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. Greg Lang

    Amanda, I too wanted to buy an Element but the dealer (Honda of Tysons) was absolutely rotten. Bought RAV4 instead.

    December 4, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. gkingii

    No way the Element started a box on wheels trend. Jeep Cherokee, then the '08 Liberty and the Commander have been doing it (better) for years. In my view the other cars, which look like jelly beans or the newer crossover "turtles" are the ugly ones.

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

      The "box on wheels" was started way back with the International "Scout" and the original Ford Bronco.

      December 4, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sammy

      I agree with your comment ABr the newer crossover "turtles" are the ugly ones.

      December 4, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sammy

      Let me try that again without my cat's assistance. I agree with the comment about the ugly crossover design. While I have never owned an Element, I have owned two CR-Vs. I hate the new design. Not distinctive. Looks like half dozen other cars. I'll probably by a RAV the next time around.

      Honda, what are you thinking?

      December 4, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dilbert

      Yeah, "the turtles" I like that term for most of the ugly SUV's out right now. Those thing look like they have swollen glands or a metabolism problem or something. The Element always looked tight.

      December 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Hannah

    I got to drive my dad's for three weeks while my car was in the shop. It was AWESOME! I was not expecting that at all. It's really fun to drive and it comes with satellite radio. I looooved it!

    December 4, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. shawn

    I gave them a couple thoughts as the design fit my lifestyle...as its very much a functional machine...but...

    Horrible gas mileage. I think it should be 30 mpg+
    Sunroof in back? What the dog gets to enjoy the fresh air?
    Horrible color combos and those plastic panels, yuck!
    Garbage dash, typical asian garbage and the stick on the dash...
    rode like a jeep...

    other then that it had a chance!

    December 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trini

      yea, you right, they should get better gas mileage than that.

      December 4, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • MuDdLe57

      I forgot about the sunroof in the back thing. Yeah, sort of a dumb idea. Maybe so you can fold down the seats for beds and look at the stars?

      December 4, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • ElementalLady

      The sun roof was positioned so you could stand your surf board up at a slant and let the top of it protrude out a bit. Cause the element is long enough to hold a treadmill, or a twin mattress, or a loveseat, but not a surf board.

      December 4, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      You have to be kidding – my Honda Element rides far, far better than any Jeep. Try not to be so full of baloney, OK?

      December 5, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Big Jilm

    Box on wheels? Its called a Van. Love the Rear stadium seating though.

    December 4, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dave

    "It made boxy vehicle designs cool."

    Uhhh...no...no it didn't. Everyone I know and I laughed at them every time we saw one on the road. Goodbye, Honda Failement.

    December 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • SJB

      "Everyone I know and I laughed at them every time we saw one on the road. Goodbye, Honda Failement."

      No doubt while both of you were driving down the road in a Ford Festiva...loser.

      December 4, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      I make a point of laughing at insecure people who have to look like everyone else. Talk about fail.

      December 5, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Big1

    That stinks that they're putting the ax to this great reliable car. I guess Ford will get my business after 2011.

    December 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bindiboi

    Good, one of the ugliest cars ever made. Hopefully they will go after Saab and Sion next, all of them.

    December 4, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. shorn

    One of the best cars I ever owned. You morons who dis it for it's looks – it weren't meant to be pretty. I were meant to do stuff. f150 is just a dull as dirt pick up, but it's a good vehicle. Soooo shaddup!

    December 4, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. KarmaD

    I have a 2007. It rocks. It is by far the most practical car I have ever owned.
    It's one of those cars where you either 'get it' or you don't. And yes, with the fold down rear seats, you can use your imagination to interpret that.

    December 4, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ken Shane

    Easily the best car I've ever owned. I have an '04 with about 112,000 miles and it's never given me a bit of trouble. Aside from tires and brakes, and changing the oil, I've never had to do anything to keep the car running perfectly. I'd say that I'm sad that they're discontinuing it, but I don't see any reason why I'd ever need another one. I plan on driving this one forever.

    December 4, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. phil philbert

    my neighbor has one and he is a d0uche. good riddance!

    December 4, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • ed

      i have a funny feeling you're the D0uche

      December 5, 2010 at 6:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. So-Ni-Ah

    I love my Ellee....she's a great car, never had an issue. To those of you who think it's an ugly mobile, look in the mirror! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

    December 4, 2010 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ezky

    Once they started painting the panels it looked just like any other SUV. I can see why people may not have bought them as much in later years.

    December 4, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peggy Leven

      I agree. Big mistake. It lost it's "edgy-ness".

      December 4, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. guy

    It's about time...definitely a dudd

    December 4, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
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