Purchased used 7 years ago, our 2005 Element has proven to be one of the best vehicle purchases I’ve ever made. Rivaling my 2003 Subaru Forester (the most consistent vehicle I’ve ever owned) in terms of drivability and reliability, and surpassing all other vehicle in terms of versatility. Pros: Amazing storage capacity and versatility. Outside of a cargo van, I can’t think of another vehicle that allows this much cargo space. I’ve spent night sleeping in it. I’ve moved beds, countless pieces of furniture, gardening supplies/equipment, etc… I’ve been completely, and utterly spoiled by the Element’s ability to transport things. It will be very hard to replicate when it comes time to buy another vehicle. Solid winter performance. The AWD system is reliable in getting through snow and ice. I have noticed it sometimes hiccups on wet roads, though that could be tire issues. Driving height is also a boon. You’re seated just a bit above sedan level and are afforded great view of the road, and the ‘widescreen’ windshield does a great job of exploiting all that visible space. Handling is responsive, and the turning radius is really good. You can tell this SUV was built off of a sedan chasis. The stock sound system is really superb. So-so: MPG is about what you’d expect. Nothing to write home about, but not exceptionally low. Doesn’t have a lot of get up and go. Not quite sluggish, but you’re not going to win any races with the Element. You’ve got to plan your traffic merges accordingly. Visibility is kinda subpar outside of the front seat. Lots of columns and little blind spots to be aware of. Only a 4 passenger vehicle. I knew that in advance, but an option for a 5th person would have been great. Cons: Brakes! Oh man, have we gone through brakes. About every 18,000 miles we’re investing in new pads. We’ve had to replace the rotors a few times as well. We’ve used the dealership as well as recommended mechanics. Doesn’t matter. The Element chews through brakes like no other car I’ve owned before. Suicide doors. Getting backseat passengers in and out, especially in parking lots and garages, is painful. I understand that they may assist with the loading/unloading of the vehicle, but for as often as you would actually need suicide doors to accomplish this it’s totally not worth it. Getting things in and out through the back isn’t much more difficult. All in all, I’d recommend an Element to anyone who wants a unique looking vehicle with an incredible amount of cargo space and utility.
After totaling my 2004 2WD (not my fault), I now have a 2005 AWD. I had my 04 for 6 years and it was still worth what I paid for it used! I was lucky to find a replacement because they are getting scarce and people are holding on to them. My new one is all-wheel-drive, which it turns out is awesome! AND, it gets consistently 24 mpg, which is better than my last one. Spacious, comfortable, utilitarian vehicle. When researching to buy my new one (11 yrs. old) I found many with over 200,000 miles and even a couple with over 300,000. I intend to drive this car for a very long time.
The Element is a great car all the way around. I have the EX AWD version, and it handles great in the snow. It has never left me stranded, period. My car has over 200k miles, and you can't even tell at all. The engine runs like a million bucks and doesn't leak or burn any oil at all. It gets really good gas mileage for an AWD SUV (I average 20 city, 25 highway). I think it is a very sharp-looking SUV. I will say that it does seem to be prone to dings. This is a great SUV for you if you have animals that are going to be riding in your car, since it doesn't have any carpet. I love that feature! The seats are also water and stain resistant. I think the seats are comfortable despite this feature. I have taken my Element on road trips and it has been very comfortable. This is a great SUV and I definitely recommend it.
Have owned since new, 10 years. Last year I put a trailer hitch on and started pulling my 17' fiberglass fishing skiff with it. Boat, motor and trailer weigh 1600 lbs and it tows and stops well. Easy to launch and retrieve boat.
Update: Had to replace a/C compressor. What a pain to remove and replace. Poor engineering on Honda's part. Had drivers side airbag replaced two years ago for a recall. I asked "why not replace the passenger side too? You know it was manufactured the same way using the same propellant?". Honda said no. Now I get a recall notice in the main saying " Passenger side is defective " Duh! Plus no parts in stock to repair! Don't put passengers in the passenger seat they say! Honda cheaped out on this. If they get sued, it is their own fault. I doubt I will purchase a Honda again. They are not the company they used to be.
Nice car, great for a tall person and carrying groceries and other stuff including smaller bicycles. MPG is about 20.
I like the way it looks from the front. Nice, reliable car. 6 1/2 years and 60,000 miles later it never broke down. I will own it hopefully for the next 50 years and at some point will conserve it as a collectible or an investment car. Unfortunately these were discontinued in 2011. I wonder why car manufacturers never produce a perfect car?
Sunroof in the back is of little to no use. I would love to have a sun roof in the front, at least a small one. Gasoline red light comes on when there is about 30% of gasoline still left in the tank, which is way too early. I don't like that way it looks on the bottom sides where some kind of protective frame wraps around gasoline tank, it looks ugly and picks up even smallest tree branch and weeds from he ground. The rubber "carpet" of the interior floor covering is very easy to tear, made of a very weak rubber. There is no thermometer and MPG indicator. Paid $24K and expected a bit more for this money, but it's a OK car.