Road & Travel Magazine

Auto Advice & Tips
Auto Buyer's Guides
Car Care Maintenance
Climate Views & Videos
Auto Awards Archive
Insurance & Accidents
Legends & Leaders
New Car Reviews
Planet Driven
Road Humor
Road Trips
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Teens & Tots Tips
Tire Buying Tips
Used Car Buying
Vehicle Model Guide

Travel Channel
Adventure Travel
Advice & Tips
Airline Rules
Bed & Breakfasts
Cruises & Tours
Destination Reviews
Earth Tones
Family Travel Tips
Health Trip
Hotels & Resorts
Luxury Travel
Pet Travel
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Spa Reviews
Train Vacations
World Travel Directory
Bookmark and Share

2007 Honda Element

Martha Hindes

Honda Element
2007 Honda Element Interior

Something has happened at Honda. A change of heart, perhaps? Definitely a change of direction. Instead of being b-ugly (you fill in the vowel and consonants) as some claim it's been since its inauguration four years ago, the feisty, trusty Element sport utility vehicle has advanced in style.

Sure some things don't change. This can be an optimum sloppy-driving vehicle, a sort of mudroom on wheels. (Vehicles that can tolerate a wet wipedown inside are few and far between. The Element's urethane utility floor in the LX and EX models still can do it and shake itself off unscathed, like a dripping dog emerging from a pond.)

But down to serious business. The overall boxy profile remains for 2007 -- how else could it offer up such a vast, usable interior? But the newly revised, higher-end SC version has a slightly more retro look than in past years.

Now sans that chopped up exterior cladding trim, it gains a lowered, sports-tuned suspension, 18-inch wheels, restyled grille face with projector beam headlamps, and interior upgrades including center console with storage and carpeting for the first and second rows.

For 2007, the Element gets a 166-HP, 2.4-liter inline four, up 10 horsepower from earlier models, earning 22/27 on best mileage charts. An available automatic joins the manual -- both five speed -- plus Drive-by-Wire throttle control technology one probably wouldn't realize was there. Front belts integrate into seats to keep those wide open clamshell side doors unobstructed. Honda upgrades safety features for '07.

If two-tone patchwork is your thing, go for the LX or EX models (both available with four-wheel-drive), with base prices starting at $18,900. For monochrome and added goodies, choose the newly redesigned SC that kicks off at $22,695, in the higher range of the box-on-wheels segment. Honda lists destination and delivery at $595.

Bloggers have had a field day with the Element, both earlier and this year's updated version, which should be a really good thing for Honda. Isn't there an old adage that says the key is getting them to talk about you?