If you like a practical vehicle, not showy, but tough, durable and fun to drive - The Element is for you. I have gone through 4 bad Michigan winters and was very impressed with the dependability and the way it handles in adverse weather conditions. This is a great little truck I plan on driving it until it falls apart and just can't be driven anymore.
Easy cleanup interior & exterior. Roomy, tough door panels, good ride and travels well. I can't believe how much space it has if you need to haul something and fold the seats up. Minimum amount of upkeep. Absolutely no problems.
Minor Issues: Stock tires were horrible, gas mileage could be tweaked a little, avg about 19 mile per gallon.
My dad has fun with his '04 Element, especially since it stands out with its Fiji Blue color. He mainly uses it to deliver restaurant supplies to his restaurant in LA. I'll occasionally take his car to school once in a while. I can't complain about those handy fold-up rear seats. Although they are a bit heavy, once folded up, you have plenty of cargo room. The floor is so easy to clean off as well - just spray it off with a garden hose. Handling is sharp; sure doesn't feel clumsy on turns. I love this box!
Folding rear seats, the 'box' design, easy-to-clean floor, fuel economy, shared engine with the Accord, tight turn-circle
Ugly steel wheels, better plastic fenders, bumpers, etc., stereo lacks bass punch unless if you get the EX, lack telescoping steering wheel, poor visibility due to thickness of A-pillar and B-pillar, clam-shell doors sort of hinder entrance/exit, a 5-speed automatic transmission would be nice
Just bought a used, but highly cared for 04 Element EX. Only driven it about 400 miles, but overall I love it. Only two things I wish it had; 1) Computer with average MPH, MPG, and miles until out of gas. 2) Five speed automatic like the 07 & 08 models.
Audio system is so good that I took a break from talk radio (NPR) to listen to music again! Also, like the stiff ride as my 4 month old sleeps forever. My wife really liked being able to recline the rear seat while watching our baby (a feature most vehicle don't have).
The ACC power terminals are such a snug fit that I wasn't pushing the GPS Power adapter in far enough. As a result, I thought the ACC power terminal was dead. Once I figured this out I installed a "dual power" adapter. This allows for two devices and less rigorous pressure...