Honda eliminating boxy Element
December 4th, 2010
09:34 AM ET

Honda eliminating boxy Element

The Honda Element, popular with dog owners and some types of businesses, will be discontinued after the 2011 model year, American Honda Motor Co. announced Friday.

Introduced in December 2002, the Element started a trend of box-on-wheels design reflected in Toyota's Scion xB and Mitsubishi's Outlander, among others.

"The Element proved that ultimate functionality can often come from thinking inside the box," John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, said in a press release. "It made boxy vehicle designs cool."

Edmunds.com gave the short-but-tall utility vehicle generally positive reviews.

"Behind that cubist philosophy is a level of versatility that sets it apart from many other small wagons and compact SUVs," the editors wrote of the 2011 model.

The Element was the subject of several recalls: 2003/04, ignition switch mechanism; 2007/08, braking system and stability module; and 2010, transmission shift cable.

Honda said it has sold about 325,000 Elements, but customers are increasingly attracted to crossover SUVs.

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Filed under: Auto Industry • Honda
soundoff (361 Responses)
  1. Grass hopper

    Too bad. These are not too bad, they have a ton of space and can haul most anything that needs to be moved.
    It is rare for Honda to abandon anything, what a defeat.

    December 4, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Does not have "tons" of space. My Expedition has tons of space. I could fit an Element inside of it.

      December 4, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • tuffyturf

      Yeah, but the Honda will still be running and on the road in 7 years, where your FORD will have either burned up or flipped over or been scrapped to make thimbles so old ladies do not hurt their thumbs when they sew.

      December 4, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      @ tuffyturf

      That doesn't matter to me. I plan to get rid of it in favor of the BMW X5. A bit smaller, but way nicer. I'm just not hauling 7 passengers or cargo around.

      December 4, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Thomas John

      Tuffy Turf....driving an 8 year old Expedition, still going strong, absolutely no problems with it. Built Ford Tough!

      December 4, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • sure

      Thomas John, although you are done with car payments, you are spending as much each month for gas.

      December 4, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Smudgearr

      Hey Phil, once you've loaded the Element into your Expedition, I'll stop by and take your Expedition for a ride in my '77 Suburban. 😉

      December 4, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      @ Smudgearr

      Now that one I can believe. Those things are huge!

      December 4, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • mind

      thats the problem with this damn country buy a new car every year or two and basically "throw" the other one away then these older models that really could be still parted and repaired and used end up tossed away and these newer ones end up being tossed faster because you cant repair them causing more WASTE

      honda shouldve said "we also realized all the people who love the Element has already purchased one and will be keeping it for the next 20 years no need to keep making them."

      December 4, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      I have an 06' model... I deliver medical equipment in an urban area with my Element.... I cannot think of a better vehicle for my job than the Element. I have 106K on mine and I was going to replace it at 200k with another Element. I hope they come up with a suitable alternative. (those suicide doors are the BEST!)

      December 4, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kardiac

      @mind...it's not thrown away. I buy a gently used every couple of years. Mucher less expensive.

      December 4, 2010 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kardiac

      ahh...thats a gently used "car"

      December 4, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      I agree with with "tuffyturf and Grass hopper" 100pct. You don't see Ford any where around the world except USA/Canada. Hey guys! When Little "Phil" will graduate from 2nd grade? He likes to brage just like a little kid.

      December 4, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • carlady

      Had a surburban and just loved it. Downsized to explorer and missed my surburban. I've always liked the element, but worried about the size. Sorry to see it go.

      December 4, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • sumonecommon

      I once fit 28 Peruvian Midgets in an Element, to bad it's going away! 🙁

      December 4, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Tuffyturf....your ignorance is out weighed only by your stupidity.

      December 4, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pbtaylor326

      Thank God these things are being discontinued. They're an embarrassment to the Honda Motor Company

      December 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • misterpibb

      that's too bad. the honda element was actually pretty cool and had a devout following with smart, healthy, active individuals. a hybrid version would have been great. honda should dump the insight, which is essentially a prius knock off.

      December 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Montello

      Too bad. Great car. My 2002 has 329,000 miles on it. Still looks good and runs great. Total repairs (excluding normal maintenance items) have been a new brake light switch and a heater knob.

      December 4, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ames Wolffe

      I could fit a Honda Element AND an Expedition inside my '93 Ramcharger. (burp.)

      December 4, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • S.Colbert

      Drew's Expedition went 425 000 kilometres on three oil changes. Had oil top ups and no maintenance. The engine light came on so it can no longer pass emissions. Only a moron fixes and a car more than 10 years old that isn't a collector. The reason cops use Expeditions and not Honda's is because the quality song did not brainwash them. Enjoy your thinking that 300k is alot.

      December 4, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • tuffyturf

      I'm kidding I love Fords.

      December 4, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cheech

      We've had a Suburban and an Element, and I own a Ford van – all of them are great and dead reliable. The Element handled super well. I only wish that the clamshell doors on the Element had been sliding doors – they were impossible to open in tight parking spaces.

      December 4, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • nnJ

      uhhh. hey 'Jack'. You might want to expand your narrow view of the world and do a little research as to how much Ford's are beloved in much of Europe. Especially their hot hatch line.

      December 4, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • J.Stewart

      Hey S.Colbert,

      The Expedition's 425,000 "kilometers" is a lot less than the Element's 300,000 "miles". BTW... I would take an Expedition over an Element any day. I need room for the ego.

      December 4, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      I think Phil has a self-esteem problem and it's gonna get worse when he gets that X5. Every single report I've read says it's the most useless SUV on the planet.

      December 4, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean...

      @ Phil – from FORD to BMW?! How un-American!

      December 5, 2010 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. thhhhhhhhhh

    Good plan, those things are hideous.

    December 4, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • gale

      Not only that I had a friend who had one. She liked the feel on the inside and truly thought she was gonna love it. However, it had such a bad blind spot that she hit several things backing up. She nearly hit someone walking in a parking lot and she scrapped the side of it several times. I thought she was just getting to be a lousy driver then I drove it one day and low and behold it does have a seriously bad blind spot when you turn to look behind or beside you. She got rid of it soley for that reason. Other than that she loved it.

      December 4, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maggie

      I agree. I saw the xB on a car and thought "X-Box" and to this day I call all cars that look like the Element "X-Boxes."

      December 4, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      A blind spot? Klutzy driving much? Owned mine 7 years, never dinged a thing with it. Survived being t-boned too without anything but a bruise on my jaw. I

      December 4, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joe

    I seriously considered one of these before I bought my Toyota FJ Cruiser. If the FJ wasn't around, this is what I would've bought. My neighbor did buy the Element and repeatedly said he was unhappy with the amount of engine power.

    December 4, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Marlin

      I am not sure how you would group the FJ and the element in the same category? Only thing they have in common is that half door. Other than that, the element is basically a civic with a square cab. The FJ is a fully functional off road capable SUV, more in the Jeepish category. The FJ comes with an electronic locker, true 4×4....you get the idea.

      December 4, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      I loved my 2007 Element. I traded it in for a 2010 FJ Cruiser because I needed more towing capacity and 5 seats. I love the FJ too. Two really great cars that have been extremely reliable. The suicide doors rock on both cars and the kids love them! Too bad both have been discontinued.

      December 4, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rocky

    CR-V is the same chassis, same functionality, but lacks the UGLY.

    December 4, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Old_Perfessor

      Actually, it was a toss up in 2004 whether I would buy the Element or the CRV. But the very reason that they changed the CRV's body style summed it up for my family. The Element was boxy to the point of being cute and the new body style CRV was the ugly vehicle. We went with an Element and have never looked back.

      December 4, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      @ Old_Professor: I love the new design of the CR-V but I sort of understand what you mean about the body style. The trick to it is you have to get it with the spoiler. It completely changed the look of the car.

      December 4, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin Livingsworth

      IF I had to chose – Element. Nicer, unique-er, etc.

      December 5, 2010 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. dniq

    Thank goodness! Now if only we could get rid of other ugly cars out there...

    December 4, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • paw

      I'd rather have a car that some people think is ugly than one which looks like 90% of all the other ones.

      December 4, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin Livingsworth

      Like cars by Ford, GM Chevy, Hundai?

      December 5, 2010 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. kor

    Ive seen this vehicle in a head on collision with a heavy duty Dodge Ram duely and sent the Ram flying with a messed up front in. The Element front in was a little crunched in and the occupents were able to walk away from it. The boxy design might have helped.

    December 4, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike Johnson

      I guess Hondas then are not subject to the laws of physics ... but I would bet that Newton's 3rd law applies with Hondas too.

      December 4, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. I like to pinch!

    Such a shame... they made some great commercials for it though http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unkAvO9v2Nk

    December 4, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  8. Richard Allen

    i would have totally bought one.

    December 4, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      So what's stopping you..???

      December 4, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thatguy371

    What a ridiculously uncool looking thing anyway. The sooner the last ones are off the road the better.

    December 4, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • AlreadyInUse

      I hear you, these look hideous. Nevertheless, it's a Honda, so very reliable and those already sold are going to last a loooonngg time. All in all, I can't find one positive think to say about this vehicle.

      December 4, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      And you're the arbiter of cool? Or are you so insecure that you have to fit in with everyone else?

      December 4, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      "Very reliable" IS a positive ...! 🙂

      December 4, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. kor

    Every vehicle manufacturing plant would have produce some vehicles with problems. Assembly lines are not 100 percent fool proof.

    December 4, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. Amanda Smith

    Those things are ugly as h3ll! I wouldn't get caught dead in one!

    December 4, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Pork Rinds

      It's better than what I drive now.

      December 4, 2010 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. kor

    I prefer safety over how the car looks or performs any day.

    December 4, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • WDRad

      Thats like when people say fat people have great personalities..

      December 4, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. kor

    "Ugly" cars are here to stay. DEAL WITH IT!!!

    December 4, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. scrib1010

    Element is/was pretty cool. Nissan Cube is on ugly automobile, though.

    December 4, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. Outdoor Girl

    I would love to see Honda bring back it's Accord wagon to the US. The car had all the assets of the regular Accord, plus it had enough room to move chairs, bookcases, appliances, and many other things. I moved using an Accord wagon that was full and despite the load, I felt safe driving it. The wagon with it's low profile and front wheel drive was very stable on the road in bad weather and mine made many trips on icy, snowy, slick roads. I hope Honda is paying attention to the people who don't want an SUV but really want a traditional wagon.

    December 4, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Jai

      You do know about the Accord Crosstour? It's today's Accord wagon. You can get it with all-wheel-drive.

      December 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      it wont be much longer, youll all be eating your buddist buddies

      December 4, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • geezercnn

      Then you need to look at a Subaru Outback.

      December 4, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
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