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2010 Honda Element with Dog-Friendly Package – Click above for high-res image gallery

After a nine-year run, the Honda Element will officially be killed off after the 2011 model year. The Element has suffered from slow sales numbers over the past few years, and in the model's death notice, Honda specifically cites that a large amount of customers prefer the better refinement and improved fuel economy of the automaker's CR-V crossover.

Since its debut in December of 2002, more than 325,000 Elements have been sold in the United States. During its lifespan, we saw the introduction of the bolder-looking SC model in 2007, and just last year, Honda began offering the 2010 Element with a dog-friendly package (pictured). Modest facelifts over the years have helped keep the Element somewhat fresh, but newer competitors on the scene have helped expose weaknesses in refinement and power. That said, Honda's boxy sport-ute has long been praised for its utility-oriented and easy-to-maintain interior – not to mention kicking off the modern styling trend of boxy vehicles.

Follow the jump to read Honda's official statement. Thanks to everyone for the tips!

Photos copyright ©2010 Alex Nunez / AOL

[Source: Honda]
Show full PR text
2011 Will Be Final Model Year of Production for Honda Element

Boxy, bold vehicle found many functional niches during its 9-year run

The 2011 Honda Element will be the final model year of production of the innovative and functional crossover utility vehicle, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today. First introduced in concept form as the Honda Model X at the 2001 North American International Auto Show, the Element virtually created its own functional class and became an immediate favorite for small businesses, outdoor enthusiasts and pet owners. After a long life cycle, utility-seeking customers have more recently embraced other vehicles in the Honda lineup like the versatile and comfortable CR-V.

"The Element proved that ultimate functionality can often come from thinking inside the box," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda. "It made boxy vehicle designs cool, and Element owners continue to enjoy its unique styling and unmatched versatility."

Developed from the inside-out, the Honda Element entered new territory when it debuted during the 2003 model year by providing a multi-functional cargo area, innovative and versatile seating, a durable and dirt-friendly interior, energetic performance and outstanding value. Major upgrades were made through the years including more power and safety features in the 2007 model year. More recently, the Element embraced its long-held position as a pet-friendly vehicle by introducing the Dog Friendly Element accessory package in 2009.

More than 325,000 Elements have been sold in the United States since its introduction in December 2002.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      We bought our son an Element when he went off to college - he's now almost done with vet med school (eight years later) and still drives it - last summer from Michigan to Montana and back with almost 200,000 miles on it. He fly fishes, hunts, cycles, etc., and has two dogs - both of whom travel with him and all his gear. We offered to buy him a new car last year, but he didn't want to give up ole' orange. I will now buy one, in March, so I will have one before they go away. I have no interest in the CR-V ) which is definitely less hip and much less functional. I will also treat myself to the Dog Friendly version. Honda is missing the boat on this with this decision. If they think Element owners would be caught dead in a CR-V they are mistaken. I will sell my beloved six year old Mini Cooper S to get one of the last Element's off the line.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Have an '04. Love it! Because of the lack of carpets, it still has a little of that "new car smell." But as far as dog-friendly.... Have you ever seen an airedale with wet feet make a running jump at the back seat and slide out the other door? Anyway, has anyone been to a Honda dealership lately? Post earthquake/tsunami there aren't many new cars there. Why not extend the production of the beloved Element in Ohio so you at least have some new cars to sell? I think there are two reasons Honda isn't selling Elements in droves. First, they seem to run forever and when you don't make any changes, why get into debt - and second, they were mostly purchased by middle-aged women instead of the youngsters who designed them. If you're going to make a car cost over $20K, don't expect kids with enormous college loans to run out and buy one! Just play to the audience you've got!!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      It won't be missed either. Now if only the Crossturd would go with it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Normally I would cheer for the end of any SUV, however its sad to see this one go because it at least provided a decent, smaller alternative to big, no good, oversized pieces of #$%@ such as the Acadia, Suburban, Tahoe, Expedition, Excursion etc.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Do these soccer "moms" even realize that their children are fighting wars so they can drive a huge 3 row SUV with a V8.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I have Bilsteins on mine and performance rubber on stock wheels and it will run circles around those fatties.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lately, Honda has been coming out with hard to understand new cars such as:

      the Accord hybrid that was super quick rather than super economical.

      the Element that was not a family car, not a commuter; what was it supposed to be?

      the CRZ , a hybrid sporty car that isn't as fast as many SUV's.

      the Insight that is too small; it might have been smarter to put its hybrid power train in the FIT.

      The Crosstour doesn't seem to be a luxury crossover, but a big hatchback.

      Honda, like all the other manufacturers can't afford to make a car that doesn't satisfy the consumers' needs
      • 4 Years Ago
      Honda abandons the small-box concept just as the market moves toward it. Way to go, Honda!

      Maybe if you hadn't let the Element languish, sales wouldn't have dropped so. Drop the rear floor, put some normal doors on the thing and make it a bit less'interesting' looking and you'd have had a hit.

      I like my fwd Element and the 29mpg I get. It's not perfect, but what else was there to choose from? Crossovers and SUVs don't have enough interior height for outdoorsy folks.

      Honda is in freefall.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Over the years, I have often considered the Element as a cure for new-car-damage anxiety. I'd think, "Ha ha, go ahead, bump into it!" But then, I'd probably put some cool wheels on it and start to worry anyway...
      • 4 Years Ago
      i just sold our 03 element, no regrets, it was the worst road car we have ever owned, very noisey on the hiway and the rear seat was a feared place to sit. family members would call shotgun rather than ride back there
        • 4 Years Ago
        I call BS.

        How was the back seat a "feared" place to sit? It has more leg room than pretty much ANY vehicle on the market and it was pretty comfortable as well.

      • 3 Years Ago
      Our 2005 EX which we bought new has just under 100,000 miles and is still going strong. Other then the O2 sensors and rear diff, we've just done routine upkeep. Any talk of trading it in and our 3rd grader starts crying. I imagine that we will get double or triple the mileage out of it we have now. Unique car, well made, we love our Toaster! And I bet that our next car will be a Honda after this first experience with this designed and made in America car with Japanese attention to detail and quality.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Needed a major re-think.....not to be killed. The pillarless side opening/suicide doors need to go....not practical & forces vehicle to weigh more than it should because of all the reinforcement necessary. How big an item do you need to load from the side anyway, & even if there is no pillar, the front seats are in the way. Much easier to load from the back. So, give it 4 doors, or even make the two rear doors sliders. Cut out all unecessary weight. (cargo weight/capacity would go up, as a bonus). Make it seat 5, not 4. Keep the good stuff....wipeable interior, seats that fold out ouf the way or into a bed.
      Do what you have to to increase performance and gas mileage. And I know it's basically 2 boxes, but try not to make it so homely (I know, it's a challenge for Honda to make anything attractive these days). If Honda had taken the time to update it properly, there would be no need to kill it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Making it seat 5 instead of 4 would have removed one of the 'killer features' - that you can fold each of the rear seats up against the side, independently, or remove them entirely. This allowed the Element to swallow staggering amounts of cargo since folding a side down (necessary for a 2/3 width seat segment) means that the vertical space is restricted by the entire seat height plus the seatback depth, at a minimum. Compare the space inside the Element to the larger (on the outside) Xterra and you'll see what I mean.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sounds like you're describing a Mazda5. Most peole don't need AWD - get some good winter tires and drive a lighter, more economical vehicle: FWD vs. AWD
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Mike Homeniuk,
        DISAGREE, the cargo opening doors are one of the best features of the Element. If you want a "typical" four door station wagon/CUV, many options for you.

        Those cargo doors without a pillar in the middle make loading and unloading a breeze from the side. Open both doors, slide the front seat under the dash, and you can load huge opjects from the curb.

        In fact, wheelchair conversion are a popular option on the Element because of those cargo doors.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Noticing a trend in Honda models: Introduce a new model, do little to no refreshes/redesigns of if for about a decade, then kill the model.
      • 4 Years Ago
      PS: When you need a high roof, you need a high roof. The CRV, and other small wagons-on-stilts don't have the interior height we need. Minivans are expensive and generally have lousy mileage.

      Did I mention that my Element has a manual transmission? And it's not underpowered. It's main problem is that it's under-geared (which can be fixed with the inexpensive 6spd mod)

      The Transit Connect could be a replacement, but it's an auto, with no awd. GMC Granite looks like it sacrifices the interior space to try to look cool. Mazda 5... what's that thing smiling about? There will be more options, but right now, pickin's are slim.
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