Best car bar none!
By Chris B on Saturday, July 13, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000
overall rating 10 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "Overall best car ever made"
Cons: "stopped making the car"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought 2003 model in 2006. Use it for storm spotting, camping, and fishing. Have complete Davis weather station installed, and car is roomy and versatile. Like the suicide doors and on the 2003 year model, the front seat folds forward to place large packages in the back seat. Other year models do not have that feature. Has the usual rear seat move/remove placement options and a true tailgate. Heavy quality paint and love the plastic fenders, the fenders and bumpers are nicked up after 10 years but not as noticeable as it would be on the paint. Noticed some owners have rejuvenated the fenders and bumpers on these older models but I love the weathered look of the plastic. Did have a heavier windshield installed in 2007 and it has a few nicks but hasn't need replacing as windshield is a weak point being a rock magnet.
I have the ultra rare 5 speed manual transmission and love the precise shifting points, but first gear is a little tall. The AWD is perfect for correcting hydroplaning when you run into heavy precipitation at high speeds and warns you to slow down. Love the visibility and rear wiper, especially in heavy rain. No leaks anywhere, even with the moon roof in 10 years. I run about 20+ 12v accessories thru the single 12v cigarette lighter receptacle and it seems Honda engineering made the battery and alternator extra heavy duty as I have the original alternator although I did recently have to get a new battery, which has a 100 month warranty.
Other repairs in 10 years are the standard tire wear, front brakes, the ABS system went out, had to have new bushings in the rear and recently a new starter, but feel this is acceptable given the hard usage I have put the vehicle thru and the engine and drive train are in excellent shape.
My only complaint is that the 2003 model front seats had quality control issues in that the stitching wore loose in the first two years at the seat bottoms and sides. Getting the waterproof Honda Element OEM seat covers solved the problem and held up very well for last 10 years.
Plenty of OEM accessories are still available to enhance your Element experience such as rear cabana for surfers wanting to change into bathing suits, side running boards, fog lights, overhead rack, over sized storage armrests, and tailgate seat back among the few mentioned.
I have my vehicle serviced at my dealer who provide personal services with perks such as free fluid top off, rides to and from dealership on long repairs, perfect if your single and have this as your only vehicle. I will do whatever it takes to keep this vehicle on the road since they do not make them no more (bad Honda, My only major complaint). This is a niche vehicle that owners are staunchly loyal to. Mine drives like a sports car with manual shift but has the carry capacity of a much larger vehicle. For you Doctor Who fans, it truly does look larger on the inside than on the outside, just like the T.A.R.D.I.S. especially since mine is dark blue!"
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