2017 Honda Element – The Element of Surprise
Oh boy, where do we even start with this one: the Honda Element 2017. An unusual and interesting name and just as an unusual and interesting car. There are only two ways about this one: you either love it or you hate it, there is no in between. Certain cars will do that to you. Ridiculous supercars, massive trucks, minivans and of course, a quirky and weird small cars. The thing is, you can often conclude whether you love or hate a car pretty instantly. Not so with the Honda Element. Certain aspects of it are so incredible that you’ll hate yourself for hating them in the beginning and certain aspects aren’t as good as they first appeared.
2017 Honda Element Exterior Design
Well, we have to start somewhere and why not start with the elephant in the corner: the design. The design is… well… brick-shaped. It’s a moving square. A block with four wheels on each corner, but it’s so quirky that it’s charming to a certain extent. No, it’s not for everyone, but we can see why some people might like it. It doesn’t blend in with the rest of the boring sedans and hatchbacks on the market. It makes a statement in its own way. In certain segments, it resembles (and competes) with the Nissan Cube.
The front and rear overhangs are virtually non-existent, making it a great thing to park in tight spots. The fact that it’s rather tall gives you a good height advantage over things, but surprisingly, visibility at the back is not that great. The front is awesome with that big windshield, but the rear C-pillars are massive, blocking off a big chunk of the visible field. Still, the rear window is flat and rather large but the fact that it’s mounted so high makes looking at smaller obstacles really difficult. It’s not the worst city car, but it’s certainly not the best regarding visibility.
The small 17-inch wheels are perfect for the city, however. They’re big enough to give you a great ride over bumps and potholes but small enough to make it easy to maneuver. The power steering makes it a doddle to navigate small city streets. Because it’s narrow, you won’t get stuck anywhere either. The lines on the exterior match nicely with the overall shape of it but they’re boxy as well. There are some nice aftermarket parts making the Element a very good-looking small car. If you’re a fan of the styling, it’s either this or the Nissan Cube.
Interior, Safety & Features of Honda Element 2017
Inside, you’ll find it’s actually a pleasant place to be in. The materials aren’t exactly on the top-level, but then again, neither is the car or the price point. For what they’re selling it at, it’s a great interior. The materials are classic Honda: reliable and sturdy, even if they do feel a tad cheap. The seating position is good, and you can easily cover a lot of miles in it with decent comfort. Mind you, it doesn’t provide a lot of lateral support, so if the road does get twisty, you better hold on. The tall shape of it prevents it from cornering hard either so that’s not an issue whatsoever. A large LCD is positioned in the middle of the center console. It offers navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, HD satellite radio and stereo sound system.
There’s decent amount of headroom and legroom for all passengers but for long journeys only five people can sit in relative comfort (four if they’re all on the bigger side). The ample amount of headroom means that you will have a feeling that the car is larger than it actually is. The volume of cargo space is great, and it can accommodate a lot of stuff, let alone your standard run to the grocery store. It’s one of the best city cars and certainly one of the most head-turning ones thankfully to its unique design.
On the safety side, you have standard airbags, traction management (traction control), stability control, lane departure alert and should you fit yours with, even a rear camera for easier parking. The rear camera eliminates the problem caused by the high rear window we mentioned earlier.
2017 Honda Element Engine and Transmission
The hood will mostly likely hide a 2.4 liter four-cylinder unit equipped with Honda’s V-TEC. It will produce anywhere from 150 to 170 hp and 160-170 lb-ft of torque depending on exact engine specifications. The top speed will be around 110 miles per hour and it should reach 60mph in the 9 second range. It should be rather economical however. It’s expected to return around 20 miles per gallon in the city (traffic, stop/go) and 25 miles per gallon on the highway at a constant speed. This gives us an average of around 22.5 mpg of the combined run. Although it’s not the worst figure ever, it’s not the best either. A smaller turbocharged engine would easily add another 5 mpg at least but Honda is sticking to their traits, and that’s reliability. What better way to make something reliable than with a proven strategy: their durable 2.4 liter unit.
We already covered performance, but we should address the ride as well. It’s comfortable for the most part and while it’s not the best in the corners, it’s pretty nimble at slower speeds. The city is where the Element was born to live and if you take it to some canyons (you won’t), you’re getting it way out of its comfort zone. It’s not a mile-muncher (car for long distances), but provided you keep the speed down it will do it rather good.
2017 Honda Element Price and Release date
As is always the case with these unofficial releases, we don’t have any dates or exact figures just yet. It should come for sale late in 2016 or early 2017 with a price starting from $19k and going all the way to $25k. The Element isn’t expected to sell in large quantities, so the price tag is naturally slightly higher because of this fact, but not that much. Want to hear our recommendations? Test drive this and the Cube and only then make a purchase.