Scion's xB is a capacious, convenient vehicle, but has recently grown bigger and heavier (some 600 pounds greater than before), diluting its nimbleness; with that extra weight, its more powerful 2.4-liter engine delivers lower fuel economy without much more impressive performance than the former 1.5-liter.
The Mazda5 is probably the Element's fiercest competitor in terms of value and convenience, though its minivan silhouette might make it a no-go for some.
Finally, Kia's upcoming Soul promises a strong dose of fresh style in the mini-crossover market, though initial driving impressions rate it as somewhat less refined than the 2009 Honda Element.
For those who love and need vans—especially small-business owners—the Ford Transit Connect arrives for the 2010 model year with a four-cylinder powertrain and a customizable rear cargo area.
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|2009 Honda ElementBrowse Used Listings||2010 Kia SoulBrowse Used Listings||2009 Scion xBBrowse Used Listings||2008 Mazda MAZDA5Browse Used Listings|
|18 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy||24 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||Coming Soon MPG City / Coming Soon MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||N/A|
|2WD Sport Utility||Small Station Wagon||Small Station Wagon||N/A|
|2WD 5-Door Automatic LX||5-Door Wagon Manual||5-Door Wagon Manual (GS)||4-Door Wagon Manual Sport|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||N/A|
|4 Door||5dr Wgn||4 Door Wagon||N/A|
|Automatic w/OD||Manual||Manual w/OD||N/A|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2009 Honda Element vs. 2010 Kia Soul||2009 Honda Element vs. 2009 Scion xB||2009 Honda Element vs. 2008 Mazda MAZDA5|