2010 Honda Element AWD EX Dog Friendly Package new car reviews

It's an old favorite, the Honda Element.
This Element has the Dog Friendly Package. Aimee approves.
Paige enjoyed it, too.
In addition to the carrier, the Puppy Package also includes different seat fabric and floor mats.

Better than: Dodge Nitro
But not as good as: Edsel Villager
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 66.80

Honda has gone to the dogs--no, really. The boxy Element is now available with the Dog Friendly Package.

If "Pimp My Ride" built a car for dog lovers, this is probably what you'd get. Extra equipment includes a ramp, pet bed, kennel and water bowl. The kennel even has a little fan to keep furry passengers cool.

The rest of the car gets some canine-influenced touches, too. The seat covers feature little doggies, while the floor mats have a dog bone pattern.

Then there's some gifts for the pooch: leash, collar and name tag.

The Dog Friendly Package adds $1000 to the MSRP and is only available on the EX and LX models. Learn more at http://www.dogfriendly.honda.com.

Other staff views

Per Schroeder Per Schroeder
PowerDork

I like Elements, but they have never have quite gotten me interested enough in actually spending my own money on one. They can't really tow, they can't really go offroad, they can't really handle and they can't really get good mileage. Even the dog friendly package is kind of weird—afterall, the rear door windows don't actually roll down. How the heck do you have a dog friendly package on a car where the dog in question can't actually put his head out the window?

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

If you're the type of person who loves their dogs and wants the whole world to know then, yes, this car makes sense. All of the doggie bits are perfectly tailored for the vehicle. Yeah, maybe you can piece it together for less, but this is a turnkey solution. Call it a meeting of function and fashion.

It took us a few tries, but we eventually got both dogs to use the ramp. Placing a treat on the bed definitely helped lure them up the ramp. The fan is also a nice touch, as it does get a bit hot back there. I should also thank my wife for "modeling" the ramp. If you look closely, you can see our neighbor throwing some sod.

When taking our dogs somewhere in the car, we usually put them in the back seat. We have little puppy harnesses that work well. Personally, we didn't care too much for the Element's kennel itself. The dogs can't really see out and, more importantly, we couldn't see--or reach--them. Our big one likes to whine when setting off on a car trip, so it was impossible to wring her neck from the front seat.

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Comments

View comments on the GRM forums
Steve Chryssos
Steve Chryssos Reader
9/27/10 10:23 a.m.

We could SO use that to load Tom Heath after a Saturday night Yuengling workout. I recently started Phoebe, my aging Portuguese Water Dog into our vehicles, so that ramp is a helpful tool. Dog specific fabric is overkill. Drool resistant fabric would be more beneficial.

Matt B
Matt B SuperDork
9/27/10 12:22 p.m.

This piqued my interest, since we're shopping for a 3rd vehicle specifically to transport our 90lb GSD. Color me unimpressed though. Agreed on the near uselessness of the fabric "kennel", even for dogs much smaller than ours. I would also rather pay for water & scratch resistant upholstery than a doggie graphics (although it looks better than it sounded). I guess I was just expecting something more utilitarian from the Element. The one redeeming quality is the ramp, but I'm not paying another grand for it.

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter UberDork
9/27/10 4:38 p.m.

You know, this is probably perfect for the kinds of dogs an Element owner would have. Anyone that's got a big dog most likely already has a big-dog kinda car.

irish44j
irish44j PowerDork
9/27/10 5:51 p.m.

my dog rides shotgun on long trips...his big pillow bed on the front seat of the 4Runner and him with a harness linked to the seatbelt. Wife usually sits in the back seat to keep the 2 year old entertained, lol...

EvoRoadster
EvoRoadster New Reader
9/28/10 8:41 p.m.

I have been looking for a large dog, friendly vehicle to replace my 99 Volvo V70XC but this isn't it. The rear windows not going down kills it.

mistanfo
mistanfo UltraDork
10/5/10 1:18 p.m.

Will the motorcycle fit in the back? Will the ramp take the weight of said motorcycle? Nope, nope. Van it is then.

dougalfa36
dougalfa36
10/17/10 3:37 p.m.

Oh boy, we have Irish Wolfhounds and the Element was a choice to replace our really old Caravans (130K mi ea inc trailer towing) and one of our IW friends has his IW in an Element so having this little vid and the little dog stuff as an option did nothing to convince me that an Element is a good choice. And so, what is the fuel mileage? I like the rubber mats and the big stand up area for the IWs. BTY you should never have an open window for your dogs, the very best is that they will get a bug in the eye (since my wife is a vet I thank you for supporting my racing effort) and the very worse is that the dog will jump out at speed. DRB

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

Honda has gone to the dogs--no, really. The boxy Element is now available with the Dog Friendly Package.

If "Pimp My Ride" built a car for dog lovers, this is probably what you'd get. Extra equipment includes a ramp, pet bed, kennel and water bowl. The kennel even has a little fan to keep furry passengers cool.

The rest of the car gets some canine-influenced touches, too. The seat covers feature little doggies, while the floor mats have a dog bone pattern.

Then there's some gifts for the pooch: leash, collar and name tag.

The Dog Friendly Package adds $1000 to the MSRP and is only available on the EX and LX models. Learn more at http://www.dogfriendly.honda.com.

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