Honda Element Owners Club banner

1 - 20 of 61 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I fear my trusty 2004 Honda Element may not last much longer -- and rumors about a re-release appear to be false.
So I'm looking for recommendations for a successor vehicle. The Element features I love -- in addition to loads of sentimental value with this vehicle in particular -- include:
  • AWD.
  • Reliability -- as with several Hondas I've owned.
  • No leather or other animal materials.
  • Exterior length short enough to fit in a compact parking spot.
  • Cargo space ample for two large dogs, or a bicycle, or a medium-sized piece of furniture.
  • Rubber interior makes it easy to clean.
 

·
Registered
2003 Honda Element Sunset Orange Pearl 2WD Automatic 135K Miles I Love It!
Joined
·
1,369 Posts
Welcome to the EOC Alysoun! :)

Well, if you feel your current Element is too far gone, you can still find a low mileage and better condition replacement Element. They are still out there, but you will likely have to extend your search well beyond the area of finding a typical used car. And of course be patient and wait for the right one! Oh, and it won't be cheap!

But, doing a lot of repairs to your current Element to get it back in proper running condition is not out of the question either.

Your car's worst enemy is road salt and the under body rust that it causes. If you have that going on, it's usually a deal breaker! : - (

But if that is not the case, most Element repair parts that are usually needed are still available. Then it is a matter of whether it is worth all of the repair costs or not.

Tell us more about what is going on with your current Element, and maybe we can help you decide your best course of action.

Hope this helps! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thank you so much for this reply! These last few years I've been spending about $2-3k annually at local Honda service centers to nurse the vehicle along. Replaced front brake pads and rotors in 2019 and 2020. In 2019 had pricey muffler replacement -- and in 2020, pricey service on a front passenger caliper. Just brought the vehicle in for service today and they say the timing chain cover is leaking heavily -- requiring a $700 repair plus rental car cost since I have to leave the vehicle overnight.

Welcome to the EOC Alysoun! :)

Well, if you feel your current Element is too far gone, you can still find a low mileage and better condition replacement Element. They are still out there, but you will likely have to extend your search well beyond the area of finding a typical used car. And of course be patient and wait for the right one! Oh, and it won't be cheap!

But, doing a lot of repairs to your current Element to get it back in proper running condition is not out of the question either.

Your car's worst enemy is road salt and the under body rust that it causes. If you have that going on, it's usually a deal breaker! : - (

But if that is not the case, most Element repair parts that are usually needed are still available. Then it is a matter of whether it is worth all of the repair costs or not.

Tell us more about what is going on with your current Element, and maybe we can help you decide your best course of action.

Hope this helps! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thank you so much for this reply! These last few years I've been spending about $2-3k annually at local Honda service centers to nurse the vehicle along. Replaced front brake pads and rotors in 2019 and 2020. In 2019 had pricey muffler replacement -- and in 2020, pricey service on a front passenger caliper. Just brought the vehicle in for service today and they say the timing chain cover is leaking heavily -- requiring a $700 repair plus rental car cost since I have to leave the vehicle overnight.
I've had this vehicle (previously with my late husband) in Virginia, New York, Maryland and now Pennsylvania. Always kept it in a garage, but of course drive it in winter conditions that include salted public roads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
What is the mileage on your vehicle, do you have any pictures you can post. Is it in need of any further servicing or repairs. Brakes are a normal wear and tear item so I wouldnt worry about that being an indicator of the vehicles end of life
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
I would say trying to find anything similar on the market to a Honda Element is quite hard. That is why so many people are holding on to them for so long. I would guess the closest to design would be a Nissan Cube abelite much smaller, maybe a Land Rover Defender, however those are a pretty penny. I don't believe either has a rubberized flooring. Or maybe you can look into the new bronco that is interested again that is pretty expensive as well. If you can wait to purchase a new vehicle, Toyota has The TJ in production looking to come out in year or so. It will have a rubber fold flat seats, but more van looking with sliding door. So the boxy SUV/ CUV trend looks like it is coming back. it could be possible Honda will come back out with Element maybe as a EV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
If you get a used FJ Cruiser, you would at least still have suicide doors and some real true off road 4x4 capability and super reliability and high resale value
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Rupert, my 2010 EX, works his muffler off. I’m a mobile DJ and DoorDasher, my roommate is obsessed with antiques, and being 30 minutes from Disney, he’s a taxi too. 😋

From a utility perspective, I’ve been looking at the VW ID.buzz as a potential next vehicle, but Rupert and I have only been together for 180,000 miles so far. The Buzz might become the daily driver since Rupert is stuck at 18MPG no matter what we do and a solar grid is on the project list.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
The problem is that there are just no vehicles that are everything that an Element can be.

The FJ seems similar but is amazingly cramped inside and in a whole other class of vehicle too.
The Cube are neat but truly Tiny and have a potentially terrifying CVT tranny
The Flex is close in that you can get AWD and fully blown and Ecoboost motors but they are also Huge by Element
standards and Fords by reliability standards
The Transit Connect are maybe the most similar overall but again no AWD option or reliability pedigree!
The Nissan NV200 is really just a little bigger Cube in every way .
Promaster City is a Fiat,enough said.
Kia Soul same as Fiat in my book,you could not pay me.
Fit terrific car and all Honda'y for sure but no AWD,I loved mine looked tiny but inside was huge.
CRV I also liked and can be AWD but smaller cargo capacity somehow than my Fit too?
Oddly enough the Toyota FJ40 is the most like an Element in a lot of ways but forget about this being a practical option.

I cant imagine needing to put that much money into keeping an Element on the road but I also have had a lot of vehicles and for what it does there is just nothing else like the Element!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
Rupert, my 2010 EX, works his muffler off. I’m a mobile DJ and DoorDasher, my roommate is obsessed with antiques, and being 30 minutes from Disney, he’s a taxi too. 😋

From a utility perspective, I’ve been looking at the VW ID.buzz as a potential next vehicle, but Rupert and I have only been together for 180,000 miles so far. The Buzz might become the daily driver since Rupert is stuck at 18MPG no matter what we do and a solar grid is on the project list.
That VW concept looks great in the pictures but having VWs in the past and knowing many VW owners and even techs, I wouldnt count on the same reliability or longevity as a Honda or Toyota
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Thank you so much for this reply! These last few years I've been spending about $2-3k annually at local Honda service centers to nurse the vehicle along. Replaced front brake pads and rotors in 2019 and 2020. In 2019 had pricey muffler replacement -- and in 2020, pricey service on a front passenger caliper. Just brought the vehicle in for service today and they say the timing chain cover is leaking heavily -- requiring a $700 repair plus rental car cost since I have to leave the vehicle overnight.
To be blunt: if you paid to have your brakes done two years in a row, you either need to drive better (no left foot on the brake) or you were ripped off.

PM me if you want to know why, or more information.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
The problem is that there are just no vehicles that are everything that an Element can be.

The FJ seems similar but is amazingly cramped inside and in a whole other class of vehicle too.
The Cube are neat but truly Tiny and have a potentially terrifying CVT tranny
The Flex is close in that you can get AWD and fully blown and Ecoboost motors but they are also Huge by Element
standards and Fords by reliability standards
The Transit Connect are maybe the most similar overall but again no AWD option or reliability pedigree!
The Nissan NV200 is really just a little bigger Cube in every way .
Promaster City is a Fiat,enough said.
Kia Soul same as Fiat in my book,you could not pay me.
Fit terrific car and all Honda'y for sure but no AWD,I loved mine looked tiny but inside was huge.
CRV I also liked and can be AWD but smaller cargo capacity somehow than my Fit too?
Oddly enough the Toyota FJ40 is the most like an Element in a lot of ways but forget about this being a practical option.

I cant imagine needing to put that much money into keeping an Element on the road but I also have had a lot of vehicles and for what it does there is just nothing else like the Element!
For sure the Element is in a league or category of its own. I had a late model kia soul as a rental for awhile and really liked it, the small size was easy to park, it had decent storage room with the back seats folded, of course nothing like the element. it drove really well, braked and handled much better than I expected and the fuel economy was very good, definetely better than the Element but the only reason I wouldnt get one is Kia and Hyundai are having problems with their vehicles catching on fire, including the Soul. Too bad otherwise it is a very good car
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
To be blunt: if you paid to have your brakes done two years in a row, you either need to drive better (no left foot on the brake) or you were ripped off.

PM me if you want to know why, or more information.
True, I missed that in the second post by OP, two front brake jobs for both pads and rotors in a years time is alot. Something is not right there. Either some problem with the first brake job, or you have been doing alot and I mean alot of city driving with tons of mileage but most likely they are ripping you off is my suspicion.

Several times I have heard people tell me there mechanic said their car needed brakes when it did not. Brakes are usually easy fast money for shops, sometimes referred to as "gravy jobs", very profitable for them

if you have a friend who knows some technical stuff about cars, you can always ask their opinion and have them look at the amount of brake pad and wear on the brakes and give you their opinion

I knew someone whose wife took their less than one year old mercedes with only 12k miles on it into the dealership and they sold her a set of front brakes, her husband was not pleased when he found this out
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Mileage is 146,000. What photos would be useful for this purpose?

What is the mileage on your vehicle, do you have any pictures you can post. Is it in need of any further servicing or repairs. Brakes are a normal wear and tear item so I wouldnt worry about that being an indicator of the vehicles end of life
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the info about the TJ -- that looks promising if I can wait that long -- I'll try!

I would say trying to find anything similar on the market to a Honda Element is quite hard. That is why so many people are holding on to them for so long. I would guess the closest to design would be a Nissan Cube abelite much smaller, maybe a Land Rover Defender, however those are a pretty penny. I don't believe either has a rubberized flooring. Or maybe you can look into the new bronco that is interested again that is pretty expensive as well. If you can wait to purchase a new vehicle, Toyota has The TJ in production looking to come out in year or so. It will have a rubber fold flat seats, but more van looking with sliding door. So the boxy SUV/ CUV trend looks like it is coming back. it could be possible Honda will come back out with Element maybe as a EV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
PS: I Googled after seeing your post, and the info I could find on the forthcoming TJ is from early 2020. Have you seen more recent news?

Thanks for the info about the TJ -- that looks promising if I can wait that long -- I'll try!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Over the 17 years I (and previously my late husband) owned it, this Element has been domiciled everywhere from Manhattan NY to Middleburg VA. I have lived in rural areas since 2013, and very rarely go into the city these days -- so based on what you're saying, this would suggest the Honda service center I previously used was ripping me off. I've moved and am using different Honda service centers now -- but it does sour me on the brand to which I had been loyal for decades!

True, I missed that in the second post by OP, two front brake jobs for both pads and rotors in a years time is alot. Something is not right there. Either some problem with the first brake job, or you have been doing alot and I mean alot of city driving with tons of mileage but most likely they are ripping you off is my suspicion.

Several times I have heard people tell me there mechanic said their car needed brakes when it did not. Brakes are usually easy fast money for shops, sometimes referred to as "gravy jobs", very profitable for them

if you have a friend who knows some technical stuff about cars, you can always ask their opinion and have them look at the amount of brake pad and wear on the brakes and give you their opinion

I knew someone whose wife took their less than one year old mercedes with only 12k miles on it into the dealership and they sold her a set of front brakes, her husband was not pleased when he found this out
 

·
Registered
2008 Honda Element EX
Joined
·
23 Posts
I agree with Mike1953's post - keep your vehicle as long as you can. Minor repairs, provided the same problem doesn't repeat as an indication of a more serious underlying problem, will be way cheaper than the depreciation of a replacement vehicle (new or used) if you buy from a dealer. And if you love your Element as you clearly do, you won't get the same driving enjoyment and satisfaction either!
 
1 - 20 of 61 Posts
Top