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Review: Honda Element

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I’ve never owned anything that has gotten me as much attention as my Honda Element. Tellers at drive-throughs pause to question me about it. Drivers in cars around me crane their heads to look, and people in parking lots blatantly stop and look inside. I’ve been a Honda Element owner for almost a year, and I’m ready to spill all of its secrets.

Attention to Detail
There are three cup holders up front and two in the back. A ledge across the dash will hold just about any gizmo you’ve got. An overhead storage compartment keeps sunglasses within reach. Giant visors block the sun, and huge knobs are present on the air conditioner. Speaking of air conditioning, the Element has more air speeds than I’ve ever seen. No more high, medium, and low. And to top it all off, My EX model has built in MP3 support and a 7 speaker stereo system.

Spacious As A Box

The Element may look small and compact, but as soon as you sit inside you realize this vehicle has a lot of space: head space, foot space, cargo space, any kind of space. The rear seats are slightly raised giving a theater seating effect, and there still is more than enough head room for the tallest passenger. As if the cargo space in the back wasn’t enough, you can fold the rear seats along the sides opening an endless abyss of cargo room. There’s more. If you still don’t have enough room, you can remove the rear seats completely (I’ve heard even the passenger seat). If you still don’t have enough room, I suggest purchasing an 18-wheeler.

Doesn’t Take Dirt
Lacking carpet, the polyurethane flooring is easily cleaned. Whether you’re tracking in dirt, mud, sand, or snow or you’ve spilled your drink, there’s no need to be overly concerned with cleaning up in this vehicle. The seats are made out of a stain-resistant material that can be wiped down to remove most spills.

I only have two complaints. The large front window is prone to being hit by rocks — perhaps its size makes it an easy target. The seats are utilitarian and can be uncomfortable for long drives without a break.

All in all, it’s a great vehicle. It gets good gas mileage. The price tag isn’t steep. Most of all, it’s fun to drive, and great for trips. Personally, if I had the cash, I’d buy another one right now just to have two.

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  • R. Zaragoza

    We have a 2005 Honda Element, Automatic 2FWD and love the vehicle. The only problem after approx. 4,000 miles is that we are getting only 15 miles per gallon in the city (South Florida) and a recent long trip got 23 MPG in the highway. The EPA mileage specifies 22-26 in the city. After a checkup by the dealer they claim that the engine is running to specs. Is anyone having this type of low mileage problem? As anyone would agree, with the price of gas today, this mileage is not good at all.

  • Mike

    I’ve had a red Element 4×4 for a year now, and I haven’t had a single comment. People in Toronto are pretty stuck up, they go absolutely out of their way to make sure not to make anyone feel “special”, so hence the deliberate ignoring. People look the other way. Anyway, I like my car. I’m definitely getting better mpg than most sites advertise, consistently 26+ mpg, and that’s with partial city driving, so not the 21 mpg like the domestic butt licker sites claim (excuse my French).

  • Florida eTrip

    Your gas mileage issue may be the forward O2 sensor. Mine was bad for 10 months before I got the check engine light. All I got from the dealer was smoke and mirrors befor the check engine light displayed.

  • Taylor

    I am wanting to purchase an element but am wondering how the all wheel drive perform in winter(snow) conditions.

  • Gloria

    I am also looking to buy an All Wheel Drive Element. I too am wondering how it performs in the snow. Any response to this? Taylor, did you have an answer?