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 All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 160 hp @ 5500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/22 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 (72 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Great car--good cross country driver

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

The Honda Element, while not considered the most stylish box by some, makes up for its styling faults in practicality, ease of operation, space, fuel economy, reliability, etc. The only problem I've had was with the ABS braking system. If the module fails, you run on standard brakes and to turn off the indicator light it will cost $1300 for a module. Nonsense. Run without it. Otherwise I'd buy another Element in a minute. It grows on you and others who get a chance to drive it on extended trips. The floor cleans up easily, the sound system works well, all controls can be read without problems and air conditioning and heating respond well in all weather.




A true utility vehicle

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

My Element is now 4 years old with 60k miles and haven't had one problem. I have shoved so much stuff inside of it 2x4's, bikes, cabinets, firewood etc. It's a great vehicle for my family of four, plenty of room and easy for the kids to get in and out of. I am an avid snowboarder/mt biker and the Element is perfect for my outings. It tracks really good in snow, no problem doing 55mph in five inches of fresh snow. I have talked two (and working on the third) friends to buy one and they all say the same thing "I can't believe I waited this long to buy one". So go buy one.




Love it, but it fails

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

I have a 2005 well maintained and cared for Honda Element. It's my favorite all time car...that is until now. It's a manual transmission just over 50,000 mi and it's popping out of gears. I'm being told that I need a new transmission! Can this be? I bought this car new because after being a long time Volkswagon owner I decided I wanted a RELIABLE car. It's out of warranty, I'm out of work, and a new transmission will put me under. Reliability=Bad




2005 honda element best vehicle

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

This vehicle drives so smooth for an SUV, it handles so well around turns. This is the best vehicle I have ever owned. It is so good on gas to have all the room it has.




Awesome vehicle

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

I love this vehicle. I had always thought I wanted one, but it was not until I drove it that I had to have it! I think it is the most comfortable seats and I drive all over the country on long trips of more than 10 hours at a stretch. If you go from an American van to this, you will be in heaven! The only knock is the gas mileage, too many stops to refill. I do get in the twenties, generally 300 miles on a tank full, but I have run it to 360 miles. My ACN business keeps me on the road, and I practically live out of it.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Rocks!!!!!

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

I have had this vehicle for 5 years and it has been the best vehicle I have ever owned. 125,000+ miles and the only think I ever have to do is oil changes, tire rotation, and 1 set of new tires and brakes. VERY, VERY reliable and goes great in snow.



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

  • 18
  • cty
/
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs