"I've had VW Passats, BMW 325i (Major problems) Toyotas; Fords, Chevies (never again) and this is the best I've ever owned. Trouble free, fun to drive, virtually unstickable (sic), reliable, bullet proof. I have two dogs that I take from Texas to California every year to go hunting with my son. I haul a trailer which I figure fully loaded is about 1,200 lbs and I get 27 mpg on the road; more if I don't need to run the a/c. I take the rear seats out (takes about 5 minutes and are totally detachable) and the dogs have plenty of room. They can't do any damage to this vehicle as everything is made so sturdily. When I get home, I just take it to the car wash and hose down everything but the dash and side speakers and it's good to go. I even got so I liked the looks of it!"
"I had a truck for my toys but moved to this vehicle because I had obtained some kids I needed to move around too. It's a great kid vehicle because the backseats are up high with lots of legroom. You can climb in the car to get them set in their seats and when you are driving they can't reach your seat to kick! There is enough room on road trips to put in your cooler with a portable DVD player for them to watch. If you get a babysitter you can put the seats up and put in both of your mountain bikes without taking off the tires. And two adults can sleep very comfortably if you feel like camping out in the vehicle. We put mesh fabric over the window secured with magnets on the outside. Fast, peppy drive and lots of room!"
Pros: "HEADROOM and cargo space with back seats up."
Cons: "Only seats 4"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This (and the 2011 Honda Element) are our favorite vehicles ever!! When I heard the Element was going out of production after 2011, I bought the 2011 but KEPT the 2003 for my husband. It has saved him driving his big 3/4 ton pickup (which gets about 13mpg)!
We love both our Elements. I REALLY like the changes they have made for 2011!! Our 2003 gets about 21 mpg average and our 2011 gets almost 26 mpg average and has gotten as high as 29 mpg on long trips. It's much more comfortable and the seatbelts no longer are connected to the suicide door!
I think Honda made a huge mistake taking this vehicle off the market. As a band director AND triathlete, it is the PERFECT vehicle for both!"
"The Element is quite reliable, having given me no real problems since I've had it - a headlight bulb and odometer bulbs. It is exceptionally practical. I've hauled furniture, firewood, household items, bags of sand and gravel, sod, lumber, and all kinds of other stuff. Cleanup afterward is simple since there's no carpet involved. The quick process of either setting the back seats up out of the way or completely removing them makes hauling stuff really easy. What else? Lets' see, the sound system is very good, it's easy on tires, it impressed me with it's four-wheel ability in Minnesota snow-covered hills, and it has a turning radius shorter than cars even smaller than it is. One of the best things, though, is the simplicity of the dash. It is so user friendly. No IT degree or pilot's license required to use anything.
So, the few complaints. Gas mileage, fer sher, though I knew that wasn't rated well when I bought it. I recently switched to synthetic oil and am still pleasantly surprised to have picked up 3 more mpg. I had expected 1.5, maybe 2 if I was lucky. Another complaint is the road noise. All the vehicles I've had since front-wheel drive became king have had road noise to some extent. The Element's is the most so far.
All in all, a great vehicle that I will probably never get rid of. It's just way too practical."