Is it Helmet or Element?


I don’t want to sound sarcastic, but the attitude of most Nigerians to matters arising is either so interesting or repulsive, depending on how it appeals to your sense of judgment. Example is the recent motorbike safety rule which involved the compulsory use of helmet. We are always waiting for someone to call (or force) our attention to them, yet, these things have been in existence for as long as we know it. And immediately the pretended awareness is created, we literally overdo things either by obeying the law or circumventing it, or perhaps bad mouthing it. If not, how has it become that the word helmet now sounds like an abrasive element to the ears?

Anyway helmet is not synonymous with element, literarily, but one product that finds same range implication with the helmet is the 2009 Honda Element.

The expressiveness of the Honda 2009 Element is an affirmation of Honda’s experience and expertise in building vehicles rich in reliability and socially in tune. This is proudly displayed in the 2009 Element crossover. Some call it bread-in-box mobile, I call it the safety-in-the-box Honda!

The helmet-shaped carrier’s most noticeable action is up front as the boxy cutie displays Honda’s new corporate look. Sexy rounded fog lamps nicely flirting below a pair of cool head lamps flanking the six (2 vertical, 2 horizontal, 2 connecting the lower horizontal edge to the bottom of the vertical edges) sided opening. The front fenders have also been restyled and squared the wheel arches all the way round. This time, the Element exhibits a more mature look since the outgoing ones proved more popular with the older generation, contrary to Honda’s expectation. And out there in the rear is where some newly shaped tail lights find companion alongside a subtly revised back.

A vehicle like this isn’t about looks. It’s about function and practicality, which is one of the reasons it appeals to an older crowd. It offers just the right amount of space without being wasteful or unwieldy. And really, that’s what people buy it for; it’s super useful. Vehicles targeted towards the younger crowd have always done well with the older one. They have homes they can leverage to get financing. They are the ones with buying power (especially in this economy). And, most importantly, they want to feel young! They may not drive down to the beach with a bunch of friends, but they like the sentiment and that plays a big role in their purchase decision.

Even though, there seems no difference in the interior of the trim, I don’t see the need for one anyway. The 2009 Element retains its reconfigurable seats and garden-hose ready upholstery, updated with the latest gadgets, which include Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera for automatic transmission models, USB digital connectivity and Honda satellite-linked navigation system, which for now is optional for Nigerian factor.

The bas LX model comes with a four-speaker stereo with a CD player, while the EX and SC models gets a 270-watt, seven-speaker audio system that will read MP3 and WMA CDs, standard with XM Satellite Radio and steering wheel controls and features a 6.5-in. sub woofer located at the bottom-center of the dash.

Element SC models get an exclusive center console with a built-in auxiliary audio input jack, EX models get a new console with a built-in cooler, and LX models gets a basic console. Element EX and SC models also pick up a new overhead storage system, which is based on Honda’s Railport Vehicle Personalization System. The three-compartment storage area is modular and can be reconfigured based on individual customer needs. SC models also get exclusive Piano Black trim, copper-colored highlights, unique fabrics, and a floor covered with carpet rather than rubber.

It’s likely the Accord’s 170hp K24 be housed in the bonnet, which makes more sense. Accidents happen. But since the Honda is yet to make things official, the safety measures incorporated into the outgoing might still be retained, at least there is no much difference.

Although, the small SUV concept is well appreciated, but this one is not cheap and Honda is glaringly competing with the CRV, which is better in every way and doesn’t cost that much. I would prefer rather the much more useful and prettier RAV4. For me, the Helmet is ugly! What do you think?