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Honda Element: Used Model Overview And How To Buy At The Lowest Price
Well, what can we say about the Honda Element (other than that we love it)? And even though it is now out of production, it has an awful lot going for it. It's classy, it's got a totally unique look, it's spacious, it's highly functional ... and it's a "Honda", which means it's a top quality vehicle.
Initially, it was intended to attract mostly outdoor, athletic types such as cyclists, surfers and so forth. But it turned out it appealed to city folks as well thanks to its spacious cabin, competent drive and easy parking.
Originally based on the Honda CR-V, the Element successfully debuted in 2003 (and was produced through 2011) with its novel interior touches and unique wagon design. With center-opening side doors, and without center body pillars, the Element was slightly taller, wider and heavier (by about 200 pounds) than the CR-V. And like the CR-V, it's equipped with a four-cylinder engine, as well as manual and automatic transmission choices.
The Element is also available in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive forms, without low-range gearing. And rather than a traditional swing-out rear door with a glass hatch, the Element sports a combination upper liftgate and drop-down tailgate. In addition, the Element's rear-hinged back doors are shorter than those in the front and can not be opened independently.
The Element seats four occupants on front bucket seats and a split bench rear seat. Weighing just 30 pounds, sections of the back bench can be swung up to the side or even totally removed for still more cargo space. AWD models include a tilt or removable glass skylight over the cargo bay.
At the outset, the Element was powered by a 156-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that was paired with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic. For 2007, this same engine got a power boost to 166-hp.
Gas mileage performance is a bit uninspiring, however, for a four cylinder engine, ranging from an EPA-estimated 20 mpg city and 25 mpg highway on two-wheel-drive models with an automatic transmission, to 18 mpg city and 23 highway for manual-transmission AWD models.
Base DX Element models were primarily produced for individual owner personalization, even coming without a factory audio. These can be found in the used market with a wide array of different features.
The more uplevel EX model features a 270-watt CD audio system, cruise control, air conditioning, power mirrors, alloy wheels and a two-tone interior trim.
Both the DX and EX models have a rubberlike textured floor, water-resistant cloth upholstery, 16-inch wheels and four-wheel disc brakes. EX models come with standard ABS brakes and some pre-2007 models can be found with the optional front side airbags.
Used Honda Element shoppers should note that it received only minor feature upgrades through the 2006 model year, however, there were more significant changes in 2007. Power was boosted by 10 horses, the SC trim level was introduced and the automatic transmission was upgraded to a more efficient five-speeds (earlier models had a four-speed automatic).
The new Element SC model is a sportier version with a lowered sport suspension, copper-colored gauges, 18-inch alloy wheels, body-colored bumpers and projector beam headlights.
Also in 2007, stability control and side airbags became standard, while a new navigation system was offered for 2009. For 2010, the Dog Friendly package was introduced and included an enclosed kennel with a bed and water bowl. The Element's final year of production, 2011, saw the models trimmed to just LX and EX, while both the manual transmission and optional navigation system were dropped.
Overall, the Element offers a roomy cabin, a smooth four-cylinder power, well-balanced handling, plenty of versatility, distinctive styling, four-wheel-drive availability, easy cargo loading and Honda's strong reputation for reliability. On the downside, it seats only four, it's fuel economy is disappointing by today's standards and its acceleration is unimpressive.
That said, a used Honda Element remains a solid choice for those looking for a small yet distinctive crossover SUV with lots of cargo-friendly functionality. However, potential buyers may want to stick to 2007 and newer models due to their increased power and additional safety features.
How To Get The Best Price On A Pre-Owned Honda Element:
There are actually several different ways to buy a used Element at the lowest price, and even at wholesale. You can click on the links to each of the following methods to get the specific instructions.
In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them in your own area.
Also ... for those of you who might be interested in a brand new Honda, if the price was crazy good, here's info on exactly How To Get The Best Price On A New Honda. This works just phenomenally well.