We bought ours as a 2 yr old model with 26K miles. I named it The Earl-ament. We bought in preparing to have a more baby friendly car, that has some ground clearance in case of high water. We are very pleased with the vehicle. We wish we could find a slightly larger vehicle with the rest of the features that would help accommodate the stuff two little boys.
Easy to clean interior. Fold up/lay down seats for more cargo space.
Steering wheel won't allow my over 6 ft frame (Sasquatch) to read the speedometer unless I peek under the steering wheel. Rear doors that could swing around closer to 180 degrees, instead of 90. Small parking spaces are difficult to load baby in the back. Center Console (Like the SC)
When I saw it I hated the color and thought it was the ugliest vehicle ever, then I drove it! It has so much room, it handles so smoothly, it drives so nicely! I love the way the seats fold up, the wipe-down surfaces, everything! I haven't ever loved a vehicle until I bought my Element, it's incredible!
Unique design (interior and exterior), interior room and comfort.
Maybe an extra a/c outlet and moving the aux outlet in the middle console for easier access for the driver!
Don't care that it's a "box on wheels". This vehicle has been entirely functional and reliable since the day I bought it new. Honda's maintenance schedule is spartan. Get your oil changed and keep on truckin'. I use it for my odd jobs around the village (painter, interior decorating, etc, with ladder!). The interior is virtually indestructable. I can't count how many times I've had the back seats either layed flat, flipped up against the side walls, or completely taken out. Many a bag of mulch, dirt, or flats of flowers have made their way home in this fashion. Very well made, very decent gas mileage. Turns and parks on a dime. You oughta see the cool cabana tent accessory also.
Super-easy cargo loading and unloading with the clamshell doors. Versatile back seat configurations. Rugged but comfortable interior. Stable road feel and handling. Quality components and accessories. Reliability.
The Element handles nicely through curvy mountain roads. The AWD performs well in Winter conditions, but the undercarriage is low-slung, allowing little clearance. Predictable braking. Minimalist interior is quite functional, nicely ergodynamic, and easy to care for. Seats are firm, yet comfortable. At 22-24mpg, fuel economy is average at best. My girlfriend's Element shifts smoothly - mine does not- her Element brakes responsively -mine does not. Loud, squeaky rear suspension. DRL headlights remain "on" during engine starts, making cold weather starts a challenge - or even impossible. Reliability has been abysmal. Radiator self-destruction. Heater trouble. Charging system problem.
The boxy form of the Element enables it to accomodate an amazing array of stuff. Mountain bikes stand upright. Two people can sleep lengthwise on it's flat vinyl floor. Firewood one day, four skiers and gear the next.
Fuel tank needs skid plate. Do not buy an Element with DRL. Interior needs tie-down hooks on ceiling, floor walls and tailgate. Tailgate needs an inside door latch lever. (Must exit through driver/pax door.) If you buy a new Element, watch out for Honda's very short vehicle warranty.
I LOVE my Element and am actually about to trade it in on a 2008! I have removed the back two seats and have turned into a "dog car" with crates for my 4 dogs, my Quik Shade tent, chairs and everything else I need for our weekend outings at agility trials or disc dog competitions. Its versatility is phenomenal and a friend and I kid that "Everything can fit in the E!". It drives great, has been 100% reliable. Gas mileage has been good for an SUV. I looked around a little before deciding on another E but couldn't find anything that suits my needs like the E does.