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2003 Honda Element consumer reviews

$16,100–$18,300 MSRP range
side view of 2003 Element Honda
98% of drivers recommend this car
Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.5
  • Interior 4.5
  • Performance 4.2
  • Value 4.7
  • Exterior 4.5
  • Reliability 4.8
Explore the 2003 Honda Element
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My 2003 Honda Element

Not much I don't like about this vehicle, so I'll start out with that list. MPG, not that great. I did get the AWD system and automatic, which drive down MPG a bit. REALLY wish there was a V-6 available. Don't waste your $$ on the AWD system, really isn't worth it. The goods: Very versatile, Very reliable, fairly easy to do routine maintenance. Great odd size cargo carrier and fantastic dog hauler. I wish Honda was still making them today.


Love it!

We love this car! It is perfect for life at the beach with kids and dogs. There are a few quirks but overall great!


Amazing box on wheels!

I bought my 2003 Honda EX 4WD new in April 2004. The dealer had only two 2003 models left on the lot, so they wanted to unload them at any opportunity. I test drove the 2WD, which was nice, but I felt the 4WD gripped the road better. I lived in Chicago, IL when I bought it and it handled beautifully in the snow, especially when the city didn't get around to plowing for a few days. I love my car. It's still my primary vehicle with over 128K miles! Everything still works -- AC/Heat and electronics. There's nothing else quite like it and you can't beat the unique cargo room it offers. The easy entry, the unique doors and stadium seating in the back. Tons of leg room front or back. Back seats fold up along the sides of the vehicle, or you can fold them backwards until they are level. I hauled so much stuff in this car and all my friends/family love riding in it. I wish they still made the Element. I have no idea what I will do when the time comes to replace it. The car has been low on maintenance and fantastic on reliability. Sure would be great if Honda would resurrect this model.


Happy customer

I purchased the vehicle new in mid year 2004. The dealer was willing to discount because the it had a five speed manual transmission which was somewhat rare and a left over. It was the model I was looking for. I had driven the automatic and the manual had noticeably better acceleration. Wrangler tires lasted 35K miles and were not very good, but that is probable to be expected as stock tires usually aren't great.. I don't dive the average number miles per year and the car has 60K currently. I learned that Honda brakes need to be cleaned of brake dust and slider pins lubed every other year. I had a left rear brake drag and the pads and rotors needed to be replaced. I had an O2 sensor fail and an inexpensive suspension link replaced. I am on my third battery. At 55,000 miles I needed to have a small hole in the exhaust pipe welded. The windshield and the drivers air bag were replaced under a recall. That's it. I have had no electrical, engine, clutch or transmission problems. I performed my own maintenance at or before schedule and the location of maintenance items is OK. Interior materials have held up well, I Have had no issues with seats or controls. Door and hardware have held up well. The vehicle has not been driven hard and for less than average miles. The vehicle has been very functional and it is not been used as family transporter. I have been able to use it to transport bikes, lumber, water heater etc. Fuel mileage has been what I expect at around 22/'26. I am 6'3" tall and average build. The ergonomic are exceptional for me. In short this has been a very good and reliable vehicle which has served my purpose. I would buy another but unfortunately the model has been discontinued. I believe it would be a good value as a used car if it has been cared for and maintained.


Love my toaster!

This is my 2nd Element. My first was a FWD. I currently own another 2003, this time AWD. I am anxious to see how this one handles the Maine winters! The Element is by far the most versatile vehicle I have ever owned, most of the time being a family, daily driver. But when I need to haul stuff, just flip up the seats, and its a small pickup. Cleaning the interior is a breeze, and there is storage upon storage, inside of storage, next to storage, with a little storage on top... You get the idea. The controls are all well laid out and easy to use, and the engine and transmission.... well, its a Honda, you all know thats fine. My element currently has almost 175k on it, and runs and drives like a champ, I am expecting to be able to put another 100k+ on this vehicle. As with everything there are some cons... 1.)THE FUEL ECONOMY (or lack thereof) MY GOD! I am lucky to get 250 miles on a tank (mostly city) I attribute this to the fact that it is automatic, AWD high mileage, and has the aerodynamics of a 3 story apartment building. It is comparable to my old ridgeline (3.5 V6) 2.) Some of the controls are not illuminated at night, makes setting cruise at night almost impossible. 3.) Sunroof in the BACK!?!?!? WHY!?!?!? And to add insult to injury: MANUAL CONTROL?!?!?!?!? REALLY HONDA?!?!?!? 4.) "Pop Out" rear door windows... to make rear passengers angry. These are little gripes, overall I am very happy with my toaster and would definitely buy another!


I bought my 2003 Element LX new,

It has been so wonderful it is upsetting to think Honda discarded it. I have put only updated parts in it and it runs like new. Great for hauling and taking trips and ease of unloading...I would never think about another vehicle so it is going to be tough..when it finally dies, which I plan to keep it until then...Dealer tells me the used ones are in demand and I have a 5 speed. fun to drive...


Last car

I saw an add for the Element on line when it first came out and took an instant liking to it. Upon seeing the add my wife also liked it. I knew that any "new" car we bought at that time would be our last ever and would have to get us through retirement to death. This car has been great with it's four wheel drive, room and dependability. We live in Colorado and get snow every once in a while and when we have needed the four wheel drive it just kicks in with out having to think about it. For trips the car is easy to pack the way the doors and back end open. The rear seats fold up or come out depending on the room needed. This is no sports car that's speeds to 60mph in 4 seconds so if that is what your looking for forget it. It is a roomy dependable car that will last me through retirement without having to be concerned about expensive repairs.


I love my Honda Element

I love the Element for its unique appearance and Honda reliability. I purchased it gently used and I plan to use it for its lifetime.


awesome car

I got this car for my dogs and it is just pefect. Love, love, love it. I cant wait to drive it in the snow.


She's a Sweetheart

This car is perfect. I have never owned a vehicle that I have been more satisfied with. I got her for the right price and even got the color I wanted. This vehicle is one of those "hard to find" models and this one is exceptional.