2008 Honda Element SC new car reviews

Better than: Toyota RAV-4
But not as good as: Honda Fit
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 68.25

We used a press fleet loaner from Honda as the support vehicle for the recent Ultimate Track Car Challenge. After a long, hard weekend, we were very impressed with its utility. Whether we were driving in downtown Los Angeles or in the high desert of California's inland empire, the Element was a capable and even moderately enjoyable method of hauling people and things.

The Element felt very much like a big brother to the Honda Fit that we tested recently. It used a similar method of seat flexibility to maximize the usable interior space, only this time there was more space to use. We would have liked a little better fuel economy, but there isn't much room to complain: While driving the hammer with a full load between LAX and Buttonwillow Raceway, we were pretty close to EPA estimates.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Tough call, this or the Fit. There's a lot to like about the Element. For one, it can carry a ton of stuff. I also dig the looks, especially in SC guise. On the other hand, it can only hold four people. The Fit also gets better fuel economy, and the rear passengers can enter and leave on their own. Both are great choices.

If anything, I wish that the Element got better economy. I guess its aero package doesn't help. I said that it looks cool, right?

Tom Heath Tom Heath
UberDork

I have to admit, I was ready to hate the Element. Crossover SUV-type vehicles don't typically make sense to me, but it wasn't long after taking off in the Element that it's typical Honda charm started to soften me up. Having a real 5 speed with a clutch coupled to Honda's peppy K24 engine helped, but it was the simple utility that made the Element a favorite. Wanna haul some people and a bunch of their stuff? I can't think of what I'd rather do it in.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more articles.

Comments

View comments on the GRM forums
Tom Heath
Tom Heath UberDork
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

We used a press fleet loaner from Honda as the support vehicle for the recent Ultimate Track Car Challenge. After a long, hard weekend, we were very impressed with its utility. Whether we were driving in downtown Los Angeles or in the high desert of California's inland empire, the Element was a capable and even moderately enjoyable method of hauling people and things.

The Element felt very much like a big brother to the Honda Fit that we tested recently. It used a similar method of seat flexibility to maximize the usable interior space, only this time there was more space to use. We would have liked a little better fuel economy, but there isn't much room to complain: While driving the hammer with a full load between LAX and Buttonwillow Raceway, we were pretty close to EPA estimates.

Grassroots Motorsports Magazine

Subscribe Today

Also get your instant access to the digital edition of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine!

Learn More
pkcwEua2g4bW3tHjnsTNbebHjOnlVTMc