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2011 Honda Element Features

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The 2011 Honda Element comes configured just right for its target audience—an odd mix of active young people, frugal empty nesters, and pet owners—with several trim levels.

Base LX models are quite basic, but don't forget about air conditioning or power accessories, while uplevel EX models don't omit digital music and other desirable features, including an iPod interface, USB connection, and MP3 compatibility. Those models get an upgraded 270-watt stereo system with seven speakers and a subwoofer.

Options on the base LX are limited, but Honda Element EX models can be outfitted with a few more features such as a navigation system and a rear backup camera (very useful with this model). Last year, Honda introduced a new Dog Friendly Element, a $995 option, which includes a pet carrier made of seatbelt webbing, an extendable ramp, an extra ventilation fan, a cushioned bed, and all-season floor mats.

The 2011 Honda Element excels in cargo-friendly features, but other luxuries and connectivity features get mostly left behind.

2011 Element EX models get an upgraded 270-watt audio system with aux input, steering-wheel controls, seven speakers, and a subwoofer; and XM Satellite Radio is featured in these models. Other options in the EX appeal to the tech-savvy crowd. The highlight is a voice-activated navigation system, which includes a USB interface. However we note that this system now feels woefully out of date.

The clamshell back doors, from a feature standpoint, can be both a positive and negative. When it comes time to haul a big-screen TV, the huge opening they afford will be appreciated; but you must open your front door in order for rear passengers to open theirs, so sometimes it doesn't feel any better than a two-door vehicle.

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