Throughout the years, Honda has been known for its innovative vehicle designs and superior performance. Once again in 2003, it inspired car owners and automakers by releasing one of the best crossover SUVs in the history of the automobile industry—the Honda Element. Through its boxy style and reliability, this vehicle has reshaped a new era for crossover SUVs.
2003: First model
The first model of the Honda Element was praised because of its innovative concept that redefined SUVs. Known for its pickup-like hard floor and SUV-like enclosure, the initial model of this vehicle was powered by 2.4-liter inline, 4-cylinder engine that could produce up to 160 horsepower at 5,500 RPM and 161 pound-feet of torque at 4,500 RPM.
2004: Second model
One year after its debut, the second model of the Element was released. Although it was powered by the same type of engine, the '04 model still stood out because of the introduction of the LX trim. This trim level was available in 2WD and 4WD and had standard features such as power locks, sunroof, and power windows. What's more, it had an average MPG rating of 21 in cities and 24 in highways.
2005-2006: Third model
For the model years 2005 and 2006, the Honda Element did not undergo many changes. It was still powered by the standard 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine. However, in 2006, a new trim level was released—the EX-P. This version was fully painted, and it was available in 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic that has overdrive.
2007: Fourth model
The 2007 model year was a big year for the Element. From 160, the 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine was upgraded to produce as much as 166 horsepower. What's more, the '07 Element was equipped with the Integrated Seat Belt System. This system allowed rear passengers to exit the Element without requiring passengers in the front seat to remove their seatbelts. The trim level SC was also introduced during this period. It had 18-inch alloy wheels, a custom grille and bumper, and lowered suspension.
2008-2009: Fifth model
In 2008 and 2009, the Honda Element welcomed the addition of a new color for the SC trim level—Royal Blue Pearl. Its exterior was also slightly refreshed along with a new navigation option. Some of the notable exterior changes were the installation of an all-metal front grill and hood, removal of the moonroof for AWD Elements, and introduction of the squared-off wheel arches.
2010-2011: Last model
In its last years, the Element only had a few changes. An overhead storage and improved audio system was added to the EX trim. However, it was still powered by the same engine, and it still came in LX, SC, and EX trim levels. Unfortunately, it faced a steadily declining market against its competitors. Thus, after the 2011 model year, Honda decided to pull the plug on this boxy vehicle line.