I bought my Element new in February of 08. Two weeks later I made a 9 hour trip each way to Fort Kent, Maine on the Canadian border in the middle of a snow storm to photograph the Can Am dog sled race and she performed wonderfully. Driven her all over the North East and Mid Atlantic. Never had any issues with any weather. Easy clean, load her up and go. Not for those who want plush luxury. Dog owners, campers, hikers, climbers, bicyclists, surfers, Home Depot strollers, this is the vehicle for you. Fun to drive, reliable, very versatile and pretty comfortable. Tons of space for driver and passengers to enjoy. Best vehicle I have ever owned and the most fun to drive too.
No Carpet! Easy clean seats, versatile seating & cargo space management. Seats are so much lighter and easier to take out and put in than those in other vehicles. Fun drive easy handling.
We bought our Element used with 24k on it. Overall we are quite happy -- only real drawbacks are as follows: 1. Rear access is a total pain in the a@#! We probably drive 80% of the time with the rear seats stowed -- this would not be a great family car (our kids are grown and gone) 2. Interesting lack of amenities on a top line model - ie., no auto unlock button on passenger door, no outside temp meter, intermittent wipers have only one speed. 3. Towing capacity rating is a joke -- is Honda serious about this or are they being hyper cautious? 4. Mileage is only so-so Still, it is like a storage pod on wheels and it is fun to drive. Also great with dogs (we have 2). A good buy overall for us.
This was our first SUV and having a messy child and a dog in our family, the Element is a breeze to clean and to haul stuff, especially with the rear seats up. The interior is roomier than you think. Ride quality is rather spartan but not unexpected and the engine could use a little more hp. Gas mileage is lousy, I'm hoping for a hybrid version. I am 6'2" and find the driver's seat belt to be very uncomfortable on my neck. We have owned this car for 2 years and it has been the most reliable car we have ever driven. Quality seems to be excellent on our Element!
If you enjoy camping, pets, kids and/or going to the beach, this car is for you. The interior makes this car a winner. Upgraded stereo is pretty nice too.
More storage spaces inside, 5th row seating, moonroof, better seat belt locations, better gas mileage.
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.
Very reliable and sturdy. Love the tailgate/lift gate design. Love the height. Excellent A/C which cools fast the very roomy interior. Very handy suicide 'half' doors. Excellent fit and finish. Very good and smooth over bumpy pavement.
GAS MILEAGE! Is this a Honda or a Hummer? Traded it in after 3 months of being on the road and it was costing me more in gas than my note! FIX that Bug Catching feature, after an hour on the interstate you cannot see out of the windshield for the spattered bugs!! Poor gearing ratios. Blind Spots.
This was my wife and I's first new car. Got it initially because we have 2 great Danes and they grew out of our '88 civic. Was drawn to the safety features and the 2.4 L 4 cyl, since it has a timing chain and not a belt. We use Honda's synthetic oil and put a k&n air filter in it and have gotten 29 mpg (doing 65 mph) before. Most trips we average 23-26 doing 75 though. The 4 cyl. is punchy and I most always have plenty of power.
Safety, easy to clean, clamshell tailgate, awd, several seating positions, overhead storage basket, power.
5th seat would be nice, better center console, go back to the non-painted wheel wells at ALL trim levels, seats are really stiff, diesel option(better mpg, towing, etc?)