2011 Honda Element Performance

7.0
Performance
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.

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

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.

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