MonkeyAir wrote:Hi JS.
I really wanted an element when they first came to the auto shows but the same problem they had then still exists in a four wheel drive system not designed for actual use in soft sand/tuff off road conditions, but rather a system for safety on icy roads, etc. Also, they don't get that great mileage with the box shape and many trucks which can haul much more are just a few miles per gallon worse in that department. It's a shame as the concept is great. The first test of the 4x4 version in the auto mags said it was crap in sand and just sunk. DARN!!
All fair comments...
Although the fuel economy isn't stellar (I never actually looked up the numbers until just now), it's considerably lighter on gas than SUV's I've driven in the past - most of which are bigger and heavier than the Element, but have less useful space inside.
My recommendation of the Element isn't as an off-roader. Mine is 2WD; I don't drive in sand or mud anyway. I'm partial to 2WD cars because they're lighter, quicker and more efficient than their 4WD counterparts.
In Vancouver we can get at least a day or two of light snow each winter. On those days, I find a rear-drive car without traction or stability control the most fun to drive.