Could a New Honda Element SUV Be the Baby Off-Roader We Need?

Around the turn of the century, Honda was having a little more fun and exercising much more creativity in its vehicle lineup than it does today, whether it was the hot Honda S2000 sports car, the futuristic-looking eighth-generation Civic, or the now-iconic Honda Element crossover SUV. Honda still does sporty models and still sells a Civic, but it’s not having much fun with its SUV designs at the moment, and we hope we can inspire that to change by imagining what a Honda Element could look like in 2023.

Why do we like the Element so much? Well for one, anything that isn’t just another CR-V is immediately more interesting—though the Element was based on the CR-V platform. The Element’s rugged demeanor, both inside and out, defined it as a great soft-roader, as well as a great starter vehicle for a small family that doesn’t want what their parents drove, but might still want a practical interior that’s fairly easy to clean.

The current 2023 Honda CR-V takes a lot of notes from the old Element’s package, as it’s now a sportier, more off-road oriented design that’s more truck-like than the CR-V has ever been before. Honda could take it further for a new Element SUV. We want to see the return of the black plastic fender cladding, the boxy silhouette, split-opening doors, and the once-standard 5-speed manual option while we’re at it.

That’s exactly what we instructed our render artist, Abimelec Design, to present to us in these renderings, but just out of curiosity, we also threw some images and prompts into an artificial intelligence generator to see what it would spit out, and the results were very adorable:

There’s no official word or rumor about a return of the Element. However, the current SUV marketplace is full of niche sporty and off-road oriented special trims and models, and we could easily imagine a rugged crossover like the Element finding a place in the current lineup, if Honda wanted to have fun again. In a world where everything gets a second chance as an EV, all of the elements are in place here for a great new SUV.

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