Trucks & SUVs

What Happened To The Honda Element?

The current auto trends involve bringing back old school models such as the Bronco, Wagoneer, Xterra, Blazer, and more. So, where is the Honda Element? Actually, it may not be far behind. Rumors suggest 2020 Honda Element is coming back to hit the streets and fill off-roading adventures with a bang.

A new Honda Element is rumored

In 2003, we saw the first Honda Element arrive with a quirky boxy frame that was used to differentiate it from other Honda models. It was manufactured to compete against pick-up trucks and larger SUVs by attracting a younger, more adventurous crowd. 

Fans quickly took note of its fully customizable interior. The fold-out tailgate and rear access doors provide access to seats that can either be turned into a bed and pushed against the sides for more cargo space. 

Over time, the Honda Element received sportier updates, including an upgraded suspension and 18” wheels for off-roading. It became increasingly dog-friendly as well, with the addition of a dog bed in the back and a plug for a fan to keep your adventure pup nice and cool. 

But there was one crucial problem. The Honda Element was too expensive for its target audience around 21 years old. The ability to be perfect for moving, camping, and more wasn’t enough to motivate younger people to take out massive loans for this SUV. 

So, unfortunately, we thought we were saying goodbye to the Honda Element forever in 2011 when it was discontinued. 

What To Expect With The Possible new Honda Element 

Rumors have it that the Honda Element is making a significant return with an interior and exterior redesign for a refreshed, modern look. You can’t create an Element without the iconic boxy design, but hopefully, a curved roof and slightly rounded edges will improve its fuel efficiency. 

The Honda HR-V that’s offered in Japan has a hybrid version, so we can speculate that the Honda Element could have a hybrid version as well. Getting about 35 mpg would make it a reasonably competitive option. 

Along with poor fuel efficiency, Element fans were underwhelmed with the lack of power provided by the engine. Maybe the Element will be able to borrow some power from the CR-V. To be on par with other compact SUVs, the new Element would need to produce at least 190 horsepower. 

One expectation is that the Honda Element will return as a smaller SUV than it was before to compete with other compact vehicles such as the Bronco Sport or Jeep Renegade. This will cause drivers and passengers to have less legroom and storage space. 

On a positive note, shedding some of the Honda Element’s bulk could help improve the outdated fuel economy. 

Rumors also speculate that the Honda Element will still offer extreme capabilities with seats that can be moved to suit individual needs. However, rumors also suggest the addition of a fifth seat, which would take one of the items that make older Element models so unique away. 

The seats will also need to maintain the unique, sturdy fabric that provided comfort and functionality by being easy to clean. 

Upgrades for dogs could include a built-in water bowl that’s spill-proof in the back along with a ramp to help pups get in and out of the SUV easily. 

And of course, the rumored new Honda Element would need updated safety features such as a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic braking, and more. However, to save on prices, some of these features will most likely be optional.