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:

    Parking Brake
    To apply the parking brake, pull the lever up fully. To release it, pull up slightly, push the button, and lower the lever. The parking brake indicator on the instrument panel should go ou ...

    Maintain a Proper Sitting Position
    After all occupants have adjusted their seats and head restraints, and put on their seat belts, it is very important that they continue to sit upright, well back in their seats, with their fee ...

    Connecting an iPod
    1. Open the upper glove box. 2. Push the release button to release the USB adapter cable. 3. Connect your dock connector to the iPod correctly and securely. 4. Install the dock connector ...