Honda Element

Overall Rating: A-

Purchased: used in 2006, with 13K miles.

Miles driven so far: approx 40K

Trips taken: Colorado, STL, Kansas, Tulsa and thousands of miles on dirt roads


  • Plenty of space, both for people and cargo
  • Comfy seats (to me, not an excess of cushioning, decent armrests, plenty of headroom and leg room)
  • All wheel drive (AWD) works well
  • Performs well on snow and ice
  • Rear seat fold up quickly for max cargo space
  • Made it over Cinnamon Pass (barely)
  • Rear seats have a great view
  • Ideal for camping, easy sleeping for two people
  • Decent mileage even with AWD and a rather non-aerodynamic form factor
  • Rear DC outlet
  • Built in 1/8th stereo jack (so you can plug in iPod/mp3 player)


  • Unlocking the driver’s door with the key, does not unlock the other door locks
  • Not much ground clearance
    • Tends to accumulate sticks and branches in the undercarriage if you do a lot of real off road driving
  • Very annoying seatbelt beeper noise (can be disabled if you are mechanically/electronically inclined)
  • Default factory tires are noisy
  • Some people hit their heads when getting in/out of the Element
  • Dust can accumulate inside the cabin, seems to get in via the “suicide doors” opening
  • “Defrost” setting and “cool” setting will turn on AC, even if you want vent
  • Driver has to release seatbelt for passengers to get out from the backseat

That’s it for now :-).

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