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2007 Honda Element Trims

2 Dr EX

Avg. Price: $11,845

The Element EX is still the same practical crossover as the LX, but with a different look. Gone are the large, black fender areas, which are replaced with body-colored panels.

Safety features (all air bags, including side-curtain ones, ABS, Stability Assist with traction control) remain the same. This is the stuff that helped the Element earn a full 5 stars in the NHTSA's front and side crash tests.

Outward differences on the 2WD EX as compared to the LX consist of the aforementioned body-colored panels plus body-colored door handles, a chrome exhaust finisher, and 16-inch alloy wheels. Additional comforts and conveniences on the inside include a 270-watt, 7-speaker audio system with steering wheel-mounted controls (it also includes XM Satellite Radio and MP3-player compatibility), map lights, and vanity mirrors.

Storage bonuses on this trim come in the form of an overhead compartment and passenger-side seatback pocket. Cargo-related versatility is the same, with the wide-opening side doors and handy clamshell tailgate, as is the easy-to-clean status of the interior.

2 Dr EX 4X4

Avg. Price: $13,259

Before the introduction of the SC trim, the 4WD EX was the height of Element luxury. It's still pretty great, with all of the fine features of the 2WD EX plus Honda's Real-Time Four-Wheel Drive.

Real-Time should probably be called all-wheel drive rather than four-wheel, as it lacks a transfer case and the low gearing of traditional 4WD. Instead it�¢ï¿½?�?s a fully automatic system that constantly monitors each wheel for slippage, responding with the appropriate torque increase upon detection.

Honda gives highest priority to safety, and every Element trim comes with ABS, brake assist, and Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control. Front occupants are protected by three-point seat belts with pretensioners, plus dual-stage, dual-threshold front air bags, front side air bags, and side-curtain air bags with rollover sensors. Rear passengers get the side-curtain units as well.

The theme of the Element has got to be versatility, as it can be adjusted in any number of ways to carry what needs to be carried. The rear seats can even be folded completely up and out of the way!

The front upholstery is waterproof and easily cleaned, as is the urethane-coated utility floor. Cargo loading is a snap; the side doors are designed to open wide, as the smaller rear doors are hinged toward the back, and the tailgate window opens up and out. Seatback bungees are included to maximize management of cargo.

The 4WD gets another bonus in the form of a removable �¢ï¿½?�?skylight�¢ï¿½?� sunroof with tilt feature. It also comes with air conditioning, cruise control, and an upgraded audio system featuring 7 speakers (with subwoofer among them) as well as XM Satellite Radio and MP3 compatibility.

2 Dr LX

Avg. Price: $10,974

This is not your father's crossover vehicle - but on second thought, maybe it is. Everyone seems to have one these days.

The Element is amazing in that it's so versatile yet so inexpensive. The base model especially is a natural choice for a young person�s first new car, as it is fun to drive and fun to configure. Heck, it's even fun to look at!

Its cargo area is meant for carrying whatever needs to be carried: furniture for the dorm, groceries for the family, or even a few dogs. This last choice works well thanks to the easy-to-clean surfaces on the interior - not that dogs are dirty, but most of them do shed. Cargo goes in quite easily, either through the wide side doors (the little back doors open rearward, creating a large side opening) or the clamshell tailgate.

Safety was the priority alongside practicality in Honda�s design of this little buggy. Thanks to its excellent array of equipment - a full complement of air bags, plus ABS, brake assist, stability assist and traction control � it earned 5 stars in government crash tests for front and side impact.

Purists will appreciate that the Element is still available in 5-speed manual transmission, whereas most of Honda's non-cars are made strictly automatic. All the same, plenty of comfort-enhancing standard features make the list, including air conditioning with filtration, cruise control, remote entry, and power side mirrors.

2 Dr LX 4WD

9 national listings
Avg. Price: $11,686

How can you make the ever-useful Honda Element LX even more practical and versatile? Order it with four-wheel drive.

The base model's 4WD trim is a perfect choice for first-time buyers who live in areas that get a lot of rain or any amount of snow. It's not a traditional 4WD system, meaning you aren't going to hit the trails in your Element, but it does everything the everyday driver could ask of it.

Honda calls this system Real-Time 4-Wheel Drive because it is made for real situations, all of the time. Real-Time was designed to be lightweight and therefore economical, as well as convenient. It's also completely automatic in gauging wheel slippage and responding with the appropriate torque adjustment, whereas traditional 4WD requires the driver's conscious engagement. In other words, you don't have to think about what you need in imperfect driving conditions.

The 4WD LX gives full attention to safety, with standard ABS, brake assist, and Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control. Front occupants are protected by three-point seat belts with pretensioners, plus dual-stage, dual-threshold front air bags, front side air bags, and side-curtain air bags with rollover sensors. Rear passengers get the side-curtain units as well.

The Element is ready for all kinds of cargo, even if it�s a bit messy. The rear seats can be configured in countless ways - even completely up and out of the way! The front upholstery is waterproof and easily cleaned, as is the urethane-coated utility floor. Cargo loading is a snap; the side doors are designed to open wide, as the smaller rear doors are hinged toward the back, and the tailgate window opens up and out.

Occupant comfort is taken care of with the standard air-conditioning with air filtration.

Among the other included equipment is cruise control, a removable skylight with tilt, power front windows, power side mirrors, and remote entry.

2 Dr SC

Avg. Price: $13,127

We�re not exactly sure what SC stands for, but it sure enough could be Stylin' Crossover. Because that�s just what this street-oriented Element is.

The urban edition of the Element rides lower than the others and shows off its own unique grille. Although it�s still as versatile and practical as the other trims, it takes things a bit further by ditching the composite body panels in favor of a fully-painted body, and the inside floor is covered in carpet rather than urethane at the seating rows (not the cargo area).

Rolling along on 18-inch alloy wheels and a retuned MacPherson strut front suspension, this street-friendly crossover offers a cushy ride. Its projector-beam halogen headlights illuminate the city streets in style, as the tinted glass provides a bit of privacy and perhaps mystery.

Specs are the same as far as the 2.4-liter, 166-horsepower 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual transmission or available 5-speed automatic with instrument panel-mounted shifter. Multi-point fuel injection and the Drive-by-Wire throttle system supply smooth pep.

All of the imaginable safety equipment is included: seat belts with pretensioners, air bags (that includes side-curtain units), ABS, stability assist with traction control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. You�ll also enjoy air conditioning with air filtration, power front windows, cruise control, and something no city-slicker's vehicle would be complete without: a premium, 7-speaker audio system with that all-important subwoofer.