The Honda Model X concept -- a preview of the boxy Element, a crossover based on a modified CR-V platform and targeting mostly men in their 20s -- debuted on Jan. 9, 2001, at Detroit's North American International Auto Show.
The Element went on sale in the U.S. in December 2002.
It was offered in front- or all-wheel drive and powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 166 hp.
The quirky crossover featured washable floors, center-opening doors and neoprene seats with raised stadium seating in the rear, and was intended to appeal to buyers with active, outdoor lifestyles.
The New York Times said the Model X had "aspirations of being a postmodern love nest or a mobile dorm room that can be hosed out after wild parties."
But the Element also attracted interest from active, empty-nest baby boomers and retirees, whose average age wasn't far from the rest of Honda's customer base. Some creative professionals, such as photographers and florists, also embraced its roominess and functionality.
U.S. sales peaked at 67,478 in 2003, its first full year on the market.
A dog-friendly version, with grippy, bone-patterned floor mats and a cargo area set up for a dog carrier, was released for the 2010 model year.
Over time, other boxy alternatives to the Element -- the Nissan Cube, Ford Flex, Kia Soul and Scion xB -- were introduced, some of them at lower prices.
Demand steadily declined and the Element was dropped after the 2011 model year.