The Element is an offbeat utility vehicle with plenty of interior space. But it seats only four, the low weight-carrying capacity limits its utility and large roof pillars compromise outward visibility. Interior noise is pronounced and the ride is stiff and jittery. Handling is fairly nimble, but in emergency maneuvers, the tail tends to slide out, even with stability control.
    There are 13 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

    "Take out the back seats and you can haul almost anything"

    RON V., CA (2008 Honda Element)

    "It has slow acceleration. All wheel drive means it handles nicely in the snow."

    CARRIE S., ON (2008 Honda Element)

    "The ride is quite stiff and bouncy, occasionally jarring. My wife thinks that it may bring on some of her headaches."

    BEVERLY M., AZ (2008 Honda Element)

    "My car handles like a god and accelerates like a dream."

    Anonymous, TN (2008 Honda Element)

    "The steering is surprisingly responsive for an SUV, that's probably the reason I've had it 9 years. The acceleration is awful, nobody is winning land speed records in an Element!"

    Holly C., MO (2008 Honda Element)

    "good accel & handling"

    Anonymous, SC (2008 Honda Element)

    "Surprisingly good acceleration. Handling in "normal" driving conditions is what one would expect."

    Michael D., TX (2008 Honda Element)

    "Handles well in most situations but does lean a little excessively in higher speed (30 mph and higher) turns such turns from one street to another."

    Anonymous, WY (2008 Honda Element)

    "Very responsive from standing start with evident torque-steer. Very good throttle response even at 60-70mph. Inherently top-heavy, but even so, I’ve never felt endangered in curves perhaps because I control speed to minimize the risk of control loss or tipping."

    Thomas G., NE (2008 Honda Element)

    "Better acceleration then most cars today."

    Ron V., CA (2008 Honda Element)

    "when driving on highway curves, the car is more likely to seem "tippy" than any other car i've ever owned"

    Anonymous, CA (2008 Honda Element)

    "Love how easy it is to drive on snow and ice. I especially like the ease of pulling out into traffic - no wheels spinning because the vehicle is not getting adequate traction. That is worth a great deal of peace of mind when driving in winter conditions. It's a little noisier than I like. It is also short enough that I get a cheaper ferry charge than my last vehicle -- ferry charge is based on vehicle length."

    Marty M., AK (2008 Honda Element)

    "poor acceleration on the highway so I wont drive it on the highway"

    Anonymous, ON (2008 Honda Element)


    Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

    What Owners Say

    "Hate the seat belts that come out of the seat back, they cut right across my throat. Windshield wiper control wand is too close to steering wheel."

    KRIS L., MO (2008 Honda Element)

    "VERY utilitarian yet comfortable. Son who drives this vehicle is an active duty, highly decorated, Army Ranger who uses the vehicle without worrying about getting it dirty or breaking something. I can literally open all the doors and hose it out. Super easy to remove extreme levels of being dirty."

    BRENT N., IN (2008 Honda Element)

    "On test-drive I knew that I'd eventually figure out a way to sit the way I wanted to because there was at least 8" clearance above my head. I sit on a very built-up seat, not touching the back of the seat most of the time (sometimes lean back at a stoplight)--somewhat as the seats were shaped in a '53 Chevy: vertical trunk and lower legs going straight down to the floor. I'd like to be able to bend my knees back a bit more but seat is in the way. In a 35 mph crash into a parked truck I had absol"

    CAMILLE N., OH (2008 Honda Element)

    "Front seats do not slide back far enough. Lots of wind noise. Not enough heat comes to the feet. Lousy convenience features such as cupholders and backseat storage. Cannot lock the car from the passenger side. I hate that the car will lock itself if I have not opened the door in about five secs. after remotely unlocking and there seems to be no way to disable this feature and I hate that the back windows do not roll down. I love the way the back seats can be folded up to get more cargo space."

    Anonymous, NV (2008 Honda Element)

    "Door openings are a hassle"

    Anonymous, TX (2008 Honda Element)

    "On long trips, over 100 miles, seats become uncomfortable."

    MICHAEL D., TX (2008 Honda Element)

    "The Element has excellent, roomy leg room. A major selling point regarding my Honda purchases is the leg room both in from seats and back seat. I use this vehicle for road trips and it is a very comfortable ride."

    TAMARA H., CA (2008 Honda Element)

    "it's very functional. It's comfportable and I'm 6'3" and 240 lbs"

    WAYNE S., CA (2008 Honda Element)

    "The only issues with the element are that because of body design it has a higher wind/road noise factor. The suspension on the SC is also tighter so that combined with the larger wheels makes for a bumpier and not as soft ride."

    KIMBERLY D., GA (2008 Honda Element)

    "The seats conform to the body and position while driving provides good visibility"

    Brian H., FL (2008 Honda Element)

    "The Element was not built for comfort, it is definitely a utility vehicle. The noise is piercing at times, especially at highway speeds. It's not possible to have a conversation with the passenger in the back seat while driving on a highway."

    Holly C., MO (2008 Honda Element)

    "Handy for local use."

    Anonymous, SC (2008 Honda Element)

    "Seats are somewhat uncomfortable during a long drive."

    Michael D., TX (2008 Honda Element)

    "The seat's comfort is OK, not great, but good position. Noise and ride are just acceptable, but ride is better than a truck or some other SUVs."

    June B., GA (2008 Honda Element)

    "There is a fair amount of road noise. The seats and ride are good."

    Anonymous, CA (2008 Honda Element)

    "very rough riding, feels like a jeep."

    Anonymous, WA (2008 Honda Element)

    "The ride feels very bumpy, like riding in a truck. Also, I would never again buy a car with the doors that open from the middle the way the Element does. Very cumbersome."

    Carol W., CA (2008 Honda Element)

    "seats are terrible on long drives. the noise level of the doors on the highway is loud. the ride is noisy, even after replacing shocks seems like we are back to the same "bottoming out sound"."

    Anonymous, NH (2008 Honda Element)

    "Hard ride and noisy (wind noise, especially on the driver’s side as well as some road and engine noise, the when accelerating)."

    Thomas G., NE (2008 Honda Element)

    "The ride is the problem. It is stiff, sometimes jolting. It bothers my wife who thinks that it can give her headaches."

    Beverly M., AZ (2008 Honda Element)

    "I can actually get in without having to back into the vehicle. Seats are still very comfortable. Ride is comparable to sedans that I have had. Carrying capacity is almost as good as a small pickup."

    Anonymous, WY (2008 Honda Element)

    "ride in back seat is terrible if road is not smooth. ride in front seats is fine."

    Anonymous, CA (2008 Honda Element)

    "The way the doors open makes access difficult in a garage and if the car is parked on any sort of slant the doors don't stay open. The door arrangement is also highly inconvenient for car camping and sleeping in the back."

    Anonymous, UT (2008 Honda Element)

    "Very noisy & bouncy ride. seats are comfortable enough but there are numerous places to bang your knee on the dash bump-outs."

    Peggy K., OR (2008 Honda Element)


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

    What Owners Say

    "Very good value. Pretty reliable."

    PATRICK B., FL (2008 Honda Element)

    "The price was right for the EX model . The only dislikes were the center console , small glove box and inset dash holders .The road noise was high when sitting in the rear seats . I was glad to have the room to carry all my personal papers ,clothes and stereo set .Could not get much more in as it was full from top ,sides and rear ; front seats to back door . Highway mileage was 23 -24 mph ."

    Anonymous, CA (2008 Honda Element)

    "Zero issues and has hauled a squad of Special Forces all over the country for training and recreation. After a reasonably easy thorough cleaning it still looks great."

    BRENT N., IN (2008 Honda Element)

    "The cost is reasonable when taking into account the length of time it lasts with minimal maintenance."

    JOSE M., CA (2008 Honda Element)

    "Excellent control on snow and ice"

    Anonymous, WA (2008 Honda Element)

    "At 145000 miles, I still have the original brakes, exhaust system. It's been the most trouble free auto I've ever owned."

    Anonymous, NY (2008 Honda Element)

    "Excellent value for the dollars spent, excellent gas mileage, great storage space, excellent for pet owners, reliable and low maintaince cost."

    Anonymous, CA (2008 Honda Element)

    "Purchased primarily for transport of garden materials. My short wife likes to drive it, good visibility, high seating. Seat is torture for me on long trip."

    M M., CT (2008 Honda Element)

    "This is a relatively inexpensive vehicle. It has held to two dogs and two young boys. The plastic flooring is very helpful in keeping it clean. But without carpet, there is a lot of engine noise. I intend to pass it on to a niece or nephew in 2018."

    Anonymous, NC (2008 Honda Element)

    "The element is the most durable and practical vehicle Honda has ever made. Many have over 300,000 miles and are still running strong. My wife loves this vehicle and would by a new one in a minute. The car has almost a cult following and resale value is extremely high. Honda made a huge mistake when they stopped making them."

    Anonymous, PA (2008 Honda Element)

    "Great utilitarian vehicle, It's like having a small enclosed truck, only downside is gas mileage could be better"

    Pete M., GA (2008 Honda Element)

    "functional, practical, ugly, awesome"

    Anonymous, WI (2008 Honda Element)

    "This vehicle is nearly untreatable.. It does everything well. After Honda foolishly stopped making them they have increased in value. The elements biggest weakness was its Pontiac Axtec like ugliness."

    Duane C., PA (2008 Honda Element)

    "Wish they still made this vehicle. It has been a workhouse and the most reliable vehicle I have ever owned. Minimal maintenance - I still have the original exhaust system and several other parts. Love this vehicle!"

    Anonymous, NY (2008 Honda Element)

    "Great cargo capacity, it's held it's value very well over the last 10 years."

    Anonymous, CA (2008 Honda Element)

    "A relatively inexpensive purchase able to carry my bicycles and loads of other gear INSIDE. Peppy acceleration and decent gas mileage. Very reliable."

    Anonymous, VA (2008 Honda Element)

    "This is the most wonderful car I have ever owned. No carpet to get wet and snow on and then smell mildewy. Perfect for my dogs without carpet The turning radius is the tightest of any car I've owned and makes it easier to handle in tight situations Just a great all around SUV for where I live - Juneau, Alaska. Plus it gets me where I want to go in snowy and icy conditions."

    Marty M., AK (2008 Honda Element)

    "No frills but bullet proof. Low maintenance cost - just tires and batteries over the last 10 years,"

    Anonymous, CA (2008 Honda Element)

    "A great price, and a very durable car that from a mechanical basis just keeps going and going. The only downside is that the materials used for the interior have worn quickly."

    Gregory H., WI (2008 Honda Element)

    "Vehicle is extremely easy to handle. It has a very short turning radius for turns and u-turns. Very roomy inside and very versitile seating configurations. Good acceleration and braking. Good gas mileage on regular gas. Easy to service and inexpensive to own."

    Robert S., WI (2008 Honda Element)

    "Best close pickup I ever owned"

    Ron V., CA (2008 Honda Element)

    "Its like a small enclosed truck. Great for hauling boys and Home depot items"

    Pete M., GA (2008 Honda Element)

    "It was not expensive but lacks several basic amenities that would make it an easier car to use."

    Anonymous, CA (2008 Honda Element)

    "I have owned several Honda's over time and when I totaled my Subaru due to a deficiency that CR had pointed out and disappointment with the local Subaru dealer, I purchased the Element. Though CR eventually stop recommending this model and Honda discontinued it, I have never met an Element owner who did not love this vehicle. The local Honda dealer always has used Elements as sought after by would be owners. Even the Mazda salesman was interested in purchasing it. It has passed the 200,000 mile mark with no serious problem ever. A great car (we love it for moving large art pieces) at a great price. I would buy another used one."

    Albert M., NY (2008 Honda Element)

    "It’s just a great car and it’s served me well throughout the years."

    Myke D., PA (2008 Honda Element)


    How it looks inside and out

    What Owners Say

    "It's a practical shape from a cargo standpoint."

    FRED R., NY (2008 Honda Element)

    "The ability to configure this vehicle to my needs. I have taken out both the rear seats and use the back area as a mini van."

    NANCY M., FL (2008 Honda Element)

    "It has a clunky, boxy appearance, but nevertheless I likke it as a bit endearing and very practical."

    BEVERLY M., AZ (2008 Honda Element)

    "good load capacity. bad side doors awkward for rear passengers"

    Anonymous, CO (2008 Honda Element)

    "I like the "not your average car" look of the Element, plus it puts me higher up than a sedan so I can see better."

    MARTY M., AK (2008 Honda Element)

    "Very difficult for me as the driver to see as much of the outside as I feel most comfortable. Requires me to do much squirming and twisting to see around pillars that block my view."

    Anonymous, NY (2008 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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