The Elements Of Design
We're not in the market for a car, but if we were, I've got to admit the new Honda Element has some pretty cool features.
I don't usually post about cars, but this car is really going to the dogs, I just had to share.
The new version of the Element is sort of a rolling Ritz-Carlton for the canine set. It features a built-in bed in the cargo area, a private electric cooling fan, a spill-proof water bowl and a mesh net to keep animals separated from people. Rubber floor mats are embellished with a dog-bone design.
Being shown at the show as a concept, a final version of the pooch-coddling 2009 Element will go on sale in late summer, setting up a dogfight of sorts with Toyota.
Honda's rival has outfitted its Venza crossover with its own canine-friendly features and displayed it at a few dog parks and events around the country.
The Venza offers doggy seat mats, barriers and other items designed to make dogs and their owners more comfortable.
Honda and Toyota officials say the curious timing of the twin debuts is just coincidence. In an age when dogs join HMOs, get massages and see therapists, it was only a matter of time before they could have their own limousines.
More empty-nesters dote on their dogs now as their children have scattered, says James Jenkins, a Honda product planner.
The Element even has a built in dog ramp, for older dogs or those that won't jump into the car. Having an older dog I know what a great feature that would be to have. The price for all these doggy extras isn't going to come cheap. The Element EX retails for $22,385, but the price with the added pet features has not yet been specified. I told Bo he is going to have to sell a lot of books if he wants to see himself in the driver's seat of a new Element.
In all seriousness, I think it's great that car companies are finally recognizing how important our dogs are to us and incorporating some dog friendly features into their vehicles.