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.
Alerts
There are 11 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
NA
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
2021
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard from 2007. Side air bags standard from 2007. Head protection air bags and ESC standard from 2007.
Road Test

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.

Seating
2 front, 2 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD, Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 5-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.4-liter 4 (166 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2010 Honda Element owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

"the abs are the most unsafe brakes I have ever had on a car had close calls and sliding into intersections"

Anonymous, PA (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Calipers

"This is common problem. One side seizes and pads wear not evenly and are noisy"

Jan K., MA (2010 Honda Element LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Road salt shortens the lives of calipers and also makes them freeze up"

Mark S., NJ (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"piston froze"

James G., NJ (2010 Honda Element LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"When the brakes are changed the service doesn't inspect the Calipers. Much snow and ice where I live and not able to bleed the brake because the rust cause by the salt"

Caesar A., NY (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Sticking rear calipers caused premature brake pad wear. Calipers required replacement."

Anonymous, NH (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Normal routine brake wear

"Change the brakes several times. Had it done at Firestone and Mavis"

Caesar A., NY (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Dealer did a full inspection, showed me the wear, need to replace brakes."

Bill S., TX (2010 Honda Element SC 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"We took the car in for a routine oil change and the mechanic gave the car a once-over. He determined that the breaks were wearing and needed replacement, something that we'd never done before."

Glenn B., MD (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Chirping while braking indicated brakes needed service"

Anonymous, TX (2010 Honda Element SC 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Premature brake wear

"Rotors& pads wear prematurely. Calipers seize up"

Mark S., NJ (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"The brakes are a weak point in this vehicle. After about 30,000 miles under normal conditions calipers do not open and one pad in each wheel is constantly rubbing the rotor leading to premature wear and costly repair. Calipers have to be replaced as a connecting pin connecting both caliper halves has wrong L/D proportions and locks/seizes in mating hole"

Jan K., MA (2010 Honda Element LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"Excessive squeaks and rattles in drive train"

Mark S., NJ (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Car rattles underneath engine when ideling. Dealership says it's the "knock sensor" and is normal"

Anonymous, TX (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"noisey"

Anonymous, WV (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

"Due to boxy design, vehicle is noisy and noise resonates in the interior"

Jan K., MA (2010 Honda Element LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"At times, there is a pretty good amount of wind noise from driver's side window usually at higher speeds and when it is windy outside. I really don't know about passenger window since I don't sit over there!"

Geri D., WY (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Bushings

"normal wear and tear after 150,000 thousand miles. Dashboard maintenance log gave a suggested inspection protocol which affected the front end. The Compliance Bushings indicated replacement, not in stock requiring a 2nd day return and then one had rusted so badly it needed an overnight soak to remove it"

D B., KY (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Power steering pumps and hoses

"The car started making a lot of noise whilst turning, so I took it to the dealership and they replaced the power steering pump and rack & pinion steering system for over $2,300"

Anonymous, CA (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Shocks or struts

"Shocks needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, TX (2010 Honda Element SC 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Springs or torsion bars

"part of the 150,000 mile inspection showed a rear sway bar loose, and quickly fixed"

D B., KY (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Gauges

"The lighted knob to select the direction of airflow from the AC and Heat won't light up. The dealer told me the repair was time-consuming and difficult. So I don't have that lighted knob at night"

Eric T., DC (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Interior lights

"sudden dead interior lights. Fuses OK"

Anonymous, MA (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"the map light on the passenger side does not work and can't find out what's wrong"

Anonymous, PA (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Tire pressure monitor

"The monitor may be showing a problem with the tire pressure, but the dealer checks the system repeatedly and can't find the problem. So, I am not sure whether it's the monitor or the tire"

Eric T., DC (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel pump

"continuation from before. Both occasions were from dashboard "check engine" alerts and the second time over the winter meant I had to replace the fuel pump because the wiring and sensors had been distroyed by squirrels"

D B., KY (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"A sensor and/or wiring problem also involving the fuel pump. And from tales at the mechanics may be saying this is somewhat widespread. The squirrels just love climbing under the car to nibble on wiring and tubes. I have had the car in twice to fix the problem. First time was lucky in that the rodents had left enough to permit splicing new wires into the system. The second time meant a new fuel pump"

D B., KY (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Mass Airflow sensor failure"

Anonymous, CA (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"At a routine maintenance visit I was informed that some part of the air pollution sensing system had failed, and that I needed a new board. I had it replaced for about $300."

Anonymous, IA (2010 Honda Element LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

4WD/AWD components

"I have been stuck in sand on 4 occasions, when only the front wheels would turn, but not the rear wheels. I have never had a situation where all four wheels were active, despite this being sold to me as a 4WD vehicle. The dealership told me that this was not a "true" 4WD like a Honda Pilot, yet they still have a driveshaft going to the rear wheels and a 4WD badge on the rear hatch door...!"

Anonymous, CA (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"I was stuck in deep sand, and only the front wheels were turning or being driven. Previously, this car has performed EXCEPTIONALLY well in sand and other offered situations"

Anonymous, CA (2010 Honda Element LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"I have become stuck in sand on numerous occasions and only the front wheels have power. The dealer claims that the 4x4 is not a real 4-wheel drive system which is totally ludicrous."

Anonymous, CA (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Transfer case

"I have become stuck in sand on numerous occasions and only the front wheels have power. This means that the transfer case was not working. The dealer claims that the 4x4 is not a real 4-wheel drive system which is totally ludicrous."

Anonymous, CA (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"Tire pressure monitoring system failed"

Anonymous, OR (2010 Honda Element LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

"Sirus satellite radio feature has broken"

Mark S., NJ (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

"Sirius XM radio and FM radio stopped receiving signal and will not play music. Dealer seems at a loss re. how to fix"

Mark S., NJ (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"AC stopped working on a warm day. Problems with the compressor and a few ancillary components were found. The car was out of service for a day and a half for repair"

Anonymous, BC (2010 Honda Element LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Heater system

"The hot/warm mechanism (gearing) is not well protected and is susceptible for contamination. This causes that person can not change temperature settings by turning the knob."

Jan K., MA (2010 Honda Element LX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

"front bearing in the enging - the oil seal was bad"

Thomas Q., CT (2010 Honda Element 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Windows

"Passenger window controls stopped working 4 months ago. Did not repair it due large expense. Passenger window stuck on up"

Kaye J., TX (2010 Honda Element SC 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Timing belt or chain

"A sprocket on the timing chain needed to be replaces so we replaced the chain and all the other parts of the timing assembly. Coat about $1,600.00"

Anonymous, FL (2010 Honda Element 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"Replaced exhaust manifold to pipe gasket when vehicle was 1 year old. There is a newly developed exhaust leak in the same area."

Mark S., NJ (2010 Honda Element EX 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

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