Photo of 2006 Honda Element EXP on Honda Village lot

Meet Black and Decker, My Toaster! A 2006 Honda Element EXP Review


Photo of 2006 Honda Element EXP on Honda Village lotToasters unite! I am a very proud owner of a black-on-black 2006 Honda Element EXP, whom I’ve lovingly dubbed Black and Decker. This car just makes me laugh whenever I look at it! You seriously can’t tell me that these Elements don’t look like toasters on wheels! All that’s missing is the tops of two large slices of bread to complete the picture!

I recently started a new job that required a commute that my 1998 blue Honda CRV was not going to safely make anymore.  So I was in the market for a new-to-me ride.  Which was sad because I really enjoyed NOT having any car payments and also not looking forward to dealing with car salesmen.

The closest Honda car dealership near me is Honda Village in Newton Corner. That’s where I got my CRV many moons ago. So I went on their website to see what they had available.  My first thought was to get another CRV, however the bodystyle had changed a bit since 1998. Like most cars now it’s more rounded, less window views, and more blind spots.

I knew for a fact I wanted my next car to be black and All Wheel Drive (AWD), these northeast winters can be brutal; preferably a small SUV because I like to be high up, but not too large that I can’t park it in the mean streets of Boston. 😉 (Which on a side note I have come to a realization that one of my superpowers is urban parking. I seem to find parking close to where I need to be. Could be a gene thing too because my brother has the same luck.)

Anyway, I happened upon three black CRVs. Two were 2008s and one was a 2004. The 2004 bodystyle was different. More a hybrid of the old and new. Not really square, not really round.  One night I headed over to Honda Village and had a look at the 2008s parked in the front. One was nice, the other not so nice. You could tell and smell that it was a smoker’s car. Bleah. I asked the salesman if I could see the 2004 that was listed on the website since it was more in my price range. So we went looking around the back for it and ended up beneath the showroom. Underneath the lights of the underground garage there was this black square beast just hanging out. The salesman told me this was the CRV. Clearly, it was not. It was a Honda Element.

Photo of Honda Element cleanThere was something different about this Element and I couldn’t really pinpoint what it was at the moment. Usually I find Elements not a car I would like for myself. The bright colors made it look like a toy car and the plastic bumpers were not aesthetically pleasing to my eye. That’s it! The reason why this Honda Element looked different and caught my eye was that it was of the body style where the bumpers matched the body. It made such a visual difference. But still I was hesitant. So I kept looking.

On a weekend to myself I decided to test drive the two CRVs, a Nissan Altima I thought may have potential (like potentially in my realistic price range), and also toss in the Element for fun.

The two CRVs were ok. Definitely knocked out the smokers one and the CRVs all together because they were a little out of range.  The Altima suprisingly drove really well and the blind spots weren’t a bad as I thought, but I still had trouble with the idea of riding with my butt so low to ground. Remember, I have been spoiled by the CRV.

Then it came time to test drive the Element. As soon as I sat in it I had that angels-came-out-of-heaven moment where the light shines and you hear an organ playing one chord and the high sound of a choir going “Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh”. Yeah. That moment. Of course, I kept my cool and showed indifference while I sat in the car and looked around.

From the outside the car it looks like it would be small, but once you get inside a Honda Element you start to wonder where the kitchen and the living room are because it is that spacious!  The roof is high up so you don’t feel claustrophobic nor feel the need for a moonroof. Although the trim I have already has a moon roof in the back. The windows are wide and very low on blind spots. The front window looked like I was seeing a panoramic view of the world! The seating is like theatre seating where the rear seats are high up and you can see over the headrest. It was perfect!

Picture of open trunk of Honda Element with scuba gear insideAs you can see in the picture the rear seats can both be folded up to the sides to make room for, in this case,  scuba gear.  The seats can also be taken out, folded down, or the front and back seats folded back to make two beds.

The Honda Element has been really great during the winter, especially this past one! I got this car just in time. It road smooth and I felt safe.

I’m a girl, so my car review won’t go into the specs. but if you really need to know click here.

The cons of the Honda Element would be that it really only fits four people and the version of my car has the side doors that open weird and the back passenger can’t get out until the front passenger unbuckles their seatbelt.  But I bought this car for me so, oh well.

E Rating (1=meh, 5 = Eenae Endorsed): EEEE

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