Honda Element Reviews & Ratings

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Honda Element (30 Reviews)
Best little car I've ever had. 160K miles, and three real repairs: airco compressor failed (Honda replaced it), heater/airco fan failed a couple of years ago, and the clutch master cylinder went out last month. That's about it. Uses no oil, starts right up in below-zero weather. I've driven it over washed-out roads in the Colorado Front Range and the Dan Ryan Expwy. in Chicago. No surprises -- it just goes. Really can't say enough good about the Element.
I have had nothing but problems with mine. I had to put in a new transmission at 110k miles, new transfer case, new clutch, water pump, alternator, wiper motor, rear differential issues and had to have it drained and refilled a few times to clear out the sludge in it. I could go on and on. I have spent $8,000 in 4 years on repairs. Not including tune ups, valve adjustments, tires, oils changes and other regular costs. I want to sell it but every time I get it fixed I can not justify selling it after spending so much on it. I would never ever buy another Honda.
Gets good mpg I believe purchased a good vehicle. I have had my 2003 Honda Element since new never once ever got $$$ things fixed in it all oil changes and checkups I'm good to go. It's a very reliable little SUV took 25 trips around the country even drove to Canada on one tank of gas left before filling up on way back home. Wish Honda never discontinued them because I would get another now have 158,000 miles runs as a brand new seems older cars much bulletproof than newer cars in 2015 if I'm wrong but my Element is a great vehicle drives excellent has lots of great things about it.
Owned since new. Great car. Have 171k miles on it. Have replaced struts all around, engine and transmission mounts, and alternator. Front wheel bearings are making a bit of noise and will get replaced this week. Great in snow. Plan to drive it until it hits 300k and then give to one of the grandkids.
At 292,500 miles, this car is nothing short of amazing. Replaced the rear brakes myself about 9,000 miles ago now have to replace the front pads. These are the original pads! Have replaced the starter (By a repair shop), the radiator and the front engine mount myself, the rear engine mount (By the shop), this car seems to eat engine mounts. Replaced the spark plugs at 225K and the serpentine belt at 250k (Figured I was pushing my luck, but the belt looked new with no cracks in it at all). My A/C just stopped working and the location of the compressor seems to indicate a potential expensive repair. Given the advanced age of the drivetrain, I am contemplating repowering the car and driving it another ten years. I'm a life time Honda fan.
I have the 2006 Honda Element, and have read some of the reviews written with the frequent brake changes on this vehicle. Couldn't agree more, I have changed the brakes at least 3 times or more. I have done the brakes myself all three and don't have any problems until a couple months later.. when they start grinding and the caliper slides of rear seize even when I make sure that I brake lube the sliders before putting them into the rubber boot. My rotors have a 2 year warranty and brake pads lifetime warranty which is saving major money!
Since bought new in 2006 I have had no MAJOR problems with the vehicle.. Frequent oil changes, brakes, and gas pump visits.. Also Struts and shocks clunk, (used to in the rear but I changed the rubber boot for the swing arm bar in rear. And the clunking stopped.
I would love to have it like brand new again, but it does its job gets me where I need to go. I do my best to up keep on maintenance.
I also have light shortages i believe. One of my interior lights went out, had to change headlight bulbs more than a few times(even when I was careful not to touch bulb when changing), and my horn. Horn sounds like a dead goose…and ya have to take the whole front bumper off to change it.. horrible design…More work, or more money in labor...
120,000 miles on my beloved 2004 stick-shift element. LOVE IT. Had the reported issues but were fixed easily. Love that I can roll my bicycle into the back without taking a wheel off. GREAT storage, seats really comfortable. Just a little rough riding, but hey, it's not a luxury car and I don't want one of those. Hubby wants me to get a new car. I will when Honda starts making the element again or I find a car that does the same.
Now 36,000 miles on my 2004 Element. I've left its wheels covered while I travel by RV during the Summer. But after one month of unprotected storage with heavy summer rainfall, my rear passenger side calipers have frozen, requiring a complete brake overhaul costing $600. One other quirk, the spare tire was found to be surrounded with water--probably due to simple condensation over a two year period.
The Two front Haul making Noise went vehicle in motion
The "Real Time" four wheel drive should be called Real Crime 4WD. This system is a joke even with 4 snow tires. I have never replaced brake calipers on a car before, on this vehicle I replaced 3!, they seized after loosing brake fluid?. Engine has no torque and I have a 5 speed manual. Interior is cheap, does not stand up to what the adds say it will take. Drivers seat has tears on the seat cushion. This is a problem with the 06. Where are the storage pockets?, few and too small. Noisy and terrible mileage, 21mpg on the highway and 15mpg in the city. I can get this with a small v8 and power to spare. The one decent thing about it is the stereo. This will be my last. Every car has an issue or two, no one builds perfection but this one is too fragile in all categories.
50k on Element 4th set of rear Brakes twice they were completely destroyed due to Binding calipers etc. Whn is someone going to take care of this issue with the design. By the way Rear brakes should nver go before front brakes
Only 29,000 miles so far. Located in Florida. Replaced rear brake disks 3 times under three year warranty. Fronts still o.k. Brake disks need to be covered during storage in wet humid conditions. Master brake cylinder replaced for $360.
Idle control valve replaced at 20,000 miles $263. Still love my Element.
The only problem I have had is not with the "merchanics" but that because it sit so high, it is easy for someone to crawl under the vehicle and steal parts off it (like my cataltic converter):-(
just bought it and i have a sqeak sound coming from the engine compartment
Best car I've ever owned, except for the door locks binding!
This is my first Honda. Overall, I like the Element. I have the SC version in Midnight Red Pearl paint. In 18 months, I have driven over 55,000 miles so I feel I have a pretty good indication of what the car is about.
Fun to drive
Brakes - stop fast and true although the ABS seems to activate more frequently than with any other car I have owned with this option.
Paint color (lots of compliments)
Handles well
OEM tires lasted nearly 40,000 which according to Goodyear is exceptional for the tires
Versatility of the back seats
Clam shell back door
Deep center console
Shelf under console
Hidden compartment under cup holders

Custom fairing under door sticks out and is nearly impossible to miss while exiting getting your slacks dirty (women hate this by the way)
Little light in the passing gear. You need to make allowances for that when passing on a two lane road.
Air conditioner is icy cold as long as the temperature is under 100 degrees. In Texas this summer, we had over 30 days of 100 degree plus weather and the AC had trouble keeping up unless driving at highway speeds.
Front doors do not seal well resulting in wind noise at highway speeds.
Gas mileage is a bit disappointing. On a good day, driving highway miles, the best I have gotten was 24.5 mpg. As it is rated at 27mpg, perhaps I should not be surprised. City driving is a puny 21-22 mpg although my city driving is a great deal of highway and very little stop and go.
The interior stains easily and does not clean well.
The near vertical windshield is a rock magnet. I got the first rock chip at mile 43, and replaced the windshield at mile 51,000 after the crack tracked across my line of sight.
The paint is soft and brittle. I missed grabbing the door handle, caught the paint with my fingernail and made a deep scratch in the door handle down to the primer.
The slightest cross wind will blow the vehicle off course. I realize the boxy shape of the vehicle exacerbates that issue, but it is something that is an irritant.
The hood is rather thin and will vibrate (noiselessly) at highway speeds. In other words, you can see it flex as you are driving down the road.
Finding the maintenance schedule in the manual is like a scavenger hunt. I still haven't found it which is how I found this web site.

I do not get my car serviced at the dealer, rather I trade with my neighborhood Goodyear store. As I bought the replacement set of tires there, I get free balance and tire rotation with my oil changes. Still looking for the mileage to change the radiator and transmission though. I guess I will have to ask Jeff and Tom at Goodyear.

In reference to my comment on the door seals: the dealer replaced the seals on both doors a month after I purchased the car. It helped but did not eliminate the wind noise. I was told that the squareness of the window at the top leading edge was to blame and there was nothing they could do about it.

Again, I like the car and have intentions of keeping it for the life of the note minimum. You can tell I do a lot of driving and other than the items mentioned, it has not been back to the dealer. I am optimistic I have found a very good car for my 1,000 miles a week job.
I bought this right off the delivery truck during October, 2005. We love it. I only have 48k on it so far. Highway mileage 26, in town 21. We are in our late sixties and are getting tired of folding up to get in our Impala and bumping heads, so we take the Honda. I like the tie downs, convenience and room. I did have the differential changed and transmission fluid at 35,000 miles. I change engine oil between 4 and 6k miles. The book says you can go 10k. Out on the highway it buzzes right along and you sit high. We both like 270w radio with XM.
Honda has reduced the quality of this vehicle. The "running boards" (trim below doors) has been extended so it protrudes out more, but they have omitted the steel plate that it is fastened to on older models. so the trim detaches if any pressure is put on it. Getting repair parts is an issue - it took over 3 weeks for the dealership to get a fuel pump! My vehicle went in for repairs on May 28, 2010 and it is Aug 10th and I do not know WHEN it will be ready! Great vehicle - unless you have to get it repaired!
I have had this car for the longest of the new cars I have had. This is by far one of the best vehicles that was driven off a dealer's lot.
I'm a professional photographer and this is the perfect vehicle for me. I can haul lots of stuff. Go through snow and bad roads and It's been very reliable. Of course, it's a Honda. I have owned nothing else since 1995 and don't plan on changing.
My Element was one of the first ones off the line 10/03. She is a joy to drive and can do and go just about anywhere. I can haul camping gear for four. Four bikes standing up with out removing the front wheels. And two 80 pound labs. I can go hunting and come home and hose the old girl out. Pitty it has been discontinued.
I bought this vehicle used with 48,000 miles. I show dogs and was able to carry 2 intermediate and 10 small kennels, plus 4 exercise pens, and other gear along with my suits and personal bag. I love the visibility and got 26 mpg on that trip. I also slept in it on a twin size air mattress. My model is an AWD and I get 22 mpg. in the city. My sister has a 2004 that she bought new and told me this would be the last car I love the best. So far, it is.
A very well-designed car that is perfect if you have messy kids or dogs, visit the beach or the great outdoors. The plastic surfaces make it easy to clean. The rear seats fold up easily and are perfect for hauling hear. There are plenty of OEM and aftermarket add-ons for the Element, which make it fun to own.

I only have a few negatives. The ride is rather rough and noisy and gas mileage is horrible for such a wimpy 4-cylinder engine. The shoulder belts also can't be adjusted, and they really irritate my neck when I drive (I am 6'2").
I bought this car used in 2009. It had less than 24,000. It's better than brand new. I'm trying to take really good care of it because I hope it outlasts me. I'm 70.
The individual who told me to check the tires for the source of the noise at 40 mph when I let off the gas was correct. I bought this car new and have no plans to replace it; I love this car.
This is the perfect car for me and my dogs. I take them to all the parks around town and they love it too! We have had to replace the alternator and the radiator, but otherwise it's great!
2006 with 45k miles. Absolutely love it, and have had no major problems. Will be replacing the rear differential fluid to solve the recent minor problem that I've had with turns. Good to know it is easily repaired.
I love this car, especially the interior room and design. The rear seats can fold up or come out giving you lots of carry space. The legroom in the back is outstanding but the back seats are up a little high. It's also hard to see out the side windows (for lane changes) when the back seats are "folded up".

The gas mileage is disappointing. I have the 2wd auto and get 20mph combined city and freeway.
I have 95,000 miles on my 2003 Element and I love it. I take it everywhere, in the dirt, snow and mud and it has been great. I can fit a lot of stuff in it for camping and fishing and it cleans out easily. I had a problem with the shocks but Honda replaced them for free! I will buy another Honda!