2003 Honda Element EX 2.4 from North America


The '03 Element 2WD isn't safe in the rain

General Comments:

I like almost everything about the my '03 Element EX, but have just recently discovered that I simply don't feel safe driving it in rain, especially heavy storms. There was a brief mention in another CarSurvey.org review that in rain one wheel might lose some traction, but an AWD model would transfer power to the rear, eliminating the issue.

I just drove in pounding rain from Phoenix to Los Angeles yesterday, and sure enough, in any kind of rain, especially in puddles, one wheel spins, the car bucks, and feels like it's about to totally lose traction. I had to slow to about 55mph to feel like I might be able to control it, but with other cars and especially semi trucks whizzing by, the water spray they shot in front of me made the conditions worse.

I may look into better rain tires to improve the situation; I think the car currently has the stock Goodyears.

If you live in a wet area, I advise you to strongly consider an AWD model. I've heard it has negatives of a little more transmission noise, and worse gas mileage (it's already pretty dismal at about 23 MPG/gallon)... but you may, like me, feel like you're taking your life in your hands during any kind of inclement weather otherwise.

As others have noted, too: the suicide rear doors are fun, but very awkward to get things in and out of in my tight garage with 2 cars parked inside. Road noise is a little high, but the nice 7-speaker sound system with my iPod cures that!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 28th January, 2008

14th Jun 2011, 13:55

OEM tires, on the three vehicles I've had them, are pretty close to worthless for several reasons, including wet traction. Good tires would likely eliminate the tire spinning issue. However, any tire will slip when it hydroplanes. If water is pooled on the road surface, you pretty much have to slow down. Trucks carrying weight and vehicles with a more narrow contact patch are less likely to hydroplane, which is probably the reason you were passed by said vehicles.

2003 Honda Element from North America


I would probably buy another Element if the door lock and windshield issues are addressed by Honda.


The first month I had my Element my windshield cracked. I was unaware of a class action until I had surpassed the mileage limit. My driver door lock started not letting the key enter about a year or so ago and now will not at all. Is anyone aware of this issue (along with the Windshield) or if there is a suit against Honda for any of this?

General Comments:

I love the Element, it is the most favorite car I have ever owned issued aside.

It does have quite a bit of wind noise.

Honda needs to address the windshield and door lock issues with current owners for return business!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd November, 2007

1st Jan 2008, 13:58

Has anyone figured out what the problem is with the door lock?

2nd Jan 2008, 17:19

This is my second Honda Element. I bought the first one in 2003. Then they came out with the one with painted panels, so I traded in for the 2006. I LOVE my car. However I won't be buying a third Element. I have repaired and replaced the windshield in both. When I contacted Honda, they said I should buy a bug shield for my car. Not the solution I was looking for.

2003 Honda Element ex 2.4L from North America


Meets my current needs regarding versatility


Both shock struts leaking at 25,000 miles. Replaced under warranty.

Left door would creak and groan when hitting bumps. Adjusted at dealership.

Right front passenger seat cover replaced, under warranty, due to fraying along edge where I would place my hand while entering the vehicle.

In cold weather-the dashboard makes crackling noises along the windshield. Sounds like rattling of plastic in the wind. Not resolved.

Tires wore out at only 34,000 miles with outside edges rounding.

General Comments:

Plastic interior scratches very easily and is disappointing.

Seat belt issue for rear passengers exiting needs to be redesigned.

Door locks need redesigning, also. Passengers are constantly looking for door " unlock button " and instead activating the window.

Ride is way to choppy in the city.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th March, 2007