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2008 Honda Element Sport Utility Crossover

4WD 5dr Auto EX

Starting at | Starting at 19 MPG City - 24 MPG Highway

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  • Average Retail is not available
  • $23,190 original MSRP
Printable Version

2008 Honda Element Sport Utility Crossover

Benefits of Driving a 2008 Honda Element Sport Utility Crossover

With its versatile and easy-to-clean interior, the boxy 2008 Honda Element is well suited for people who carry gear for outdoor activities, and for those with dogs. Its compact overall dimensions, good maneuverability and tall driving position make it a great city vehicle. With plenty of standard safety equipment and a low base price, the Element makes a good value proposition.

What's new for 2008?

The Honda Element enters 2008, its sixth year, with no major changes from the previous model year.

Model Strengths

  • Very versatile and easy-to-clean interior
  • fuel efficiency
  • maneuverability
  • low price.

Model Review

The tall 2008 Honda Element makes the most out of a vehicle that's actually quite compact and easy to park, with a van-like body, an extremely versatile interior, and rear-hinged back doors that allow wide loading access. Inside, a black urethane utility floor cleans up easily, and the seat upholstery is moisture-resistant, making the Element a good choice for those with pets, babies, or messy cargo. There's seating for up to four people, but the back seats flip up easily for larger cargo, or they can be removed completely. All Elements have five beverage holders, a large multi-bin tray above the glovebox, cargo hooks for strapping down larger items like bikes, and door pockets for all four doors.

Printable Version

2008 Honda Element Sport Utility Crossover


2008 Honda Element SC

Source: Carlist.com

Honda introduced the Element several years ago as a rugged, go anywhere, do anything, carry anything youthmobile. Eschewing graceful, sweeping lines for the appearance of a shipping container, the Element had its own kind of "stick it to the man" coolness. With its double doors on one side, low tailgate, and fold-up or removable seats, you could haul a month's worth of camping equipment. With optional Real Time four-wheel drive, you could traverse the dirt, sand, and snow with ease.

Now, with the SC, the rugged, hose-it-out Element dons city duds and is living the urban life. By replacing the gray or black plastic side panels with matching painted surfaces, throwing on radical 18-inch rims, and carpeting much of that plastic floor, the Element is now in its element-in town.

The SC gets much more to distinguish itself. A tuned sport suspension drops ride height by just over three-quarters of an inch. The SC gets 30 percent firmer springs and dampers and stiffer front and rear stabilizer bars, along with a six percent faster steering ratio. While hardly a sports car, the SC is more fun to drive with its more immediate response to sudden maneuvers.

It's a lot more fun to look at, too. My Root Beer Metallic test vehicle stood out from the LX and EX models with its unique grille and projector headlamps up front, custom painted bumpers, and bold alloys, all enhanced from lowering the whole thing.

Inside, SC models with the Root Beer or Nighthawk Black bodies 2008 Honda Element SC interior on carlist.com get a copper colored instrument package. Using piano black trim in place of the typical silvery plastic adds a surprising elegance. The fabric pattern on the seats and doors is called "tattoo." It looks like those strips of wavy lines that many people are choosing to adorn their arms with these days. Carpeting the passenger area cuts the echo but removes the camping practicality. It's unlikely that buyers will care.

Every Element benefits from a 10-horsepower boost in its four-cylinder engine. It now puts out 166 horsepower, which, through a standard five-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic, gives it plenty of pep. While all Hondas aim for maximum fuel economy, this one gets a decent 22 City, 27 Highway. It does weigh 3,500 pounds, after all. Surprisingly, the automatic earns slightly better economy numbers than the manual model. Today's computers drive more efficiently than the humans behind the wheel. The EPA's Green Vehicle Guide gives the Element a 6 for both the Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas scores.

The Element will get you there safely. It features a package of front and side airbags as well as side curtain airbags for head protection. The Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system can sense oversteer and understeer, terms that mean the car is turning faster or slower than your intention, and can adjust brake pressure at each wheel or reduce engine power to bring the car back into line.

The Element may be basic looking, but it comes well equipped. Even things like a tire pressure monitoring system and keyless entry 2008 Honda Element SC stereo on carlist.com are standard. And the SC gets a 270-watt audio system with seven speakers, including a subwoofer in the dash.

Living with the Element is nice for the most part. You sit up high enough to see over some cars, the controls are well weighted and designed, the interior is quiet, and the shape is very practical. I bought two bicycles during the car's stay with us and I was able to bring them home from the store, standing up, with only their front wheels removed. The fold-up seats create a long, high, and wide space-think big screen TV (we didn't buy one of those). The only weak spot, I thought, was dealing with the center-opening double side doors. You must open the front in order to open the back, which hinges at the rear. On a wide open driveway, that's no big deal, but in parking lot situations it can be awkward. I also found it hard to get side sun protection-the visor covers only the front half of the upper window. The area around the windshield mirror is unprotected, too, so driving west in late afternoon or early evening (pick your season) can be a little difficult.

Element prices start at $18,980 for the LX model, move to $20,990 for the somewhat fancier EX version, and will run you $22,775 for an SC. Add an automatic transmission for $800, or four-wheel-drive (LX and EX only) for $1,400. Add $595 for transportation costs, too, regardless of model.

Like all Hondas, the Element is proven for reliability, quality, and reasonable fuel efficiency. If you can warm to its looks, it could be your ideal urban camping vehicle.

Printable Version

2008 Honda Element Sport Utility Crossover

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade

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Passenger Crash Grade

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Rollover Resistance

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Side Impact Crash Test - Front

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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear

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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Head side Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

Fog Lamps Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std


Alarm Opt
Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2008 Honda Element Sport Utility Crossover

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 5 Years/60,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/Unlimited Miles

Honda Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

Honda Certified Used Car Limited Warranty extends the non-powertrain coverage by 1 year/12,000 miles from the date of purchase or expiration of new car warranty date. In addition, Honda Certified Used Car Limited Warranty extends the powertrain coverage to 7 years/100,000 miles.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 6 year or 80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 150
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance No
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2008 Honda Element Sport Utility Crossover

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