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(AutoBlog)   The Toyota FT-4X design team was challenged with making a vehicle uglier and more unsellable than both the Aztek and the Element. Did they succeed? You decide   ( autoblog.com) divider line
    More: Strange, Marketing, Element, famous Pontiac Aztek, youthful outdoorsy types, Marketing research, judgy picture Toyota, young adults, production version  
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4514 clicks; posted to Geek » on 14 Apr 2017 at 7:20 AM (40 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



44 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2017-04-14 07:18:27 AM  
It looks a lot like the concept model of the Jeep Renegade thing.

It also looks, like all newer cars, that a rear view mirror and window are no longer there for visibility.  Just for show.
 
2017-04-14 07:28:04 AM  
I thought they succeeded in making an ugly POS with huge blind spots with the FJ?
 
2017-04-14 07:33:59 AM  
the element wasn't ugly
 
KIA
2017-04-14 07:38:27 AM  
How about someone make a fun, useful, rugged truck with some nice amenities and let the people decide whether they want to buy it rather than shoving something targeted at one particular group?
 
2017-04-14 07:47:02 AM  

Warrior Kermit: the element wasn't ugly


The element was ugly. Also underpowered. And awesome.
 
2017-04-14 07:48:17 AM  

Warrior Kermit: the element wasn't ugly


I liked the Element. If they were still making them, we'd probably have one.
/Bought a CR-V
 
2017-04-14 07:57:05 AM  
It looks like a gigantic Hot Wheels toy.
 
2017-04-14 08:04:25 AM  
I've got an Element in my driveway right now. Best, most functional vehicle I've ever had. My first one actually saved my wife's life when she got into an accident.

And yeah, that thing in the article looks like a Hot Wheels.
 
2017-04-14 08:07:35 AM  
A whiff of off road posturing....  the farking what?
If someone's buying a jeep-alike then they probably want proper off-road capability. Big engine, big tires, there's nothing complicated about this.

I loved the element but took the ridgeline because I needed an actual measure of horsepower and ground clearance. Granted it's not a very powerful truck but it's more able than most suv's.
 
2017-04-14 08:07:59 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-04-14 08:10:25 AM  
I love my 2005 Element, it has 193,000 miles on it, and so far the only component I have had to replace was the throttle body. I have hauled interior doors, windows, drywall, with that thing. Incredible ride, plus I think boxy is sexy!
 
2017-04-14 08:21:00 AM  
This is the successor to the FJ Cruiser!? WTF, Toyota. I thought you were cool.
 
2017-04-14 08:22:23 AM  
When I first saw the Element, I thought it looked like a hearse farked a Subaru and the element was the offspring.  But I could see the attraction for the utility and that some would like the looks.

This looks like a 2015 Kia Soul farked a cell phone case and this was the result.  Yeah this might have the same sort utility, but driving a hearse has a creepy cool factor at a glance.   I don't see anything like that with this.
 
2017-04-14 08:27:42 AM  
FTFA:

"Millennials are fond of the outdoors, but operate almost always indoors. They enjoy venturing into to new neighborhoods and national parks, but hardly plan ahead."

Why would you need a SUV to go to a national park? You're not allowed to off-road (and I assume this car lacks 4WD). I always car camp in a sedan.
 
2017-04-14 08:29:47 AM  
I think we found the designers -

img.fark.netView Full Size



Elements were/are great little rides.  More stuff room than Subarus, but easier to drive (and more stuff-secure) than trucks.  Wish they were still made - there's a damn good reason there's such a following for them.
 
2017-04-14 08:42:42 AM  
"Comes with a pre-cracked windshield? Nice!"

babbleon5.files.wordpress.comView Full Size
 
2017-04-14 08:50:12 AM  
We just picked up a new Subaru Forrester Touring, fully loaded.  Gotta say it's a really nice ride for a cross-over.  Quiet too.  Only option we didn't get was the 2.0L turbo.  The 2.5i was enough for us.  We probably would have gone with a new Santa Fe, but Hyundai doesn't make them any longer.  Only the 'sport' model which the wife found uncomfortable driver's seat wise.
 
2017-04-14 08:53:38 AM  
I'm loving my Subaru.  seems Toyota should look that direction given how many I see on the road.
 
2017-04-14 09:06:54 AM  
I initially resisted the Element, but its quirky looks grew on me that I almost bought one near the end of the run.
 
2017-04-14 09:28:24 AM  
No, they didn't.
 
2017-04-14 09:32:38 AM  
My cousin used to drive an Aztec. I made fun of him when I first saw it, but then he pointed out that he plays the double bass and lives in a very congested area so it was easily his best option. Easy parking and lots of room.

So, there's the one use case that makes driving one semi acceptable, I guess.
 
2017-04-14 09:50:37 AM  
The only way you'll see me driving that is if it's painted white, has NASA logos, and it's on Mars.
 
2017-04-14 09:52:09 AM  
Why is it wearing granny glasses?
 
kab
2017-04-14 09:54:45 AM  
If that had "TESLA" across the bumper, it'd be hailed as a fine example of forward thinking car design.
 
kab
2017-04-14 10:02:32 AM  

cgraves67: I initially resisted the Element, but its quirky looks grew on me that I almost bought one near the end of the run.


I liked it too, to be honest.   Auto folks are a weird bunch.   Show them something primarily utilitarian, they'll recoil in horror that it's not visually appealing.   Show them something visually appealing and quick, they'll yell "sorry about your penis".    Show them the the most milquetoast, forgettable design, and they'll line up to buy it.
 
2017-04-14 10:11:17 AM  

KIA: How about someone make a fun, useful, rugged truck with some nice amenities and let the people decide whether they want to buy it rather than shoving something targeted at one particular group?


Basically bring back the Ford Ranger and add some nice options.
 
2017-04-14 10:11:59 AM  

way south: A whiff of off road posturing.... If someone's buying a jeep-alike then they probably want proper off-road capability. Big engine, big tires, there's nothing complicated about this. I loved the element but took the ridgeline because I needed an actual measure of horsepower and ground clearance.


I have an Element myself. It's great in that it does everything. But it doesn't do any of those things well. Even with it being "all wheel drive" I feel more confident off-road in my 1970 VW Bus. The Element's tires are too wide and suited for the street (and looks), it has almost no ground clearance, and you don't get any "4WD" until one of your wheels has already lost traction. It's just enough to be more confident than a FWD on a bad road. Which is maybe just enough to make you go places you might not normally.

In the end I went with it due to versatility and larger (taller) interior space than my other options. As well as price, since they started making these as far back as 2003.

As for the quirky styling it was more of a turn-off than a plus. But it's not as bad as some others.

That new Toyota looks like it's the farking "Minecraft Edition" or something.
 
2017-04-14 10:21:09 AM  
tlca.orgView Full Size

images-na.ssl-images-amazon.comView Full Size

 (2nd try, farking fone)


Subby, you ignorant slut. Appearance doesn't get you down the road, or down the off-road trail. The original 2-door Land Cruiser (unlike the much later bloated chrome, leather, air conditioned automatic prestige grocery getter), was and is a highly capable vehicle despite it's plain, utilitarian construction.
 
2017-04-14 10:40:25 AM  

Warrior Kermit: the element wasn't ugly


Thank you. I happen to like mine very much.
 
2017-04-14 10:55:12 AM  

Bandwagon03: I love my 2005 Element, it has 193,000 miles on it, and so far the only component I have had to replace was the throttle body. I have hauled interior doors, windows, drywall, with that thing. Incredible ride, plus I think boxy is sexy!


Bandwagon03's mail-order bride.

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
KIA
2017-04-14 11:39:45 AM  

iron_city_ap: KIA: How about someone make a fun, useful, rugged truck with some nice amenities and let the people decide whether they want to buy it rather than shoving something targeted at one particular group?

Basically bring back the Ford Ranger and add some nice options.


WINNER!!!  :)
 
2017-04-14 12:03:48 PM  
I think it looks pretty cool.  Wouldn't want to pay for the gas, insurance, or tires for the thing, but I like it.
 
2017-04-14 01:09:16 PM  
That thing is made from Lego blocks and ass.
 
2017-04-14 01:23:07 PM  

AnudderFreakinFarker: [tlca.org image 400x547]
[images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com image 298x499]
 (2nd try, farking fone)


Subby, you ignorant slut. Appearance doesn't get you down the road, or down the off-road trail. The original 2-door Land Cruiser (unlike the much later bloated chrome, leather, air conditioned automatic prestige grocery getter), was and is a highly capable vehicle despite it's plain, utilitarian construction.


THIS - I came here to say this.

FFS, just build us an updated solid axle FJ40.  Yes, it will probably look alot like a jeep - they did in the 60s and 70s as well.  But it will have farking Toyota quality.
 
2017-04-14 01:48:54 PM  
I remember when the Element came out, Honda's marketing department claimed it was aimed at unemployed people in their 20s. Uh... what? Unemployed people don't buy new cars, Einstein.
 
2017-04-14 04:08:16 PM  
Love my Element, super practical, great for camping and the dogs, bike, etc. Sure, not amazing looking, but not super ugly. Gutless, though, needed a V6 so bad.
 
2017-04-14 05:27:28 PM  
One thing not mentioned in the article.  There were a lot of potential customers who did not buy an Element because it only sat 4 people.  The CRV sitting next to it in the showroom sat 5 and was around the same size.
I thought Honda would fix that with the next generation, but in the end they decided to cancel it.  If in fact they were working on a next generation, it would be great to see the sketches of what they had in mind.
 
2017-04-14 06:19:00 PM  

AnudderFreakinFarker: [tlca.org image 400x547]
[images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com image 298x499]
 (2nd try, farking fone)


Subby, you ignorant slut. Appearance doesn't get you down the road, or down the off-road trail. The original 2-door Land Cruiser (unlike the much later bloated chrome, leather, air conditioned automatic prestige grocery getter), was and is a highly capable vehicle despite it's plain, utilitarian construction.


or you could have both
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-04-14 07:28:00 PM  

holdmybones: My cousin used to drive an Aztec. I made fun of him when I first saw it, but then he pointed out that he plays the double bass and lives in a very congested area so it was easily his best option. Easy parking and lots of room.

So, there's the one use case that makes driving one semi acceptable, I guess.


The Aztek was incredibly practical, had a very well thought out interior with a bunch of innovative features, both standard and optional, and by all accounts should have been a freaking home run. And they should have made great money on each one, given that all the mechanical parts were off the shelf bits used in lots of other cars. But then they designed the outside, and screwed themselves thoroughly. I seriously believe that GM called together a group of designers, assigned each of them to design one part of the exterior, but forbid them from talking to one another or looking at each other's work. Then, they handed the drawings over to another person, and told them to make them into a complete car, but they couldn't alter the design of the parts in any way other than scale. And so it sold horribly. They even knew it was ugly, and when the time came for the mid-cycle refresh, they tried to dial the weird back, but only succeeded in putting lipstick on a pig. All it would have taken was restyling of the light assemblies, removal of the plastic cladding, and some mild reshaping of the front and rear ends, and they could have had a winner. Nope. All they did was paint the cladding the same color as the body. A slight improvement, in the way that removing 1% of the lead from Flint's water would be a slight improvement.
 
2017-04-14 08:15:05 PM  

inner ted: AnudderFreakinFarker: [tlca.org image 400x547]
[images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com image 298x499]
 (2nd try, farking fone)


Subby, you ignorant slut. Appearance doesn't get you down the road, or down the off-road trail. The original 2-door Land Cruiser (unlike the much later bloated chrome, leather, air conditioned automatic prestige grocery getter), was and is a highly capable vehicle despite it's plain, utilitarian construction.

or you could have both
[img.fark.net image 259x194]


Sorry... And keep in mind that I'm a European car guy through and through, but one of the important aspects of that list is reliability. The first-generation Touareg is at the bottom of that list. It's one of the worst examples of the problems that VW had with reliability in the early 2000s. When it's running, it's comfortable, very capable both on and off road, and its at home both in the city with a suit and tie, and on the back roads with waders pulling a fishing boat through the mountains. But the key phrase is "when it's running." And when it breaks, they are a pain in the ass to fix. I'm a mechanic who specializes in European cars. I have all the factory diagnostic tools. I have access to all their documentation. I'm very used to the quirks of German cars. And I'd much rather work on something as complicated as a BMW 7 series than a Touareg. The bimmer usually costs less to fix, too. VW built horrible cars back then, and the expensive ones like that are the worst.
 
2017-04-14 09:23:34 PM  
I think it's cool as hell. And I'm an old fart with pretty conservative tastes in most things.

I also test drove an Element when they first hit the market. I liked it, but they were out of my price range at the time.
 
2017-04-14 10:50:56 PM  
@004 Aztek, bought new. Has done everything asked of it. Trouble free, routine maintenance by an independent Moslem owned and staffed garage. Most honest and competent garage ever, been using them 18  consecutive years.
 
2017-04-15 12:06:09 PM  
I almost bought an element.  In the end the combination of terrible fuel economy and high price tag dissuaded me.  If I'm gonna pay that much for the vehicle and the gas I might as well have the full functionality of a truck.  I love the idea of a utilitarian adventure vehicle, but until there's one that's cheaper to buy and drive than something like a Tacoma then honestly what's the point?
 
2017-04-15 07:57:21 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size


What a real Toyota 4wd looks like
 
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