Like any car, quite a long time if maintained well.
Unlike any car, it’s a Honda with a bullet proof K24 engine and minimal electronics/tech.
Many owners on here with 300,000+ miles and some with 500,000 plus.
We are all biased but an argument could me made that this is one of the most reliable cars Honda has made.
While you are searching for an Element, give preference to ones that have a full verifiable set of maintenance records. Especially ones with regular oil changes; like with intervals of 4 - 5K miles max. The one Achilles heel that the Honda K24 engines seem to have is problems the VTEC system (with the dreaded P2646 and P2647 codes). But even that, it seems, can be totally avoided by simply keeping up with regular oil changes, and using quality oil and oil filters.
Familiarize yourself with the other maintenance needed on an Element with the great information available on this site. And don't shy away from one with 175 - 200K miles on it; as long has it has been properly maintained. That's only about half of its life expectancy!
I've got 347k on my 2004 EX that I bought new. Only been to the dealer for wheel alignments and recalls. All other maintenance I've done myself with help from this forum and Eric the Car Guy. Oil changed every 7-10k with 5/20wt conventional. It hasn't let me down yet...
There is no good answer to this question, our element has over 336k on it. 2003, bought when new.
It is a car. If something breaks, with enough time and money, you can fix it. If you don’t want to fix it, then I guess it won’t last.
Each owner is different. Some call in the end of a cars life when it’s due to body rust. Others if it’s the engine or transmission, others if the fix costs more than the car itself. I think you have to decide in your mind what you consider the end of a cars life.
if the 366k+ element you checked out had: a good compression and leak down test, shifted smoothly, had no codes, no body rust, and front/rear suspension in good shape, and good maintenance records ... then it would all come down to negotiating the price.
We have 4 Elements '08, '04, '04, '03. The '03 306k and runs excellent. Most goodies replaced underneath. But it's fast and tight.
Never ever go by Kelly Bluebook. Kelly didn't drive my elements, has never seen my Elements and who is Kelly anyway?
My advice always: You will dump money into any vehicle. Dump it in the one you love!
Almost 236,000 on an orange '05 4WD we bought last fall for my Daughter's boyfriend. After some basic maint and replacing wear-item parts, it's running perfectly. I'm really impressed by its smooth throttle response and peppy VTEC engine. It got really cranky after we bought it, because some 50W oil was added to top it off (it had a leak and it's all we had, to get it home). It didn't like that, and eventually went into limp mode. Fixed by an oil change with 20W synthetic and a new filter. Engine's run perfectly with no "bobbles" since then. One small oil leak from a VTEC O-ring, which was easily fixed. Next upgrade, a set of drilled/slotted front rotors and premium pads so she'll stop really well!
The boyfriend's uncle has an Element with over 300,000 and he says they "run forever".