The Honda Element has a load capacity of 675 pounds. I have seen load
capacity definitions that state that this excludes the weight of the
driver (150 pounds). However, not all definitions are clear about this.
Obviously, on a load capacity of 675 pounds this does make a
difference. What is the TRUTH:
a) The load capacity does not include a 150 pound driver (so I can
really ADD 675 pounds)
b) The load capacity does include a 150 pound driver (so I can really
ADD only 525 pounds)
First, I'm only "mostly" positive about this. It's been a while since I
read about it, but it surprised me.
The 150 lbs. is a general guideline for government purposes. A vehicle must
allow at least 150 lbs. for each "seat" in a vehicle. Your Element seats 4,
so it's load capacity must be at least 600 lbs.
But specifically, your vehicle can haul 675 lbs. of total "cargo". And
cargo includes people and anything you put in the car. So, if you have 3
people who's weight totals 675 lbs., you are at the vehicles specified limit
even though you have a seat open, and haven't loaded anything else. I'm
pretty sure that the 675 is with the vehicle empty, not with a 150 lb
At or just above the load capacity, there really aren't any issues.
Obviously, vehicles are designed to go above this number. It's when a
vehicle is 50% or more above it's load capacity that it's driving
characteristics may be affected. It will probably be top heavy, so may have
more body roll through a turn, and may cause more understeer. And you're
stressing the suspension more. And your brakes might not work as well. And
different vehicles react differently to overload. All will have the
oversteer and brake issues, but SUV's will have more body roll, and cars
will bottom out easier. Your vehicle isn't going to snap an axle and blow
it's tires, but over time, things will wear out faster.
I know, it sucks. Most cars are rated for significantly less weight than
you would think.
'91 Nissan Maxima SE Auto
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