I purchased my 2004 Element in 2007 w/36000 miles off a lease. I now have 86000 miles on it and have not had any mechanical issues so far. I hope to drive it for a long time yet. This is the best I have owned,I have owned several cars and trucks American and foreign but none of them was as trouble free as this has been. It drives very stable and AWD can take you thru a lot of snow and mud. I have used as a car,truck and camper,have towed my boat and ATV side by side without any complaint from her. Honda really screwed up dropping this from their lineup,they should have just kept tweaking it to improve it more. I really don't know what I will replace this with,maybe try to find a clean 2011.
When I first saw this car, I was repulsed. A front-wheel-drive SUV? What were they thinking?
But my wife has one, and I was wrong about it in every way. It's stylish, comfortable, versatile, and has more "giddyup" than one would think.
Spacious interior with water-resistant seats and rubber/plastic floor is great for pet owners. My dogs haven't left a mess I couldn't clean up yet.
The plastic panels on the exterior really make it stand out from other SUVs. I've seen the other models without the panels, and it's just not as attractive.
Fold-up rear seats? GENIUS. Much more utility than SUVs without this feature.
Actually slept in an Element once. A little stuffy, but plenty of room, even for someone standing 6'1" like myself.
The front-wheel-drive models don't handle so well in rain, snow, ice, or mud. Lot of spinning off the line at stop signs & traffic lights. The All-Wheel-Drive model handles like a dream though.
Clamshell doors make rear passenger access a real nuisance.
Positioning of cigarette lighter on passenger side of vehicle presents possible inconvenience for anyone looking to charge a cell phone, GPS, or other device.
'04 EX was my first SUV, first Honda. I hated the seat discomfort, the cheap-feeling floors, scratches in interior plastic, exterior plastic, worn bushings, rear differential, some other minor things and annoyances. That's until i bought 2014 CRV LX. I love my Element now!!! I miss it and i want it back!!! My second honda is my last, that's for sure.
Built quality, built like a tank, ground clearance, AWD system is typical honda but effective and practical in my environment, washable plastic interior, exterior, washable seats, seat material in EX is not the same as LX back then. Seating comfort. PASSENGER ARM REST!!! (EX model) Simplicity. No electronic gimmicks like bluetooth, stupid wide angle confusing rear cameras, pixelated 4-5" screens. Indestructable exterior plastic. Interior space, easy to detail, wash. Very fun to drive, road visibility.
Comparing to my new 2014 CRV my only complaint it no lumbar support, would prefer less boxy look, height, road noise. If i ever consider another honda i would want it to be a combination of CRV+Element, but i will never buy another honda again and honda will not make anything like that ever again. Don't know if any other manufacturer makes something like this.
Wish MPG was better.