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STYLING | 7 out of 10
Honda has retooled its Maytag-square Element to be more urban-hipster chic
Car and Driver
Simple, convenient climate and audio controls
One of the most distinctive and useful shapes on the road
The 2010 Honda Element still makes a style statement that's unlike any other. Even for those who don't think the Element is attractive, it's hard to argue with the beauty of its stark functionality.
Most reviewers appreciate the Honda Element for its high-utility form, though it's tough to single out particular details. The 2010 Honda Element falls somewhere between the small crossover/SUV/minivan segments and boasts an upright, boxy shape. Last year the Element received a slight styling refresh, from which Car and Driver observes, "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." Edmunds declared that the Honda 2009 Element "remains one of the most distinctive and useful shapes on the road," and TheCarConnection.com's editors agree.
Slight styling changes were made to the Honda Element's interior for 2009, and those carry over for 2010. Changes are basically limited to slightly different trims, materials, and switchgear, though the basic interior design remains the same. Most reviewers appreciate the Element's style inside, as ConsumerGuide praises the "simple, convenient climate and audio controls." 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."
Not everyone will agree that the 2010 Honda Element is good-looking, but style-conscious shoppers with an eye for utility will like what they see.