Worst Honda Element Years To Avoid

When talking about cars, we’ll often hear Honda mentioned. Honda is a Japanese car brand known for its reliability, though they’re never lacking in looks either with models such as the Civic and the Accord.

When it comes to practicality though, one of their best innovations is the Honda Element. In case you consider buying one, today we’ll go over the few Honda Element years you should avoid. But first, let’s do a small review of the car itself.

Key Takeaways


  • Honda Element is a 5-door crossover SUV designed for the American market;
  • The Honda Element 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2007 are the years to avoid;
  • Always try before you buy since not all rules apply to all models.
  • Paint issues are frequent in many of the Honda Elements produced in 2004
  • Honda Element uses about 12 liters per 100 kilometers

Meet The Honda Element

The Honda Element is a crossover SUV meaning it’s not as good off-road as a standard SUV, though it’s better than your regular sedan. It’s also more spacious and has a 5-door build. The engine inside of this vehicle is mounted in the front of the car, and it’s a 2.4L i-VTEC 4-cylinder that produces 166 horsepower and runs on petrol.

You have 2 transmission options, a 5-speed manual and a 4-speed automatic. There’s a 2-wheel drive option and an all-wheel drive option. The Honda Element uses about 12 liters per 100 kilometers in the city and about 10 liters per 100 kilometers on the highway, that’s 20mpg and 24mpg respectively.

The curb weight of this car is 1520 kilograms, it has a height of 178 centimeters, a length of 430 centimeters, a width of 182 centimeters, and the trunk has 710 liters of space. Now, onto the Honda Element years, you should avoid.

There is one Honda Element model, first produced in 2003, and running till 2011. Even though the Honda Element is a fairly popular SUV choice in the USA, Honda decided to stop the production of this car in 2011 because they considered the crossover-SUV design to not be as wanted as a regular SUV or pickup truck.

Also Read: The Best and Worst Years of Volkswagen Golf GTI To Avoid

Which Years Should You Avoid?

Honda Element 2003

The main fault of the Honda Element 2003 is its oil pressure sensors. What this does is cause excessive oil leaks. This isn’t a very expensive issue since there are many oil sensors available second-hand, though until you get it resolved, you might spend a significant amount on motor oil.

Another common issue with this car is the door locks. Oftentimes you won’t be able to lock the car, and sometimes you may be unable to unlock it. The key getting stuck in the lock is also a frequent occurrence.

Honda Element 2004

The sunroof is the biggest issue of the Honda Element 2004. This means that oftentimes when it’s raining, you’ll find a wet interior and will have a hard time warming the car up. Fixing this problem may require a bit of money, though it’s not a fatal flaw.

Paint issues are frequent in many of the Honda Elements produced in 2004. Chipped paint on the doors and roof is normal. If you want to keep the looks of this car neat, you’d need constant paint jobs meaning a toll will be taken on your wallet.

Honda Element 2007

Braking is the main issue of the Honda Element 2007, seeming unstable if you brake a little more forcefully. This is a result of faulty disks, which can be a risk to your safety and ultimately, require a disk change. Changing all your discs can oftentimes cost upwards of 500$.

An unstable rear tailgate is also a common report of the Honda Element 2007. This may be down to some loose bolts and screws, which can be a frustrating problem if you don’t find well-matching ones, though fixing this issue shouldn’t be hefty on your wallet.

Honda Element 2005

Faulty seat belt harnesses are a common issue of the Honda Element 2005. Replacing your seatbelt can cost upwards of 80$ for the item itself and another 100$ for labor. This isn’t the priciest problem, though it is a safety hazard until you get it sorted out.

Having a similar issue to the Honda Element 2003, the Honda Element 2005 is also a victim of oil issues, more precisely the differential fluid breaks down quickly. This can cause further damage to the transmission, so it’s an issue you’d want to fix fast. Changing the transmission oil is not a costly fix, though if you don’t take care of it in time, it can turn out to be.

Also Read: The Best and Worst Years of Beetle To Avoid

Final Words

To conclude this article, we want to point out that these 4 models we mentioned are not necessarily unreliable, instead, they’re just less reliable than the rest. The Honda Element, like most other Honda models, is also generally a very reliable car with no major issues.

There are also exceptions to each year, meaning you can find, for example, a 2005 Honda Element with no differential fluid breakdown, or a 2003 Honda Element without door lock issues. So don’t always judge a book by its cover, and always thoroughly inspect the car before you buy it, even taking it to your mechanic for a check-up isn’t a bad idea.

If you wish to get yourself a reliable crossover SUV, don’t be afraid to treat yourself to a Honda Element. It is an all-around, spacious, reliable option for any of your needs, and in standard Japanese fashion, these vehicles don’t disappoint.