Performance

As I mentioned earlier, the CR-V is a far superior vehicle if you're looking for a compact SUV and don't need such unique digs for your dog. The Element does offer a very high seating position with a rather low step-in height, which is nice for drivers who have a hard time getting into taller SUVs.

The driving experience is pedestrian. The 166-horsepower four-cylinder engine is buzzy, acceleration is dreadful, and there's a lot of wind noise — you are driving a box, after all — as well as road noise compared to newer competition and the CR-V.

Handling is surprisingly good for a tall, boxy design, and there isn't as much body lean as you might expect. Otherwise, there are so many truly exceptional compact SUVs on the market — CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Chevy Equinox — that it would be hard to recommend the Element on its driving chops alone.

Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.

    See also:

    Console Compartment
    Pull the handle to open the console compartment. Beverage Holders ■ Front seat beverage holders Are located in the console between the front seats. ■ Rear seat beverage holde ...

    Automatic Seat Belt Tensioners
    The front seats are equipped with automatic seat belt tensioners to enhance safety. The tensioners automatically tighten the front seat belts during a moderate-tosevere frontal collision, som ...

    Advanced safety technologies
    Two active safety systems continue to be available on the Honda CR-V and are unique to the SUV segment. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is a radar-controlled cruise control function which maintains ...