New Honda CRV or Keep Element

I have a 2003 Honda Element DX with 113,000 miles. I love this car and it hasn’t given me any problems. Because it’s 11 years old, I’m torn between keeping it or trading it in for a new CRV. My Element has been perfectly maintained and almost spotless. The Honda dealership where I get me car serviced has made numerous offers in the past to buy the car. They’re now offering me $5000, which is above KBB value. Since Honda has discontinued the Element, I can’t buy a new replacement. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Price a new CRV without discussing a trade in or go to a car pricing website like truecar to find out what a clean deal price is.
No one else can make up your mind for you. If it was just what is cheapest to do, we would all be driving very old cars.

Thanks and you’re right about the decision. I did test drive the CRV. It is a bit more comfortable and handles better. I was hoping someone could sway me one way or the other. I appreciate your input.

How important is reliability to you? You can most likely get a number of additional years out of your current car, saving a nice chunk of money in the process, but there is a decent chance of a breakdown or two along the way.

I’d keep the Element. With routine maintenance you should be able to get another 5 years out of it with little problem. That’s another 5 years of not making new car payments.

Meanwhile, start making monthly “payments” towards your next vehicle. In 5 years you’ll have a nice chunk of change saved towards a new car.

Even if you don’t, keep the Element, and you’ll still save money vs. buying new now.

Thanks for your input. It makes a lot of good sense.

What @jesmed said. You right now can save up to give you lots of options when it does come time to buy. Since you’re happy with the Element (not needing a different type of vehicle) you might as make the most of it. Any time you want to change, you can, of course.

I always liked the looks and utility of the Element. The CRV is just another SUV, the Element is unique. I think it would be a shame to trade your Element since you have maintained it so well.

There are reasons that make doing either worthwhile. For me, it has come down to this. Which car fills my needs the best. If I want ultimate utility and I am not going to travel far, I would keep the Element. If I value comfort on trips, I would buy the new CRV. If I were spending your money, I would but a new CRV. If I were spending mine, I would keep the Element.

The dealer is offering above kbb because your Element is worth it. You like it, it meets your needs, and it is in good condition. What’s not to like? You can probably keep it for quite a few years with limited maintenance and a few minor repairs. It doesn’t have many miles on it for what it is and it looks like you don’t drive much per year.

By the time you need to get rid of it because it needs something major there will be a new generation of CR-V that may be even nicer. And certainly newer. Who knows, they may even bring back a new Element as it has always had its fans. Meanwhile you’ll have had several years of cheap driving in a vehicle you like. I know many people who would trade places with you.

You have a well maintained and reliable vehicle that most likely will make it past 200,000 miles with little trouble. Just keep taking care of the Element

I’d go for the CRV. Your Element is worth $5000.00 now which amounts to a substantial down payment. How long would it take you to save that much? You have an opportunity now to get $5000.00 off on a brand new car. As long as you aren’t stressing yourself financially, this is a good option for you.

In fact, you might even be able to get a very low or zero interest loan right now.

You only live once. If you can do it, go for it. If you maintain your CRV as well as your Element, it will be a good investment.

Enjoy the opportunity and take advantage of it!!

(edited to change Civic to CRV)

I think the Element will be remembered as perhaps the most trouble free models Honda ever marketed. These are simple cars, with a unique durable and easy to clean interior. The CRV is a much more “upscale” car but with all the goodies also comes significantly higher maintenance costs and a less durable and flexible interior. If you are happy with the quirky nature of the Element I’d keep it. I think you’ll miss the Element once you’ve let it go.

However no car lasts forever so sometime in the next 10 years or 100K miles you will likely be shopping for a new car, so now might be a good time to part ways and get a new CRV. This really is your call.

I have an ‘03 Civic with 150K miles that I intend to keep until something structural gets rusty to the point is isn’t safe. So, far there is no rust on the body panels and the paint still shines up so it looks fine. I don’t like all the electronic gizmos’s that come in a new car so I live without a 5’ touch screen and that works for me.

I intend to keep until something structural gets rusty to the point it isn’t safe
Why do we accept that as inevitable. We can keep our cars rust free for decades. Then you need not be stuck with a Civic with that five foot (5’) touch screen. I agree, they are totally unnecessary and take up the entire interior. :wink:
I agree with @JoeGuy. Trade the Element while it’s worth something. It sounds like @Triedaq would love to have the car.

The Honda Element is more stable and therefore lasts longer than the other “man made” elements that were made to fill in holes in the periodic chart and were quite unstable and didn’t last long. I would keep the Honda Element.

Which brings up an interesting question. How many car model names relate to the periodic table?

In addition to the Element, there’s the Cobalt, the Neon…any others?

How about the Saturn “Ion”?

The Honda element is right between the Holmium and Hydrogen elements. You would think it would pretty stable and still selling but no such luck.

Speaking of Ions, wasn’t there also a Quantum?

VW Quantum that became the Passat?