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Honda Element Gas Mileage

Honda’s distinctive compact crossover Element SUV was introduced in the 2003 model year. The Element has never undergone a significant redesign, and rumor has it that the model may soon be due for extinction. While the Element shares its engine and underpinnings with the Honda CR-V, gas mileage suffers a bit due to the aerodynamic drag of the Element’s boxy shape, with highway gas mileage ratings peaking at 25 miles per gallon (MPG) for the manual-transmission 2WD variant.

The Element’s 2.4 liter 4-banger produces 156 horsepower and can be equipped with either a five-speed manual or automatic transmission. For many, the design of the Element is a love it or hate it affair. The Element would have been a prime candidate to receive the European CR-V diesel’s thrifty 2.2 liter i-CTDi powerplant …had Honda chose to bring their diesel engine across the pond.


Honda Element Gas Mileage – 2003-2011

Year Manf. Model Engine Disp. Fuel Trans. City Highway
2011 Honda Element 2WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (A5) Auto 20 25
2011 Honda Element 4WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (A5) Auto 19 24
2011 Honda Element 4WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (M5) Manual 18 23
2010 Honda Element 2WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (A5) Auto 20 25
2010 Honda Element 2WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (M5) Manual 18 23
2010 Honda Element 4WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (M5) Manual 18 23
2010 Honda Element 4WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (A5) Auto 19 24
2009 Honda Element 2WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (L5) Auto 20 25
2009 Honda Element 2WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (M5) Manual 18 23
2009 Honda Element 4WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (L5) Auto 19 24
2009 Honda Element 4WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (M5) Manual 18 23
2008 Honda Element 2WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (M5) Manual 18 23
2008 Honda Element 2WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (L5) Auto 20 25
2008 Honda Element 4WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (L5) Auto 19 24
2008 Honda Element 4WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (M5) Manual 18 23
2007 Honda Element 2WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (M5) Manual 21 25
2007 Honda Element 2WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (L5) Auto 22 27
2007 Honda Element 4WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (L5) Auto 21 26
2007 Honda Element 4WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (M5) Manual 21 24
2006 Honda Element 2WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (M5) Manual 21 25
2006 Honda Element 2WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (L4) Auto 22 26
2006 Honda Element 4WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (M5) Manual 21 24
2006 Honda Element 4WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (L4) Auto 21 24
2004 Honda Element 2WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (M5) Manual 21 26
2004 Honda Element 2WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (L4) Auto 22 26
2004 Honda Element 4WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (M5) Manual 21 24
2004 Honda Element 4WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (L4) Auto 21 24
2003 Honda Element 2WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (M5) Manual 21 26
2003 Honda Element 2WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (L4) Auto 22 26
2003 Honda Element 4WD 4 cylinder 2.4 liter R (L4) Auto 21 24

Note: the EPA tweaked their testing procedure, starting with the 2008 model year, with the end result being that the 2008 MPG estimates are now lower than previous years. As always, YMMV.

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10 comments ↓

#1 Tobias on 07.03.08 at 8:40 am

I get 22.5 City and the best I’ve done on a long trip is 27 MPG highway in a 2003 2WD Element w/AT. I’m surprised that it does better than my CR-V.

Upgraded the tires and run them at max inflation. Added sound proofing to the entire vehicle (inside the panels and under the floor).

#2 Art on 09.16.08 at 1:29 pm

My 2008 LX 2wd Auto gets around 28 Average, 30 best. Im easy on the gas and drive 65 on highway.

#3 David on 10.20.08 at 8:40 pm

I wish! We bought our 2005 EX Element 2WD used with 28K on it. We have had it for 1500 miles and have kept careful records as we use it for business. So far our best is 19MPG and normally we get 16-17MPG. We have had it two different Honda Dealers and they doth say the car is perfect with nothing wrong.

The only thing they think is the problem might be the new tires. We are careful on the gas pedal and drive a mix of city and highway.

#4 susan on 08.10.09 at 2:07 pm

I sure am glad I got the 2007 Element–it looks like the 2008 model drops fuel efficiency by about 20%! I never get below 21 mpg and usually average 23+. I do about 70% highway at 65-70 mph (except rush hour, which I mostly manage to avoid). The rest is probably 10% city and 20% “Farm to Market” roads, which are typically 50 mph, stoplights every 2 miles.
I love my element and use it instead of my 13 mpg pickup truck to tote bales of hay, feed, bedding, etc.

#5 mpg-o-editor on 08.10.09 at 2:11 pm

@Susan – Glad you love your Element! The drop in mileage between 2007 and 2008 is due to the way that the EPA performs their calculations.

#6 Carolyn Tedder on 02.07.10 at 2:36 pm

We have a 2007 Element SC. We love the vehicle but he mileage is poor. We average 18 city and 24 highway.we drive very conservatively.

#7 d on 02.11.10 at 6:36 pm

How many gallons of cng does the 2003 Honda Civic (natural gas) hold?

#8 Antonio castillo on 09.06.10 at 6:18 pm

Me gustaria saber cuanto es el consumo de una Honda Element 2004, automatica de 4 cilindros para El Salvador

#9 ryan on 11.14.11 at 10:02 pm

I bought my 2006 4WD Element and use to get 21-26mpg mixed between road trips and city driving. Now I get 16-21.5mpg max! I’ve been very frustrated with it and have also taken it into the dealership. After spending $200 adjusting my valves, which they suggested, my mileage is unaffected. Absolutely love my car! but literally the only thing I wish I could fix is the mpg. Any suggestions?

#10 mpg-o-editor on 11.15.11 at 7:35 am

@Ryan – There are lots of things that can cause your Element’s gas mileage to drop!

- Have you made any changes to the Element that may affect it aerodynamically?
- Have you added a roof rack? Are you carrying more stuff up on the roof?
- Are you carrying more cargo/people than before?
- Has your daily route changed significantly? Has traffic gotten worse? Are you idling more than before?
- Are you driving more aggressively?
- Do you check your tire pressure?
- Is there something mechanically wrong? Any dash lights that might indicate a fuel system problem? O2 Sensor, Mass Airflow Sensor …

Does your Element have an Average Fuel Economy gauge? If it does, try taking a highway trip. Reset the Fuel Economy gauge just before you get on the highway. After 30 miles or so you should have burned over a gallon of gas and the gauge will provide a good ballpark HWY figure. If you don’t have a MPG gauge, you can do the same test, but with tank fills. Fill up your tank just before getting on the highway and do a bit more driving, then fill up again. It’s best if you fill up at the same station/pump.

If your Element doesn’t have an average/instant MPG gauge, consider adding one. This can help you get to the bottom of the problem and get even better gas mileage once things are up to snuff. The new ScanGaugeE is around $100 (significantly less than the ScanGaugeII) and it includes a scan tool to read engine codes.

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