2011 Honda Element Photo
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Cargo-hauling and versatility are amazing in the 2011 Honda Element, but passenger comfort takes second stage.
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QUALITY | 8 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

Driving the Honda Element on a windswept highway can be a chore. Its boxy body seems to catch wind at every angle.
Washington Post

hard seat padding is not conducive to long-haul comfort
Consumer Guide

not a large car by any means, but it has a ton of space for passengers and cargo
MSN Autos

there's a lot of road noise and more vibration than we've come to expect from a Honda engine
Orlando Sentinel

At highway speeds, a fair amount of wind noise is produced by the Element's ungainly physique.

The 2011 Honda Element has a box-on-wheels design that imbues it with a lot more interior space than models that take up more parking space. And with its suicide-door (front-hinged front door and rear-hinged back door) setup, high roof and low cargo floor, it's seriously spacious.

Yet some might be surprised to see that the emphasis in the Element's packaging is on cargo and versatility, not back seats and passenger space. While most other vehicles of the Element's size have five seats, the Honda seats just four, and the two backseats are quite small. In fact the Element isn't a great choice for those who plan to regularly carry backseat passengers; the cabin feels rather narrow and the seats are hard, while entry and exit are a bit challenging. Furthermore, the rear-hinged back doors can open only if the respective front ones are opened first.

Throughout the model line, the interior includes a collection of nooks and crannies good for gear and all sorts of smaller items. EX models get an overhead console with two compartments: one of them large enough for PDAs, the other good for sunglasses. The EX comes with a new convertible center console with a removable cooler/storage box.

Build quality is excellent in the 2011 Element, but with compromised passenger comfort and hard function-over-feel interior materials, it can feel a little too basic for some tastes. Cabin noise levels aren't as hushed as you might hope, though.


Cargo-hauling and versatility are amazing in the 2011 Honda Element, but passenger comfort takes second stage.

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