Now in its fifth year of production the quirky Honda Element has added a new trim level to its line up, the up market, more stylish SC. While previous model years have come in EX and LX trim in both 2 and all wheel drive, the big news for 07, the SC offers a design package that adds a touch of flare to a model that is already known for its funky, form follows function logic.
Highlighting the make over is a lower ride height, fully painted exterior, projector beam halogen headlights, and 18 inch alloy wheels available only on the SC. Opt for the rear tailgate spoiler and Root Beer Metallic paint scheme and you're well on your way to separating your Element from the crowd.
The trademark "clamshell" opening doors continue on the SC lending the vehicle another funky touch that, with the lack of a B pillar also allows for convenient access to the up to 75 cubic feet of cargo space. And the split-opening tail gate adds an additional, "off-beat" but functional touch, providing a tailgate more likely found on a pick up truck than an SUV.
Powering the SC is Honda's 2.4 liter, 16 valve in-line four that delivers 166 horsepower and 161 foot pounds of torque...up 10 horsepower from previous models.
There are two transmission choices: a 5-speed manual and a 5-speed automatic. Both get the power to the driving wheels, which unlike the EX and LX models means just the front wheels if you select the SC version.
Also separating the SC from its fellow Elements is an up-rated suspension featuring front and rear stabilizer bars. Braking for all models comes from power assisted 11.1 inch discs with ABS at all four corners.
Highlighting interior features on the SC is a 270 watt AM/FM/CD premium audio system with MP3 jack and XM Satellite Radio, an adjustable steering wheel that includes audio controls, power windows and a full compliment of airbags.
MSRP for the Honda Element we drove is $22, 695 with the automatic transmission version coming in at $800.00 more. EPA estimates fuel economy at 21 City and 25 MPG Highway.