2005 Honda Element - LX (M5) FWD
Cons: Less than conservative styling.
Advice: Great car for toddlersMy brother bought an Element a few years ago and I teased him non-stop about his silly car. But when it came time to replace our aging Jetta, this was the car we chose. It has served us well. We have two small boys, 2 & 3, and this car has been perfect(I have a Dodge Ram Quad for the outdoors stuff). They have spilt milk, dropped crumbs and candy on the floor, and it is a snap to clean. the stadium seating is great for them. The rear seats are set far enough back to prevent kicking the front seats. They can climb in and out themselves. I like that they can't open the rear doors without us, and the rear windows are pop-outs. You'd think it was designed for this!
2005 Honda Element - EX w/Side Airbags (A4) 4x4
Pros: Tango Red Pearl- The Look
Cons: Suspension Slightly Too Taunt- Blind spot
Advice: Go for deep discountingEXP AWD AT. Neat package for the person who is fraught with indecision over a car or truck. That's why I went with it. Taunt suspension and seats may break in with use. ( I hope) Seats are wide and it has a spacious interior. 1'st outing was a wake up call. Between the wide front passenger door pillar and the tinted front window to the deep tinted rear window it creates a dangerous blind spot. I have a perfect 26 year driving record and almost caused an accident at a 2 way intersection the first half hour I owned it. I never saw the car. If you drive alone-you better look 3 or 4 times at an intersection. I'm serious! Radio tuning knob and radio in general is too far of a reach. The first week you'll be fishing in mid air for the shifter- takes awhile to remember its on the dash. Some like the high view from the rear seats-others don't. If your use to sitting with the front seat reclined back then the rear passengers , unless paper thin have a tough time getting out. Doors are heavy in the rear for the elderly. But great for pets to get in and out. Honda has a nasty habit of being sparse on gauges and features. Fog lights should be standard on a EX-P. A secret is however, you do not need them. Why oh why does Honda not have auto headlights? I feel cheated when GM has had them for a decade. Driving lights? Where are they? Shameful-really shameful. Like to see more AWD emblems and maybe a dash light or two showing poor traction ala Oldsmobile. Tranny indicator needs to be twice the size and in the center of the dash. CRV has a telescoping steering wheel, so does the Civic- But not my EXP. Dumb. Honda tilt wheels in general do not have enough upward range. We need more information like a MPG meter etc. Come on Honda get with it. HVAC controls are crisp and clean. The driver however is the last to get comfortable for some reason. The rear seats get heat quicker-why? Power-People are crazy in the magazines. Its no hot rod but on a super steep hill in my area the Element holds 60 MPH with no kick down and no strain. Power is far better than adequate. AT. Is fine and does not hunt gears often. I have heard of the AWD clunking but on my 2006 I have yet to hear it. 60 mph looks very slow and wind noise is not what you'd expect-very muted. Don't hose the interior down. You'll be sorry if you do. You will cause electrical issues. You really need mats too. The 2006 has a far more hushed interior than earlier models. A 675 pound max load is just too light. Take two 300 pound guys and its about over. Not good. Xm radio is the way to go as the standard FM reception in my area is not so hot. Moon roof-sunroof in the rear? Great if you sleep in the back, but you feel cheated if you sit in the front. Weird! Power driver seat should be standard as well. Dealing with Honda? Tough! I nailed them with the cars direct pricing and they cried, hymned and hauled, and let me have it at $1700 off sticker. Then they tried to throw this and that at me, so I paid cash to retain the $21,277 deal. Great sport ute-cute ute-super mini Honda Hummer. Scion on steroids. Love it with my short time behind the wheel but fear the blind spot in the front. That has me honestly worried. If you have a habit of lending out your cars, please inform others of this hazzard!
2005 Honda Element - EX w/Side Airbags (A4) 4x4
Cons: The back doors() liveable
Advice: Great to replace a truckThis thing is great. Easily haul a family of four except for wierd back doors. Gas mileage is ok (way better than nissan quest and the S10 Excab it replaced). Seats can me moved in all kinds of way to put a lot of stuff in it from bikes to trips to Home Depot. The sluggishness bugs me but I realize it is not a sports car. It handles Lake effect snow better than anything I have owned.
2005 Honda Element - LX (M5) FWD
Pros: overhang roof and plastic panels on sides
Cons: lower than expected mpg
Advice: shop around to different cities--this care was expensive in Austin, but cheap in DallasI own an Element and have really enjoyed my decision to move from a sedan to a chasis-SUV. It drives like a car, not an SUV--more stable. One of the best features is the square roof that shades the enterior. Even on a 100 degree day, I can still touch the steering wheel and sit on a cool seat because it's been in the shade of the overhanging roof. Same goes for driving it--passengers primarily stay in the shade of the roof. I haven't gotten the 26 mpg hwy--best is 22 mpg. It really rocks in 20+ mph winds on highway. You can fit more cargo in it than any other SUV because of the square design. It holds what a cargo van would hold. Seats are a snap to raise or remover--really easy. The micro tek seat covers REALLY are stain resistent and dog scratch resistent. This care always looks clean. You will want to buy carpet mats to quiet the ride--even with the mats, it's not a quiet ride. The suspension is very firm. I have the man. trans. and it shifts like a dream--really shifts itself in a 'lazy boy' shift console. You'll want to add the arm rest even to the manual transmission (they say you can't because you have to reach under the arm rest to pull the break--no big deal, I do it everyday. My insurance is so cheap on this vehicle because of the low cost of replacing plastic panels on four corners. I hit a cement pole twice with the plastic fender, buffed it a little and it looks like new. The plastic panels also don't show dirt. Can't say enough good things about all the interior features. I just wish it got better mpg.
2004 Honda Element - DX (M5) 4x4
Pros: Lots of room; seats fold up and/or remove easily
Cons: 4 new sets of tires in less than 30,000 miles - there is something WRONG with this car!
Advice: Don't buyI bought a 2004 fully loaded Element for my son in March 2004. In a year, it has now needed 4 new sets of tires and when we got Honda involved to help solve the problem, they are saying it has been in a wreck and won't fix it. It has not been in a wreck (and any body shop can figure this out, so I'm sure the dealership also knows). The tires wear on just half of the tire and go completely bald. The problem seems to be getting worse. Other than the tire problem, he has loved the car. But for someone who drives a lot, this tire wear is just way too problematic to recommend it to others.
2003 Honda Element - EX (A4) FWD
Pros: The awesome stroage space, the 7 speaker sterio and sub-woofer!
Cons: What's there to dislike?
Advice: If you get the chance to buy this car at a great deal, BUY it!When I very first saw this car, i knew it was the one to have. The boxy exterior actually drawed me to it, because it was unique. When I took it for a test drive, the performance of the car was flawless. The gas mileage is pretty good for its size. It does great! in any weather condition! I have no regrets to buying this car.
2004 Honda Element - EX w/Side Airbags (M5) FWD
Pros: Ease of cleaning the interior, and boxy cargo area. Form AND function at its best!
Cons: The driver's side seatbelt is mounted in a bad place and is difficult to dig out when getting ready to drive.
Advice: Don't buy it for your kids, buy it for YOU.When I saw an Element in a parking lot the first year on the market, I stopped dead. I =loved= its funky look, and it appeared to have decent cargo space. Later I heard about how easy it is to clean out the interior, with urethane flooring and neoprene-fiber seats. Since I show dogs, this was boon indeed! This year I test-drove one and measured for dog crates. With the back seats out, I could pack in 8 medium-sized dog crates! (Though that's twice what I ever take with me.) I'd owned two Hondas before, so no need to sell me on them. I bought my Element last summer, and am very satisfied. The 4-cylinder engine is plenty peppy, and it's great fun going through the gears on a 5-speed manual. The 4WD handles snow beautifully--and we've had plenty this winter! I admit to missing some of the upscale features of a more expensive SUV, but then I'm in my 50s, not the target audience even if 'we' are buying more than the college kids it's meant for. I'd love it if Honda released a 'geezer' model with a few more bells and whistles, like a power moonroof, but meanwhile I'm telling all my dog-show friends to buy one. It's the perfect dog show vehicle if you don't show giant breeds!