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. Kristen

    I'm so sad to see that Honda is discontinuing the Element, I've had mine for 3 years and I absolutely LOVE it. I was planning on trading it in in about 4 years for a newer model, but looks like I'm going to have to find a newer used model unless something comes out that's comparable. And to anyone who thinks it's a crap car, don't knock it til you try it. This vehicle is amazing at tranforming to fit your needs. I've never had any issue with it, and I'm so upset to see it go.

    December 4, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ken

    I am 50, have owned about many different cars. bmw 5 series, Audi A4, Toyota PU, Toyota Landcruiser, Jeep Wrangler, Honda Accord, Ford PU, Mercury Cougar, and a Honda Element ( not in that order).
    I have to say the Element was the most satisfying. It was all about function, in could do everything I wanted, bikes, skis, stuff, but still a nice around town vehicle. I get Honda's decision... its all about volume, but I am disappointed.

    December 4, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John

    I've had mine since they first came out in 2003, no problems at 75K miles and counting. Everyone I know hated the look of one on the outside but they all liked it on the inside. As a 6'7" driver I can say it's got the best head and leg room of any car I've ever driven, including any truck I have driven. I'm going to drive mine until it dies. Then I'll get another one used...gonna miss you.

    December 4, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • ladydi

      The exceptional leg and head room always surprises people.

      December 5, 2010 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. RJ

    Model T=Boxy...enough said lol

    December 4, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Trini

    I'm very disappointed. I have a 2003 Honda CRV when it wore out, I planned to get an Element. My son has one, and it's awesome. I see them everywhere, hard to believe they are not more popular than that. My sister has the new CRV and she is very unhappy with it. Well, by the time my CRV wears out, there will be something else out there hopefully.

    December 4, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bouboulina

    I traded in an Audi I hated for a 2005 Element I love. The Audi was a neurotic, high-maintenance racehorse–sleek, fast, but unpredictable and expensive. My beloved Element is like a Clydesdale–big, tough, utterly reliable, and not ugly to anyone with a sense of humor. It reminds me of the old London cabs, right down to the clamshell doors, great headroom, and excellent sightlines, despite what some have said here. I get good mileage, slalom around potholes in Boston and dirt ruts at the beach, and can fit skis and a large Christmas tree inside, not on the roof. And those 64 possible seat configurations?! My boyfriend calls it the "Kama Sutra of cars." I will keep my Element until it dies–many, many miles from now. As for you clueless idiots who malign the model, you deserve the crappy cars you drive.

    December 4, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • ladydi

      So easy to park too!

      December 5, 2010 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. Free the Leaf

    put it down...

    and support cannabis=jobs reform...

    December 4, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Donna

    I bought a 2004 Element for my small business and had planned to turn over to sales dept. but have kept it myself- now 180,000 mi. and cruising just fine. Very reliable, easy to handle in town and on hwy. and AWD is great .With large dog, teenage equestrian hauling stuff constantly, it has proven to be worth every dollar. I have friends who have also purchased for business use and can't say enough good things about the Element. Besides, my 16 year old thinks that it is cool, so that keeps it in the running for us...

    December 4, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GoodtimeBob

    Perfect for delivering pizza... shelves should have been an option. But it will go down in history as the ugliest vehicle on the road. Maybe the Element Car Owners Society of America can hold meetings with the Yugo Car Owners Society of America

    December 4, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      Elements are very reliable, versatile and fun cars. Yugos were pieces of crud. What's your problem, Bob? Need to put someone else down to make yourself feel better?

      December 5, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Aurora

    Thank god... so ugly.
    Can we get rid of the Nissan Cube while we're at it? Total eye-sore!

    December 4, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Di

    I have owned mine since husband bought it after I had a baby. Did not like it at first thought it was ugly, but it grew on me....I love my car. We also owe a Porsche, Hummer and this is the car I always drive. It is super comfortable for the kids to get in and out. Plus it holds lots of stuff when I go shopping. Too bad it will be one.

    December 4, 2010 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Bob

    I too have had 2 Elements. A 2004 5 spd with all wheel drive and a newer 2008 with all wheel drive. I put 125,000 happy miles on the 2004 before selling it and I already have 60,000 trouble free miles on the 2008 version. I would buy another and might get a 2011 before they stop building them. They are good reliable solid transportation. Not everyone's cup of tea but then I suppose neither is any other make or model. I have used both for work and hauling a small trailer. They have been idea for both uses. Lots of room inside and I even have the camper tent and have used it a few times for overnight sleeping space. All in all good value for the money and to drive in any kind of weather.

    December 4, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Reds

    I am loving these comments.
    The people that dont have one say
    'good, its gone, not soon enough!'
    and those folks that own one say
    'best car I ever had'.

    They never bothered me and recently my brother bought one – he loves it.

    December 4, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Bradley L.

    People don't buy the element for looks. it's very utilitarian and very affordable and reliable. Honda engine! enough said! I agree it's no beauty but it sure as heck better looking than the Pontiac Aztec! Now that was an ugly car!!!!

    December 4, 2010 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • MuDdLe57

      What Bradley said.

      December 4, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MuDdLe57

    Still driving nothing but Hondas after many years. Geez, over the years I've had 4 Civics, a Del Sol (GREAT car), an Accord, a Prelude, a Passport and an Odyssey. The first Civic (a '74 CVCC) and the Passport (a '98–actually made by Isuzu) weren't too great. But ALL of the others have been incredibly reliable, solid and have retained their value. Right now I'm driving am '08 Civic and an '04 Odyssey–both absolutely trouble free.

    My son has an '03 Element, which I have driven, and I like it a lot. Remember the VW "Thing"? It had a clumsy exterior and a very utilitarian interior. I see some conceptual similarities with the Element, which is incomplete without, say, a surfboard or a Mtn bike on top.

    December 4, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • 56

      Had the Isuzu Rodeo (passport)... wait till you try the Honda Pilot. : ]

      December 4, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
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