4 Best And Worst Years For The Honda Element

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According to many owners of this vehicle, Honda Element is one of the most reliable vehicles for daily driving.

On an important note, though, this vehicle was in the market for only nine years, starting from 2003 till 2011 Honda Element.

But you can still find the used models of this vehicle which people seem to buy. This vehicle is said to be the perfect choice for teens that you can find for a low price.

But it is really important to Purchase the right model for you. So what are the best and worst years for Honda Element?

Here are the good and bad years.

Best Years for Honda Element:

  1. 2005
  2. 2006
  3. 2009
  4. 2010

Worst Years for Honda Element:

  1. 2003
  2. 2004
  3. 2007
  4. 2008

Now that you know all the years make sure to read until the end for a better understanding to make your ruling easier.

If you have some doubts about this vehicle, please read the buyer’s guide as I have answered some important questions about this model.

List Of The Best Years For The Honda Element: What Years To Buy

Are Honda Elements good cars to drive? Review the pros and cons of these vehicle models by year

These are the best years of Honda Element that you should consider buying.

Although this model was not around for that long, it still has these incredible five reliable, durable, and will provide excellent performance for daily driving.

Keep in mind that these models will have some minor issues, but they can be fixed easily and do not cost a lot for repairs like the other model issues.

Moreover, you should be careful when purchasing a used vehicle because some can have more problems than others.

Make sure to check the vehicle properly and learn about the model’s information and the safety and reliability ratings because you want a safe vehicle.

So here are the models you should buy below:

#1 Best Year: 2005 Honda Element

The 2005 Honda Element is the best model because it is modern, reasonable, and an incredible overall utility vehicle.

If you plan on buying this vehicle, then the best option would be the four-wheel-drive version since it is the most versatile model out of all.

This vehicle has a lot to offer, from extra cargo space at the back of the vehicle to the side door openings, as well as great handling so you can drive comfortably.

This vehicle also comes with an all-wheel-drive and a front-wheel-drive so you can have the best time driving it.

Other than that, the transmission in this vehicle is also powerful since it is a four-speed automatic or the optional five-speed manual.

The safety features like anti-lock brakes and side-impact airbags will surely provide extra protection during an accident. This is what makes this vehicle a considerable choice.

#2 Best Year: 2006 Honda Element

Now coming to the 2006 Honda Element, this one is another outstanding option for you to drive in for your everyday business. Suppose you are planning on purchasing this vehicle.

In that case, the Honda Element EX AWD is a great option because of its 2.4-liter engine, and it is built for durability, so it will not have any dents, scratches, nicks, or blemishes anywhere and will last for a long period up to 20 years.

The wheels are also quite strong on this vehicle as it will hold their shape, and there will be no carving on the rims or road rash and will surely have plenty of tread life in them.

You will also be happy to know this vehicle is perfect for all-weather elements so you can drive comfortably anywhere.

This vehicle is reliable and perfect on gas, and the fuel economy will not fail at all.

Lastly, this vehicle has extra cargo space, which gives plenty of room for gears or any of your belongings.

You can also fold the chairs of the back seat to have more space which is super convenient.

#3 Best Year: 2009 Honda Element

The 2009 Honda Element is a successful model because of its next-level SC designed to appeal to an additional streetwise crowd.

This vehicle comes with an all-wheel-drive option and transfers racy 18-inch wheels, a tougher suspension, and a lower ride height.

This vehicle is perfect for teens and can be modified according to your preference because they have a list of accessories that can be used for this model.

The great thing about this vehicle is that it has a completely retuned suspension which includes thicker sway bars, soft springs, and 18 inches of low profile performance tires so you can have a car-like ride in the base Honda Element.

Though with the Honda Element SCS, the horsepower can be produced up to 166 using the four-cylinder engine, and if equipped with the five-speed manual transmission, it will surely deliver a sporty feel while driving.

So if you are looking for a versatile cargo hold with a small SUV, then this vehicle is the perfect choice for you.

#4 Best Year: 2010 Honda Element

The 2010 Honda Element is the best choice for you because it has a compact and versatile interior design.

This vehicle comes equipped with amazing features that will improve the driving experience and work efficiently.

It also comes with great safety features, which include vehicle stability assist, tire pressure monitoring, and so much more.

It is a super convenient vehicle with a lot of cargo space and extra space at the front seats so you and your family can ride comfortably.

Other than that, the seats can be laid flat in the vehicle, using a sleeping bed.

Another seating configuration in this vehicle is that the back seats can fold up against the side of the vehicle so you can have additional cargo space.

This is a super journey and consumer-friendly vehicle that you do not want to miss out on.

List Of The Worst Years For The Honda Element: What Years To Avoid

Coming to the worst hear a for Honda Element, these models are the most problematic and offer rough driving, weird noises, faulty components, and so much more.

These models barely have any demand for them in the market because they are unreliable and have poor ratings for safety and reliability, which is why people do not trust these models at all.

Because of poor performing safety features, it puts the driver’s life at risk, so it is advised to avoid all these models.

There are nine models from which only four are considered to be the worst.

So make sure not to purchase them for your safety and if you do not want to deal with their expensive repair costs then you must avoid these models.

Here are the worst model years of Honda Element that have numerous complaints below:

#1 Worst Year: 2003 Honda Element

Starting with the first worst year, the 2003 Honda Element has numerous issues that made it difficult for people to drive in.

The Honda Element only has first-generation models discontinued after the 2011 model.

As you may know, all vehicle parts are not created equally, so many issues can happen in the system. This vehicle is one of those problematic vehicles with various issues.

The most common one you might find is the major oil leak found in the Variable Timing Control Solenoid (VTCS) that continuously leaks.

Another reason why it is the worst is that the P2646, which is the same solenoid, can get clogged, and during high RPM, it activates for oil pressure.

This can be dangerous to drive with and requires frequent oil changes.

#2 Worst Year: 2004 Honda Element

The 2004 Honda Element is quite problematic because it is made out of cheap materials since it is a budget vehicle.

It is hard to use the features installed in the vehicle, such as rolling down the windows does not work sometimes.

The speedometer, gear selection, or tachometer might not deliver accurate readings.

Other than that, the design of this vehicle is also quite poor because it is not durable or works efficiently at all.

There are some issues with the engine and the electrical system that does not work properly. Fixing these problems can cost a lot since some components are more expensive than others.

#3 Worst Year: 2007 Honda Element

The 2007 Honda Element must be avoided because it has the worst electrical system issues and seat belts and airbags problems that were deported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

This vehicle has been recalled 12 times, mainly because of the airbags not deploying during a collision. This can put the life of the driver and passengers in danger.

This is the main reason why many suggest staying away from this vehicle. You will also find issues in the engine system and the power lock, windows, and door system.

The brakes also tend to fail randomly while driving and make it hard to handle, especially during traffic, and according to the investigation done by the NHTSA, they found air in the brakes, which is another reason why it was recalled.

#4 Worst Year: 2008 Honda Element

This is the last problematic model in this list. The main reason why the 2008 Honda Element is considered the worst year is that various disappointed drivers reported 92 problems.

The most common issue reported was with the service brakes with the hydraulic, and the second most reported was with the airbags.

This vehicle was also recalled 13 times by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

An investigation showed that the main problems with the airbags were because the inflator ruptured or desiccated.

To add on, the brakes tend to have air inside them, so they do not work accordingly.

Also, there are other issues like the electrical system problems with the starter and alternator, powertrain because the clutch pedal pops or squeaks when it is pushed, ignition problems, and so much more.

What Are The Most Common Problems With The Honda Element?

There are various flaws in the design of the Honda Element. This jeopardizes the reliability ratings and the safety ratings since these problems cannot be taken lightly.

Although this vehicle was discontinued after the 2011 Honda Element, you can still find the used model versions in the market.

Still, it can be quite risky considering the problems it might develop and not perform efficiently.

If you do plan on buying this vehicle, then make sure to look into all the qualities and go for a test drive which will help you make a decision.

So here are the most common problems that you need to look into.

1. Engine Oil Leaks

This issue is found in almost all of the Honda Elements. The engine oil leaks mainly because of malfunctioning oil pressure sensors.

This can cause the check engine light to illuminate to indicate some problem in the engine system.

This can cost a lot depending on the problem and labor cost because the experts usually check the sensors to see if they are sealed perfectly or if the issue is more serious.

They might have to replace the part completely. You can easily find budget-friendly aftermarket oil pressure sensors, which are also of good quality for your Honda Element.

2. Door Locks Malfunctioning

You will find this problem in 2003 to 2008 Honda Elements. This is because various users of this vehicle had issues with locking the doors.

This issue can happen because of the door lock tumblers, and to fix this issue, they must be removed and immediately replaced.

The 2003 Honda Element had the worst door lock issue because people had trouble unlocking since their keys would not get inside or might get stuck.

According to the investigation, this issue happened because the remote would not work at all, and to fix this problem, some owners had to disassemble the driver side door to get the key out, which was stuck in the lock.

3. Key Does Not Go Into Ignition

Another issue found in the 2003 Honda Element is with the keys.

The faulty keys will not let the vehicle go into the ignition, so various owners of this vehicle had to call a locksmith to immediately fix this issue.

This issue cannot be taken lightly because it can be dangerous to drive on the road and can cost around $600 to $700 just for repairs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What Is The Average Lifespan Of A Honda Element?

The Honda Element can easily last from 250,000 miles up to 300,000 miles since it is built for durability.

This vehicle is also said to last from 15 to 20 years, but that mainly depends on how well you take care of it and regular maintenance.

Keep in mind that this is estimated according to the average annual mileage if you ride it for 15,000 miles per year.

Related: How Long Do Honda Elements Last?

Q2. Do Honda Elements Have Rust Problems?

Unfortunately, yes, Honda Elements might have a rusting problem.

The undercarriage usually cannot carry with the engine, which is why there are increased rusting levels on different parts of the vehicle.

Q3. What Is The Difference Between A Honda Element DX And EX?

The main difference between the Honda Element DX and EX is that the DX is an entry-level model, it does not include standard radio and air conditioning, and the starting price of this vehicle is $16,560.

Whereas the EX has various extra features like air conditioning, alloy wheels, anti-lock brakes, power mirrors, cruise control system, and stereo sound system, the starting price is $20,510.

Q4. Why Did Honda Stop Making Elements?

The main reason Honda stopped making Element is how expensive it was for various people to afford it.

They discontinued this model in 2011 after making the last model for that year. They realized that targeting the audience did not have the money to buy this vehicle.

Q5. Are Honda Elements Good In The Snow?

Yes, the Honda Elements are perfect to drive in the snow. This is because this vehicle’s weight and boxy design, and shape make sure the vehicle stays stable in the snow.

To add on, the traction control and a front-wheel-drive ensure to keep it from slipping. It is explained that the Honda Element is reliable and safe to use in all weather conditions.


I hope the buying guide also helped you get the answers you wanted.

Now that you know the best and worst years for Honda Element, it would not be difficult for you to make the right decision.

Even though this model was discontinued, it still had amazing and reliable years.

You can still find the used version of this vehicle at a reasonable price and includes all the quality and safety features that you would expect from a vehicle.

Just be sure to check this vehicle carefully since used models tend to have many problems.