Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Final Honda Element Leaves the Building

The Honda Element is no more. The last one rolled off the assembly line in Marysville, Ohio on Monday, April 18. Don't cry, though--they made 361,500 of them since production began in November 2002.

I drove at least two as test cars--if not three. The car is bigger than you might think--compared to the similarly boxy Scion XB--especially the first generation model. I remember the second row seats being WAY back--like a limo's, and the ceiling so high that I could barely touch it with an upstretched arm.

Being based on the perennially popular CR-V crossover, it offered plenty of utility and decent fuel economy--but it wasn't at the top of the gas miser index. As a Honda, it was well made, reliable and pleasant to drive.

The last one I tested was a 2010 model--the Dog Friendly Edition. It had special dog-friendly trappings, such as a little cloth "house", a ramp (for bigger pooches), and the rubber mats had bone graphics on them. It even wore a canine-oriented logo on the outside.

There are no plans to produce another generation of this car, so it's really goodbye. But don't count Honda out. I expect that the next "box" from them will be smaller and more fuel efficient. It will have plenty of competition.

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