Dude, here's your car!

Reviews of cars, trucks, and other autos.
June 4 2003 5:33 PM

What Time Does This Space Get to IKEA?

Honda's Element doesn't drive as cool as it looks. But it's close!

(Continued from Page 1)

Patented Gearbox Parking Lot Test: (On a scale of 1-10, how happy was I to step out into the parking lot and realize the keys in my hand were for this car?) 6. That's better than a Lincoln LS (5). Worse than a Cadillac CTS (7). Worse still than my own $10,000 used Nissan 300ZX (8). But not bad. (I'd give the PT Cruiser a 6 too.)

Conclusion: The longer you live with the Element, the more its Honda-esque virtues--reliability, stability, fit and finish, efficiency--grow on you. It's what I think I'd be like as a husband! And it's great-looking. But ...[You really want to finish this thought?--ed. No.]

Update:Business Week reports that the Element's "typical buyer turned out to be 41 years old."  Hah! Not exactly Gen Y. Or even Gen X. ...  [Thanks to alert reader J.G.] ... There's more on Honda's demographic miss here. [Thanks to S.R.] ...

[Correction: The initial version of this review erroneously reported that the Element is assembled in Japan. It's made in Honda's East Liberty, Ohio factory. Thanks to reader J.P.H.] 12:41 A.M.

Tuesday, June 3, 2003

AnthropomorPhantom ... Here's an exercise: Go to the Facial Beauty Experiment  page. Click on the arrows to morph the face to maximum masculinity. There. Doesn't he look like the new Rolls Royce! It's those huge, wide-spaced, architect-straight brows. ... 9:03 P.M.

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New Jersey mayor indicted. Artist sleeps with model. Italian government falls: Land Rover is having quality problems. This is the most shocking information since the news that Scott Weiland of the Stone Temple Pilots is entering rehab. ... Update: Dave Leggett has more on the chronic Land Rover quality problems on his excellent auto business blog. ... 7:21 P.M.

Embattled BMW design chief Chris Bangle reacts gracefully under pressure,saying (of the imposing but gratuitously weird 7 series luxury sedan):

Only people who ... say 'I've got to not like something,' have a problem with it.

In Newsweek a few months ago, Bangle responded to Keith Naughton's criticism of the car's controversial I-Drive control with:

 "I don't mean to be arrogant about it, but what does a journalist know?"

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