2005 Honda Element SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2005 Honda Element SUV

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Honda Element Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 160 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2005 Honda Element

  • Intended to accommodate the lifestyles of the young and active, the 2005 Honda Element is a spunky small SUV with a thoughtfully designed interior wrapped up in a unique shell.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Spacious, waterproof interior, optional all-wheel drive, smooth four-cylinder engine, balanced handling.

  • Cons

    Only seats four, clamshell doors hinder entry/exit for rear-seat passengers, ABS restricted to high-line EX.

  • What's New for 2005

    Side airbags are now standard on the EX, and all audio systems are equipped with MP3 and WMA playback capability. XM Satellite Radio is newly available. Power mirrors, cruise control and new wheel covers have been added to the LX. New features for the EX include a tailpipe finisher, black and blue plastic panels and a new side sill treatment for reduced chipping.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (32 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


I love my element!

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Vehicle: 2005 Honda Element EX Fwd 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I purchased an Element after seeing how the rear seats function. The best part for us was the fact they could be removed. I purchased this vehicle entirely for my dogs, because we're constantly on the road with them for dog-related activities. The person who reviewed the Element poorly, who also purchased it for their dogs, obviously didn't tie anything down. I put a big dog bed right behind the front seats, can stow up to 6 folding kennels against one side of the vehicle (there are tons of places to use bungee straps in this SUV!), an ice chest, folding chairs, luggage, etc. More than enough room for 2 adults and 3 big dogs. You just have to use your head when it comes to maximizing space!




The element is just ok

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Vehicle: 2005 Honda Element EX Fwd 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this car for my dogs. I bought it for all of my activities. It's just OK. Driving is fine, not fun, just fine. Take every turn slowly as stuff slides back and forth over the entire plastic interior easily. This is not a "Dog Car." The rocking back and forth and sliding makes them car sick. Cleaning is not nearly as easy as it sounds. "Hosing it out" is not an option. Comfort? On short drives, less than 100 miles, it's ok. Anything longer and the plastic seats get stiff and sticky. I've had two windshields replaced from highway pebbles. That's annoying. The two reverse doors are awkward for passengers in the rear, and getting in and out of the back seats is very awkward.




I'm a fan for life

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Vehicle: 2005 Honda Element EX Fwd 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

The Element is a dream for tall people! I've more head room than any other vehicle I've every been in. Safety wise I give it outstanding marks. I was rear ended by a Chevy Tahoe doing 90mph+, I was driving 50 mph, and walked away without a scratch or bump. Also a dream for someone with shedding dogs. The Element cleans very easily.




I love toast!!

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Vehicle: 2005 Honda Element EX Fwd 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

This is without a doubt the coolest vehicle I have ever owned!! I had not even seen the inside of one until the day I bought it. I bought the 2nd one I drove. It has a ton of room, great response for a 4 cyl engine, and a lot of cool features.




My 5th and best honda

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Vehicle: 2005 Honda Element EX Fwd 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

The Honda Element is functional and great to drive. With XM radio, I have lots of music choices, too. I've hauled furniture and boxes and taken people on sightseeing rides in the area. Great visibility for all, since the back seat is raised. Enough power and stability for me, too. And only 6 inches wider than my last Honda Civic. I especially like the molded pieces on the front and back fenders. Gas mileage is okay for a heavy vehicle. I traded in my 2000 Honda Civic Coupe and find the Element seating to be more comfortable. Good maneuverability.




Perfect

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Vehicle: 2005 Honda Element EX Fwd 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

This vehicle is fabulous! The interior design is great. Despite only seating 4 it holds a ton and is roomy due to the design and flexibility of moving seats etc. It has a tiny turn radius, better than my previous coupe! I have the 5 speed and get really good gas mileage.



Full 2005 Honda Element Review

What's New for 2005

Side airbags are now standard on the EX, and all audio systems are equipped with MP3 and WMA playback capability. XM Satellite Radio is newly available. Power mirrors, cruise control and new wheel covers have been added to the LX. New features for the EX include a tailpipe finisher, black and blue plastic panels and a new side sill treatment for reduced chipping.

Introduction

Honda is a company that does its homework and usually doesn't bring a product to market until it's fully developed and ready to make a serious dent in the competition's sales. All the vehicles in their lineup are desirable products that are well regarded and need little explanation. But drive a Honda Element, and you will likely be overwhelmed by questions by other motorists. What is it? Who makes it? What does it do? Now in its third year, the 2005 Honda Element is geared toward young and very active Generation-Y types who want an affordable vehicle that offers flexible cargo-hauling ability along with a sporty persona. The Element is chock-full of features that make it easy to take the mountain bikes to the trailhead, the surfboard to the waves or the 27-inch TV to the dorm or apartment. Riding on a wheelbase of just 101.4 inches and measuring only 166.5 inches in overall length, the Element is compact, yet the space inside makes it hard to believe that the Element is actually 8 inches shorter in length than a Civic coupe. The secret is in having a tall body (at 74 inches, 8 inches taller than a CR-V), which allows the seats to be higher, providing plenty of legroom. By having no B-pillar and allowing the doors to swing open wide (the fronts open up 78 degrees and the rears pivot a full 90 degrees), a 55.5-inch-wide portal allows bulky items to be loaded with ease. The typical problem with this sort of design is that it usually makes for a weaker body structure, but Honda says it more than compensated for the lack of a traditional B-pillar by, in essence, hiding one in each rear door as a reinforced vertical brace. Sounds great, but are Generation-Y surfers really going to cough up a sum as high as $21,000 just so they have something new to carry their surfboards? Or, are they just going to keep their ratty compact pickups and spend their cash on new video game releases? The latter has always seemed more likely to us, and so far, typical Element buyers have tended to be far older than Honda's targeted Gen-Y audience. Regardless of your age, a trip to your local Honda dealer is in order if the Element's qualities appeal to you.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The four-door 2005 Honda Element comes in two trim levels -- LX and EX. With the LX, you'll get power windows and locks, an easy-to-clean urethane utility floor, removable and folding rear seats, waterproof front seats and a driver-seat height adjuster. Additional goodies include power mirrors, cruise control, air conditioning and a CD player. The EX has all of these features plus alloy wheels, an additional cargo area-mounted power point, remote keyless entry, waterproof rear seats, front armrests and a 270-watt audio system. Vehicles with all-wheel drive come with a removable rear sunroof.

Powertrains and Performance

Behind the Element's bulldoglike snout is the same 2.4-liter inline four found in the CR-V. Boasting Honda's latest i-VTEC variable valve timing and lift technology, output is rated at 160 horsepower and 161 pound-feet of torque. The Element is available in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations, and can be equipped with either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission.

Safety

Four-wheel disc brakes are standard. EX versions get antilock brakes and front side-impact airbags as standard. In government crash tests, the 2005 Honda Element earned a perfect five stars for frontal impact protection. In side-impact tests, it earned five stars for front occupants and four stars for the rear (but with a higher than normal likelihood of head injury). In frontal offset crash testing conducted by the IIHS, the Element earned the top rating of "Good." In IIHS side-impact tests of small SUVs, it earned a "Poor" rating (the lowest), though the vehicle tested did not have the optional side airbags.

Interior Design and Special Features

Although the Element, at 71.5 inches, is some 3 inches wider than a CR-V, it is configured to seat four, not five. With stadium-style seating for the rear passengers, those riding in back will enjoy plenty of room and high visibility. With the rear seats removed, cargo capacity is a quite impressive 75 cubic feet. Though the wide opening provided by the clamshell doors is useful, using the rear doors is not as convenient as one might think. To open them, the front doors must be opened first, leading to some annoyance for the front passengers as they always have to open their doors in order to allow people in or out of the rear-seating area.

Driving Impressions

The Element is no speed demon, but it does offer peppy performance with enough smoothness to make everyday commuting a pleasant experience. From behind the wheel, the Element feels as tall and boxy as it is. The steering offers positive feedback and the wide track keeps the Element stable in evasive maneuvers. The only thing that could detract from the fun on the open road is the boxy, high roof that is prone to wind noise.

Talk About The 2005 Element

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs