'...BTW-it's average performance is about on par with the $30k+ Hummer H3---it's not just the Leinart's that are logically challenged....

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Newsflash-this is a niche vehicle, designed as such...and selling at a slow but steady clip...if this had a GMC or Hummer badge on it, you be raving about its 'unique styling', 'great price point' or 'target audience'...BTW-it's average performance is about on par with the $30k+ Hummer H3---it's not just the Leinart's that are logically challenged....

Not really. Everyone on this site ripped on the Aztec yet it was better/more useful in most way.

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Is it just me, or do the headlights look like they're sagging a little?

It looks better with out the heaps of black plastic, but it still looks like a box.

I'd rather have an HHR

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Forget all that... it has the styling of a Chinese made walk in Freezer.

I think the Element fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on

the way down. Christ there's not ONE thing I like about it style wise.

The ONLY positive thing I can say for it is the suicide doors, other

than that it's a complete waste of plastic.

I think the Aztek, Scion xB & FJ-Cruiser are all ugly in their own way,

but the Element, it's opperating on a WHOLE new level. If ugliness

was a sport that freekin Car would knock out and trample some ugly

Chinese car to win the Mr. Ugly Universe Title.

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Not really.  Everyone on this site ripped on the Aztec yet it was better/more useful in most way.

Dude, the Aztek, no matter what its practical qualities, had the visual appeal of an aborted fetus. It's redeeming qualities were not able to overcome that stigma. (GM was offering special deals with 3 months of intro....not good.)

Not only did the Aztek suck, it completely poisoned the well for other 'niche' products that GM was considering at the time...

Here's some advice: If you want to make a point, don't use the Aztek as an example.

You missed my point---the H3 should have better performance than a Honda 2/3's the price. Therefore, via the logic used in this string of posts, it must suck pretty bad too.

Edited by enzl

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