Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: mp3 playergood
Pros: The adjustable back area.
Cons: Rear windows - Air conditioner circulation to back seats is weak, windows should open more.
Advice: If you always have more than 2 passengers, or don't really need to lug more than groceries, this might not be right for you.Has many great features, and plenty of unique (aka awkward) features as well. I like the handling, the quick throttle starting up, the headroom is huge - everyone who sits in back feels like a king! The adjustable storage in back is perfect for trucking boxes and cabinets, lots of space. Things to deal with: doors only open front first, with seatbelt unhooked, which can be tiresome when dropping friends off. Back doors close hard, whereas front doors seem to not shut tight enough (although they do). Rearview mirror is too small, and rear middle brake light is in the way of sight. (OK, I'm tall, but still!) Center console between seats seems unfinished - indeed, I ordered a third-party arm rest/container that fits in and works well enough.
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.
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!
Pros: The Element is unique. I don't want to drive a vehicle that I see in every other driveway in my neighborhood.
Cons: So far
Advice: Research good sites like Element Owners Club and right here at AutoWeb. You'll hear all of the good and bad and you'll be an informed buyer.We have been very happy with our Element in the first 5k miles. I learned a lot about the vehicle before buying it by researching online and specifically at the Element Owners Club site, so we had a good idea of the good/bad but the owners seem to be overwhelming happy with their Elements. I do with the gas mileage was a bit better, but the handling has been great and I love being able to clean this thing out and not having to worry about spills by my kids.
Pros: Practicality overall
Cons: Fair quality and boring
Advice: Ask yourself if the sluggishness bothers you when you test drive it. Compare the stereo to other cars, it seems like Honda is running a scam with the specs.I own a 2003 Element. It is a very practical car, but not what I would categorize as a fun car. It gets a lot of use for moutain biking and skiing. Great in the snow with AWD and easy to clean because it is all vinyl inside on the floors. Decent mileage. That said, its drawbacks include it fairly doggish performance, especially acceleration from stop. The quality seems a little on the cheap side as well. Some plastic rattles being the biggest defect complaint after 1-1/2 years. The stereo is awful, don't be fooled by the specs. If you remove the covers to the speakers in the door you will see a very cheap speaker and you can definitely hear it. The price seems like a steal for an AWD vehicle when you first get the car. I am not sure that I would say that I feel like a got a deal today. It is an ok car, very practical, but I will probably look else where for my next automobile.
Pros: The whole interior and how it all works together
Cons: still trying to find something
Advice: buy itWe were looking at a Honda CRV, and set to talk over numbers with the dealer on one. That's when my son jumped into an element in the showroom and the rest is history so far. I love this car. It is the most useful vehicle I have ever owned.