The Honda Element was an instant hit from its rollout in December 2002 as a 2003 model. Based on the Honda Model X introduced at the 2001 North American International Auto Show, the Element was a box-shaped cargo mover that was distinctive and surprisingly comfortable to drive with its upright seating position and dashboard mounted shifter. It was never going to fling you down the highway at great speeds but it was going to help you carry a lot of stuff and surfer dudes loved the fact it could be cleaned out by turning a hose on the interior.
In its eight years on the market, Honda has sold more than 325,000 Elements. Heck, one would have graced my driveway if my wife didn’t deem them hideous. (Instead, we purchased a Mazda5.) A former co-host of an automobile show I used to star in did buy one and I was always envious.
The Element really found its niche as a pet-friendly vehicle, which Honda was more than eager to promote with the introduction of the Dog Friendly Element accessory package in 2009. It’s not known what, if any, vehicle will supplant the Element in the Honda lineup but dog owners everywhere must be howling in disappointment.