2008 Honda Element review

Honda's Element SUV has been an intriguing choice ever since it debuted in late 2002. Its nutty appeal hides what is a fairly basic car — no sleeper engine or luxury furnishings here. It's the Element's everyday usability that gives it a level of distinction: My test car offered a wealth of storage provisions, a versatile cargo area, comfortable accommodations and gas mileage in the low 20s.

The four-seat Element received a raft of changes last year (see a side-by-side comparison with the 2007 model), including updated styling and a beefier drivetrain. More important, it added new safety features like side curtain airbags and an electronic stability system — both sorely needed, and enough for me to give the oddball Honda an unequivocal thumbs-up.

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Airbag Care
You do not need to, and should not, perform any maintenance on or replace any airbag system components yourself. However, you should have your vehicle inspected by a dealer in the following situat ...

Reporting Safety Defects
In the US If you believe that your vehicle has a defect which could cause a crash or could cause injury or death, you should immediately inform the National Highway Traffic Safety Administratio ...

Owner’s Maintenance Checks
You should check the following items at the specified intervals. If you are unsure of how to perform any check, turn to the appropriate page listed. Engine oil level Check every time you fi ...