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The 2008 Honda Element is a four-passenger, four-door, compact crossover SUV that is easily identified on any roads. This is one Honda vehicle that says right from the beginning that it’s ready for anything. Very distinctive styled, the squared off shape and chunky body of the Element make it easily identifiable, setting it apart from the many other compact SUVs on the market. More than any other vehicle on the market today, the Honda Element offers incredible versatility with its 64 different seating configurations. The Element was designed to adapt to your needs of those with an active lifestyle.

Originally designed for the younger set, it has received a surprisingly positive response from the older generation. It offers a spacious cabin ideally suited for adults. For getting and out of the vehicle and loading cargo, the side doors open wide for easy accessibility.

Another popular aspect that has consumers smiling is the easy clean features. There is a washable urethane-coated utility floor that can be cleaned with soap and water. An option for the Honda Element is waterproof Fabric for Extreme Conditions also called FXC seat material. For anyone who goes out in all types of weather, this is a huge advantage.

The Honda Element isn’t short on performance either. It’s not a race car but all the Elements have a fuel efficient 2.4 liter i-VTEC four cylinder engine offering 166 horsepower with 161 lb ft of torque. The Element also has Real Time 4-wheel drive system, which offers 20% more torque, and a compact 4 wheel independent suspension. The rear stabilizer bars complete the suspension package. The standard engine pairing is with a five-speed manual transmission. There is an optional five-speed automatic transmission available. The Honda Element achieves the Tier 2 Bin 5 rating as a low emission vehicle for the environmentally conscious drivers.

The square body style and wide track also helps the Element achieve stability on corners. It rides smooth but with a stiffer suspension than most of the other SUVs on the road. The platform of the 2008 Honda Element is the same as the older generation of Honda CR-V. It does offer decent fuel economy making it easier to look forward to hitting the road.

The 2008 Honda Element offers three trim levels called the LX, EX and SC. Both the LX and EX trims are available with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. The SC trim is front-wheel drive only.

It’s really in the cargo area that the Element excels. If more cargo space is required, you can flip up and clip the rear seats to the side walls. The rear seats can also be removed altogether if needed, which opens up 75 cubic feet of cargo space. The clamshell tailgate can fold down flat giving easy access to the rear of the vehicle and a flat space to work on. Both the driver and front passenger seats fold flat, allowing enough space to stretch out and have a nap.

This is the sixth year for this small SUV. It has aged well but is up against some impressive competition nowadays like the Scion xB or even Honda’s CR-V. The four passenger capacity is not suited for everyone. However, those four passengers reap the benefit by having loads of room. Also many of the competitor models offer a V6 engine offering more power over the four cylinder Element.***** For safety features, the Honda Element offers traction control and stability control, antilock disc brakes with brake assist. There are full-length side curtain airbags as well as the standard front seat airbags. The Element has earned a five star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for frontal-impact protection.

The 2009 Honda Element is a carryover from 2008. The 2009 Element is sold in LX, EX and SC trims. All three are equipped with a 166 horsepower, 2.4 liter 4-cylinder engine that also provides 161 lb-ft of torque. The LX offers a 5-speed manual or automatic transmission in both four-wheel and front-wheel drive editions, while the EX provides a manual only if four-wheel drive is ordered. The SC is front-wheel drive only. Automatic-equipped versions of the Element turn in fuel economy of 20 miles per gallon in the city and 25 miles per gallon on the highway.