The Honda Element was a compact crossover SUV produced and sold by the Honda Motor Company in North America.
The Honda Element originated from the Model X concept car that debuted at the 2011 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. The concept car was envisioned as an activity-centered vehicle, combining various vehicle builds for versatility, including pickup trucks and SUV elements. After changes, the production model of the Honda Element premiered a year later at the 2002 New York International Auto Show.
While initially well-received, the Element was widely viewed as too niche as sales plummeted. Despite an attempted pivot in marketing to brand the Element as the ultimate pet-friendly vehicle, it was eventually discontinued and replaced by the Honda HR-V subcompact SUV. Many of the Element’s retro rivals were also short-lived, such as the Chevrolet HHR, the Nissan Cube, and the Scion iQ. The only boxy competitor to survive that is still on sale today is the best-selling Kia Soul.
- 2011 Honda Element (Starting MSRP $22,935)
- Pros: The Honda Element compact SUV features a unique exterior, a compact build that’s maneuverable while still roomy on the inside for cargo and passengers, and is easy to handle behind the wheel, making for a great value ride.
- Cons: The compact build of the Element only seats four, its performance and fuel economy ratings are average, and its rear half doors are inconvenient to enter and exit.
- See Also: HR-V and CR-V