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Honda Element



  • Did a google on "Changes in 2005 Element" and came up with a site that listed very minor changes in 05 for the Element -- side bags standard on all trims, new colors, satellite radio, etc. One thing they mentioned that I've not seen here was "improved door sill treatments to prevent chipping." I'm assuming that's paint chipping on exposed metal in the sills. Is this a problem for anyone?
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    7500 mi on our 2wd EX 5 speed.

    No chipping on sills.

    We do have a squeaky clutch for the next service visit.

    Plus it still drives TERRIBLY in wet weather. Worst traction in the wet of any FWD vehicle we've ever had. Winter here in Boston this year will be a real blast.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    side bags standard on all trims

    Great idea, that erases the awful IIHS test result. IIHS will have to re-test it now.

    I put aftermarket door sills on my Miata. Any paint will scuff if you rub against it often enough.

  • Hi,

    My element (4WD EX w/o side airbag,silver) has ~400 miles now. first impressions:

    drive & handling: I'd say about what you'd expect from Honda. Some people will find accel and break 'too sensitive'. I had a 2000 Civic, which would also jump if you floor it. Since I'm used to it, It drives great! It certainly doesn't drive like a big car, which was the reason I bought in the first place.

    What I like: very tall seating position, a lot of space, the shape (I love it!) etc...

    Complaints: engine noise at highway speed is more than I expected. Hearing cargo sliding whenever I turn. Would a cargo cover block the noises enough, or should I buy cargo organizer(s)?
    Again, the shape (I'm still worried I might look just silly in 5 years)
    not being able to seat 3 in the back.

    About the last point, It looks like to me that the replacement bench rear seats with 60/40 folding capabilities can be made, since it is removable anyway. Would other people find this sensible option, or am I just crazy?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Tie that stuff down, in a collision they might become projectiles that could hurt someone or break a window.

    I'd recommend cargo nets, or just bungee cord things down to the tie-down points.

    I have not seen aftermarket seats for the Element, but some compaines do make optional 3rd row seats for SUVs, and a bench like those would seemingly fit.

    I found a link for you:

    Make sure whatever you buy meets DOT safety standards, including sturdy seat belts.

  • Just a heads up on the 2005 element. I've been told by dealers here in Arkansas that the 05 models can be had with painted body cladding instead of that gray color. I'm guessing to compete with the scion's.
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    Sounds unlikely unless it would be standard for all.
    Are they planning to sell painted panels as a dealer-installed accessory?
    I don't think Honda would bother selling different Elements with and without painted panels coming from the factory.
  • Hi,

    I just bought 4WD EX Auto. I'm certainly enjoying the seating height and the space! (My old car was '91 Acura Integra).

    However, it looks like sombody "ripped off" the license plate in front". The bumper shows screwhalls with tears. Also, I somehow got a rather visible cut on the rear bumper.

    Since I live in NYC, I'm getting nervous about how these plastics will hold up... Also, there are many posted messages about the interior plastic. I'd like to know if there are any "proven" care instructions for these plastics..

  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    We've had our EX since early 2004.

    No real bad scratches outside, just a nick here and there on the rear bumper. We have a couple of scratches on the colored dash material. Nothing fixed either.

    THe good news is that it's plastic and cleans up easily. The bad news is that it's plastic and is pretty wimpy.

    Maybe the scratches accumulate over time in high traffic obvious areas that could have been higher grade materials. As they do, we should compare notes on the keen patina that the plastic acqires.
  • Body panels are in various colors based on the actual body color that you choose. For example, the new rallye red color Element has black panels instead of gray.

    As for the previous question about caring for panels, I've read a lot about that on the Element Owners Club site.

    Good luck.
  • I am wondering from current Honda Element owners - do you slide your front seats forward, using the walk-in pedal, when people get in the back seats? Or do you always open the door?
  • There is enough leg room in the back to not have to slide your seats forward to let the rear passengers in.
    However- to let them in you do have to make sure that you're unstrapped and open your door- there is a handle to the back door on the inside of it, and on the inside edging is another one for them to open it themselves from the outside providing your front doors are open.
  • I think it depends on what you are doing with the vehicle. For instance if you are a soccer mom driving the kids all over town it probably does not work. However, if you are taking 3 or 4 people to the same place that you are going it is great. For instance, my wife, myself and another couple went to 3 art gallery openings last Friday night. The Element was perfect - tons of legroom in the back, very easy to get in and out, great 'space' inside to turn around and talk PLUS 4 cup holders for the wine! (Did I say that?)
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    If you are trying to get something in or out of the backseat area and are parked with cars on both sides of you it's pretty tough.

    The doors open up blocking access from either end of the vehicle.

    Since the front doesn't latch when the back is open, it's not too cool.


    04 EX FWD 5MT GG
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    There is no guarantee, but there are several VERY significant upgrades to the 2005 CRV that will probably turn up on the 2005 Element:

    1. 5 speed automatic standard instead of 4 speed (yay!);

    2. Side CURTAIN airbags as well as side torso bags, across the line (yay!) (as we found out from the Insurance Institute side crashes last year, side torso airbags are "almost" useless, but side CURTAIN (for the head) are critical;

    3. Stability control is STANDARD across the line.

    Items 2 and 3 are the reason I traded in my ZX3 on a VW Golf. If they turn up on the 2005 Element, I will have to seriously think about trading in my PT Cruiser on an Element, if not on a CRV, these features are so important, imho.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree, those would be major under-the-skin upgrades.

    The 5 speed could make it both quicker and more efficient. CR-V's EPA numbers went up a bit.

    I hope you're right.

  • i always just open the back door. There really isn't enough room for people to crawl out of the front door- even with the front seat all the way forward.
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    Those are for the CR-V only. It may not be likely that any or all of those changes automatically go to the Element.
  • rog96rog96 Posts: 21
    Also waiting to see if 05 gets 200 hp ... how long before Honda releases info?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I'll bet you $500 the Element does not get a 200 hp engine. My apologies for being blunt, but that's just silly.

    Honda will release info about one month before the vehicle hits the showrooms. I expect we'll start to hear about it in late October or early November.
  • I know how to manage the doors in the grocery store parking lot.
    I just open the front door to open the back, and then leave the front door closed while I load up.
    I stopped blocking myself in...
    The just makes sure to open the front a little to close the back door, and just shut the whole thing up.
    I've had it since december and it took me until This early summer to find the perfect pattern for myself.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Honda will save the 200hp for the sequel. ;-)

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Well, think about that for a second. I assume we are thinking about 2.4L from the TSX. That engine requires premium fuel and burns more of it. And it's an expensive engine to build. The Element is positioned as the bargain alternative to a vehicle like the CR-V. Giving the Element the full VTEC really distorts that mission.

    I think the TSX engine in an Element would be fun, but let's be real about it. Anyone looking for a performance Element can strap on a roots turbo or supercharger.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I was just kidding, anyway.

    More likely we'll see incremental improvements to the 2.4l in there now.

    Check out Jackson Racing, they have Honda applications for $3500 or so plus install.

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I know a few CR-Vers (1996-2001 models) who added a JRSC to their rides. One of them included a VTEC head from the Integra GS-R along with it. They estimated the output at well over 200 hp.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Whacky but cool. :-)

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Varmint said: "The Element is positioned as the bargain alternative to a vehicle like the CR-V."

    Looks that way, I unearthed a Honda press release and the EX, and not the LX Element, will be upgraded to ABS and side torso (not curtain) air bags. All remain with a 4 speed automatic, but at least sticks are available. No stability control, no side curtain bags, in any Element so the CRV for 2005 will be one big jump in front of the Element.

    Too bad, I can get excited about the Element, but the CRV is just another d*mn SUV....

    (No, I don't think the Element is an SUV, not only because it is built on a unit body instead of a truck chassis, but because it has a good bumper height compatibility with passenger cars; it's really a station wagon, if that weren't a dirty word.)
  • gxb159gxb159 Posts: 46
    I am in the market for a crossover vehicle as a second ride to an 05 Outback. My requirements (1) AWD (2) Safe and Reliabe (3) Good MPG (43) Must be able to hual loads of goodies home from Lowes/Home Depot. I know these are different vehicles, but both meet my needs.

    Has anyone compared the two? I would appreciate your thoughts. THANKS
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I consider the Element more of a vanlet thingy than a wagon.

  • Hi all - I'm a long time lurker, and first time poster. We bought an '03 Element EX in July '03, and have had good success with it as a vehicle. Great versatility, and even with two children, a 10 yr. old and 3.5 yr. old, we have had no issues with access or car seats - everything works great (as long as you remember to take off your seatbelt before you open a front door to let them out!!!)

    Anyway, we have a 1994 Volvo 850 Turbo that we are thinking of getting rid of - maintenance and fuel costs (ie premium) are eating us alive - plus, its a 12 year old car. After doing a ton of research, we are considering getting a second Element - probably an '05 after December. Anyone think this is crazy? We really notice that we utilize the Element's space and versatility more than we need seating for five.

    Thanks in advance for your opinions!

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