Providing a unique utility style, the Honda Element was introduced in 2003 geared for a younger and more active crowd. Developed as an alternative to a pickup truck or a larger sport utility vehicle, the Element featured a featured a square appearance that differentiated itself from the other Honda vehicles in 2003. The five-door layout of the 2003 Honda Element included a pair of rear access doors and a fold-down tailgate at the back.
The Honda Element’s most endearing quality was its highly customizable interior. Seating could be configured to 64 or more arrangements that include the conversion of the rear seats into a bed. The flooring of the 2003 Element was draped with a tough, scratch resistant urethane-coated material allowing it to be easily cleaned. Power for the Honda Element was sourced from a 2.4-liter I-VTEC engine that initially generated 160 horsepower (output was increased to 166 in 2007). A five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic were offered for the 2003 model year. A five-speed automatic transmission was introduced to the Honda Element for 2007.
For much of the Element’s production span, the vehicle could be equipped as a front-wheel drive or with Real Time four-wheel drive. Often sporting metallic-look composite body panels, the Honda Element’s EX-P trim package in 2006 painted the panels to match the body color for a more sophisticated look. The Element SC replaced the EX-P trim level in 2007 that added a sport-tuned suspension and 18-inch wheels. For 2010, Honda added a “Dog Friendly” package to the Element complete with a cushioned pet bed, 12-volt rear ventilation fan and a spill-resistant water bowl. After the 2011 model year, Honda declared the end of production for the Element compact utility vehicle.