By Cars.com EditorsMarch 12, 2010
About the video
Cars.com's Dave Thomas and his dog Roxy take a look at the 2010 Honda Dog Friendly Element.
<v Narrator>Cars.com auto review. Hi, I'm David Thomas with cars.com. This is a 2010 Honda Element. Now, if you're just looking for a comfortable, smaller SUV, there are a lot of others on the market that'll do better than this.
However, what the Element has going for is a unique utility area which is great for hobbyists, and this one, especially, is made for dog lovers. (lively upbeat music) The Element has a custom dog-friendly package which costs $1,000. Now that might seem like a lot of money. It has a lot of unique features that you won't see anywhere else. Namely, this built-in soft-sided dog kennel. Now, you can remove it, but this is bolted in, so it's very firm and secure. So you don't have to worry about the safety of your dog. And that's really what this package is all about because you want your dogs to be safe in long trips. Has a water bowl that kind of stores, tightened deep in the back of the kennel. It also has a fan and vent on the other side so they get fresh air. Now, the clamshell gate is pretty low. So Roxy... Come on, Rox! Roxy can just jump up and get in fine, but it zips up from the bottom instead of from the top where you could just flip it over. And I was thinking her toes could get caught in that, but there's also a ramp. So if you have a smaller dog or an older dog, there is a ramp that they can walk up. Roxy does not like the ramp. The other major elements of the dog package are these seat covers for the back seats. A lot of people are now seat belting their dogs in with special harnesses into seats. So that's great for as you won't get dog hair everywhere. There's also rubber all-weather mats on the floor, which have a dog bone pattern. You know, which is nice to have. But the floors and all elements are hard plastic, so even if stuff gets off those mats, it's easy to wipe up. Now, the best thing about the Element for dogs or anyone who has a trouble getting into a car is a really low entry height. So Roxy, come on! You can get in very easily. So you've seen how dogs like the Element, but what about humans? Well, not so much. Now, I mentioned a lot of competition out in the SUV segment. Well, Honda has some competition for Element too. It's called the CRV, one of the best-selling compact SUVs on the market. Now, in any trim level, that CRV is about $1,000 more than this Element. It has a stronger engine, better mileage, and a lot more standard features. So when you get in this Element, it definitely feels bare bones compared to that CRV. So if you're not a dog, why would you wanna be in a Honda Element? Well, for one thing, there's a lot of headroom, much more than a CRV. So if you're really tall, it's great for that. This Element is also 10 inches shorter than a CRV, so if you live in the city or other areas where you need tight parking, it's great for that. And the cargo room without all this dog stuff is similar to the CRV's. You just fold the rear seats to the side. That's very unique for any SUV. So if you're a biker, camper or you have really weird cargo that you carry a lot of, it's great for that. The Element has always been a niche vehicle and it's still true today since there's such great competition out there. Now, if you're in the even smaller niche of dog lovers who need to transport their over long distances and you wanna do it safely, then this package, well, it's custom paid for you, because there's nothing else like it out there. <v Narrator>For more car-related news, go to cars.com or our blog kickingtires.net.