2008 Honda Element SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Honda Element SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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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 Automatic
  • Horse Power 166 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Honda Element

  • With its box-shaped interior, wipe-clean floor and removable seating, the 2008 Honda Element offers plenty of practicality at a reasonable price. However, its utilitarian wrapper may put off buyers for whom SUV ownership is as much about style as it is about functionality.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Smooth engine, nimble handling, spacious interior, optional all-wheel drive.

  • Cons

    Only seats four, clamshell rear doors complicate entry/exit for rear passengers.

  • What's New for 2008

    After a major update last year, the Honda Element returns for 2008 unchanged.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Elementary suv

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda Element EX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

Bought used with 30K miles. This Honda is an extremely thirsty little SUV. In town I never got better than 20 mpg, 25 mpg on the interstate at 75/78 mph without AC was achievable with Super Unleaded Fuel, otherwise 23 mpg was more the norm for such an underpowered 4 cyl. engine that otherwise is very smooth and torquey at the bottom. The transmission gearing was poor as well, shifting hard and constantly between 4th and 5th back and forth at highway speeds. The 'no carpet' floor would be a great idea if it were rubber and not that hard slippery plastic. Horrible with bugs and rocks on the windshield as well as wind noise. Worst Honda I ever owned in terms of poor performance and fuel economy.




The perfect all around car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda Element EX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

I am a manufacturers rep and drive many miles - I've logged 67K miles in 15 months. My Element is reliable, roomy, has plenty of power on the highway, tons of room for me to carry my samples; headroom to accommodate the tallest of passengers - legroom to spare; this cute little SUV has it all...plus, the lack of carpet makes it so easy to keep clean - after a visit to the beach sweeping out the sand is a breeze. The best part, for me, is that it's ultra easy for my two 80 lb Labradors to jump in and out of - The rear seats come out and give them a huge area. Also, the seats are washable - this is a plus when you have dogs with muddy feet or when you spill your coffee... the Element has it all!




Love my new e!!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda Element EX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

I drove several different vehicles including the tiny Fit and a luxurious CRV, but as soon as I got into the Element I knew it was the right one. The kiwi-metallic color puts a smile on my face every time I see it and it is so much fun to drive. The factory stereo BUMPS! Accelerates well enough... I don't drive too aggressively... kid seat fits with tons of room left over. I wish the rear windows rolled down. They pop open but that can be a hassle while driving. The seats are fairly comfortable. A little stiff but that helps a bad back on a long drive... good support. TONS of interior room. Feels like a real sturdy vehicle. Drove WAY better than the Pilot. Never loved a car like I love my Element!!




Needs more interior room!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda Element EX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

Great to drive...very good gas mileage for an SUV!



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Mostly utility, some sport

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda Element EX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

Very reliable, great ride and great for what I use it for. Best car in its class for a practical life. Easy to clean after the dogs have a dirty day in the park. Easy to get my mountain bikes in and out of. Outstanding for trips to Home Depot or Costco! Also, I am 6 ft 3in and this vehicle fits me better then much larger SUV's!




Gr8t little suv

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Honda Element EX 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

We had the Element EX-FWD about 3 wks now. we had a Toyota RAV4 prior , and now we bought it because of the leg room in the back seats is huge + it had high view for the both front seats + fold-up rear seats to make the cargo room bigger + also love the suspension. I checked on my first 350 miles driving average local & Highway combine is = 28.40 miles per gallon. which is pretty good :) The bad thing we don't like is whenever we try to backup the vehicle is very hard to see if anything is behind us, because the rear seats are actually little higher than the front seats and it block the way of your rear view :(



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Full 2008 Honda Element Review

What's New for 2008

After a major update last year, the Honda Element returns for 2008 unchanged.

Introduction

Upon its debut in 2003, the Honda Element was a novelty among compact crossover SUVs. Its chunky body, tall profile and surprisingly stubby dimensions set it apart on the road, and its suicide rear doors were downright daring. While this quirky cube-on-wheels has had limited appeal for the young, active types Honda originally hoped to attract, the Element has proven rather popular among a slightly older crowd of buyers.

A likely reason for the Element's steady sales is its practicality. Its cabin is notably spacious for adults in both rows. In addition, its side doors open to form a huge portal for easy loading of bulky objects, and its rear seats can be configured in multiple ways, or removed entirely. Urethane flooring allows easy clean-up with soap and water after a day at the beach.

Underneath, the Honda Element's mechanicals closely resemble those of other compact crossover SUVs -- no surprise, given that its platform is shared with the previous-generation Honda CR-V. As a result, the Element delivers decent power and friendly fuel economy, and handles nimbly on its all-independent suspension. Performance is respectable all-around, and its driving experience is pleasantly carlike.

The 2008 Honda Element represents the sixth year of this small SUV's model cycle. Although Honda's funkiest vehicle has aged well, we'd also suggest checking out newer rivals like the Scion xB and Toyota FJ Cruiser, both of which make more of a styling statement these days. In addition, the Scion has a much lower price tag and is apt to be a bigger draw for twenty-somethings paying off college loans. Practical-minded shoppers would also be wise to investigate the Element's more conventional competition, including the Ford Escape, Jeep Patriot, Mitsubishi Outlander, Toyota RAV4 and even Honda's own CR-V. Their normal doors make entry/exit an easier affair, and all of them have an extra fifth seat (and in a few cases, a sixth and seventh) and a longer list of available amenities. Some also offer V6 engines with considerably more power than the Element's four-cylinder.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Honda Element is a compact crossover SUV. It comes in three trim levels: LX, EX and SC. The Element LX and EX are available in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations, while the SC is front-drive only.

The LX comes with 16-inch steel wheels, an easy-to-clean urethane utility floor, removable and folding rear seats, waterproof front seats and a driver-seat height adjuster. Other standard amenities include air-conditioning, full power accessories, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, 100-watt CD stereo and keyless entry. The EX adds alloy wheels, body-color fenders and door handles, a cargo area-mounted power point, waterproof rear seats, a 270-watt audio system with MP3 capability, an auxiliary jack, satellite radio and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. Finally, the sporty SC trim has a lowered sport suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels, projector beam headlights, body-colored bumpers and roof, and copper-colored gauges. All-wheel-drive Elements come with a removable rear sunroof.

Powertrains and Performance

All Honda Elements use a 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 166 horsepower and 161 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a five-speed automatic is optional.

Safety

You'll find antilock disc brakes with brake assist, traction control and stability control on every 2008 Honda Element. Front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags are also standard. In crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Element earned a perfect five stars for frontal-impact protection. Likewise, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Element a top score of "Good" for frontal-offset crash protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

Unlike most compact SUVs, the Honda Element only accommodates four. However, its stadium-style seating rewards rear passengers with plenty of room and high visibility. Cargo room is exceptional; unlike most competitors, the Element's rear seats can be removed, allowing it to swallow 75 cubic feet of cargo. The fact that its side doors open wide eases loading, though their clamshell design can be a hassle. Opening the rear doors entails first opening those in front. This means that front passengers are forced to open their doors to allow people in or out of the rear seating area. Dropping off kids curbside without a front passenger to open the door can be particularly irksome. On the plus side, the seat-mounted front seatbelts added last year are more user-friendly than the previous B-pillar-mounted setup.

Driving Impressions

The 2008 Honda Element is no speed demon, but it does offer peppy performance, with enough smoothness to make everyday commuting a pleasant experience. The steering offers positive feedback, and the wide track keeps the Element stable in evasive maneuvers. The only thing detracting from the fun is the wind noise generated by the Element's boxy, tall body. Also keep in mind that while the Element rides nicely enough, it has a stiffer suspension than most compact SUVs, especially on the SC version.

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Talk About The 2008 Element

2008 Honda Element Discussions See all Started By

uncleron
uncleron
06-02-2008
I own a 2008 Element LX and love it. Problem is with my wife's vanity. She, when riding in the front passenger seat, will pull the rear view mirror around to adjust her lipstick/makeup. The LX's su...


mrjohnsmith99
mrjohnsmith99
11-15-2006
Any news on the redesign?...


dat2
dat2
06-10-2007
aluminum hardtop provides shelter from the elements and admission to tracks where open-top cars aren’t allowed. With the top off, the S2000 CR will weigh approximately 2765 pounds, almost 90...



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