The plastic panels are one of the major attractions of the Element for me. Regarding the supposed problems with them, I think Honda has thought it through. I have a full-size GM van and it has suposedly durable plastic panelling covering the whole interior. Yes, the panels do not scratch easily and any rub marks from cargo just wipe off. However, if a panel is bumped with little force when it is cold, it breaks! I think the choice is between harder non-marking plastic that WILL break or softer plastic that will suffer minor marks but is UNBREAKABLE.
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