"I enjoy the reliability, stiff ride, functionality, etc when driving alone. A fine choice for MY car. BUT -my wife & older kids think visibility from rear seat is poor (seat is high, so have to lower head to see scenery) ride is stiff & bumpy, etc - so as a family cruiser it is not popular. I just wish THEY liked it more. Test it with family in it as well as yourself."
"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!"
Cons: "Boxy looking, slightly light in heavy wind"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I can say this with having a lot of experience with so many different cars. My first husband was an exotic car broker and I was given a different kind of car to drive every month or so for 13 years. I can honestly say I have never owned a car that I have loved so much as my 2003 Honda Element. My husband (now) and I purchased our Element off the showroom floor. We have had several other cars since but have kept our Honda out of pure love for it. We service and maintain our cars regularly. Our Honda is the only car that refuses to give us any problem. It gets great gas milage, very responsive steering and not bad for a 4 cylinder when needing power. It's very light. The one thing one might not like is that it isn't as steady in heavy winds but that's because it's light and boxy. It drives nice and we can easily tow our boat behind it with no problem. It has a surprisingly good stock sound system and the best thing about the interior is it's good for country living; you can actually hose it out with the rubber floors and waterproof seats. The back seats have so much legroom that its unbelieveable. They set higher up but still lots of headroom. You can get things into this car that you wouldn't normally get in a regular SUV because of the suicide doors (back door opens opposite of front door) and it has no bar between doors so allowing a larger opening. Back seats have 5 different positions allowing a large open area for hauling. All in all - It's just a jewel!!!!"
"What is it? SUV or what? Well, it's a cross-over for me. I don't own dogs or carry surfboards or anything long inside or outside/on top of it, but this vehicle has lots of room to spare for almost anything you'd like to stick in it. when the seats are fully (removable) taken out, you're even able to put up to two fully assembled bikes in back and with proper tying down with bungee cords, you're set and able to transport them fully safe.
Had had very minor issues taken care of and only had the routine annual (per owner's manual) oil change as I don't live in dusty or sandy areas. Brake pads are still within specs, even after owning it since 2007 and driven for about 50K miles since.
Upon checking today, I would say that IT DOES have a higher re-sale value and as most (all?) any Hondas would have it -very low maintenance!"
"The Honda Element is what it is.
Its basically a plastic box on wheels. but theres so much you can do with a plastic box.
when driving in windy conditions you can feel the car get pushed pretty substantially.
I've averaged 23 miles per gallon. which is what a lot of V6s with 200+ horsepower get.
the interior is a lot harder to clean then you would think. the little dots on the floor prevent proper wiping and the fabric on the seats collect anything sticky.
the rear doors have to be open to a certain point in order to stay open. If you open them on an incline watch out, I've had my legs chopped up pretty good. and in mall parking situations you have to open the front door, slide over and open the rear door and then get your kids out and then slide back over to the front to close the rear and then slide to the back again to close the front door. sliding doors are soo much more useful.
theres a little metal support that sticks out from the floor where the doors latch on to. whenever I have to get my kids out of the back I put my knee up to support myself and end up hitting that little metal thing really hard.
the rear seats are rather far from the front seats. so if you have to pass something or get something between the seats you cant.
and it only seats four.
not enough torque or power to tow anything or carry anything over 300pounds.
its a plastic box and the ability to either fold up or totally take out the rear seats is great. you will be able to fit much more in the element then in any standard sized pick up. barring weight issues.
its great four wheel drive, it feels very stable in wet and snowy conditions."