Honda Element vs. Toyota RAV4 Reliability

Posted Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 by nhtwpprod

Reliability is essential for car drivers, especially those in Southern California. From the desert to the coast, brutal weather can take its toll on your vehicle, while sitting in traffic during your daily commute also adds to the wear and tear. That’s why you need a car that will get you where you need to go while also having the capability and reliability to complete any task you ask of it.

You have a lot of choices when you visit used car dealerships in Los Angeles, but which vehicle is going to deliver everything you need?

Two of the more popular choices in the crossover/SUV category are the Honda Element and Toyota RAV4. Both come equipped with a bevy of entertainment features to help you pass the time while driving. However, being behind the wheel is about more than just having a good time. You also need a vehicle that is durable, reliable, and safe, so you can ensure that you and your passengers are always protected.

So, between the Element and RAV4, which is the better option when it comes to overall reliability? To make that decision, it is important to know the features of each, as well as what consumers and independent outlets have to say from experience.


A Look at the Honda Element

The Element was developed by Honda each year until 2011, when the model was discontinued. However, many drivers are tempted by the Element on the used market due to its size and low cost to own.

The Element is a 4-door vehicle with front-wheel drive and automatic transmission. U.S. News & World Report gave the 2010 Honda Element positive marks for its versatile seats and cargo area, but also noted that it is limited by having just four seats inside.

In terms of safety, the Element comes standard with four airbags and antilock brakes, as well as stability control. This means that you can haul around everything from groceries, to soccer gear, to boxes while moving without second-guessing your car.


However, it is important to weigh the pros with the cons before opting to buy a used Element. In addition to having room for four, its payload is also smaller than that of the Toyota RAV4 (670 lb. vs. 991 lb.). The rear seats also do not fold down, restricting you in terms of total space that you can use to move around what you need. You can also expect to get around 20 city miles per gallon from the gas tank (25 highway), depending on the model year of Element you have your eye on.

How reliable is the Honda Element out on the road? The 0-to-60 time for the Element is slightly longer than that of the Toyota RAV4, while also requiring a greater braking distance in order to stop safely.

In terms of frequency of needing to get gas and routine maintenance, experiences vary depending on things like miles driven and driving conditions. For this reason, it is a good idea to talk to someone you know who can share his or her first-hand experience with you.


Researching the Toyota RAV4

To accurately compare the RAV4 and Element, especially when looking at used car dealerships in Los Angeles, it is best to look at vehicles from the same model year. provided a breakdown of the 2011 versions of each, ranking the RAV4 ahead overall.

Among the highlights the site featured include RAV4’s greater number of seats (7), its 7.5-inch ground clearance for rough terrain, and its 4-star safety rating for having less of a chance to roll over during an emergency lane change.

Overall, the RAV4 received a 9.7 rating out of 10, compared to 8.8 for the Element. Not only did the RAV4 score higher in safety features, it also did so for practicality, performance, cost value, and luxury features included.


The RAV4 has a good amount of cargo space and an available third row of seats to go along with a strong engine capable of a 991 lb. base payload capacity. The folding rear seats ensure that you have enough room for all that you need to carry. Whether you are going tailgating before a big game, taking a much-needed getaway to San Diego, or driving up to wine country, you will find everything you need in both a used and new RAV4.

Drivers can look to get about 22 city miles per gallon (28 highway) from the RAV4, and the slightly bigger 2.5-liter engine results in better fuel economy and fewer trips to the gas station.

At the end of the day, you want to know that the used car you are buying is built to last. You don’t want to invest in a vehicle only to find yourself spending more of your time at the auto repair shop. Researching the Toyota RAV4 and Honda Element will help you get a better sense of what other drivers think and what the best option will be for you and your family.


Which Is More Reliable?

Nobody wants to break down on the side of the road. Purchasing a used car is an important investment, so you want to do everything you can to ensure you get the most reliable vehicle. This is why it is critical to buy from a dealership that stands by the used cars it sells, and which has the experience and skills to get you the car you deserve.

Between the RAV4 and Element, which is going to be more reliable? There are drivers on both sides of the debate that will swear by each, so it is a good idea to research both and turn to independent sources for their advice as well.

According to, a website that allows car owners to input information and reviews about the cars they drive, Toyota RAV4 has been shown to get better scores for reliability. Over the past decade the site has seen a decline in the number of reported trips for repairs for the RAV4. In fact, the site’s 2015 statistics show just an average of three repair trips per 100 cars, putting RAV4 among the most reliable in comparison to all car models for that year.

TrueDelta’s statistics for the Honda Element end with the 2008 edition and did not have a large enough sample size to report a measurement.


Car reliability is non-negotiable for almost every driver and should always remain at the top of your list when visiting used car dealerships in Los Angeles. Not only should your car be visually appealing and fun to drive, you should also be able to count on it to always be ready to go. This is why North Hollywood Toyota makes sure that all certified used vehicles undergo a rigorous inspection process before going up for sale. This allows you to gain confidence that the car you are buying is of the best quality and will be able to do everything you need.

What are the next steps? When you are ready to learn more about the Toyota RAV4, browse North Hollywood Toyota’s inventory or visit the dealership in person to see the selection of new and used cars. You will be able to learn about the RAV4’s reliability, safety, performance, features, and more, while also scheduling a time slot to take a test drive so you can find the perfect one.

To get started on the road to your new RAV4, and to get any questions answered, contact North Hollywood today by calling a representative at (818) 508-2967.