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Hi, Non-Hybrid Owner

  #1  
Old 02-27-2007, 07:01 PM
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Default Hi, Non-Hybrid Owner

Hi, I just bought an 07 Honda Element...yes, it's not a hybrid but I wish it was. I think it is the most practical vehicle I've ever owned. My last car was a 2000 Hyundai Elantra that had 138K on it, never broke down, and got 33mpg its entire life. If I had a ton of money I would have gotten the Highlander Hybrid...but it was out of my price reach. After experiences with GM and Ford I will never buy another domestic car so that ruled out their hybrid SUVs. So I went looking for a fuel efficient SUV in my price range. I really liked the Rav4 but both Toyota dealerships I dealt with were very pushy and typical of bad experience dealers. So I went over to Honda to try out the CR-V and I didn't like it as much, so I test drove an Element. It was cheaper, the sticker said it got 21-26mpg and I liked how durable it is for use as a camping vehicle. The dealer was very polite, never pushed price or made me feel like I had to sign a deal right now, so I bought the Element. I joined the Honda Element Owners Club forum shortly after and several people over there track their mileage here. I thought it was kinda funny tracking non-Hybrid vehicle on a hybrid forum but I must admit that the mileage tracker here is the best one I've seen anywhere on the net and I've looked. So I couldn't just use it and not at least post a hello on the forum so hello!

My reason for moving to an SUV from a car...space. My job requires me to drive quite a bit and carry an inventory. In my Hyundai the inventory spilled over into the back seat and was hard to get into. With the E everything fits in the back and I can use my back seats once again. I'm very happy so far with my Honda and mpg was one of my primary criteria. I love the E so much if they ever make a hybrid one, I'm on board.
 
  #2  
Old 02-28-2007, 04:47 AM
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Wink Re: Hi, Non-Hybrid Owner

Welcome to GreenHybrid!
Originally Posted by jwhays View Post
Hi, I just bought an 07 Honda Element . . . I joined the Honda Element Owners Club forum shortly after and several people over there track their mileage here. I thought it was kinda funny tracking non-Hybrid vehicle on a hybrid forum but I must admit that the mileage tracker here is the best one I've seen anywhere on the net and I've looked. So I couldn't just use it and not at least post a hello on the forum so hello!

My reason for moving to an SUV from a car...space. My job requires me to drive quite a bit and carry an inventory. In my Hyundai the inventory spilled over into the back seat and was hard to get into. With the E everything fits in the back and I can use my back seats once again. I'm very happy so far with my Honda and mpg was one of my primary criteria. I love the E so much if they ever make a hybrid one, I'm on board.
I agree that the mileage tracker is excellent. There was at one time some interest in collecting non-hybrids in some sort of pool but given how many non-hybrids exist and the focus on hybrids, that never materialized.

There is another mileage tracking web site, CleanMPG.com, that started up about a year ago. They also have mileage tracking that is not hybrid specific. Since I own a hybrid, an interest in hybrid technology and my initial mileage has been tracked here, GreenHybrid is where I hang out but you might take a peek at what they are doing.

As for dealer experience, well some of them sure work hard to not sell their cars! My local Toyota dealer is so successful that I bought my used Prius in Texas, over 800 miles away, and drove it back home. He and his sales team have thrown a lot of business for out-of-town dealers.

BTW, from time to time, non-hybrids folks have come here asking for the secrets of hybrid driving as if our mileage comes from some special 'flip of the wrist' or 'twist of the ankle.' In reality, it comes from having exceptionally fuel efficient vehicles and driving them so their unique hardware and software characteristics can shine. All of the serious endurance records have been set in hybrids, even by those who also imply non-hybrids can do just as well. But hybrids aren't for everyone all the time and in 2001, we bought an Echo instead of a Prius.

It sounds like you found 'the right tool for the right job,' a vehicle that meets your requirements. In the grand scheme of things, that is all that matters. Maybe your next vehicle will be a hybrid.

GOOD LUCK!

Bob Wilson
 
  #3  
Old 02-28-2007, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: Hi, Non-Hybrid Owner

Welcome to GH! Even if you aren't a hybrid owner, you are definitely welcome here- all we ask for is some sort of an interest in hybrids, hybrid technology, or just in fuel efficient driving in any type of vehicle. Glad you considered buying a hybrid, even if you couldn't find one that quite fit your needs- the hybrid offerings are getting more varied but at the moment there still aren't a ton of choices. I am hoping that this changes. Best wishes in any case, and I hope you wring far better-than-expected gas mileage out of your new car.
 
  #4  
Old 02-28-2007, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: Hi, Non-Hybrid Owner

The Element is definitely the right tool for the job although the Highlander would have been nicer. Since I have to drive as part of my job mileage was a very big consideration and so I looked at several hybrids. When I was thinking about a car I seriously considered the Camry as it was $5k cheaper than the Accord...but seeing how much easier a time my coworkers had with wagon/SUVs in maintaining and getting to their inventory...I decided to go the SUV route. In 2009 the Element is due for an overhaul and I'm hoping that during the overhaul they release a hybrid model. If they do I'm definitely trading up to a hybrid. Many E owners consider themselves eco-sensitive people as it is marketed to outdoorsy type people (like myself). I don't think Honda could lose by releasing a hybrid Element unless they priced it way out of peoples reach like the Accord ($30K) vs the Camry ($25K).
 
  #5  
Old 03-03-2007, 06:32 AM
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Default Re: Hi, Non-Hybrid Owner

Hi and welcome.

Having a hybrid is certainly not a requirement to be a member. It took a couple of years of drooling before I finally took the plunge. Many of our MPG improving suggestions will work perfectly on a non-hybrid. Does the Element have a real time MPG display? If not you might look into getting a scangauge.

http://www.scangauge.com/

PS don't take anti SUV comments personally. You clearly have a need for such a vehicle and the Element isn't bad MPG wise.
 
  #6  
Old 03-03-2007, 09:29 AM
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Default Re: Hi, Non-Hybrid Owner

Wow, that scangauge tool looks like it would be really helpful in more ways than just showing mpg. I've bookmarked it and added it to my wish list. Are there any other gauges like that out there? An no, the E doesn't have an mpg gauge or temperature. Anti-SUV comments don't bother me, in fact I agree that most people who own them don't need them. I know that the trend to buy them has raised the prices of insurance here in Columbus as the average price of vehicles has went up as a result of everyone getting an SUV. I drove a 4-cyl Hyundai Elantra for 7 years because it was what I needed. It wasn't cool and it could feel intimidated being on the highway around a bunch of big cars, but it got great MPG and did what I needed it too. And besides being one of the better MPG SUVs, the Element is also ULEV-2. Go Honda.
 
  #7  
Old 03-03-2007, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Hi, Non-Hybrid Owner

I think that the Elantra is about the best car going value wise. I love my HCH but in truth I would have been better off value wise with an Elantra.

Having a real time display almost forces you to eventually get better mileage. I've had 3 cars with an MPG display. You start to notice patterns and learn what yeilds better mileage because the display is a constant reminder. Some around here think an MPG gauge should be standard equipment on all vehicles.

ULEV-2 is great. Emissions is one area I'm very dissapointed my car. Honda makes a PZEV just like my car but only sold it in California (and perhaps a couple other "green" states, not mine). My car is actually poorly rated in the polution department. I think the new ones are a lot cleaner.

The Scangauge is the only tool I know of that is both a code scanner and a gauge. I'm sure they only cost a few bucks to make but the important thing is what it does. I've got one and it works great.
 
  #8  
Old 03-05-2007, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: Hi, Non-Hybrid Owner

Lakedude: On the ULEV/PZEV distinction for the emissions, a difference between what they would sell us in IL and what they sell in CA, I am curious. I have asked this question before, and this was the thread. Someone called buyhevs posted that there really was no difference in the emissions tests, and provided links to prove it.

https://www.greenhybrid.com/discuss/...ead.php?t=6942

Is he wrong? I wasn't completely satisfied with the answer, because the testing process is still completely unclear to me, and the fact that someone will only CERTIFY something to a 9.0 out of 10 while they'll certify something else to a 9.5 out of 10 allows for the possibility that both are actually at 10 but it doesn't mean that it is so. Certainly nothing in the links provided actually prove his point, I don't think. So do you have more specific information on actual test results, or are you just disappointed in your car's emissions based on the ratings with no further information?
 
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