At its heart, the Element is exactly what a small SUV should be- practical, reliable, and easy to drive. What sets the car apart is simply how over-the-top utilitarian it really is. The interior is nearly indestructible. The rubberized floors are easy to clean, the seats are waterproof, and the folding rear seats open up a cavernous cargo area that will easily accommodate mountain bikes with the wheels still attached. For a giant rolling box, it handles surprisingly well- though not a sports car, the car feels stable and relatively nimble on mountain roads. An excellent buy for dog owners, college students, or anybody with an active lifestyle.
Massive cargo room, distinctive appearance, high-quality sound system, AUX input, easy to drive, smooth powertrain, reliability, tiny turning circle, reclining/folding rear seats, fun to drive.
Could use a bit more power at times. Gas mileage could be improved just a bit. Rear blind spots are disconcerting at times but easily fixed with a wide-angle interior mirror and convex stick-on mirrors. Needs an interior hatch release.