The Honda Element was the first “box” car to make it to the United States. There have been many others to join in on this new body style including Scion, Nissan and Kia. However, none of these companies have outdone Honda in bringing a more useful vehicle in a small form. The Honda Element really takes full advantage of the square design and this shape allows much more room on the interior of the vehicle. This vehicle is also larger than most other box body cars and offers an option of front or all wheel drive. These are just some reasons that this is the best selling box car on the market.

The Honda element proves to be a very versatile SUV alternate and has become a popular vehicle for those who love outdoors activities that require a vehicle to handle some rugged terrain. The Element comes standard with folding seats to give more storage room on the inside and also has waterproof and stain resistant seats. This SUV style vehicle is made to play hard and get dirty, it can even have built in coolers for campers if you choose this additional options package.

Bodystyle: Crossover SUV
Engine: 2.4L I-4,
Transmissions: 5-speed automatic
Models: LX (FWD/AWD), EX (FWD/AWD), EX with Navi (FWD/AWD), SC (FWD)

Element received a major upgrade in 2009 and a Dog Friendly equipment group for the EX grade in 2010. For 2011, there are no major changes. First introduced in 2003, the Element is now one of the longest running models in Honda’s lineup and is due for replacement (or cancellation) soon.

Clamshell style, rear-opening doors provide for easier access to what is essentially a coupe-style crossover. Element EX models receive alloy wheels and chrome bits, while SC adds 18-inch wheels and special side sills, bumpers and moldings.

Element LX and EX models have special waterproof flooring for the large, flexible interior. Element SC models receive unique carpet, lighting and trim and a special dash console. The dog-friendly model adds stain-resistant goodies for Fido.

Element’s 166 horsepower I-4 is capable of pulling over 3500 pounds, so this front- and all-wheel drive trucklet is not particularly sporty. It is easy to drive, with good visibility and reasonable fuel economy. The two-wheel drive-only SC model is the driver’s choice, with faster steering, a lowered ride height, stiffer suspension and upsized 18-inch wheels and tires.

Standard safety equipment includes: electronic stability control, dual-stage multiple threshold front airbags, front-side and side curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, tire pressure monitoring system, and active front seat head restraints.

FWD: 20 mpg city/25 mpg highway
AWD: 19 mpg city/24 mpg highway

  • Large interior
  • Multiple storage options
  • Driving the SC
  • Lackluster performance
  • Awkward styling

More flexible than other boxes


  • Scion xB
  • Kia Soul
  • Nissan Rogue
  • Chevrolet HHR
  • Dodge

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