If you like the sound of a high-revving engine, you will love the Element. If you like good gas economy, you will hate the Element. After 3 years of ownership, it is a love-hate relationship. I love the versatility - I can carry almost anything from bicycles inside the cargo area, to washing machines. But the high pitch whining of the engine drives me crazy knowing that a 6th gear or revised gearing would probably deliver me an extra 4-5 MPG. It has been one of my most favorite vehicles to own, but I won't buy another unless it breaks the 30 mpg barrier. Next car will be a Nissan Cube - similar quirkiness and functionality, good gas mileage. That is the magic combination in my opinion
Cargo area versatility.
Add a 6th gear for gas economy! Don't need that instant response at highway speeds.