The Honda Element's dog package is a win-win for both Honda and dog owners. For Honda, it's a way to attract some attention and customers to an appealing but aging model with minimal engineering investment. For dog owners, the affordable $995 package offers both the whimsical and the practical. For instance, the heavy-duty rubber floor mats with the dog-bone pattern are both fun and useful. The seat upholstery now has subtle drawings of dogs woven into it (don't worry, it looks cool and you'd hardly notice it). Most important, there's a comfortable and safe fabric kennel for your pooch that sits on a raised platform in the rear cargo area, and there's a slide-out ramp so that small or old dogs can prance right on up into the kennel (which is like a tent) and plop themselves down onto the cushy bed. A built-in, spill-resistant water bowl and an electric fan offer relief during hot weather.
All told, the dog package is a neat new trick for the old Element.
Joe DeMatio, Executive Editor