All I ever wanted was a Honda Element. Finally, after my '96 Chevy Beretta gave way, I bought a used one. I have two large dogs, and this was the only vehicle I would have. Couple of things. It's everything I thought it would be and more! The dogs have harnesses that attach to the seat belts, so no sliding around. I have two big dogs, so securing two crates to the back isn't an option. Secondly, for $3.50 from a big box store we all know and love, the big blind spots have been completely removed. Most neg. reviews were about blind spots, a very easy fix. And another was the pets sliding around. Well, get a harness. All problems fixed, and I couldn't be ANY happier with my Element.
Power ports, cup holders, driving is so fun, flexible interior and LARGE space. The ease of cleaning it! DOG FRIENDLY, via water/stain resistant seats, broom friendly, and space, space, space! With harnesses the dogs can move around, but when I stop suddenly, so do they. Safely. NO CARPET!
Little heavier? You get blown around a lot if the wind is strong. Cover for the moon roof, and/or move to the front for traditional sunroof. Better gas mileage, but it is like throwing a Saltine box into a fan! More horsepower for that giddy-up! But I do LOVE my Element!