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Honda Element Ends Production

Posted in auto industry, Cross Over Vehicle, Honda, Newsworthy, SUV by Kurt Ernst | December 6th, 2010 | 6 Responses |

2010 Honda Element

It was boxy, but good, and was perhaps the only passenger vehicle less aerodynamic than a Volkswagen Microbus. After an eight year run, Honda has announced the end of Element production, citing declining sales as the reason. Originally intended as a lifestyle vehicle for Generation X, the Element never drew the audience that Honda expected; instead, most buyers were north of age 40, and they embraced the Element for both it’s funky styling and its incredible versatility. Or maybe it was the only vehicle on the market that reminded buyers of the old VW bus.

Honda tried several tricks through the years to boost appeal, including introducing an “upscale” EX-P version with fully painted fenders in 2006. In 2007, Honda launched the SC model, an “urban cruiser” aimed specifically at Gen X. The SC had a carpeted interior (a first for the Element), and featured unique colors, a stylized interior, a more aggressive front fascia and a lowered ride height for improved handling (which, for a vehicle like the Element, was truly relative). Even the SC version failed to attract buyers in the quantities that Honda had anticipated, and a 2009 restyle only managed to make the Element uglier.

I may be one of the few who appreciated the Element for what it was, but then again I also have a thing for VW Campers. Sure it was slow, sure it had the aerodynamics of a housing complex and sure it handled like a U-Haul truck, but it was perhaps the most functional vehicle ever produced by a major automaker. You could haul cargo, you could haul passengers, you could carry bikes inside it and you could even sleep in the thing in relative comfort. I’ll admit to almost buying one on two separate occasions, but I could never find the right combination of circumstances and pricing to sign on the dotted line. The Element wasn’t perfect, but it really wasn’t like anything else on the market. I’ll mourn its passing, even if no one else does.

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6 Responses

  1. […] a lifestyle vehicle for Generation X, the Element never drew the audience that Honda expected; […]Read more… Categories: Uncategorized Tags: Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen […]

  2. DaveMofo! says:

    My girlfriend drives one of these, (actually one almost just like the one in the pic, except for the rims) and I love it. I never would’ve imagined it could have so much space inside. I think it has a decent amount of manners as far as handling goes…It’s no rocket sled, that’s for sure. I wonder if anyone sells an aftermarket chip to give it an electronic boost?

  3. […] this link: Honda Element Ends Production   Tags: auto industry, newsworthy Posted in: […]

  4. mugczar says:

    I still have the 2005 FWD 5-speed manual that I bought new almost six years ago, and it remains exactly as unique and useful as the day I got it.

    Definitely not the fastest thing on the road, but with the manual shifter I can still get moving in a hurry, and passing is a breeze. Not great gas mileage, but low-20s for that shape? Better than I expected.

    Thanks to the plastic panels all around, I’ve got barely a scratch on the paint. Got that deep, sparkly blue (“Fiji Blue Pearl”) they only offered that model year.

    I’m a little surprised it lasted as long as it did; I was shocked to find something that spoke so completely to my lifestyle (I bought it in my late 20s and it’s perfect to take my surfboards to the beach, as well as bringing home gutters, flooring and PVC pipe from the hardware store!) actually existed … I have to pinch myself every time I get in to make sure it’s real.

    RIP Element, long live *my* Element!

  5. Kurt Ernst says:

    Dave, if I remember correctly the Element uses the same motor as the Civic, so there’s got to be SOMETHING out there to make it go faster.

    Mugczar, I think the Element will eventually wind up like the VW Bus. They’ll never be worth a fortune as a collector vehicle, but they’ll hold their value well and you’ll have no problem selling one.

  6. My elder brother used to have one of these and believe me he cursed this vehicle more than americans cursed godzilla! Every second day he has to deal with new problem in this car. However, I am quiet happy that honda has discontinued the manufacturing of this crappy vehicle, Atlast!