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." 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. carol

    I own a '05 and LOVE it. 120,000 and going. Not ever any problems. Kept it rather than trade for the 2010 civic I also own. Would not trade it for the piece of poop civic. Hate the cheap seats in the civic. Hate knocking my head head off getting in and out the civic. Not worth the 3-4 miles per gallon I get with the civic. Sad because I was just waiting to pay this civic down to get another element.
    BTW husband says it's ugly. I value FUNCTION over FORM as most practical folks do.
    Honda call me ! Lets deal take this civic back and give me another element!!!! plz....

    December 5, 2010 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tina

    I know of an element that was converted into a car where the portable ramp came out the back, wheelchair rolled in and strapped down and parents could have a handicap accesible car with very little conversion cost. It was really nifty.

    December 5, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  3. HR

    I love my element....and planned to buy another one. A great functional car....sorry to see it go. I hope I can still find one before they quit making them. The only small vehicle with enough room to transport bikes inside. Great for camping. And after owning one for the past four years, I actually think it looks nice. Fit our lifestyle perfectly....and I really cannot find anything else as functional in the market. Any suggestions????

    December 5, 2010 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. goodshopper

    Looove my '05 Element. Got it when a started cycling. Best vehicle to haul all my gear in and still have room for friends.

    December 5, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. laredomom

    My husband bought an Element when it first came out. It was an impulse buy, but it has served its purpose well. He drives every day. Believe me, that car has been through h*ll. We've never had any problems with it. It is extremely versatile and tough. Plus, it's easy to clean. Sorry to see it go. Ours will probably go on for another 6 or 7 (or more) years.

    December 5, 2010 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  6. scottie dogg

    UGLY UGLY UGLY from day one and never got better! Designed and marketed for 20-somethings – who never bought or drove them. Good riddance!

    December 5, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. Element owner

    Unless you have driven one of these vehicles I wouldn't knock it. Absolutely love my 2003 AWD. The cost of ownership has been extremely low compared to other vehicles we have owned. Aesthetically it's not the prettiest I agree. Many of you have forgotten that beauty is not on the outside.

    December 5, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. Toaster lover

    I had a 2003 Orange Element (Manual) with 134,000 miles on it. I have had very little trouble with it. I bought in Feb 2003 and moved from California to Kansas then Georgia in it. I loved this car. On Nov 30, it was hit by another driver directly on the drivers side door at approx 30 miles per hour. The door was demolished all around but the steel bar in the door saved my life. The drivers window did not even break. I loved this car and am sad to see it being discontinued. Once people got past the outside and saw the functionality on the inside, they appreciated the design and handling. Even the guy at the wrecking yard was surprised how much room it had inside. My friends called it a roller skate, baby Hummer and toaster among other things, but they always wanted to take it on our trips. I made it across country 30 hours with stops only for food and gas. Honda should reconsider. RIP Element.

    December 5, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  9. Love the Pumpkin

    Honda people. You are making a huge mistake. The Element is the swiss knife of crossovers . Keep making this vehicle that is designed and "Made in USA"

    December 5, 2010 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  10. Vedette

    I have a Honda Element and I love it. It's smartly designed, very functional, very versatile. Great for camping, and hauling stuff. I've put an entire kayak inside it. The hard-plastic flooring is a lifesaver.

    I don't give a s**t what people think about its looks. I hope whatever comes after incorporates its many design features.

    December 5, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. Sharkgal

    I've had my Element for three years and I LOVE it (in spite of my co-workers calling it a toaster oven on wheels). I'm a diver and rider and I can throw wet dive gear, hay, saddles, dirty horse blankets, jump standards, and anything else in it...and wipe the dirt and salt water off. Why every other SUV I looked at had carpet is beyond me...does the word UTILITY mean anything to other auto companies? I like the unconventional look, the nylon seats that clean up easily, it rides well...guess I'll have to take extra good care of mine so that it lasts a looooooooong time!

    December 5, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jimilou

    I love my 2003 awd element and this is sad news! 152k miles, 2 accidents, and and no complaints. I guess I'll just have to buy a 2nd used ele when this one dies. Shoulda never abandoned the plastic panels, Honda!

    December 5, 2010 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Captain Over

    Read a bunch of these posts and now I want to buy one! Reconsider, Honda, you have a lot of E fans.

    December 6, 2010 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. Robert

    I am not sure what people see in these box cars because they are an eyesore. Whenever I see a Scion on the road I always wonder what make people buy these cars. The "thinking inside the cube" quote for a car is the dumbest thing I have ever heard someone say.

    December 6, 2010 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  15. Brian

    I agree with the Honda customer service. So I go now to a different Honda dealer and told them how bad the one where i bought my car is. But yes the sound system is awsome and the inside has great space. I fit my new 55" TV still in the box in it as well as a 55" long fish tank. My Element is the 2004 and is AWD (my first one) I am very impressed at how it handles on the snow and ice. ZERO engine problems so far. I only wished it had a normal trunk.

    December 6, 2010 at 6:35 am | Report abuse |
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