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Thread: Honda Element Off Road?

  1. #1

    Honda Element Off Road?

    Okay, now that you've wiped the tears of laughter from your eyes, is this even possible?

    I've nearly gotten the go ahead from my wife to buy a new car, and through my job I can get a screamin' deal on a Honda (below MSRP). I've been eyeballin' the Element for years, and I'm thinking about buying one.

    I know not I'm going up Gold Bar Rim with an Element, but do they have enough ground clearance and capability to make it over some of the sketchier roads down in Southern Utah? Say like the Shafer Trail and White Rim Road.

    Start yer flaming...

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  3. #2
    I have had my Element for almost two years now. I am madly in love with the car, but it ain't no off road vehicle. I have taken it on plenty of dirt roads around canyonlands and Moab area, but nothing where I took my TJ in the past.

    My wife LOVES the vehicle for the leg/head room, no carpet, foldable/removable seats and suicide doors. If you want to meet up somewhere I can give you a much better sales speech than most of the Honda salesman, don't listen to those idiots.

    FYI, you can not spray the inside of the car with the hose to clean it....
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  4. #3

    Re: Honda Element Off Road?

    Quote Originally Posted by kris247
    I know I'm NOT going up Gold Bar Rim with an Element, but do they have enough ground clearance and capability to make it over some of the sketchier roads down in Southern Utah? Say like the Shafer Trail and White Rim Road.
    i think this is what you meant...right?

    no you wont make sections of GBR, but you'd get through the majority of it..lol it would be fun to see you try to get up the last waterfall

    as for Shafer and White, you wouldn't have much trouble with those trails.
    the big thing w/ those little elements is the front air dam. if you can clear the front, it will be just fine. Most southern utah roads are graded, w/ few exceptions. most roads going into the roost, the swell, and escalante (hole in the rock road) can be driven in this vehicle in dry conditions.
    but here in lies the caveat, you get a little weather, and you could get into trouble.

    i like the element, they look like the new LR3 Land Rovers, only smaller, and much more reliable...lol

  5. #4
    Ice himself gets to ride in one today

  6. #5
    Marc: Yes, that's what I meant. Duh. (I've edited the original post with the change).

    I think I've pretty much decided on the Element, but I don't want to be in a situation in a few years when I find out it's not really the vehicle I wanted. But, it seems to fit most of my criteria: decent gas mileage, AWD, big enough to haul around a kid and dog, and the ability to sleep in it. (I can just barely lay down in the back with the rear seats removed/folded up).

    My true love is a VW Westfalia Synchro, but those suckers are expensive. I so love them though.

  7. #6
    This is one helluva commercial...

    What about the Pilot, I like those. Whats the differences...cant be ground clearance and I know they are much bigger.
    I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. -Martin Luther King, Jr.





  8. #7
    well if the element doesn't fit the bit, you could always get one of these.
    although they tend to be more than most homes in Utah. but one can dream.

    4x4 1-ton drive train w/ all the westie comforts...
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  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Kazak
    FYI, you can not spray the inside of the car with the hose to clean it....
    Damn! That was my plan! What's the point of a rubber interior and water resistant seats if you can't hose the sucker down? Oh well.

    When I was a kid we had a tent trailer, and we found the best way to make it rain was to take it somewhere. I have more memories of getting stuck in that tent playing Uno than just about any other childhood outdoor experience.

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by marc olivares
    well if the element doesn't fit the bit, you could always get one of these.
    although they tend to be more than most homes in Utah. but one can dream.

    4x4 1-ton drive train w/ all the westie comforts...
    Oh my god...that's freakin' awesome. I'll have to add that to my list of dream cars.

    My wife makes fun of me every time I drool over the Dodge Sprinter. (There were some sweet ones at the Utah Car Show a few weeks ago). If they made a 4x4 version I would probably buy one.

    I could always go with the psuedo-Westy solution:

  11. #10
    Outdoor Guru
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    Say like the Shafer Trail and White Rim Road.
    Shafer Trail is usually drivable by any car. The only part of the White Rim that might be problematic is the Murphy Hogback. After a good rainstorm it's sometimes rough. Depends on when you hit it. Most of the time however, I would bet you could do it.

    Heck Mike Kelsey did all of the White Rim except the area around the Murphy Hogback in a Volkwagen Rabbit.
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

  12. #11
    Trail Master nosivad_bor's Avatar
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    thats a maggiolina roof tent, from what i've heard from owners they are very nice.


    http://www.loftyshelters.com/

  13. #12
    Carbon Footprint Donor JP's Avatar
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    I'm just not grasping that concept

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by accadacca
    What about the Pilot, I like those. Whats the differences...cant be ground clearance and I know they are much bigger.
    I've taken my Pilot on a lot of "rough" roads in UT and CO. It does pretty well, I think, as I have never been stuck. Lots of room and comfort for family stuff, too.
    Stan

    Check out my photo gallery at www.pbase.com/sparker1

  15. #14
    Outdoor Guru denaliguide's Avatar
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    i can remember taking a volkswagen beetle around the white rim in the late 70's. we went from the shafer trail and out at mineral bottoms. murphy's hogsback would have been a real problem if we had done the loop in reverse. much tougher going up the north side of the hogsback. other than that it was a blast. i think it was about 140 miles total round trip from moab.
    I can see your point, but you are still full of shit!

  16. #15
    Carbon Footprint Donor JP's Avatar
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    I'm sure it would work, it all depends on what you don't want to put it through

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by marc olivares View Post
    well if the element doesn't fit the bit, you could always get one of
    although they tend to be more than most homes in Utah. but one can dream.

    4x4 1-ton drive train w/ all the westie comforts...
    Look cool... I like that... I have also seen these..:
    Since I can't post the actual link work with me here.

    quigley4x4 dot com

    earthroamer dot com


    Personally I own a Black Honda Element 4x4 (Real time AWD) definitely not for off-roading but one day I will have a van or pickup like what I mentioned above. I like you all love the outdoors and camping and photography.

  18. #17
    It all depends on one, how much you want to abuse it and two, how good of a driver you are. I have had Dodge Neons down 4x4 trails in Utah farther than some 4x4's wanted to go. Be prepared to break things, get stuck and get flat tires. Over Thanksgiving I took a stock 4x4 into Death Valley and got a flat tire on a moderate high clearance road just because I was carrying too much speed. (I had a full size spare) Elements are nice and I have seen some climbers build sweet sleeping platforms in the back for road trips. If you plan on going off pavement regularly, I would get something else. If not, go for it.

    If you go 4x4, don't expect great gas mileage, I only get 12 mpg in my Cherokee with 33's. Another option is a Subaru Legacy or Forester AWD. They both have a locking differential that rocks offroad and I prefer them over a Jeep sometimes. The Legacy is long enough to sleep in, but not the Forester.

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