Honda Element Review: The Versatile Choice for Urban Adventure

Imagine a car that not only stands out in a crowd but also adapts seamlessly to your lifestyle, from the bustling city streets to the serene countryside. This is the essence of the Honda Element, a vehicle celebrated for its distinctive boxy charm and unparalleled versatility. Whether you’re an urban explorer or an outdoor aficionado, the Element invites you to rethink what you expect from your daily drive.

honda element review Honda Element Review: The Versatile Choice for Urban Adventure

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What Are The Honda Element Reviews Saying?

The Honda Element is a standout for its unique boxy design and unmatched practicality. Renowned for its spacious interior, durability, and reliability, it offers a perfect blend of utility and comfort. Ideal for adventurers and city dwellers alike, the Element maintains a strong resale value, ensuring long-term satisfaction and value.

The Honda Element could be your perfect companion. Designed with practicality in mind, this vehicle boasts a spacious cabin, washable floors, and reconfigurable rear seats to fit cargo of all shapes and sizes. It’s like a Swiss Army knife on wheels – ready for anything from grocery runs to gear-laden road trips.

Honda’s commitment to efficiency and reliability shines through with the Element’s four-cylinder engine. Ideal for those who prioritize fuel economy and long-term value, this engine is a testament to Honda’s dedication to low running costs and durability. Even years after its last roll off the assembly line in 2011, the Element continues to be a sought-after gem in the used car market, praised for its ability to hold value and deliver a reliable driving experience.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Honda Element stands out with its unique design and flexible interior.
  • Fuel efficiency and longevity are at the heart of its design.
  • Remains a popular choice in the used car market due to its practical features and robustness.

Honda Element Overview

Looking for a vehicle that blends distinctive style with practical utility? The Honda Element could be your ideal match. Renowned for its boxy exterior and adaptable interior, it appeals to a wide array of enthusiasts, especially those needing significant cargo space.

honda element review 1 Honda Element Review: The Versatile Choice for Urban Adventure

History and Background

Launched in 2003, the Honda Element targeted a youthful audience with its innovative utility and unique appearance, drawing inspiration from the concept car “Model X.” Despite ceasing production in 2011, the Element has cultivated a dedicated following, celebrated for its flexibility and dependable performance.

Model Variants

The Element was available in several versions, including the basic LX, the enhanced EX, and the sporty SC. The EX offered additional amenities over the LX, while the SC provided a sportier ride with lowered suspension and larger wheels.


For the detail-oriented, the Honda Element features a 2.4L 4-cylinder engine, delivering 166 horsepower and 161 lb-ft of torque, with a fuel efficiency of up to 20 city/25 highway mpg. Its practical design is highlighted by a rubberized interior and modular rear seats, enhancing its utility and ease of cleaning.

Performance Reviews

Dive into the Honda Element and discover a vehicle that brilliantly marries utility with performance. It’s more than just a car; it’s a companion on the road that surprises with its balance of everyday usability and efficient practicality. Perfect for those who love a ride that keeps pace with their dynamic lifestyle.

Engine and Transmission

At the heart of the Honda Element is a robust 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, delivering a solid 166 horsepower. Coupled with a five-speed automatic transmission, the engine’s responsiveness ensures a driving experience that’s both energetic and smooth. Whether you’re navigating city streets or cruising on the highway, the Element makes every journey a pleasure.

Handling and Ride Quality

Don’t be fooled by its distinctive boxy appearance; the Honda Element offers a driving experience that’s anything but square. With adept handling and a smooth ride quality, it takes on winding roads and long distances with surprising grace, making every trip from short jaunts to extensive explorations consistently enjoyable.

Fuel Efficiency

In the realm of fuel economy, the Element holds its own with respectable efficiency. It strikes a thoughtful balance between power and fuel consumption, making it a smart choice for both bustling city life and adventurous road trips.

Design and Features

Exterior Styling

The Honda Element makes a bold statement with its boxy design that’s both eye-catching and functional. Its unique shape not only stands out from the crowd but also maximizes interior space, making it a haven for cargo and passengers alike.

The innovative side doors open widely, eliminating the B-pillar and offering unparalleled access to the spacious cabin – perfect for loading gear or letting your four-legged friends jump in without a fuss.

Interior Layout and Comfort

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Step inside the Honda Element and find yourself in a cabin that’s all about versatility and comfort. The durable floor and easy-to-clean surfaces are ideal for those who live their life on the go, allowing you to transition from outdoor adventures to city driving without worry. The configurable seats offer vast cargo space, making it easy to carry everything from sports equipment to groceries.

honda element review 2 Honda Element Review: The Versatile Choice for Urban Adventure

Technology and Entertainment

While the Honda Element may not be the flagship of futuristic tech, it provides a straightforward and functional technology and entertainment suite. Enjoy the basics done right, with a sound system ready to play your favorite tunes from CDs, MP3s, or your mobile device. The focus here is on ease of use, ensuring your time is spent immersed in the journey, not in complex menus.


When considering the Honda Element, it’s clear that your safety isn’t just a feature—it’s a priority. This vehicle is equipped with an array of safety features designed to protect you on every journey, ensuring that peace of mind is part of the package. Let’s delve into the specifics that make the Element a safe haven on wheels.

Standard Safety Features

The Honda Element doesn’t skimp on safety. It comes loaded with essential safety features such as front-side airbags, an antilock braking system (ABS), and electronic stability control. These systems are engineered to not only prevent accidents but also to offer critical protection if one occurs.

Furthermore, the Element’s robust construction incorporates side-impact door beams and front and rear crumple zones, thoughtfully designed to absorb and dissipate energy during impacts, thereby safeguarding the cabin’s occupants.

Crash Test Ratings

In terms of safety evaluations, the Honda Element has undergone extensive crash testing. As per the IIHS-HLDI, models from 2003 to 2011 have achieved ratings from “Basic” to “Good” in various safety assessments, including moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints & seats tests. These ratings are a testament to the vehicle’s structural integrity and its capacity to protect you in different collision scenarios.


When exploring the practical aspects of the Honda Element, its versatility and utility come to the forefront, making it a standout choice for those who demand more from their vehicle.

Cargo Space

The Honda Element excels in providing ample room for all your belongings. With up to 74.6 cubic feet of space available when the rear seats are removed, it transforms easily to accommodate everything from groceries to gear. The flat floor and wide-opening side doors make it a breeze to load and unload large or awkward items, ensuring that you’re always adventure-ready.

Seating Capacity and Versatility

Comfort meets functionality inside the Honda Element, which can comfortably seat four adults. The interior is designed with flexibility in mind; rear seats can be folded, flipped up, or entirely removed to suit your changing needs, whether you’re ferrying friends or ferrying furniture. Plus, the waterproof seat fabric makes cleanup after a day out in nature or a spill simply a non-issue, keeping your Element in pristine condition for years to come.

Costs Of Ownership

Diving into the Honda Element experience, it becomes clear why this vehicle has captivated so many. It’s not just a car; it’s a companion on life’s journeys, offering a balanced blend of affordability and long-term value. This makes it an attractive proposition for a wide array of drivers.

Maintenance and Reliability

The Honda Element stands as a testament to reliability, embodying Honda’s well-earned reputation for creating lasting vehicles. Owners typically find that keeping up with routine maintenance ensures the Element runs smoothly well beyond the 100,000-mile milestone. This consistent performance has cultivated a loyal following, with many praising the vehicle for its steadfast dependability.

honda element review 3 Honda Element Review: The Versatile Choice for Urban Adventure

Cost of Ownership

Owning a Honda Element is about more than the initial purchase; it’s about a holistic view of costs, including fuel, insurance, and upkeep. Fortunately, the Element is lauded for its moderate total cost of ownership. Its fuel efficiency and the brand’s reputation for minimal repairs contribute to an economical ownership experience, ensuring that your investment extends far beyond the showroom floor.

Resale Value

One of the Element’s standout attributes is its strong resale value. This robust demand in the secondhand market underscores the vehicle’s enduring appeal, bolstered by its unique design and Honda’s legacy of reliability. For those considering future resale, the Element presents a sound investment.


honda element review 4 Honda Element Review: The Versatile Choice for Urban Adventure

Competitor Analysis

The Honda Element distinguishes itself with its boxy aesthetic and functional interior, making it a distinct choice compared to conventional compact SUVs. When comparing it to something like the 2024 Honda Civic, which offers more traditional sedan attributes and potentially greater fuel economy, the decision hinges on what you value more: the Civic’s streamlined efficiency or the Element’s unmatched practicality and spacious design.

Market Positioning

In the automotive landscape, the Honda Element carves out a special niche. It appeals directly to those who prioritize cargo space, durability, and a vehicle that’s as adaptable as their lifestyle. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a pet lover, or someone who appreciates the convenience of a vehicle that can handle a variety of needs, the Element stands out.

Its pricing, both retail and trade-in, reflects a competitive edge, offering affordability without compromising on the unique benefits that set it apart from the plethora of crossovers and SUVs on the market.

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