Boxy and distinctive, the Honda Element was based on a CR-V platform.
Aimed at the active outdoor enthusiast, it has a spacious and flexible interior with a plastic-covered floor that is easy to clean.
All four seats can fold back flat, making a bed of sorts, and the rear seats fold up against the sides or can be removed.
There's no pillar between the front and the rear-hinged rear doors, so opening both creates a wide opening for loading and unloading cargo.
Despite these unique features, it wasn't as nice to live with overall as the CR-V.
Those rear-hinged rear doors can be a hassle, and the thick roof pillars interfere with the view out.
It's a long reach to the steering wheel, there are only seats for four, and a low payload capacity limits its utility.
The Element handles well enough, but is noisy and has a choppy ride.
Acceleration is adequate from the 2.4-liter four; expect 21 mpg overall with all-wheel-drive.
Without optional side airbags, the Element scored Poor in the IIHS side-crash test.
2007 brought standard curtain airbags, which improved the IIHS side-crash test to Good.
Earlier versions had antilock brakes only on the EX trim; ABS and stability control became standard for 2007.
2011 was its last year.