2011 Honda Element Photo
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On Performance
$12,954 - $23,999
On Performance
The 2011 Honda Element handles a lot better than you might expect, but its performance isn't at all exciting.
7.0 out of 10
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

handled wonderfully, communicating (in the way Hondas are known to do) the road conditions through steering wheel and seat
Winding Road

Ride and acceleration are decent to good under most circumstances.
Washington Post

The automatic transmission is smooth, helping to extract the most from the engine.
Consumer Guide

won't win many stoplight drag races, but it delivers peppy enough performance for most daily tasks

shifted more smoothly than the Kia's four-speed and was more agreeable than the Nissan's continuously variable ratio box
USA Today

The 2011 Element has modest technical specs: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 166 horsepower and 161 pound-feet of torque; front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive; and running gear that's evolved in part from the Civic and CR-V parts bin.

There's no manual gearbox offered, but the five-speed automatic transmission works well with this flexible four. The combination gives the Element sprightly acceleration around town, though on the highway it can become noisy and needs a little more planning. The transmission is smooth and decisive around town, but a little rougher at speed.

The Element gets better fuel economy if you simply stick with front-wheel drive, and it does just fine that way; we'd recommend all-wheel drive only for those who get heavy snowfall.

Those who expect the 2011 Honda Element to drive like a truck will be surprised; with a car-based chassis that has struts up front and Honda's famed double-wishbone rear suspension, the Element possesses responsive handling and decent stability. Soft tires make for somewhat lazy steering response but contribute to a smooth ride. Braking is strong and easy to modulate; four-wheel discs with ABS are standard.


The 2011 Honda Element handles a lot better than you might expect, but its performance isn't at all exciting.

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