Love it! That is exactly opposite of the van but it looks like a lot more fun.
I think the main thing that the Element accomplishes that nothing else does is in the utility per square foot department. Very flat floor, rubberized for easy cleaning; fold-away or outright removable rear seats, reverse-opening rear doors on both sides for a very large ingress/egress, very high roof; it's practically a minivan, only much smaller and more efficient, plus a lot easier to park. The only thing I think that is similar these days is the Transit Connect, and the price is double for one of those and you can't get a stick shift or AWD with those.The Manual trans really limits your options unfortunately, especially if you don't like Subaru's.
The good news is that the Obama CAFE standards have really forced auto-makers to up their game for automatic transmissions and they really are better than ever.
Here's a CRV...
It looks like there's quite a few Nissan Rogue's and Toyota Rav4's that would all probably give you many years of reliability.
Even a handful of newer Escapes and Mariners
How about keeping it in the family with one of these odd-balls?
Interesting; might be worth considering. I did NOT know that they eventually moved on from the CD4E while the Duratec 6 was still in play.
I used to have a coworker that had one. When someone would ask her what she drives, she would say "its a...Ford...SUV...thing". She didn't like using the word Taurus because that was more confusing than just playing dumb.ive seen a handful of those around, but never seen one advertised or sitting on a lot. They just appear