James Lileks just bought a new car - a Honda Element. I know this model is popular, and I do find it aesthetically attractive, but I think it's a pretty dumb car to buy, especially for a guy with a family. Here are some points against the Element:
Suicide Doors - The rear doors of the Element open backwards instead of forwards. They're called "suicide" doors because if a car strikes the door from behind (sideswipes you) when you're standing in the doorway, the door will crush you instead of just tearing off away from you.
Seatbelts - In order for the rear door to open, the front passenger has to open their door, which also means taking off their seatbelt, since the seatbelt is connected to the door. This strikes me as really dumb in general, but especially if you have a little kid who probably has to be dropped off a lot.
Seating - The Element only seats 4. The rear seats are individual buckets like the front, so you can never put a third person in the middle anywhere.I don't know. I can see how it's a cute and functional car for young people, but it just doesn't make sense as a family vehicle to me. Maybe this is Lileks' fun car and they have a minivan too or something.