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
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.