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2008 Honda Element

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2008 Honda Element Review

Stylish design and smooth handling.

Reviewed by Automotive on


Despite the fact that the recent rise in gas prices has increasingly led people to look into compact cars with higher-than-average fuel economy, many people still want a big ride with style. Larger vehicles do allow many perks over compact counterparts if consumers can ignore fuel prices. It tends to have more room for passengers, more space for cargo, increased power in its larger engines, and numerous luxury features, too. The 2008 Honda Element is definitely a larger vehicle that is more for style and function than overall fuel efficiency.

The 2008 Honda Element tries to revive the original compact crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) interpretation. The uniquely funky exterior has become a common sight on the roads, particularly in places that are prone to have outdoor enthusiasts. Even though the Element is beginning to age as a vehicle, the 2008 model is still a great and quirky way to get around town and transport equipment for outdoor activities. The 2008 Honda Element's functionality, in addition to its overall style and rather attractive low starting cost, allows the vehicle jokingly known as a ""cube on wheels"" to prosper despite the more conservative kinds of crossover SUVs available.

The Range

Body Styles: Compact crossover SUV
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Element LX, Element EX, Element SC

What's New

The Honda Element is known for its unique design and style, which targets a specific market of drivers who want something funky with high drivability. The Honda Element's basic design and features are very suitable for these potential buyers. Yet, to keep the line-up as up-to-date as possible, the Element underwent a moderately robust restyling for the 2007 model. Since the new look and features are still fresh, the 2008 Honda Element carries over with only one alteration. The exterior Royal Blue Pearl color is now available on the 2008 SC trim.


The 2008 Honda Element's exterior design is probably one of the most recognizable on the road. The unique angular design of the body is certainly different, and the plastic accenting helps to show off the body shape as well. The 2008 Honda Element model features exterior trimmings in a dark gray or black hard plastic. These unique physical characteristic help to separate the box-like Element from its other crossover SUV competitors that favor a more angular look. However, the plastic body accents tend to be a bit off-putting to buyers who desire an automobile that has an interesting appearance but is still able to fit into the standard look of most other vehicles.


The 2008 Honda Element is rather large in physical size due to the fact it is a crossover SUV, even though it is considered to be in the compact variety of its class. However, the actual passenger capacity is restricted to four people at the most. The 2008 Honda Element's interior uses extra space to create a luxurious feel and heighten base cargo space rather than expand the ability to carry more passengers. The lower overall passenger number does not have to take away from the 2008 Honda Element's perks since it allows for ample passenger space. This concentration on extended space for four passengers is a great advantage for people sitting in the rear. The back seats allow for plenty of room to stretch out and even excellent front views from the stadium-style elevated seating.

Performance & Handling

All 2008 Honda Element models are powered by a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that is capable of 166 horsepower and 161 lb-feet of torque. The standard transmission is a five-speed manual but a five-speed automatic is an option. Front-wheel drive is the standard powertrain configuration, but all-wheel drive is available on both the LX and EX models.


Like all Honda vehicles, the 2008 Honda Element strives to have numerous safety options. Standard safety features include anti-lock disc brakes, stability control, brake assist, active front head restraints, front seat side-impact airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags. The 2008 Honda Element also earned a perfect five star score in both frontal and side impacts during government crash tests.

EPA Fuel Economy

Element Automatic Front-Wheel Drive: 20/25 mpg city/highway
Element Manual Front-Wheel Drive: 18/23 mpg city/highway
Element Automatic All-Wheel Drive: 19/24 mpg city/highway
Element Manual All-Wheel Drive: 18/23 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Nimble handling
  • Smooth engine
  • Spacious cabin

You Won't Like

  • Awkward getting into and out of rear seats
  • Low passenger capacity

Sum Up

Stylish design and smooth handling.

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