2003 Honda Element EX AWD from North America


It's a versatile vehicle and a good bargain, but cracking windshields are a problem


I've had 2 cracked windshields in less than 1 year and another cracked winshield just after 1 year old. The first cracked windshield occurred after owning the car 2 weeks. It was replaced with another Honda windshield as replacements were not yet on the market.

The 2nd cracked windshield was replaced with a non-Honda winshield and it got a star in it after 1 week.

General Comments:

I love my Element as it goes great in the snow and has plenty of power and has been very reliable for the 35000 miles I've driven in just over 1 year. My only complaint is that the windshield cracks anytime an object is kicked-up by passing cars on the highway. Other vehicles including, vans that also have a steep slant to the windshield, do not have the frequency of cracking that is occurring with my Element driven on the same interstates around the DC area.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th April, 2004

16th May 2004, 22:54

I too have had 2 cracked windshields in 13 months and 36k miles. I think this is a problem with this vehicle. Anyone have any ideas?

4th Jun 2004, 11:04

My husband and I did a research on Honda Elements. We really wanted to buy one. After we found out about the cracking windshields, we became discouraged to buy one. My husband and I think that the Element is simply a bad design. Still love the car the way it looks and there are plenty of great reviews out there, but Honda has to redesign the Element.

Our friend got one and after 18,000 miles the windshield got cracked. It is a problem and Honda should deal with it.

2003 Honda Element EX AWD 2.4 from North America


Reliable and fun, but you'll only want to go on short trips


Nothing, but the metal looking parts of the surround for the center cluster wiped off when I wiped it with an alcohol pad. (I know now, but I'm a nurse and it was just a reflex to a dirty spot...)

General Comments:

It has been great. And I expect it to go 100,000 miles with no problems. BUT I hope I don't have to keep it that long!

I drive 300+ miles in city per week and the AWD model gets 18-19mpg in city and 23.75mpg on the highway. It is killing me.

I REALLY feel great about owning the AWD model choice except for the fact of the mileage with my job.

It could have more 'sturdy' seats- I find them uncomfortable for sustained driving over 2 hours.

I hate the a-la-carte way to buy the car. A key-less entry ought to be standard on ANY vehicle selling for over $15,000!

It could be much neater and more high tech than it is... it doesn't have half the sweet features like daytime running lights or auto start like my Camry did.

I wouldn't buy it again unless I was under 25 years old and wouldn't notice things like seat comfort and wind noise and tire noise. At this point in life I expect all cars to go 100,000 with little more than oil changes, but I don't expect to hear so much road noise.

If you are over 25 and expect to do some traveling in it, I would consider something a little more plush and heavy.

If 90% of your driving is less than 3 miles, then it is great and you will love, love, love it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st April, 2004

21st Apr 2004, 21:28

Everything mentioned (complained about) is common knowledge. Had you done your homework maybe you wouldve bought something else to fit your mileage needs. This sounds like a typical female impulse buy.

27th Oct 2004, 10:33

That first comment was pretty mean-spirited.

You might be able to reduce some of the road noise with different tires.

Also you can get sound-deadening material installed in the doors.

I do wish they would come out with a hybrid version for better gas mileage. I would be all over that.

27th May 2005, 18:21

I just test drove the 2005 EX, vs the CRV, and frankly, while the seats in the CRV were more comfortable, the Element was noticably quieter and more responsive. The only concern I had was how a long drive might be in these seats. That is till I read about the windshields!