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2004 Honda Element Packs in Versatility for Passengers and Gear
 Date: October 06, 2003 20:07
 Submitted by:  Tuan
 Source: Honda Press Release
 Credibility Rating: N/A


Torrance, Calif. 10/06/2003 -- The Honda Element entered new territory when it debuted during the 2003 model year by providing a multi-functional cargo area, innovative and versatile seating, a durable and dirt-friendly interior, energetic performance, and outstanding value. For 2004, the tradition continues as Element receives new comfort and convenience equipment and a new color along with a new LX trim level.

"The Element has attracted new people to the Honda family who want a rugged and practical vehicle that fits their unique needs," said Tom Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Element provides the most versatile package for any vehicle in its price range with a hard flat floor like a pickup, an enclosed rear area like an SUV, fuel economy and maneuverability similar to a car, side cargo doors, available 4-wheel-drive, and a price starting at $16,100.

New features for 2004 include:

New LX trim level adds popular features to DX trim level
Passenger seat armrest added to EX
Keyless Entry added to EX
Bungee cords added on EX to driver-side front and rear seat backs
Fiji Blue Pearl exterior color replaces Eternal Blue Pearl
Side cargo doors with no B-pillar open from the center and allow for easy loading of bulky items. For sports gear including mountain bikes, snowboards, surfboards and other equipment, the rear seats flip to the side to create a vast cargo area. The standard seatback bungee cords on the EX allow equipment like skateboards to be stored conveniently behind the seats. The rear seats also lay flat to form a bed with the front seats, or can be removed entirely.

Element is available in three trim levels, the entry DX, a well-equipped LX and the fully loaded EX. Standard equipment for the DX includes 16-inch steel wheels and power windows. The LX models add an AM/FM/CD audio system with four speakers and air conditioning with micron air filtration. The EX models add alloy wheels, ABS, cruise control, power mirrors, a 7-speaker 270-watt audio system with auxiliary audio input and more as standard equipment. The rugged and worry-free interior features waterproof material on the front and rear bucket seats (front seat only on DX models). A urethane-coated utility floor resists water, dirt and scratches while providing easy clean up and easy cargo loading. A large rear skylight (on 4WD models) tilts or removes completely and stores inside the vehicle. The gear shifter for manual and automatic transmissions is located on the center of the instrument panel, within quick reach from the steering wheel. Element EX models come equipped with a 270-watt 7-speaker (with subwoofer) AM/FM/CD sound system and an auxiliary audio input built into the dash for digital media and MP3 players.

Composite body panels around the fenders further enhance Element's ruggedness by providing enhanced dent resistance compared to traditional metal exterior surfaces. The clamshell rear tailgate bottom opens down - creating room for two to sit - while the upper part of the tailgate opens up and creates a canopy.

Honda's 2.4-liter, i-VTEC, 4-cylinder engine with 160-horsepower and 161 lb.-ft. of torque, coupled to either a 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual transmission, provides good acceleration while maintaining fuel economy in the low- to mid-twenties. The i-VTEC system (the "i" stands for "intelligent") combines Honda's patented VTEC system with Variable Timing Control (VTC) to enhance low rpm torque while extending high rpm horsepower. Honda's Real Time 4WD(TM) system is available on DX, LX and EX models, and 16-inch wheels are standard.

Element's chassis features a Toe Control Link MacPherson strut suspension in front and a compact double-wishbone suspension in the rear. Although similar to the underpinnings of the Honda CR-V, significant adjustments have been made to the unit-body construction to allow for the B-pillarless design, larger tires and the low, flat floor. Element has earned the highest government crash test ratings for front passengers - five stars. Driver's and passenger's front airbags are standard along with front seatbelts with load limiters and buckle pre-tensioners. Driver and front passenger factory-installed side airbags are available on EX models.

Element is based on the Model X concept vehicle that debuted at the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Many of the features displayed on the concept vehicle are incorporated into the final production version.

Developed by Honda R&D Americas in Torrance, California, and Raymond, Ohio, Element is manufactured in Honda's East Liberty Plant in Ohio using domestic and globally-sourced parts.
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