Model Details

2004 Honda Element Consumer Reviews

4.8
Average based on 22 reviews
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability
1-10 of 22 reviews

The Do Everything Vehicle (updated)

by from Des Moines, IA on June 17, 2012

Well, my 2004 Honda Element EX (manual, and all-wheel drive) now had 143000 miles on it and counting. I have to say, I have owned or co-owned 20 vehicles in 25 years and the Element has quickly made i...
Well, my 2004 Honda Element EX (manual, and all-wheel drive) now had 143000 miles on it and counting. I have to say, I have owned or co-owned 20 vehicles in 25 years and the Element has quickly made its way to the top 3 overall. I love this vehicle! First of all the sobering news - how much has it cost me. Well, it is an SUV with 143K, so you're going to have to replace some wear items at some point. I was proactive in my ownership. Not knowing what the original owner had done for service, I did the full 120K service at about 110K (tax refund available). All the fluids were flushed, filters changed, engine tune, etc. That cost me about $750 at my local shop. Smart move. I then drove 32K with no worries (did replace the tires - $550. At about 140K I started to notice a shimmy under hard acceleration. That turned out to be the CV joints (again, wear item). I had that done along with a new battery (mine was 5 years old) and that cost me another $550. What do I have to show for my $1850 invested? A 143K vehicle that acts as it did when it was driven off the lot new. Seriously, if you commit to this vehicle and take care of it, it will take care of you. I knew I wanted to drive this to 200K and will easily do that at some point in the next 5 years. :) Now for the good stuff. What makes the Element so awesome? 1. Interior room - it's laughable how big this little toaster feels. Nap in the car? No problem. Kids in the car? No problem. 4 people in the car? Crazy room and comfort. There have been plenty of times I wished I was the one riding in the back seat. Recline, stretch the legs out and WOW, your friend just fell asleep back there. 2. 5-speed - I realize this might be unique to me, but I love the feel of the manual. It shifts smoothly, gives you decent power on accelerations and up hills, and passing situations. Not for everyone, but it gives a feel of added performance over the automatic (I have driven an Auto). 3. All-wheel drive. This system is flawless. A blind monkey could navigate this thing through the snow. ABS, 5-star crash rating, AWD - enough. 4. Stock stereo - no need to upgrade here. Plug in the i-pod and let the ridiculous stereo do it's magic. Plug in a laptop and movie for the kids and run it through the stereo - theatre style surround sound. There have been times I have been distracted by the movie - is someone shooting at me?? 5. Stagnant Element - what kind of a car is usable when it's not moving? The Element is. I bought the bench rest for the lift gate and have spent countless hours sitting on it watching the kids play, reading a book, waiting for a friend, having a beer with a friend, open all the doors (let the kids use it as a fortress), etc. Of course the #4 stereo is playing my music during this time. 6. Interior space - need to get something from point A to point B? Put the seats up (or take them out) and you have mini-van cargo capacity. I'll stop at 6 for fear that some readers might think I have an unhealthy relationship with my Element. Bottom-line: BMW 535i, AUDI A4 & A6, 2 Jeep Gr. Cherokees, Land Rover Discovery, Isuzu Amigo, Honda CRV, Prelude, 3 Civics, Odyssey, Accord, etc., are all cars I have owned, but this is the one I find myself turning to time and again for happiness. It just does too much right to be wrong. I realize some of these cars don't compare with an Element in terms of car class. My point is, I am not immune to what a good car is supposed to be. However, I find myself most content with a car that was 6 years-old when I bought it, cost under $10K used, had 100K in mileage, and somehow has become my pride and joy. If you're considering an Element, I still believe an AWD model is difficult to beat. Keep in mind it has room for only 4, and that there are some tight parking spots where the doors open too wide. It won't sip gas like a hybrid (I managed 22 mpg for the 45K driven), be quiet like a Lexus, fast like an Audi, etc. Yet, it is fun to drive, doesn't get bad mileage, is inexpensive to maintain, excellent in bad weather, and will give you a dizzying array of options for interior flexibility. Again, just buy it already!
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful. Did you?

good ugly car

by from wisconsin on July 24, 2012

I now have 210,000 miles on my 04 Element. I have the oil changed every 10,000 miles. So far I have replaced the tires several times, battery once, front and rear stabilizer bushings once, wiper blade...
I now have 210,000 miles on my 04 Element. I have the oil changed every 10,000 miles. So far I have replaced the tires several times, battery once, front and rear stabilizer bushings once, wiper blades twice, and finally it has failed me and I had to get a new starter. Most trouble free car I have ever owned and it not only gets used, but abused. I carry alot of heavy loads and drive through the woods regularly on snowy, muddy, rutted, and rough roads. I guess all in all, it's been a pretty good vehicle.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

The Do Everything Vehicle

by from Des Moines, IA on January 15, 2011

I purchased my 2004 Honda Element EX (with the manual transmission) used in the spring of 2009. It had 100K on it at the time, but it was time to replace the Land Rover Discovery (after 129K) and I wa...
I purchased my 2004 Honda Element EX (with the manual transmission) used in the spring of 2009. It had 100K on it at the time, but it was time to replace the Land Rover Discovery (after 129K) and I wanted a Honda that would go another 100K easily. The Element seemed like a natural fit. I had owned six Hondas previously, ranging from a 1990 Prelude to a 2004 Odyssey. They are superior vehicles if you like efficiency and you want something for the long haul. My Element has been the perfect fit for me. Although it's not my family's primary vehicle (the wife's 2005 Nissan Pathfinder), I treat it like it is. If it was up to me she would have bought one to sit next to mine in the garage. I am an active person who enjoys triathlons and the Element is perfect for those weekend excursions. However, what I was most pleased with was how it is even more perfect as a family of four (no 5 person seating) vehicle. My two boys have all the room in the world back there and we can run any sort of electrical device through any of the various outlets. There is all the room we need for groceries, luggage, strollers, etc. I could go on and on. I am happy with the Element and happy I found and EX with all-wheel drive and the manual. If you're interested in an Element, it's difficult for me to find much fault in the vehicle. It's safe, has good ride height, laughs at snow, is great in the summer time with the skylight out and the windows down. Shoot, my oldest son and I can even camp in it since the seats fold flat to make two beds. Just buy it already.
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

BUY AN ELEMENT!!!

by from upstate new york on August 20, 2010

AWESOME car. very practical. Great for dog owners too. Only complaint is that it could use just a little bit bigger gas tank. mpg's 18.5-19.5 winter and 19.5-23.0 summer. offroad capabilities are very...
AWESOME car. very practical. Great for dog owners too. Only complaint is that it could use just a little bit bigger gas tank. mpg's 18.5-19.5 winter and 19.5-23.0 summer. offroad capabilities are very surprising for this little toaster. I am a big hunter and the element is just about as good as any pickup truck. altough you may NOT want to put a dead deer in the back of it eventhough you could probably fit ten of them inside of it because its so spacious. Trust me, if youre looking into buying one, dont hesitate !!!
Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Funky Looking but very comfortable

by from Long Island, NY on April 21, 2008

People either like it a lot or doesn't like it at all. I always plan to buy this one but always bought the other SUVs. I recently sold my MDX and since then test driving all the Small SUVs but did not...
People either like it a lot or doesn't like it at all. I always plan to buy this one but always bought the other SUVs. I recently sold my MDX and since then test driving all the Small SUVs but did not like them at all untill I test drove the element at a local dealership. I am a big man of 300+ lbs so naturally I need more space and comfortable seating as well as handling. The car hugs the road and you actually feel nice. I only had it for a day and already drove over 300 miles to test it.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

FUN Car!

by from Louisville, KY on May 3, 2009

I love how the element looks and how it drives. Very good handling and the plastic floors are so practical with kids. My daughter gets a great view from the back in her car seat with the "stadium seat...
I love how the element looks and how it drives. Very good handling and the plastic floors are so practical with kids. My daughter gets a great view from the back in her car seat with the "stadium seating" and she's protected from the sun with the standard tinted back windows that pop open. Really the only thing I don't like about our element is the "suicide doors" that open without a center pillar. I know it's great for some purposes, but it's a drag when you are wedged in a tight parking spot and you have to juggle getting a kid in the back. When you take out the back seats, you have an enclosed area for moving furniture, etc. so forget about borrowing a truck for hauling things! Thinking about buying a newer element now that our 2004 is getting a little dated, but it's paid for and was worth every penny!
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Just what I needed

by from Tennessee on July 29, 2010

Good car with great interior flexibility. Comfort and roominess are better than expected. This is a great vehicle for hauling, camping, and ferrying dogs to hikes!! Suicide doors are better than I ant...
Good car with great interior flexibility. Comfort and roominess are better than expected. This is a great vehicle for hauling, camping, and ferrying dogs to hikes!! Suicide doors are better than I anticipated. Fuel economy is lower than expected. We bought a bare-bones model, so many features just aren't there. As for the looks, they're certainly polarizing. I like the fact that the form follows the high level of function in this car.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Best Vehicle For Car Seats

by from Phoenix, AZ on February 7, 2009

I love my Element. Its a great adventure and city driving vehicle. I love the fact I can easily put in a car seat without struggling and bending. I easily open the doors we both hop in and I place her...
I love my Element. Its a great adventure and city driving vehicle. I love the fact I can easily put in a car seat without struggling and bending. I easily open the doors we both hop in and I place her in her base. I even have a tick of closing the doors while Im in the back and hopping to the front seat to start the vehicle. That way I dont have to leave my child alone and I can switch from back to front easily.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

Fun, functional auto

by from Middle Tennessee on July 11, 2007

The Element, when you first see it, is obviously different than any other car. It earns the 'toaster' nickname that the devotees pin on it, sitting tall and offering spaciousness available nowhere els...
The Element, when you first see it, is obviously different than any other car. It earns the 'toaster' nickname that the devotees pin on it, sitting tall and offering spaciousness available nowhere else for the wheelbase. Despite it's design, it's nimble, holds the road extremely well, and makes for a fun ride. You feel and hear the road a little more due to the carpetless interior, but the payoff is that it's very easy to clean up. The two side doors on each side open to reveal a wide space with no pillar, making it both easy to load and a great 'base station' for an outing at the beach or camping. Available options cater to the biker, kayaker, skiier and other active types by customizing hauling and stowage choices. the versatile seats fold flat to form a platform for an air mattress that's about queen size, or fold the back seats up to clear a long, wide cargo space. Typical for Honda, the Element is reliable and very low maintenance. It delivers on it's promise and surprises with the simple luzury of it's appointments. The premium sound system makes you feel like you are in a $40,000 sedan. the round A/C vents are a triumph in simple and elegant function. I've loved my Element, and would recommend it to anyone who leads an active lifestyle.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

2004 Honda Element AWD

by from Dayton, OH on April 18, 2008

Great car, consider before buying any other small SUV. I went to the Honda dealer to look at CRVs and hadn't considered the Element (too boxy). But boxy means functional, maximized interior space, and...
Great car, consider before buying any other small SUV. I went to the Honda dealer to look at CRVs and hadn't considered the Element (too boxy). But boxy means functional, maximized interior space, and great head room(I'm 6'3" and don't fit into many cars comfortably). I would ding it on road noise, but that is due to the voluminous interior/hard surfaces. I've also had a problem with the seat belt retracting and often slam it in the door. Not a big deal but annoying, I notice that they have redesigned this feature in later models. There is no protection from door dings. No mechanical problems to date (2008). Windshield cracked after getting hit by a big rock, but other than that haven't had windshield problems as has been reported.
Comfort
Performance
Handling
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Features
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?