2005 Honda Element EX 2.4 from North America
Best all round vehicle for everyday practical use and for single person or a couple and a dog or two
Rear brake caliper seized, requiring new caliper and pads.
It's a love hate relationship when it comes to whether you like the looks of the Element, or "Elephant" as I affectionately call it. It has a window sticker on the back that says "you've just been passed by a toaster", which pretty well explains the looks. In any case I've always liked the looks and the fact it was a Honda; I knew it would be well engineered. Voted dog vehicle of the year, tells you about the robust and practical interior of the "elephant".
It's a large vehicle and people are amazed when I tell them it only has a 2.4L, 4 cylinder engine. Has lots of power and and great fuel economy at about 27-29 miles to an imperial gallon.
I've just come back from a 4 week trip, 8900km, Vancouver BC to Baja Mexico. I removed the rear seats and had a 4" foam mattress made up and camped out of the back. Worked out great as I could park the Element anywhere without attracting attention that it was a camping vehicle. It ran like a trooper with no problems at all.
I'm disappointed though that they've discontinued the Element as I would consider buying another with low miles. Also, as I have the standard FWD, I would consider the automatic as it gets about the same MPG as the standard and they are proven to be reliable.
I do all my own work on my vehicles and it will need new rotors and pads soon. Parts are very reasonable and can be bought online at eBay or Amazon at discount prices.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th March, 2016
31st Mar 2018, 16:25
Just an update on my posting, I've had to replace sway bar bushings and end links, which was quite simple to do and cost about $100 in parts off eBay. New rotors and ceramic pads were $200 for all 4, and were also easy to install.
I've since sold my "Elephant" because of higher mileage and bought a 07 SC Element. As it had about 80k miles, it too needed end links and bushings installed. Seems to be underbuilt suspension on Honda's part. Have put on 30k and no other problems noted. Just checked my gas mileage and it got 30.1 MPG (imperial gallons).
Not too shabby for a box on wheels...