The Honda Element was a popular, more compact crossover vehicle that combined a car with an SUV and was very square. I was surprised to see that these vehicles had any towing capacity at all, but after doing the research I did find that they actually had a pretty impressive capacity, for the size of the vehicle and the engine that they had equipped.
Overview of the Data For the Honda Element:
Engine Choices: All the Honda Elements had the same exact engine equipped from 2011 to 2003 which was a 2.4 l (4-cylinder) engine and is one of the main reasons the tow specs were all identical for all model years.
2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003 Honda Element (LX/EX/SC/EX-L/DX) with the 2.4L engine had a tow capacity of up to 1,500 lbs.
Configurations: There were no variations as far as two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive models, automatic transmissions or manual transmissions, like I see with other vehicles, in fact there was no chart either, just a figure that stated the maximum trailer capacity weight.
Trim Levels: There were many trim levels available for these vehicles over the years and some of them were available for the entire life of the vehicle. The trim level that you had equipped with your vehicle from the factory did not have any impact as far as the tow ratings were concerned nothing.
Overall Capacity: The towing capacity for the 2011-2003 Honda Element was set at a maximum of 1,500 lbs. for all models and trim levels. They had the same maximum trailer weight rating and did not differ whatsoever. In fact, the GVWR and GAWR figures were the exact same too.
All of the data was the same for every model year, so I only posted one image that applied to all model years, instead of the same chart over and over.
I made this article as thorough as I possibly could, compiling the data directly from the owner's manuals from on this website, so be sure you do your own research to become familiar with your vehicle and adhere to the manufacturer's recommendations.
The 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003 Honda Element towing capacity was set at 1,500 lbs., maximum.
Like all other Honda's, if your trailer does not have its own braking system installed, then that limit is lowered to a thousand lbs. maximum.
There must not have been many changes made to the Honda Elements when it came to the internal components because the tow specs were exactly the same for all model years, along with the GVWR and GAWR figures.
The Tongue Load Ratings...
The tongue weight ratings for these vehicles were set at 10% of the trailer's total weight, which would give us a maximum amount of up to 150 lbs. on the tongue of the vehicle. This would apply to lighter loads as well, but with a 10% maximum rating, the math should be pretty easy to do.
Keep in mind, that the additional weight that the tongue of the trailer puts on your vehicle will affect the gross vehicle weight rating, so you need to minus that amount of weight, if you're planning on doing calculations.
GVWR and GAWR Specs:
I also wanted to mention that the gross vehicle weight rating specifications for the Honda Elements, were set at a 4,450 lb maximum rating. I was curious to see if the number of passengers in the vehicle would affect the trailer weight ratings in any way, but unfortunately I was not able to find the gross combined weight ratings for these vehicles, so I was not able to do the math that was required in order to figure this out.
I was also able to find the gross axle weight ratings, for those of you out there that may be interested in those, and those were listed at 2,300 pounds for the front axle and 2,205 lb for the rear axle.
A Word On Trailer Brakes:
There was a small note that mentioned trailer brakes and it basically stated that if your trailer and all of the cargo in that trailer weighs 1,000 pounds or more, you need to have trailer brakes installed on your trailer that are independent of your vehicle's brakes.
You also want to keep in mind that each state will have different regulations when it comes to trailer brakes and the specific trailer weight amount that is required, so you will want to check with your local state to see what they require as far as that goes.
On a side note, keep in mind that if you are planning on using electric trailer brakes, which is what most people end up using, you will need to have a 7 pin connector on your vehicle, as well as a brake controller to adjust your trailer brakes. This will require you to tap into the vehicle's electrical system in order to install both components.
Resources I Used For This Article:
I used the owner's manuals for the individual years in order to gather my information, but like I said, the data was exactly the same for every model year that I have looked at and I was able to compare those different model years in each individual manual.
Feel free to check these out for yourself by visiting Honda's website and all you have to do from there is type in your model year and of course the model, which in this case is the element and that should give you the option to view the owner's manual.
I also went ahead and link to each individual manual, if you would rather go that route.
Last updated on June 8th, 2022 at 05:07 pm