Photo vehicle??

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by DepthAfield, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. DepthAfield

    DepthAfield TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Itchycoo Park
    The wife and I spend a fair amount of time in the backcountry of northern Minnesota on photo expeditions… Neither of the two cars we currently own (Honda Civic and Pontiac Grand Prix) is particularly well suited for some of the poorly maintained dirt/logging roads we often find ourselves exploring. In fact, when we are certain that our travels will take us off the beaten path, we usually rent a smallish SUV.

    Our trips to the North Country are increasing in frequency; the Grand Prix has outlived its sexy novelty and the cost of rental SUVs is becoming cost prohibitive… I’m thinking it’s time to trade the Pontiac off for a vehicle better suited for these trips, and will also be an economical daily driver.

    We have looked at a ton of different cars over the past few months, and the one that stands out bright and clear (in our eyes anyway) is the Honda Element. Does anyone in the TPF membership have any experience with the Element, or have any other recommendations? The Element seems to fit the bill nicely… Huge interior space, decent fuel economy, ample rough road clearance and of course, legendary Honda reliability. Cost of ownership is definitely a factor; so please shelve any BMW, Lexus, Acura, Benz, Land Rover and Hummer suggestions!

    Thanks in advance for any and all inputs…

    Craig
     
  2. Xmetal

    Xmetal TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2004
    Messages:
    2,351
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    Newcastle, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    We don't have the Honda Element here in Aussieland but we do have other cars you could try and find out about...

    I know for sure America has the Subaru Legacy - If you can land an RX model wagon you'd have a 2.5ltr AWD wagon with all the space you could ask for in a car that's the same size as a standard sedan without the hugeness of a full-blown SUV.

    http://www.subaru-global.com/about/entertainment/wallpapers/legacy/wagon/800/legacy_sw_02.jpg

    Another alternative would be the Subaru Forester: same deal as the wagon but is slightly larger on the outside. :)

    http://www.in.gr/auto/dokimes/pr_dokimes_in/Subaru_Forester_XT/big/in_Subaru_Forester_23.jpg
     
  3. MPowerM3

    MPowerM3 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ct, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Jeep Wrangler. You can take the top off and doors off then its wide open. They make an unlimited longer wheelbase for even more room. Great off road, winter. Dont need a back seat, two seconds and its out even more room. Ever want to take rolling shots of cars, Jeep is super great. A friend of mine calls all the time to borrow my Jeep when he does rolling shots of some stick cars. Good gas, could be better, but its not aerodynamic enough, its really nice might fit the bill. The Element is a nice car too though, either way, just a suggestion.
     
  4. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Messages:
    9,469
    Likes Received:
    96
    Location:
    TX
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I know two people who have the Element and they both love it. My parents are long time Nissan owners and the Pathfinder and Xterra would probably also work for you. My Mom recently got her first Subaru (the Outback AWD) and she loves that as well, plenty of room & great gas mileage.

    Happy car shopping :D
     
  5. JTHphoto

    JTHphoto TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,387
    Likes Received:
    73
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    :thumbup: i agree with this post. I love my jeep. Gas is only about 16mpg with the 4.0L 5spd. I'm not sure how that compares to the Element.

    Although, I don't really think you can go wrong with a honda, nissan, or subaru either...
     
  6. DepthAfield

    DepthAfield TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Itchycoo Park
    Many thanks for the suggestions! We hadn’t considered Subaru, but we’ll certainly take a look at them. The Legacy seems a bit small, but the Forester might be in the running.

    As for the Jeep Wrangler… I don’t have any experience with it, other than riding in one owned by a friend. Can’t honestly say that the Wrangler impressed me much. It rides like a buckboard and has little, if any usable cargo space. The Jeep Liberty on the other hand, seems a much more utilitarian rig… I’ve rented/driven several of them and was generally pleased with them. The drawback however, was miserable gas mileage. I’ve also heard that Jeep/Chrysler has some reliability problems.
     
  7. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Messages:
    3,795
    Likes Received:
    29
    Location:
    Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
  8. Hyperion

    Hyperion TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You could also look at the CRV from Honda and the Rav4 and FJ Cruiser both from Toyota. All three are around the same price but the FJ dosn't get as good MPG
     
  9. DepthAfield

    DepthAfield TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Itchycoo Park
    No, wasn't me.

    Will likely give the RAV4 and CRV a look see. I REALLY like the styling of the Toyota FJ, but as you mentioned, it doesn't get very good mileage.
     
  10. EBphotography

    EBphotography TPF Junkie!

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,834
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Maine, USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I was going to suggest the Rav4. Supposed to be pretty efficient, yet appears to have the ability for some back roads. What about the Ford Escape?
     
  11. TwistMyArm

    TwistMyArm TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 15, 2003
    Messages:
    2,400
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Brantford, Ontario
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I've got the 2.5L TJ. If I don't drive like an idiot I can get about 18Mpg (highway is a little over 20Mpg) Mines a 98 so I'm sure the newer models do a lot better on gas.

    If you do get a jeep you should definately get a soft top. I do find the hard top gives you better milage and is quieter if that's your concern, but being able to put the top down whenever you want makes shooting a lot more convenient and fun.

    The only downside I have with my jeep is the lack of storage. If you need room you might want to consider a Jeep Unlimited. I don't think they're as nice, but you can at least pick up groceries with it.
     
  12. srobb

    srobb TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Mt. Sterling, Ky
    Well, the only thing I could recommend that has not been mentioned is the Jeep Liberty. They have a diesel version which gets 26mpg hwy. I know you said something about reliability problems, but you will get that in any vehicle; I don't care what it is.
     

Share This Page