2008 Honda Element consumer reviews

$18,980–$21,180 MSRP range
side view of 2008 Element Honda
92% of drivers recommend this car
Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.4
  • Interior design 4.5
  • Performance 4.2
  • Value for the money 4.7
  • Exterior styling 4.6
  • Reliability 4.7
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Very glad I got this car

Wanted something that would get decent fuel economy, be easy to drive, had a manual transmission and flexible interior layout. Also wanted to be able to add a roof rack and trailer hitch easily. This checks all the boxes and is getting around 25+ mpg. Tried a newer Pilot and that was a lumbering beast in comparison, and one that costs a lot more, too and only got 15 mpg. Only reason not to get an Element is if you want room for 3 in rear seat. With only 50K miles and no rust we expect this car to last to at least 200K and 5-6 years more. it took a while to find a low miles, no rust (not from New England) vehicle but worth taking the time.


Best Car Ever

Love this car more than words can say. My last element saved my and my daughter's (and my dog's) life in a rollover crash and I wouldn't feel safe in anything else. Unfortunately totaled that one, a 2003... now upgraded to a 2008 and couldn't be happier. Never ever want to be without a Honda Element. And being able to camp in it is the greatest thing in the warmer months!!


Here we go again

I purchased my 1st Element EX, back in 2003, then sold it in 2006..and regretted every since. Bought a 2008 SC, in 2016...my wife says I am happy again. Not, just me but wife and kids also enjoy little SUV...want part with it again.


2008 Element SC Review

So, I bought a new 2008 Honda Element SC. It was hard to find the SC trim but I did find a couple of dealers that had it. I have 100k miles on it now and figured I'd write a review. Pros: Carries everything! I hauled a Church Pew home in this thing. Take the seats out and drop the tailgate and it has LOTS of room. I like to do landscaping at my home and I have used this to haul numerous bags of dirt, bricks, paver stones, whatever. The doors open a full 90 degrees so loading and unloading is easy. The flexibility of the rear seats. Up, down, In out, recline back. Whatever. The XM radio with the various speakers and the built in Subwoofer up front is great. Very comfortable front seats. So-So- back seats. Very nimble and tight turning radius Smooth ride on a decent road (See below CON section) Great heater. Great AC unit. Reliable. 100k miles and the only thing out of the ordinary that broke was the Throttle Position Sensor. That was about $250 at the dealer to replace the entire throttle assembly. Cons:: Gas mileage is not as good as I would expect for a 2.4 liter engine. 22 to 24 mpg. My 5000 LB Land Rover Discovery II I had before this with a 4.0 liter v8 and full time all wheel drive got 17 mpg. The ride is THE WORST! Very jarring at times. Maybe because I have the SC, which has the stiffer springs and the lower profile tires it's rough. It handles bumps well but it's the small depressions in the road it does not. The material the seats uses shows stains very easily, even thought it's black. I think the EX and LX had those easy to wash seats. The SC has normal cloth seats that are hard to clean. My problem here in the north is the Salt used on the road in the winter. My kids get in the car and often times snow that gets on the seat melts and leaves salt stains. They are hard to clean off. Ketchup and such is hard to clean off too. The plastic used for the interior parts is very cheezy. Barely bump it with anything and you'll leave a gouge. Could be better in the snow. Again, I contribute this to being an SC model. The SC only came as Front Wheel Drive and has wider, more sporty tires. My wife's Civic with thinner tires is better in the snow.



I had a 2008 Honda Element EX. I bought her in Alaska and drove her through two winters. I then moved from Alaska back to my home state of Florida. With me, my mom, 2 dogs (80 and 100 lbs), my ferret (complete with his ENTIRE enclosure), and drove almost 6000 miles. She never failed or faltered. I bought her in 2011 and her until Feb 2015. She moved me from FL to KY when I got a new job and made numerous road trips throughout that time from Central KY to FL and back for a total of 3 trips. I kept synthetic oil in her and she was great for my dogs and our outdoorsy lifestyle. I loved the AWD and put 98,600 miles on her and never had to replace anything except for normal wear and tear. The only reason I traded her in was the gas mileage, I was lucky to get 21-23 mpg on the highway and I moved outside of town and my commute with spending that $$ in gas was getting ridiculous. My only other complaint is the console. I bring my dogs (a total of 4 now) whenever I can, we go to the dog park, pet stores, hiking, etc and I can't have a drink in the console without them puncturing it (a cup and lid obviously) and that was annoying. But she served her purpose and I will miss her but I decided to upgrade to the fuel efficient and spacious 2015 Honda Fit. :)


excellent except

most of what everyone says here is true. I have a 2008 lx. its excellent alone for its functionality. Another thumbs up I have to mention is its amazing ability to stay on the road in snow.. when it has good tires, the traction control system is amazing.. its reaction time is nothing like I have seen on any other car. the 2 problems I have are safety. 1:the front pillars create a dangerous bind spot in the front corners.. it took me a year before I noticed this.. mostly in slow speeds, navigating a parking lot.. someone can be walking at just the right pace and they fit inside this blind spot.. I have almost run a couple of people over already. 2: and by far the most annoying.. apparently a design flaw.. the rear brakes prematurely wear.. I have done 3 rear brake jobs and only once in the front.. that s WRONG.. I have also to replace a rear caliper and ironically i road tested a 2007 before I bought the 08 and that one had the right rear side brakes wiped out. it only had 11k miles on it.. I made honda pay me the 1st time and they really didn t put up a fight.. i expect they know about the problem.. I have heard from other people that they have not seen this problem but these experiences were from owners in a part of the country that did not get snow or cold weather.. regardless it shouldn t happen.. based on my experience it seems to me that the calipers are hanging up and keeping the pads against the rotor.


a great rugged vehicle

If you don't like simplicity then this is not a car for you. This is perfect for someone who likes the outdoors and who likes to be unique. It quirky but perfect for me and ready for my next adventure. It is very reliable, spacious and great on gas.Too bad Honda discontinued making this vehicle in 2011. My 2008 EX is equipped with 4wd, air conditioning, xm stereo, water resistant seats and interior can be hosed down if necessary and still looks brand new. Very happy with my purchase.


Best camping vehicle for 2/3 people.

LOVE this vehicle. It's a bit gutless and I would like if it was a bit longer, but it really meets our recreation needs. I really wish they would bring the car back with some redesign features. The car spend most of the time with at least one of the seat folded up. I love that I can swab it out.


Incredible little truck!

I dont know why Honda stopped making these! IT makes so much sense. Practical, easy to clean, great on gas! I cna throw hay in the back and hos eit out when I get home. Plywood...you nake it fits nicely. Yet a comfortable ride, great seats and quiet.


great utilitarian car and fun!

Very comfortable, peppy, and nimble to drive. Loads of fun, and really practical. Can throw two bikes in the back. Easy for camping, and the four wheel drive is a big plus. Wish the gas mileage were slightly better, but I am used to driving sedan.