The 2009 Honda Element EX shares an engine with the Element LX (an inline four cylinder with 166 horsepower) and makes some additions and upgrades to the interior and exterior. Interior highlights include steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, an overhead storage compartment, map lights, two 12-volt power outlets, driver- and passenger-side seatback pockets, driver-side seatback bungees in the front and rear, a center console with removable cooler, driver- and passenger-side armrests, water-resistant seating fabric in the front and rear, an exterior temperature gauge, a seven-speaker 270-watt AM/FM/CD stereo with subwoofer, MP3 auxiliary input jack, XM radio, and CD text display capability, and an available navigation system. The exterior adds 16-inch alloy wheels and a chrome exhaust finisher.
The 2009 Honda Element EX 4WD shares its inline four-cylinder, 166-horsepower engine with the Element EX, but comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission and Honda’s Real Time four-wheel-drive system. The hydraulic four-wheel drive activates when front slippage occurs to improve safety handling. The Element EX 4WD gets 18 city/23 highway/20 combined mpg.
The 2009 Honda Element LX is the base trim for the Element model. The LX is powered by an inline four-cylinder engine (166 hp, 161 lb-ft of torque) mated to a five-speed automatic transmission that gets 20 city/25 highway/22 combined mpg. The LX has no scheduled tune-ups for the first 100,000 miles.
The LX's exterior features 16-inch wheels with covers, a rear wiper, remote entry, wide-opening side cargo doors (second-row door opens in reverse), power mirrors, green-tinted glass, rear privacy glass, a clamshell tailgate, and halogen headlights.
Interior highlights include air conditioning with an air-filtration system, power windows with driver’s express, rear ventilation windows, power locks, steering-wheel-mounted cruise controls, adjustable steering column, sliding sun-visor extensions, urethane-coated utility floor, a 12-volt power outlet, rear-seat heater ducts, driver's seat with manual height adjustment, water-resistant fabric for the front seats, removable flip-up rear seats, fold-flat-capable seating, a four-speaker, 120-watt AM/FM/CD stereo, blue backlit gauges, digital odometer and trip meter, maintenance minder system, and a cargo area with tie-down anchors, storage bins, area hooks, and an area light.
The 2009 Honda Element LX 4WD shares interior, exterior, and drivetrain features with the Element LX and adds Honda’s Real Time four-wheel-drive system. This hydraulically actuated system engages only when front slippage occurs. The 4WD system lowers mileage to 19 city/24 highway/21 combined mpg.
Changes to the 2009 Honda Element SC are almost all stylistic. The SC has the same inline four-cylinder, 166-horsepower engine as the other Elements, but it comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission (18 city/23 highway/20 combined mpg), although a five-speed automatic is available (20 city/25 highway/22 combined mpg).
The SC gets a restyled front fascia, body-colored bumpers, side sills, and roof moldings, ambient console lighting, low ride height, 18-inch wheels with low-profile P225/55 R18 tires, copper backlit gauges, a carpeted floor in the first and second rows, and three 12-volt outlets.