The 2009 Honda Element enters the New Year fully updated with a nice combination of both major and minor changes and improvements. Honda has a brand new corporate grille and the 2009 Honda Element proudly displays this trendy touch, first seen on the redesigned 2009 Honda Pilot SUV. The new Honda Element also features redesigned front fenders, a new set of tail lamps, a new and improved fifth door, and a refreshed bumper. It also has a multitude of top shelf gadgetry such as Bluetooth, a rearview camera and USB connectivity, and a 270-watt, seven-speaker audio system. The system reads MP3 and WMA music files from a compact flash card or just about any portable music player such as an iPod.
The sporty and versatile 2009 Honda Element retains its 2.4-liter I-VTEC inline-four-cylinder engine, making 166 horsepower and 161 lb-ft of torque. The Element engines can be mated to a five-speed automatic or manual transmission in 2WD or AWD forms.
While the Honda Element has never had any problems turning heads with it's quirky design, the new 2009 Honda Element adds more oomph and function into the mix, making the Element more than just a cool looking car. Consumers will certainly appreciate the comfy ride.
2009 Honda Element Performance
The 2009 Honda Element is available in LX, EX and SC models. The 2.4-liter i-VTEC inline-four-cylinder engine has five-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission options in two wheel drive and all wheel drive forms on Element EX and LX models. Five-speed manual or automatic transmission can be had in two-wheel drive on the Element SC. New for the Element SC model is a faster steering ratio, a lowered ride-height, and better suspension.
The new 2009 Honda Element is so efficient that it can travel more than 100,000 miles without any scheduled maintenance. However, the new Element does come equipped with a Maintenance Minder system that monitors the vehicle's health. The 2009 Honda Element gets 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway with the automatic transmission. All wheel drive models get 18 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Fuel efficiency does not fluctuate based on the transmission option.
2009 Honda Element Body and Interior
All 2009 Honda Element models have a little something to brag about when it comes to body styling. The sporty Element SC features body-colored moldings, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a mild aero-kit and the rugged LX has 16-inch steel wheels. The refined Element EX model stands out with it's squared off wheel arches and eye-catching range of color choices.
Inside, new Honda Element owners will find a generous amount of passenger space, 25.1 cubic feet of cargo space, a carpeted passenger area, and easy to clean upholstery and reconfigurable seats as well as a brand new navigation option for the EX and SC models. Sporting a 6.5-inch screen, the dash-mounted system controls all navigation and audio systems. The voice activated system listens intently while drivers speak the names of cities, address numbers, and street names.
Consoles for the new Honda Element models vary. The EX model has a brand new convertible center console with built-in cooler while Honda Element SC models feature a center console with built-in auxiliary audio input jack. The Honda Element LX has a basic console and the EX and SC model consoles offer improved storage for the 2009 model year.
One of the most striking features of the Honda Element lineup is color. The Elements impressive list of color options includes: Alabaster Silver Metallic, Citrus Fire Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Omni Blue Pearl, Polished Metal Metallic, Royal Blue Pearl, and Tango Red Pearl.
2009 Honda Element Safety
The new 2009 Honda Element has a number of standard safety features and a few new safety features for all models. Standard safety features include Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control, anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, front side-impact airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, and a tire pressure monitor. The Element LX and EX Real Time 4WD system aids traction in adverse weather conditions such as rain and snow, and it also aids traction in sand.
Other features include LATCH (Lower Anchors & Tethers for Children) anchor points on the rear seats and active anti-whiplash head restraints for the front seats.
Integrated into the front-end design of the new 2009 Honda Element is extra absorption. The purpose is to absorb the maximum amount of energy in case of a collision with a pedestrian to minimize injury to the person.
2009 Honda Element Options
The 2009 Element EX and SC models have available features such as the Honda Satellite-linked Navigation System with Voice Activation, much improved overhead console storage areas with modular compartments, a rearview camera on automatic transmission-equipped vehicles, and USB digital media connectivity.
Price and Value Assessment
With Honda's excellent reputation and resale value overall, limited amount of necessary upkeep, and the new and improved functionality of the 2009 Honda Element lineup, the new Element is an excellent value at a starting MSRP of $20,175 - $25,185.
While the 2009 Honda Element sits safely at the head of its class, it still has plenty of competition. Honda's own 2009 Honda CR-V is a force to be reckoned with as well as the Suzuki Grand Vitara, and the Volkswagen Tiguan. Other competitive and significantly redesigned vehicles for 2009 include the Toyota RAV4 and Saturn VUE.