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STYLING | 7 out of 10
One of the most distinctive and useful shapes on the road
Honda has retooled its Maytag-square Element to be more urban-hipster chic
Car and Driver
Simple, convenient climate and audio controls
There's nothing else quite like the Honda Element on the road today, which makes this hard-to-categorize offering from Honda one of the ultimate niche vehicles. While you would be hard-pressed to call the 2009 Honda Element any adjective approaching attractive, it's difficult to argue with its versatility-enhancing design elements.
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com appreciate the 2009 Honda Element for what it is—although putting your finger on exactly what the Honda Element is can prove difficult. Edmunds describes the Honda Element as "a compact, car-based SUV that comes in three trim levels: regular LX, the upgraded EX and the special SC." The 2009 Honda Element falls somewhere between the small crossover/SUV/minivan segments and boasts an upright, boxy shape. The exterior receives some minor updates for 2009, and Car and Driver observes that "Honda has retooled its Maytag-square Element to be more urban-hipster chic, with a lower ride height, bigger wheels, and body-color bumpers." Motor Trend reviewers note that "the most obvious change to the 2009 Honda Element is right up front, where the grille has been restyled to mimic Honda's new bold chrome ring look first seen on the redesigned 2009 Honda Pilot," although they are thankful that, "other than the fresh nose, the Element's easily recognizable look and shape remains." Though the new styling elements are relatively minor, Autoblog finds them significant enough to report that "the new Element is certainly an improvement over the outgoing model, at least in the looks category."
Not all reviewers—or consumers, for that matter—love the styling of the 2009 Honda Element, but TheCarConnection.com agrees with Edmunds when they declare that the Honda 2009 Element "remains one of the most distinctive and useful shapes on the road."
The interior of this Honda 2009 Element, like the exterior, receives little in the way of styling changes. Reviewers generally appreciate the virtues of the Honda Element's interior, as ConsumerGuide praises the "simple, convenient climate and audio controls." Other reviewers agree that the interior layout is functional, and that functionality is joined by some new styling elements for 2009. Autoblog reports that "the Element's interior includes new color combos, titanium-look accents, and switchgear designs," while Cars.com notes the availability of "a new three-compartment overhead storage unit" on the EX and SC trims. The only major complaint regarding the interior comes from ConsumerGuide, which points out that the "hooded gauges are hard to see in some light conditions, and are partly obscured for tall drivers by the steering wheel."
The 2009 Honda Element wins over practical fashionistas with its quirky styling and practical interior.