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 10 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

"Slow acceleration and does not corner well"

Anonymous, MI (2005 Honda Element)

"Has plenty of power with it's 5sp gearbox. Handles very well for a vehicle of it's type. Great brakes."

Bob T., NC (2005 Honda Element)

"Handles remarkably well compared to other vans, trucks and SUV's I have driven. I feel safe at the wheel."

Anonymous, OH (2005 Honda Element)

"Very easy to handle and fun to drive. Extremely short turning radius makes it easy to manuever in thght spaces. Good acceleration and braking. Very good traction in snow and rain."

Robert S., WI (2005 Honda Element)

"Very sporty for a small motor. Steers and maneuvers well. Grips the road. AWD is great for wet/dirt roads."

Anonymous, CA (2005 Honda Element)

"Turns and handles very nimbly in urban areas. Fits most small parking spaces."

Spencer S., CA (2005 Honda Element)

"Styling: it holds a ton of cargo! It has a great acceleration!"

Anonymous, WA (2005 Honda Element)

"Drive experience is what sold me on this vehicle. Acceleration is decent, handling is decent."

Michael Y., NC (2005 Honda Element)

"Excellent handling, road feel, and manuverability. Good acceleration and excellent braking. Very good in deep snow with AWD. Car is very fun to drive."

Robert S., WI (2005 Honda Element)

"The acceleration and handling is too bad. I have intelligent 4 wheel drive which kicks in when the road gets slippery or a tire spins. I have never had to worry about winter driving. ...Even when driving up ice covered steep hills. I have to say, though, that with age (160,000 miles), the handling seems to be getting a tiny bit loose."

Keith C., WA (2005 Honda Element)

"good handling brakes not so hot sluggish acceleration"

Anonymous, NY (2005 Honda Element)

"It handles well for this type of vehicle. Acceleration is not great but it is not built for that."

BARRY R., AZ (2005 Honda Element)

"Car is standing up very well for 150 plus thousand miles. The connector for the dash lights is problematic. The audio AUX input is not working."

TERRY H., AZ (2005 Honda Element)

"It handles like a truck and is okay if I drive it like that."

JOSEPH W., KY (2005 Honda Element)

"significant blind spots. low payload capacity for volume. Shockingly low."

FRANCES L., NY (2005 Honda Element)

"The CVT transmission sucks."

SHARON W., TX (2005 Honda Element)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"Very comfortable and great seating position. Rides very well and handles well. Most versitle vehicle I have ever driven"

Bob T., NC (2005 Honda Element)

"Its noisy."

Anonymous, CA (2005 Honda Element)

"Ride is okay. Seats have never been very comfortable. Noise prevents normal conversation with other passengers. This is a normal trait for all Hondas of this years"

Anonymous, AR (2005 Honda Element)

"Good- Lots of room, big enough for 4 adults, great for hauling bicycles, etc. when the seats are up Bad- only 4 seat belts, not the most comfortable ride"

Brian P., AZ (2005 Honda Element)

"The seats in the element are superb. They can be folded and reclined and moved to facilitate all the needs that I have for transport of people and objects and a small interior space. They allow a passenger to sleep while on a long trip comfortably, for two people to sleep comfortably when the vehicle is parked. The tailgate and doors facilitate use for recreational purposes not available with other vehicles in this price range. The interior is adjusted with manual controls that do not fail as motor driven units. The noise level has not been objectionable during many cross-country trips and the ride quality has been fine on both paved and unpaved Roads"

Anya C., FL (2005 Honda Element)

"Very good view, even form rear passenger seats. Better than most similar sized cars/SUVs. Good tight nimble ride. Handles wet roads well with AWD. Comfortable water resistant seats. Ride noisier than average car, but not obnoxious."

Anonymous, CA (2005 Honda Element)

"Seats are excellent. Noise and ride are satisfactory for the type vehicle."

R H., AL (2005 Honda Element)

"Cabin noise is higher than I would like, and ride can be a bit harsh."

William M., CA (2005 Honda Element)

"Mostly it is the wind noise, especially and highway speeds. Also there is quite a bit of drivetrain noise and some strange popping noises also. I did replace one of the rear wheel bearings. I have checked the other common things (cv joints) etc. but cannot find any problems."

George G., TN (2005 Honda Element)

"Firm supportive seats"

Anonymous, FL (2005 Honda Element)

"Good: seats are relatively comfortable with lot of room. Overall, there is a lot of room for all passengers. Bad: there is a fair amount of noise in the car when driving on the interstates regardless of speed. Generally, around town which is where I do most of my driving, the noise is not too bad, but longer distances are when I need to turn up my radio to cut down on the noise/"

Anonymous, GA (2005 Honda Element)

"Honda used cheap ulphostery on the Elements. the material cracks and wears holes in the seats. I have a set of after market seat covers that are of better quality."

Anonymous, CO (2005 Honda Element)

"It is easy to get in and out of the Honda. You sit up straight and fairly high in the seats. There is good back support. It takes road bumps well."

Anonymous, AZ (2005 Honda Element)

"The seats are basic, not very cushiony. Functional but could have been more comfortable."

Anonymous, NC (2005 Honda Element)

"It's a very comfortable car to ride in, open view of my surroundings, passengers in the back can see well because of the stadium seating"

Donald E., CA (2005 Honda Element)

"Stiff jittery ride, noisy cabin"

J H., MD (2005 Honda Element)

"The Honda Element wasn't designed as a high end ride. I bought it to replace a small Chevy S10 pickup. In comparison to that, the Element is surprising comfortable."

GARY W., OR (2005 Honda Element)

"Exactly what I needed and wanted. Was not impressed when the gauges failed and I had to replace the entire cluster. 2 other surprising things, 1.) several suspension bushings wore out at 115k miles, which was unusual IMHO, and required at least 3 trips and about $3k to fix, and 2.) driver's seat rocks back and forth, and there is a fix kit of- bushings, again."

BILL B., IN (2005 Honda Element)

"Driving on bumpy roads, it tends to feel like a buckboard wagon."

Anonymous, MI (2005 Honda Element)

"Ride is very stiff and rough"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Honda Element)

"We didn't realize that the car seats only four passengers when we bought it. Otherwise, love it. Used it as a work car without seats, and used it for trips - love the space in the back row to have a cooler handy, and love that the back seats recline (when kids fall asleep on a long trip, they are comfy)."

Anonymous, FL (2005 Honda Element)

"Climate control is just adequate. Seat is the most uncomfortable car seat I've ever experienced. The Honda has a lot of sway in making turns. Front pillar is a BIG blind spot. Hope to get rid of it when the 2017 autos come out."

SHARON W., TX (2005 Honda Element)


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

What Owners Say

"My Element has been the most reliable and versatile vehicle I have ever owned. After thirteen years and 140,000 miles, I have yet to spend my first dime on repairs except for basic maintenance and scheduled service. Astonishing in light of my experience with many makes and models I have previously owned. I would definitely buy another Element, but -- alas -- Honda no longer makes this model, so I will hang onto this one for as long as I can."

William M., CA (2005 Honda Element)

"This car was inexpensive, it has been flawless over 13 years, and to replace the functionality for which I bought it - the ability to carry bicycles inside, upright, with both wheels on - and to have AWD, I’d have to buy a Toyota Sienna AWD - a much larger and more expensive vehicle."

Peter S., VA (2005 Honda Element)

"The reliability of the 2005 element has been exceptional, with only routine maintenance required over a quarter million miles of driving. Fuel mileage has been in range for this type of vehicle and it has enough power to pull a 1000 lb travel trailer with its 4 cylinder engine. The interior and exterior has been durable and easy to maintain despite being hit by numerous vehicles and objects over its 13 years of use. In my humble opinion it was a serious mistake to discontinue this utilitarian vehicle which remains highly desirable as a used car."

Anya C., FL (2005 Honda Element)

"Great value. Never any problem since I bought the Element new."

Fred M., CA (2005 Honda Element)

"Has been a very good buy. No maintenance issues"

Anonymous, AB (2005 Honda Element)

"Great Value"

Anonymous, MI (2005 Honda Element)

"Good- It's been a great vehicle with few repairs and inexpensive maintenance. Bad- They don't make them anymore :("

Brian P., AZ (2005 Honda Element)

"Car has lasted without any major repairs. Just oil, tires, brakes and batteries."

Spencer S., CA (2005 Honda Element)

"Excellent reliability and practical interuir"

Anonymous, FL (2005 Honda Element)

"Good: purchased 12/31/2004 for a little over $20k. I do the basics regarding maintenance. Every couple of years I need to do a little more maintenance, but that is expected as the car ages. Bad: I didn't pay much, but I get poor in-town mpg. The car is over 13 years old. I have very low mileage so overall, the value of the car has been great."

Anonymous, GA (2005 Honda Element)

"very economical"

Gary S., ND (2005 Honda Element)

"Great price! Wonderful car, holds lots of gear. Love this car! Honda no longer makes the Element, wish Honda still produced it!!!!!! A more luxurious model as a choice would be a definite purchase for me and lots of Element owners."

Anonymous, NJ (2005 Honda Element)

"It's been the most versatile vehicle and has handled every project I've thrown at it for the 12+ years I've owned! Would buy another in a heartbeat if Honda still made them."

Marc S., MO (2005 Honda Element)

"12 years and 155,000 miles and still going strong. Very few issues or repairs have been needed except the normal items that need to be kept up."

Barry R., AZ (2005 Honda Element)

"We have really enjoyed the no frills simplicity of the Element. Great for dogs, gardening activities, carrying large or bulky items. Wish they still made them, would replace in kind."

Alan W., NY (2005 Honda Element)

"The greatest thing about my Honda Element is that it has hung on to its resale value. It functions extremely well as a cargo van when you remove the back seats or fold them up against the side walls. For a small SUV, the element has a cavernous cargo space. It also makes a great vehicle for transporting my dogs. Although I have 2 other vehicles, I can't seem to let go of my Element even though I drive my hybrid electric car most all of the time."

Keith C., WA (2005 Honda Element)

"No issues in 90000 miles and very functional."

NORM L., WA (2005 Honda Element)

"11 years and still going strong. Yes a few minor problems but mostly related to mileage and usage."

BARRY R., AZ (2005 Honda Element)

"It has been a very versatile, dependable and wonderful car for these 10 years. It's utility from camping to dog-parking to moving anything, it has never failed."

LESLIE T., KS (2005 Honda Element)

"Car seems to be worth nearly as much now as when purchased."

ED C., OR (2005 Honda Element)

"Purchased as a used, certified car. It's still running well after a number of years. I tow it behind my motorhome and towing has not caused any problems with the vehicle."

JAN F., GA (2005 Honda Element)

"Roomy, great utility, sufficient power"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Honda Element)

"A great do-it-all vehicle! Absolutely no problems and still runs flawlessly after over 150000 miles"

RON E., NC (2005 Honda Element)

"Owned car 11 years. 176k miles no major problems"

TERENCE J., AZ (2005 Honda Element)

"Little pricey for standard shift, and base model. Still, this was the best price we could get in Southern Colorado."

MARGARET S., CO (2005 Honda Element)

"You get a vehicle that has lots of utility for the price - also very reliable."

PATRICK Q., MT (2005 Honda Element)

"Superb visability, car like handling, and ability to transport an amazing amount of stuff with it's flexible interior configurations. Terrific reliability and amazingly impervious to salt rot thanks to it's plastic quarter panels. This one will be a 20 year car. Why, oh why did Honda discontinue them?"

BRAD S., NY (2005 Honda Element)

"435k miles, only did scheduled oil changes, runs great. It's a tank."

ERNESTO S., NM (2005 Honda Element)

"The 2005 Element is a very good all around vehicle for those looking for a multi-purpose use vehicle. It has a significantly large cargo area when the seats are removed. The turning radius is exceptional, making the Element highly maneuverable."

GARY W., OR (2005 Honda Element)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"Simple, clean lines for a box shaped vehicle"

Anonymous, CA (2005 Honda Element)

"Honda is very innovative with features like seat configuration."

Anonymous, SC (2005 Honda Element)

"Plain almost to the point of ugly."

JOSEPH W., KY (2005 Honda Element)

"great for outdoor enthusiasts"

Anonymous, NJ (2005 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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