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LOVE the Element! 2008 in Citrus Fire - I’ve never lost my car in the parking lot. Roomy, versatile, feels solid and safe. Fun to drive. Not fond of the suicide doors. Front seats stain daily w just water. There are bad blind spots, side of each front windshield, to get used to. 2 Honda dealers in VA dishonest! 1 in FL - poor workmanship. I would get another one tho!
I received my preowned 2008 Element in early 2011. Regrettably, I am having to give it up after almost 10 years because of cost-prohibitive repairs after hitting a curb at highway speed. It has 127,000 miles on it. I'm upset that Honda discontinued this fine vehicle. As the literature states, the interior is more drastically configurable than any other car made, the plastic surfaces definitely make it simple to hose out (I also used a leaf blower). I used this thing to haul everything, including piles of cut trees and branches, 8-foot dimensional lumber, sheetrock, furniture, appliances, etc., and could always close and latch the rear door regardless of the bulk. I once used it to move my household.
The lack of carpet and cloth prevented any residual cigar smoke smell. I guess the dog people appreciated that feature, also. Outside, it is the size of an ordinary car, though is taller and a bit higher off the ground, good for visibility while driving. As such, I commuted 20 miles daily one-way and could easily park anywhere, including in the microscopic parking spaces at work and in garages. It rides very smoothly and has plenty of pickup and stopping response. It rolls a little if you take a turn too fast. I never thought the wind noise others have mentioned was any worse than other vehicles in the price range, though I have ridden in luxury cars and know the experience of a library-like quiet ride.
The only annoying problem I ever had was some kind of electrical issue where the key fobs stopped working even with fresh batteries. I'm sure it could have been resolved if I'd had it looked at. It did lead to my using the regular key slot which after some years jammed and I had to use the passenger side to unlock the car (surely fixable if I weren't so cheap). Otherwise, this is definitely the way a car should be designed, so you can have a car, a pickup truck, a van, and a passenger SUV in one vehicle. People who haven't been blessed to own one of these will never know the frustration of not being able to buy another one new.
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Bought my 2005 Element in 2007 with 11k mi on it. As of 6/2019 I have 183k miles in it and hope to drive it to 300K, or find another Element because I love it so much! Potential negatives first: not as quiet, soft-riding or luxurious as other passenger-oriented/"people-mover" SUV's like the Honda CRV. Has a noticeable amount of wind noise compared to more car-oriented SUV's. The boxy shape doesn't lend itself to good mpg; usually 20-22mpg for me with a 26mi commute at 75mph+ and offensive driving style. If you frequently travel with 3-4 people you may dislike the reverse-hinge style rear doors for letting rear passengers in and out, especially in tight spaces.
Positives: perhaps one of the most versatile and reliable cars ever made. For powertrain, the 2.4l engine uses a long-lasting metal timing chain vs a rubber timing belt, which if not replaced at regular intervals can cause costly and catastrophic engine damage, and definitely something to research if buying a used car with 90k miles or more. In its life I've only had to replace the CV joints at 131k, and the starter at 165k. Everything else has been normal. Oil, tire and brake maintenance.
I find this to be the ultimate utilitarian vehicle for anyone who loves to camp, haul oversized items or carry pets in an easy-maintenance interior. It's short enough to parallel-park in any tight spot in the city, big enough to squeeze a motorcycle inside(!). No joke, I've bought and individually transported home 3 different motorcycles in this thing. The longest being an old BMW R100 road bike, and the tallest being a Suzuki DR650 dual-sport dirt bike lowered down with ratchet straps. For cyclists you can fit two bikes upright with both wheels installed and still have room for 1 rear passenger if needed, or cram 6 bikes in there with both seats removed and still have all of your valuables protected from weather and prying eyes. The space can also hold any array of furniture.
The interior layout is great for endless passenger and cargo opportunities. For passengers, the car has great head and leg-room for 6"+ passengers front & rear. The 2 rear seats can be folded up flat against the interior walls, or individually taken out if there's need to carry 3 people and oversized cargo. With both seats out I have camped inside the car, with just enough room for a 6' & 5'6" couple and a 75lb dog to lay down on the rear floor on a camping trip. You can also lay both the front and rear seats down flat to have an oddly comfortable bed.
The rear has both a hatch and a tailgate, so you can have just the hatch open to haul long items like lumber if needed. Also has a great-sounding stereo. If you want a car that is easy-driving, stone reliable, but also handle any kind of road-trip or cargo needs it's hard to think of another alternative. All that versatility gives you a ride quality that is half Honda Accord and half delivery van, but I've found it to be irreplaceable.
I love this little car! I sought Honda quality, and really liked this body style. Beautiful it is not - I call it my box on wheels - but I can carry a LOT of stuff. The seats can be moved to make lots of cargo space. I wish it got better gas mileage though, it's difficult to get in and out of the back seat also (which isn't very comfortable, but we rarely have back seat passengers), and there's a bad blind spot between windshield and side windows. But I hope they still made the Element - it's a great vehicle. I wanted Honda quality and dependability and have them. It's fun to drive, easy to park, and practical.
I have only good things to say about the Honda Element. I love the aerodynamics of it. I love the positioning of the seats and the color choices. I have a bad back so the position of the seats, the height and how their situation is very conducive for me. It's easy to get in and out without any stress on my back. It handles very well on the road, give me just enough room without being a soccer mom looking type vehicle. But I would like the whole car to merle no plastic parts and for the rear seats I would like it to be easier to clip the seats up to open up the full extent of the back. But I just can't wait to purchase another one.
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I love my car. Hondas run so well and for a long time! I got it used at a little under 150000 miles and I'm not to 200000 and it's still chugging along great! It does have some random stuff break but it is an 11 year old car so I don't get upset about it. Also great because I have a dog and the interior is indestructible. Also, like the color and I love that the back seats are stadium meaning they're raised up so people sitting in the back won't get car sick. However, it needs better gas mileage or have a bigger tank and the rest of the car to continue on as well as the engine does, the window roller thing broke, the mirror cases on the side rear view mirrors broke, and I've had to get the seats reupholstered, etc.
My experience was exactly what I expected. Serves me well and does its job excellently. Well made, reliable and only lacks luxury features. Too bad Honda stop making it.
Bought the first one they made! Love this car. The only problem I’ve had with it is that it got stuck in park. I watched YouTube to fix it, but it was scary for a while. Thank god it seems like it got over it. Yes, many dash lights burned out. YouTube again. Replaced them all myself, dealer wanted a million dollars to do it. The ripped driver seat (that also rocks) kinda sucks. I put a cover on it, but still. Can’t fix the slight rocking motion, part of the seat broke. I need another one. My son grew up and I gave him mine. Been looking at pick ups, every one of them has bad reviews and stupid problems. Dang.
I love my 2004 Honda Element! It has a lot of room without being too big, and it is great in the winter. I feel like I can get through anything! I am very disappointed that Honda stopped making it. I planned on buying another when mine died. I have roughly 142,000 miles, and plan on keeping it as long as possible!
I owned a 2005 Honda Element and will never own a Honda again. It was actually my second element - the first one was totalled by someone who did not know how to drive. I'll just get down to the point. The car randomly caught fire as it was parked. The interior was completely torched. After contacting Honda I filed a case and sent them pictures, videos, etc. They got back to me and said it was not their fault, even though the fire inspector said it was electrical with no hot spots/signs of vandalism present. The car had approx. 114000 miles on it for an 11 year old vehicle, which they told me was high mileage (industry standard is 12000 miles/year, the car was BELOW standards).
I have read around online and found other element owners have experienced similar situations, namely coming out to their car in the morning and finding that the door panel's electrical controls for the window magically ignited overnight and put itself out (perhaps due to lack of oxygen?). Unfortunately for me, I leave my rear windows and moonroof cracked to combat the summer heat so oxygen was plentiful!
The kicker to this was that the guy at the tow yard told me that my element was the second one they had towed in the past month where the entire interior was completely engulfed in flames (the other element was a 2003). I also found that Honda has a class action against them in 2007 for "suppressing evidence of vehicle fires and electrical risks" for 2003-2005 honda elements and CRVs. People turn these into campers, sleep in them... what would happen if this occurred to a family sleeping overnight??? If this had happened overnight it would have caught my house on fire. I have pictures, videos, etc for evidence. The scene at the beginning of the movie Fight Club was so correct. DO NOT BUY HONDA. THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR SAFETY.
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- Honda Element