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. Florida

    I once thought of buying an Element, but today (if I had the money) I'd buy a Ford Transit which is quickly becoming a very popular small work and recreational van (it comes in either the 2-seat work van or passenger van models), though as others said unusual for Honda to abandon a vehicle – the last time they did this was about the same time the Element was introduced, when they (mistakenly) discontinued the Civic Hatchback...

    December 4, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gale

    Toaster on wheels.

    December 4, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Gary

    Our 2001 Odyssey has more room than any vehicle mentioned above.

    It gets 20mpg going 80mph!

    At 105,000, it's about "broken in" and I expect it to easily go to 250,000 with just oil changes!

    Those that "need" to get a newer vehicle, go for it, I'll be driving this box for another decade of trouble free driving!

    December 4, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. DAN

    Ugly? What I call ugly is 95% of all other new vehicles that look as if they were cut out of some version of the same mold.

    December 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • DOnna

      I think we're in agreement–"ugly" over boring any day.

      again, I'm not talking Pontiac Aztek ugly here.

      December 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Brian

    I wish Honda would bring back the Accord Hatchback. I had one for 16 years and it was the best car I ever had

    December 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chef

    Hey Jack, you have clearly never traveled much. Ford is the biggest automotive company and makes/sells cars globally. They have entire divisions and unique product lines in sevral foreign countries. Ford is the #1 automaker in most of Europe, just for one. Look up the Australian division of Ford, they have had the market their for decades. Sure Fords will go South on you without good care and proper maintenance, but if you drive one like you have sense and keep basic maintenance on a Ford they will last as long as anything on the road.

    December 4, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. cf

    Had a 2004 Element EX. Fine vehicle. Great driver excedpt for being underpowered. Decent gas mileage. Fun to drive. Seating positions excellent. Not a thing ever went wrong with the Element which we traded for a Honda Odyssey when grandkids were crawling out of the back seat of the Element. The Ody is an excellent van and nothing compares to it...not Chrysler, not Ford, not GM, not Subaru, no VW. Nothing compares. But, the Element was equally as fine in its own way and we would still have it today if space had not become an issue. Go, Honda. Maybe someday Detroit will build something half as nice for the price and longevity. Oh, Detroit! We also own a '05 Buick LeSabre that has been a good vehicle but the two times I've taken it back to the dealer for air conditioner/heating system doors not opening or closing, it has been one whale of an argument getting the service youngster to do anything about what I tell him...he always wants to check this, check that, flip this or that, and ends up telling me he found nothing wrong with it. The Buick is fine, but I doubt that I buy another because of the idiotic treatment from the GM service department.

    Still, Honda makes the better car. The only complaint with Honda is their super expensive navigation system that will not recognize my home adress that has not changed in over 100 years but which Honda/Alpine/Navtec says does not exist. That is the only place Honda made a definite wrong turn - and they will not admit it!!

    December 4, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dr. Tanner

    It's ABOUT TIME! I hated that monstrosity! It was uglier than a sack of hammers! Goodbye, Element!

    December 4, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tom

    I bought an '04 because of it's drop dead good looks, utility and Honda's reputation for building long lasting vehicles. I plan to keep it until the wheels fall off. It is the most reliable car I've owned, fun to drive and able to carry lots of stuff. At 80.000 miles, it runs and looks like new. Buy one before they stop making them.

    December 4, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Woodsong

      Obviously you have no taste.

      December 4, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Gleas

    For a gigging musician this is the ultimate gig-mobile. With the seats out you can transport tons of gear and still have room for a PA System and a passenger. Unlike a truck the bay is always covered, and unlike most SUV's the seats stow up or out so you can load right onto the back floor. The rubber/plastic interior is durable and easy to clean. I have an '06 and when I wear it out in 2018, I'll be looking to buy a used 2011. If you bought this car for looks or engine power then you bought the wrong vehicle. If you bought it for space and durability congrats to you!

    December 4, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Johnny Genius

    I meant slow as in 'slow vehicle' (4Runner, right?), not slow as in 'slow-witted'. That seemed obvious to me since we were talking about the Element and other vehicles. I apologize for the embarrassment you must be feeling now. Why do you think you were so quick to assume I was referring to your intellect? Yikes, talk about showing your @ss in public.

    I changed my name...I hope you find this one to be more positive.

    December 4, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Gonzo

    What a shame, the only reason we don't still have ours is becuase with 4 kids there wasn't enough room. If there had ever built one with 6 seats we would have bought it in a heartbeat. It is the perfect family vehicle if you have young children. Easy to clean, plenty of room for all the stuff you need to carry, and a lot of fun to drive. Still might get one as our second vehicle before they are gone cause it ran great and was fun to drive. And yes I was one of those people who thought it was ugly when I first saw it and only looked because it was next to the Civic in the showroom and the wife liked it. Like they say, dont judge the book by the cover.

    December 4, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kari - Island Pet Movers

    Sooo bummed! I bought my Element in '03 when they came out and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this car! You can get three 500 series dog rates in an Expedition, you can can't hose out a suburban, can't throw a 10' long surfboard in a crossover SUV so no one steals it off roof racks when you want to go have lunch after a day on the water, you never have to worry about the water dripping on carpet that doesn't exist!! OOH ya and I just turned 165K miles and have replaced only tires, and brakes! This is the best dog car, and functional vehicle ever!! I have moved 8' trees in here, full sized washer and dryer!! And yet I can park in any parking space, the turning radius is amazing, the gas mileage is pretty great for a box! HONDA you got it wrong here!! I am going to have to buy another one just to keep around for later 🙁

    December 4, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kari - Island Pet Movers

    ^^ That was supposed to say you CAN'T get three 500 series crates in an Expedition!

    December 4, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dan

    its ok there is still the scion xb

    December 4, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
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