2003 Honda Element Road Test Specs | Edmunds

2003 Honda Element - Road Test Specs

2003 Honda Element SUV

(2.4L 4-cyl. 5-speed Manual)


Model year2003
StyleEX Fwd 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
Base MSRP$19,910


Drive typeFront-wheel drive
Engine typeInline-four cylinder
Displacement (cc/cu-in)2.4
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)160 @ 5,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)161 @ 4,500
Transmission typeFour-speed automatic


Suspension, frontControl-link MacPherson strut, stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearCompact double wishbone, stabilizer bar
Steering typePower rack-and-pinion
Tire brandGoodyear
Tire modelWrangler HP
Tire size, frontP215/70R16
Tire size, rearP215/70R16
Brakes, frontVentilated front discs/solid rear discs

Track Test Results

0-45 mph (sec.)6.0
0-60 mph (sec.)9.7
0-75 mph (sec.)14.5
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)17.25 @ 80.94
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)31.84
60-0 mph (ft.)128.86
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)58.4
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)34.9
Sound level @ idle (dB)52
@ Full throttle (dB)75
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)78

Test Driver Ratings & Comments

Acceleration commentsThe Element's ability to break its front tires loose surprised me, and the best times actually came by brake-torquring the engine to 2,000 rpm and then carefully modulating the throttle to control wheel spin. Like clockwork, the engine's upshifts occurred right at the 6,500 rpm mark and seemed perfectly timed for maximum acceleration. Unlike some Honda drivetrains, the "VTEC effect" wasn't noticeable in the Element, with engine noise and pull being fairly consistent from idle to redline. At zero-to-60 in just under 10 seconds, this car obviously isn't meant for drag racing, but with kids these days, especially Honda buyers, we still may see a Honda Element Turbo Kit from the aftermarket...
Braking ratingAverage
Braking commentsEverything about the Element's brakes were just as you would expect -- no better, no worse. Stopping distances were about right for this class of vehicle, with each of the three runs being one-foot longer than the previous run (showing just a bit of fade). The ABS system produces typical vibration and noise, awhile the pedal itself has a fairly progressive feel that is easy to modulate. There was a slight pull to the let on our last two runs, but overall everythign was...well, just fine.
Handling ratingAverage
Handling commentsTrue to its nature, the Element feels like a "dorm room on wheels" in the slalom. Actually, it just looks like a dorm room on wheels (both as a driver or an observer). In fact, the vehicle's large, square interior makes it seem unlikely to turn at all. Thankfully, standard issue Honda steering and suspension design come through in the end, and the Element aquits itself rather well -- fora box on wheels. The wide track removes any sense of instability, and positive steering feedback made it relatively easy to place between the cones. Quicker steering and more torque would have cut the times further, but we doubt Honda is interested in making the Element score better on our slalom tests. That's not really the vehicle's goal, now is it? — Karl Brauer

Testing Conditions

Elevation (ft.)85
Temperature (°F)86
Wind (mph, direction)8-9

Fuel Consumption

EPA fuel economy (mpg)Auto 22/26 Manual /
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)15.9

Dimensions & Capacities

Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3,439
Length (in.)169.3
Width (in.)71.5
Height (in.)74
Wheelbase (in.)101.4
Legroom, front (in.)41
Legroom, rear (in.)39.1
Headroom, front (in.)43.3
Headroom, rear (in.)38
Seating capacity4
Cargo volume (cu-ft)25.1
Max. cargo volume, seats folded (cu-ft)75


Bumper-to-bumper3 years / 36,000 miles
Powertrain3 years / 36,000 miles
Corrosion5 years / Unlimited miles
Roadside assistanceNot available
Free scheduled maintenanceNot available


Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsNot Available
Head airbagsNot Available
Antilock brakesStandard
Electronic brake enhancementsStandard
Traction controlNot available
Stability controlNot available
Rollover protectionNot available
Emergency assistance systemNot available
NHTSA crash test, driverNot Tested
NHTSA crash test, passengerNot Tested
NHTSA crash test, side frontNot Tested
NHTSA crash test, side rearNot Tested
NHTSA rollover resistanceAverage

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