The Element's boxy, offbeat styling generates a lot of attention, but the vehicle is fraught with compromises. It has a cavernous interior, but it's only a four-seater with a skimpy 675-pound payload capacity. So it can be easily overloaded. The vehicle handles nimbly and has a smooth, refined powertrain, but it has a choppy ride, noisy cabin, an awkward driving position, and obstructed outward visibility.
There are 11 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"Chose a 4-speed manual transmission which has proven to be a wise decision (quicker acceleration and ability to tow cargo. Better handling than one would expect from a utility vehicle."

John L., GA (2004 Honda Element)

"Tight turning radius, fast accelerating"

Vicki S., ID (2004 Honda Element)

"I have owned this car for 14 years, so that says the engine and handling are good. Also, I have never had to have anything fixed on this car. Works like a charm."

Anonymous, IN (2004 Honda Element)

"Very responsive while accelerating. Steering feels very accurate."

Anonymous, AB (2004 Honda Element)

"It’s a good car, which my husband loves. As long as you take care of it, it will last"

Jill E., NM (2004 Honda Element)

"Very sturdy and reliable. Ok ride as used for a utility vehicle. Plenty of room. Nothing fancy about the cat, just a basic good vehicle."

Anonymous, CO (2004 Honda Element)

"Still drives and handles well. Difficult to see the top of the speedometer if you are too tall."

Jake S., OH (2004 Honda Element)

"It drives like a Honda, built well"

Jill E., NM (2004 Honda Element)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"lack of power rough ride noise from everywhere"

Anonymous, OH (2004 Honda Element)

"The driver seat is comfortable enough, but it's nothing fancy. My passengers report that the ride in the back seats can be very bumpy... but the good view from the stadium seating seems to balance it out. I primarily do city driving by myself so this has not been an issue."

Anonymous, WI (2004 Honda Element)

"Noisy ride, but very comfortable."

Ron T., WA (2004 Honda Element)

"The seating and leg room is excellent in back seat. The ride is very smooth. Back seats fold up against the side wall and turns the Element into a very handy small pickup."

Anonymous, NC (2004 Honda Element)

"Drivers seat rocks forward and back with exceleration and stoping. The road noise is very annoying and mush louder than in the CRV"

Paula L., MI (2004 Honda Element)

"Seats are fraying, noises come from sidewalks and interior dome light intermittently comes on and off."

Anonymous, MA (2004 Honda Element)

"Seats uncomfortable for long drive. Somewhat bumpy ride with road noise. We love that the seats fold up and we can get tons of sports gear, moving boxes and stuff in it."

SARAH L., MA (2004 Honda Element)

"very loud inside"

Anonymous, WA (2004 Honda Element)

"Starting to squeak and raddel"

Anonymous, WA (2004 Honda Element)

"I am 6'5 and the leg room could be better. Other than that, it is fine."

Anonymous, OH (2004 Honda Element)

"Husband is 6'6" and rarely fits in a car. This has been an outstanding car for his size!!"

STEVEN W., CA (2004 Honda Element)

"The two main drawbacks to the Element for me are the excessive cabin noise, and a fairly rough ride."

Anonymous, TX (2004 Honda Element)

"Driver's side seat's upholstery was showing signs of extensive wear after only 6 years in spite of the fact that it was driven by just one person, an older woman."

BARBARA D., BC (2004 Honda Element)

"Fun to drive in town. Love the stick shift. But not comfortable for a long ride."

Anonymous, LA (2004 Honda Element)

"road noise needs to be reduced"

Richard S., MI (2004 Honda Element)

"The 2004 Honda Element has a stiff ride and in cold weather has a suspension noise that has not been located by the Honda service personnel."

Anonymous, IA (2004 Honda Element)


Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"Low maintenance, reliability and longevity."

Anonymous, VA (2004 Honda Element)

"NO PROBLEMS....of anytype"

Anonymous, NC (2004 Honda Element)

"Inexpensive, versatile SUV."

Anonymous, GA (2004 Honda Element)

"It was the best idea for a small covered pick up for hauling loads — particularly with the back seats removed, and a resulting two passenger vehicle. Wish Honda still made it."

Anonymous, AZ (2004 Honda Element)

"The Honda Element has been a workhorse. We have driven through snow storms, used it to haul lumber, and taken it from highways to byways. It's not glamorous but it's a functional vehicle that works well around town and on long distance trips."

Anonymous, NV (2004 Honda Element)

"Very good utility vehicle. Reliable and versatile, very good price"

Keith G., OK (2004 Honda Element)

"This is the most versatile vehicle ever made. I have camped in it. Hauled stone, lumber, dirt. Used it as a taxi. It will do everything and is very reliable."

Gil T., MO (2004 Honda Element)

"Great interior space, versatility of how to arrange back seats, easy to clean interior floors, they are all rubber. Car needed belts replaced this year, fluids changed, all routine maintenance. Still runs great."

Anonymous, MA (2004 Honda Element)

"Great car, great utility. CR rated it highly in 2004, not so much lately"

Bernd M., CO (2004 Honda Element)

"My Honda Element was an excellent value because I bought it new and have had very minimal maintenance costs over the fourteen years I've owned it. It's an extremely reliable vehicle and has retained good resale value."

Conrad N., DE (2004 Honda Element)

"I have had no major problems with this vehicle, just the usual wear and tear of a car with 170,000 miles. When I bought it, I paid less than $21,000. Since I've had this car for 14 years, that's a cost of $1,500 per year. I take excellent care of my Element and hope to drive it to 200,000 miles and then make a decision about whether to keep it or buy a new car."

Randon F., MD (2004 Honda Element)

"Handles nicely. Turn radius is great"

Vicki S., ID (2004 Honda Element)

"Most versatile car I have ever owned. I can haul about any object. I have filled it up with stuff and hauled it to Idaho twice. It is 14 years old and I wouldn't be afraid to drive it anywhere. I would have bought a new one several years ago if Honda would have changed the windshield rake, added another gear to the transmission, and put an electric door lock button on the passenger side."

Anonymous, IN (2004 Honda Element)

"A uniquely versatile car, particularly in the large space availability when raising or removing the back seat(s). Has held up exceptionally well both mechanically and its visual appearance (i.e. - looks new)"

John L., GA (2004 Honda Element)

"Great car! I'd buy a new one if they still made them. Some of the used Elements now cost more than I paid for mine new."

Anonymous, GA (2004 Honda Element)

"Functional SUV. Small but considering it's size can carry a lot. Suits me very well carrying hockey equipment, etc."

Anonymous, TX (2004 Honda Element)

"I have driven the Element nearly 275,000 miles with no major mechanical issues or repairs."

Anonymous, CA (2004 Honda Element)

"Fantastic reliability and value for the first 10 years of ownership. It must've been engineered to last only 10 years - exactly at 10 years it developed many and serious problems that mechanics can't fix or are very expensive. It started falling apart at 10 years and we won't buy another Honda."

SARAH L., MA (2004 Honda Element)

"I have had three Honda cars and this Element has to be the best. Funny looking, maybe, but as functional as a Swiss Army knife and dependable as can be. Too bad they don't make them anymore."

Anonymous, MO (2004 Honda Element)

"Cost of maintenance has been extremely low."

RON T., WA (2004 Honda Element)

"Unique features and very practical"

Anonymous, NY (2004 Honda Element)

"The Element is the most versatile car I have ever owned. I can't buy another new Element, so I will keep this one until It quits. I have hauled many, many things in this car. I can't get along without it."

Barbara C., IN (2004 Honda Element)

"The most versatile car I have ever owned. I have hauled all kinds of things in this car. I have driven it to Idaho twice and it was loaded both times. I would have bought a newer model, if Honda had made a couple of changes. The front glass is too steep, thus the posts are upright and too thick. They hide cars when making a turn, so I have to be careful and look around the posts. Also , there is no door lock switch on the right side. My wife is not happy to wait for me to unlock her doo..."

Anonymous, IN (2004 Honda Element)

"I bought my Element new and has driven it 230,000 miles. I have only had a couple of mechanical repairs and I am very pleased with the durability of this vehicle."

Anonymous, IA (2004 Honda Element)

"good utility vehicle. carries a 4X8 plywood or sheetrock"

Anonymous, LA (2004 Honda Element)

"We just love our Element. It's so practical and functional with the ability to remove seats, haul bikes or luggage. We've had it for 14 years with no major problems. I'd skip. The AWD option with regards to decreased gas mileage."

Matt L., AZ (2004 Honda Element)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"Love the color as it adds to the car's personality. Love the style, reminded me of the old woody station wagon. Car has to have personality for me as well as how it handles and how well it is built."

CATHERINE C., NY (2004 Honda Element)

"love the style, the space in side and how it fits into smaller parking spaces. Love that I could hose it out if I wanted to do so."

Anonymous, TN (2004 Honda Element)

"I love that it has no carpet!"

Anonymous, CA (2004 Honda Element)

Would you buy this car again?

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Percentage of owners who would definitely purchase that same vehicle again. Owner-satisfaction Ratings are determined by the percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" to the question asked by the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey "Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had to do it all over again?". If we don’t have sufficient data, a similar model might be used to form the owner-satisfaction score.
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