Best Bet
  • (4.7) 19 reviews
  • Inventory Prices: $5,539–$18,047
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 20-22
  • Engine: 166-hp, 2.4-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: 4x4
  • Seats: 4
2009 Honda Element

Our Take on the Latest Model 2009 Honda Element

What We Don't Like

  • Blind spots
  • Modest highway acceleration

Notable Features

  • Some styling changes
  • FWD or AWD
  • Sport-tuned SC variant
  • Navigation system
  • Rearview camera

2009 Honda Element Reviews

Vehicle Overview
The Honda Element gets some exterior and interior changes for 2009 and also receives some new electronic features.

Available in LX, EX and SC trims, the Element competes with rivals such as the Jeep Compass, Ford Escape and Nissan Rogue.

New for 2009
The Honda Element receives an updated interior and exterior. A rearview backup camera, USB hookup for an MP3 player and GPS navigation with voice activation are also newly optional.

The Element gets redesigned headlamps and taillamps and a new front grille. It now more closely resembles its larger, more sedate cousin, the Pilot.

Center-opening swing-wide doors with no B-pillar remain, but a rear sunroof is no longer available. The SC features a different, custom grille, painted bumpers, larger wheels and a lowered stance. Its just-under-170-inch length makes the Element significantly shorter than the Rogue, Escape and Compass.

  • Available 16- or 18-inch wheels
  • Standard power mirrors
  • Chrome exhausts tips (EX and SC)
  • Optional fog lamps

The Element gets a new, redesigned center console, new color schemes, fabric and switchgear designs. The Element EX and SC also get a new three-compartment overhead storage unit.

The front and rear seats can be folded or moved — Honda claims 64 different seating configurations — creating a large, open cargo space. The Element's small exterior belies its accommodating 103.6 cubic feet of passenger space and maximum 74.6-cubic-foot cargo area, both of which beat its competitors.

SC versions get a carpeted cargo area, while the regular model has a wipe-clean plastic surface. The SC's dashboard is darker and less fanciful, with piano-black trim around the center control panel and vents, as well as on the steering wheel; the seats feature a unique patterned design.
  • Standard air conditioning
  • Standard power windows and locks
  • Standard water-resistant seats (LX and EX)
  • 270-watt audio system (EX and SC)
  • Optional GPS navigation system
  • Optional USB jack for MP3 players

Under the Hood
The Element keeps the same powertrain offerings as before. The SC features a sports-tuned suspension and steering.
  • 166-horsepower, inline-four-cylinder engine with 161 pounds-feet of torque
  • Available five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission
  • Available front- or all-wheel drive

Available safety features include:
  • Standard side-impact airbags
  • Standard side curtain airbags
  • Standard antilock braking system
  • Standard electronic stability system with traction control
  • Optional rearview camera

Consumer Reviews


Average based on 19 reviews

Write a Review

Best car ever owned!

by Kingrichard from annapolis, MD on November 22, 2017

Honda Element is the best car we have ever owned. Reliable, good gas mileage, can carry basically anything within reason :) This is our second Element, and still own and use the first.

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5 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2009 Honda Element trim comparison will help you decide.

Honda Element Articles

2009 Honda Element Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Honda Element EX

Head Restraints and Seats
Moderate overlap front
Roof Strength

IIHS Ratings

Based on Honda Element EX

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
Overall Rear
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry

Moderate overlap front

Left Leg/Foot
Overall Front
Right Leg/Foot
Structure/safety cage


Roof Strength


Driver Head Protection
Driver Head and Neck
Driver Pelvis/Leg
Driver Torso
Overall Side
Rear Passenger Head Protection
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
Rear Passenger Torso
Structure/safety cage
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Honda Element EX

Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Honda Element EX

Overall Rollover Rating
Front Seat
Rear Seat
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.


There are currently 5 recalls for this car.

Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage





What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained


Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.


Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years