No more Honda Element after 2011, it’s a Doggone Shame


I just had a conversation with a 2011 Honda Element owner about the demise of the Element and the possibility of a new version. She was rather insightful about the current model and sad for the Element’s demise. I agree with her, it’s sad to see such a unique vehicle diminish.

Here are the basics on the 2011 Honda Element:

Prices start about $20,825 and the top of the line 4WD EX starts at $24,185. With some additions, you can easily creep up to the 30K mark.Trunk element

The 166 horsepower 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine (it puts out 161 lb-ft of torque) was able to achieve 20 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. That ain’t great and it’s one of the reasons Honda is killing off the Element. Consumers want better gas mileage and the very same power-plant in a heavier Honda CR-V gets much better mileage. 

They no longer offer a manual transmission, so only a smooth 5-speed automatic transmission is available. Bummer really; I seriously liked the manual 4WD Element.

The 2011 Honda Element can tow up to 1,500 lbs when properly equipped. Keep in mind, it won’t like towing. If you have more than 800 lbs in the Element, you’re running the risk of seriously over-tasking the suspension. 

Here’s the main reason the 2011 Honda Element is a superb choice for a special kind of person; the $1,000 Pet Friendly package. You can get bits and pieces of the package, but it makes more sense just getting the whole kit and caboodle. If you’re a dog fan and only need a four-seater, THIS is the package for you.2011-Honda-Element-Image-int

Here’s Honda’s take on the option:

“The package includes:
• Rear car kennel
• Kennel organizer
• Dog Friendly Element-pattern pet bed
• Stowable ramp
• Dog Friendly Element-pattern seat covers
• All-season “Dog-Bone” floor mats
• Spill-resistant water bowl
• Electric fan
• Tote bag with Dog Friendly logo
• Dog Friendly emblems
• Dog Friendly leash, collar and Paw Print dog tag
• Bag dispenser” – –

The cool thing is, for those of you who already have an Element, this package will fit in your vehicle too. Honda sells the components through their online store. As a dog fan, I think it’s a great idea. Keep in mind: some components, like the dog-fan, need to plug into an outlet that some models do not have. As such, modifications might have to be made to use the device. Interior-header

I’ve driven several versions of the Element over many years. Other than the silly, “Urban” styled one with a lowered stance, they all handled the same. It was stable and secure with great low speed maneuverability. It was no Civic Si, but it was never meant to be. I liked the excellent manual transmission as it woke up what few horses were under the hood. It would dance circles around the yawn-provoking CR-V.

So, why is the Honda Element doomed?

Sales are slow and true to Honda’s slow pace for upgrading their vehicles – the Honda Element is falling behind. Initially, Honda was going to simply kill off the Element. Now, I hear Honda is going to introduce a brand-new Honda Element in the next few years. Hummm – we’ll see about that.

The Honda Element was a great idea and a surprisingly smart vehicle for small families. I enjoyed the ease of loading my kids in the back with the perfect seat height and clamshell rear doors. The 4WD works beautifully in winter and driving the Element as a commuter is supremely easy. The cargo space is downright amazing – especially when you fully remove the rear seats or fold them up against the walls.

I’m sad to see it go.

Element final 

Who knows? Maybe the next one will have more power, seating, aerodynamics and economy while still being the best dog-friendly car you can buy.

p.s. if you’re looking for a great car for cats… just remember: kitties LOVE fast convertibles and HATE restrictive kennels.

Here’s more Honda hilarity – 

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