Owned this car for a little over a year now and the experience has been a good one overall. It's fun to drive, It feels solidly built, and I've yet to have any mechanical problems with it. Is is fairly flexible, But don't expect to be moving any couches or other bulky items. It's deceptively short, and if you really wanna pack it, you've got to lose the rear seats all together, which thankfully is fairly easy. Yes they flip up, but they bulge a good bit which takes up space. Not to mention block all visibility out of the right / rear window (kind of an important one if you're a lane changer). My biggest problem though is that the paint is chipping/ spidering, and Honda will not help.
Recently purchased, put first 1K miles on her today. Overall excellent car, feels very safe. For only a 4 cylinder I am averaging only 20 miles per gallon. Interior is cheap for the most part, especially considering it is a $24K rig. Cheap plastic steering wheel, no ipod controls and no security system come standard, you have to add them as accessories. Wake up Honda and make these standard. Heavy orange peel in paint. Extremely vulnerable to chips. This is unacceptable for any modern vehicle.
Just traded in our 2008 Honda Accord EX for the Element. I have to say I'm very happy with it. IT's very roomy and safe feeling. My children are 6'1" and 6'3" and they sit comfortable in the back seat. The seats have to be reclined some because my tallest sons head will touch the ceiling. The ride is smooth. You don't feel every bump in the road either like we felt in the Accord. The lights don't blink constantly like our Honda Accords did. My husband loves our new Element also. It's so much fun to drive. You won't feel claustrophobic. We have had a 2004 and a 2007 Suburban LT, a Chrysler 300 touring and even though they were more luxurious The Element is our favorite.
We really love our Element. We purchased the vehicle to make it easier to transport our dog (Samoyed). The removable seats in the back are perfect and the room once removed is terrific. The Element handles well in the snow (took it to Montana through multiple snowstorms during Thanksgiving week). Lastly, our boy Buck just loves his new car! Excellent choice for dog lovers and people needing some additional cargo room.
I have been wanting one of these since the first year they came out. I am not disappointed and would have taken the plunge sooner but my 97 Honda Odyssey just would not wear out. I finally passed it on to someone who appreciated it. The Element has it all - my dog agrees. Plenty of space, fun to drive, Honda reliability and goes thru the snow and ice in Wisconsin like you're driving in July. The clamshell doors are kind of a pain in a tight parking lot but you figure it out. The stereo system is great and the satellite radio rocks. I like being able to just take my bike at the end of a ride and roll it into the back end. The floor cleans up from muddy dogs with ease.
Double overhead camshaft, variable valve timing and exhaust lift, 4 valves per cylinder
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
166 @ 5,800
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
161 @ 4,000
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
I = 2.786, II = 1.614, III = 1.082, IV =0.773, V = 0.566, FD = 4.500, R = 2.000
Very slow off the line, then once under way the steering tugs to the right and resists re-centering. Smooth but slow shifts -- gears seem spaced far apart.
Excellent pedal feel, good linearity but fade set in at 5th panic stop. Resists nose dive quite well.
Slalom: Crisp turn-in, good in transition and there's useful rotation available. Pushed too hard (with VSC off) it will oversteer. With VSC on, there's some trimming and only throws the anchor when it needs to. Skidpad: Good balance between under- and oversteer. Steering is communicative. Tires seem to give up before the chassis does. Chops throttle and applies brakes with VDC on.