My Next Dog Car? The Dog Friendly Honda Element?

I’ve been talking about getting a new dog car for what seems like forever (over two years anyways).  A few months back I went to the Los Angeles Auto Show and came away with a few new ideas for a dog car, but didn’t actually pull the trigger on purchasing a new car.  So I guess I’m going to have to drive around in the 2K Green CRV for another few more months years.

Anyhow here are a few pictures from the show.

My Next Dog Car

Lexus LFA

It might get a little cramped in this bad boy with three two oversized dogs.  Also, the price may be a little steep at $350,000 and Lexus is hand picking the people who will be allowed to purchase one of the only 500 cars going into production.  I guess I might have to pass up on the Lexus LFA as my next dog car.

Fiskar Karma

I know what you’re saying…you need a four door car for those dogs of yours.  I hear ya, we’ve also been talking about going green and getting an eco-friendly dog car…something that gets good gas mileage and has minimal impact on the environment.  I give you the Fiskar Karma…What say you?

The Karma uses plugin technology along with solar panels to power it’s engine.  It can go up to 50 miles before burning any fuel…and it has 4 doors…perfect for dogs? no?

Okay, maybe this is a little over the top as well and I’m not even sure how much it would cost for this dog car.

Dog Friendly Honda Element

Yep, we did talk about the dog friendly Honda Element just before we visited the LA Auto Show and much to our excitement Honda impressed us with their new upgrade to the boxy SUV car minivan wagon.

That’s me in the front seat of the Dog Friendly Honda Element.  You can kind of see the rubber mat with bone shaped notches.  Also, the seat covers had doggy designs as well.  You can’t see it in this picture, but there were also climbing latches in the back seat to tether your dog’s leash to the floor.

Me again with baby going up the dog ramp.  I’m not sure if it’s a standard sized crate, but it fits nice an snug in the rear storage are of the Honda Element.  You can also see the dog ramp in this picture.

Here are a few other accessories included with this Dog Friendly package.  There was also a list on display of all the additional upgrades included with the dog friendly model of the Honda Element.

Dog Friendly Honda Element Accessories

  • Rear Car Kennel
  • Pet Bed
  • Stowable Ramp
  • Dog Pattern Seat Covers
  • All Season Dog Bone Floor Mats
  • Spill Resistant Water Bowl
  • Electric Fan
  • Tote Bag
  • Dog Friendly Emblems
  • A Leash, Collar, and Dog Tag
  • Dispensor Bag

All of this for an additional $995 on top of the regular price for the Honda Element EX.  It’s nice to see that Honda is thinking about us dog owners.  However, I still have two glaring issues that keep me from purchasing a Honda Element.

  1. First, the fuel economy is not good on this car.  EPA City/Highway driving: 19/24mpg.  That’s just not cutting it.
  2. Second, the clamshell doors.  As I’ve mentioned before my RX-8 had the clamshell/suicide doors and they drove me nuts trying to get people and dogs in and out of the back seat.  A car as large as the Element could very easily have regular doors.

So now I sit back and wait for Honda to redesign the Honda Element.  Hopefully they will bring the fuel economy up or possibly add a hybrid version to the lineup and remove those awful clamshell doors.

I also looked around for the dog friendly Toyota Venza, but Toyota did not bring any of the dog friendly accessories to the LA Auto Show.

What kind of dog car do you own?  I’d love to hear about it and perhaps you can convince me to trash the old CRV for a new dog friendly vehicle.

Comments

  1. says

    Useful, humorous article. What dog wouldn’t love the Lexus LFA or a Fiskar Karma. But, of course, the dog/s would want to drive. This article is timely and will be useful to a friend who is shopping around for a hybrid, dog-friendly car. Good detail. I like that you listed the dog-friendly accessories. You shared the good, bad and the ugly. No holding back.

    I would love to have seen dog-friendly hybrids included in your search. Have you found any yet?
    .-= Cheryl´s last blog .. =-.

  2. says

    @Cheryl, thanks for your comment. We’ve been searching high and low for our next dog car and still haven’t found anything suitable for our needs. A dog-friendly hybrid is exactly what we’re looking for in our next car. Tell your friend to let us know what she finds. So far here’s what we’ve found:

    Ford Escape Hybrid MPG 34/31 – this is probably as close as I can find to an ideal car for our situation. One negative is the hybrid version costs almost $9,000 more than the non-hybrid. I’m not sure if I could pay that kind of premium.

    Toyota Prius MPG 51/48 – My mother just got one of these and the interior was surprisingly much larger than I thought it would be. The hatchback is nice for getting large dog supplies in and out of the trunk space. However, the slope in the back makes it difficult to get anything more than a small kennel in the back. That just doesn’t work with my two large dogs. The great gas mileage is appealing.

    Mini Cooper Clubman 36/31 – not a hybrid, but I like the MPG. The back of the clubman doesn’t slope like the Prius and extends out further than the original Mini (more room than I thought it would have). However, it’s still a bit cramped back there and I’d be driving with the seats down permanently for the dogs. I test drove the Mini S and these things are fun to drive. However, they require premium gas.

    I’ve also looked at the Insight which is similar to the Prius, but smaller and the Mercury Mariner Hybrid which is the same as the Ford Escape.

    As I’ve mentioned I still haven’t really found exactly what I’m looking for in a dog car. However, I am happy to see that Toyota and Honda are catering to dog/pet owners with their new pet-friendly models.
    .-= Colby´s last blog ..Puppy Training =-.

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  1. […] you’ll know we’ve been in search of the ideal dog car.  One of our favorites is the Honda Element.  Dublin likes the plastic and rubber interiors and I like how easy it is to clean out dog fur and […]

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