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. FunctionRules!

    My Element is the 1st auto I've owned in over 30 years with No Leather and Elite Luxury Pkg – But the Sound System IS Fabulous _ AND The Functionaly (seat config-options) interior room, Economy, Reliebility - ARE GREAT ! I coud go on - But a Primary reason that I bought it was the Door-Config which allows me to hop into drivers seat & pull my WheelChair into car Behind Front seat – UnAssisted -No back door in the way (And OH in "06 I first looked at Over 15 Cars & cross-overs W/ 2DR config – NOT ONE (Incl Large, GM, Ford, American and Foreigh models) Not One had he 14 IN Needed for collapsed wheelchair behind front seat! I'll keep this (it Will Last!!) forever!!

    December 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. AJ

    I don't understand how people can drive these things knowing 90% of other drivers on the road are shaking their heads at you for driving such a hideous vehicle. Roomy or not, it's beyond ugly and has no style. Sorry! Good on Honda for finally realizing it. Now when will Scion realize?

    December 4, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why AJ?

      why are you so concerned about what other people think? You sound very you have a ton of credit card debt.

      December 4, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • frogpond

      Concern about what other people think of my vehicle choice is one of the last things that is going to keep me awake nights.

      December 4, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy

      Maybe the whole idea behind the Element and Scion was that they did not look like other cars that unimaginative people prefer to drive because they don't want someone else unimaginative shaking their head at them ....maybe?

      December 4, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      I like my car and I like myself and I don't need, or want, your approval of either. Who are you to judge me? How much would you like to be judged? Are you so pathetic and insecure that you can't possibly be a little different? It's called confidence, AJ. Get some.

      December 4, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Easy does it Kim. AJ's trying to deal with all the people laughing at him for being the owner of an '88 Ford Tempo.

      December 4, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dave C

    Meant to type 'over slippery looks'....

    The 'box' may be ugly to some, but to me it is a lot of fun filled memories. Antique hunting on the spur of the moment – no problem. Head to the Canadian island for 2 months loaded to the gills – no problem. No Element – Problem. Wife will not be happy to hear this news.

    December 4, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Her boxy element

    Now if we could get fat people to lose their boxy element. Maybe then there would be enough food to go around.

    December 4, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ladykaka

    Volvo made boxy cool first.

    December 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Who cares

      Volvo was first with turbo-charged vehicles for the mass market also – Vrrrrrooooommmmm!@

      December 4, 2010 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      Boxy was never ever cool. Still isn't. Still won't ever be.

      December 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. FunctionRules!

    P.S. besides my Siberian Huskie (and I like the Washable seats!) – for 5 years now I get Inquiries in parking lots Weekly – from Women with big SUVs (trucks ! W/ nice interiors) about the Element size, driving experience, saftey etc. etc. Beuty IS in the Eye (or the Ego) of the beholders!

    December 4, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joey S

    I never understood the whole boxcar idea anyway. The Scion and Element are ugly cars, of course not as bad as the Pontiac THAT was a bad car!

    December 4, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Squidhead

    These SUVs have poor visibility, block views of other vehicles and unstable compared to a car. They are a menace and should be eliminated.

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

      amen, brother/sister.

      December 4, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nice One

      Maby SquidHeads ought to be emilinated (if not already!) along with the gazzillion SUVs which are Far more "Manacing" and dangerous (i.e. Bumper matchup & visibility issues w/in & always in Left lanes) – SUVs produce 6x or 7X the pollutants as Honda vehicles!!

      December 4, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      It's a good thing that your fascist viewpoint doesn't determine what happens in real life.

      December 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      The Honda Element has, actually, great visibility. Shows how much you know.

      December 4, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. fajita

    soooooo freaking ugly. i hate these kinds of vehicles so much. some people like to be so ~different~ from everyone else to the point where they look like idiots, for example buying these god-awful vehicles.

    December 4, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Maybe it is ugly to you. But to others might be very beautiful. We don't live in a perfect world. People have different taste. Are you living in the USA? we are very diverse in everything e.g. people, foods, sports, religions, etc. That is why made us Americans very unique and intelligent. No one in the world will able to beat a good old USA.

      December 4, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • frogpond

      Or it could be that some people actually consider how well a vehicle fits their needs instead of what other people think is cool. Nah, that would be too logical!

      December 4, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrsFizzy


      December 4, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Josh

    I also hear they might abandon the ridgeline as well because its not selling the way they like. Honda makes the best vehicles hands down. I have owned 5 civics and currently 2011 Civic and 06 Ridgeline. Mechanically these are the best vehicles ever manufactured. GO HONDA!

    December 4, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      They are reliable cars. I own Toyota and Honda. I live up North and I do need reliable cars in the winter.

      December 4, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. LCT

    THey had a great idea but marketed o the wrong crowd. Midle aged women are the ones I see in them. Not hot 20 yo's. So. I would recommend that Honda change the gearing so get beter mileage. It is too hot in acceleration. I had one. Had being the operative work, but I had it for 6 years. I loved it as a musician I could schlep my insturments in the back seat area as the doors swumg open leaving a wide space. ANd it is higher up so one does not have to bend over and struggle with putting things in and out. In addition a walker and wheelchair fits perfectly in there. Market to the baby boomers with parents and pending disabilities and get the gas mileage up by changing the gearing. It is a great car concept just marketed to the wrong crowd.

    December 4, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. madhu thangavelu

    Gee....quite a homely vehicle. Wonder how it got off the drawing board and into production.
    Kinda reminded me of Flintstones when I first saw one on the road. Remember AMC Pacer ?...and then, this one....we'll never forget what some people can design...and what some people will buy, for that matter ! These are designs that want to be something but quite never matured on the drawing board before they were forced to bend metal and into production. Of course, we need these kinds of models to tell students what "not" to make !

    December 4, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DOnna

    I'd REALLY like to know what everyone who is stating how horrible they are to looks at-what do you drive??

    December 4, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      4Runner. MUCH better looking than the sh!tbox element

      December 4, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • goneballistic

      '07 Tundra. I've gotten nothing but compliments, many from complete strangers. As to the gas mileage, if I couldn't afford to drive it, I wouldn't have it.

      December 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      Gosh, you know, I think Tundras and 4Runners are boring and ugly.

      How's the shoe on that foot?

      December 4, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • goneballistic

      Gee Kim, I really don't care what you think.

      December 4, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • DOnna

      Nor I you Mr. ballistic

      December 5, 2010 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  14. Saxxon

    I like the Dodge logos reflecting off the side of the car.

    December 4, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Johnny

    What are they going to sell now to people who have no taste in cars?

    December 4, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Poor slow Johnny

      'What are they going to sell now to people who have no taste in cars?'

      Probably whatever you drive.

      December 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Johnny

      Mine is a better vehicle than most on the road, "poor slow". Why don't you get a real name, you loser?
      And there is NOTHING slow about me, kiddo. When you achieve at least a 140 IQ, then get back to me.
      The Element sux it.

      December 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • SJB

      I'm agreeing with Poor Slow Johnny. People with no taste in cars are probably buying whatever you drive, loser.

      December 4, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
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