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:

    Selecting a Child Seat
    Most child seats are LATCH-compatible (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren). Some have a rigid-type connector, while others have a flexible-type connector. Both are equally easy to use. Some ...

    Maintenance
    This section explains why it is important to keep your vehicle well maintained and how to follow basic maintenance safety precautions. This section also includes instructions on how to read t ...

    Opening the Hood
    1. Park the vehicle on a level surface, and set the parking brake. 2. Pull the hood release handle under the lower left corner of the dashboard. The hood will pop up slightly. 3. Push up th ...