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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm hoping to be buying a new car later this year, and I'm very interested in the Element. I'm curious if the reverse-opening doors are awkward to use in a crowded parking lot. Also, you can't open the rear door independent of the front door, correct? Has this become a problem for anyone?

Thanks for you comments!

Rob in Houston
 

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robTX,

So far, no problems with parking here in NY. There have been a few mall parking lots, as well as other shops, no issue.

The rear doors have to be opened after the front. The rear doors will not open unless the front door is opened 1st.

The only issue I have had with this, my wife went to let someone out, and did not undo her seatbelt 1st. She looked so funny trying to figure out why things were not working. :lol:

The seatbelt is attached to the back door. You need to take off the seatbelt before opening the doors. :D
 

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As long as your passengers know the drill, it's not much of a problem. The sequence usually goes: Park, seatbelts off, driver opens door justa crack, rear passenger opens their door, gets out, closes the door, driver opens door, closes door. It does take a little bit more concentration to figure things out than it would a normal car, but I think it's worth it!

Since the back doors are so short, they don't have any trouble opening to full swing in a crowded parking lots. The main doors of the Element are also shorter than, say, an Impreza coupe's, so they're actually a little better for tight spots too. The doors "click" pretty solidly into positions between full close and full open, so you can bump them quite a bit on your way out and they won't move too much. It's just a shame that you can't open the rear hatch from the inside!
 

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I like the back doors, since I don't have kids, its not much of an issue and if I have adult riders back there we are usually all getting out at the same time. On the other hand I do have a niece and nephew who I have out with me a lot and having the back doors NOT open from the inside while my door is closed is like an added safety bonus! (not that they frequently try to jump out into the road or anything :? )
 

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We have a wee-one (not quite one-year old yet), and we thought that the "built-in" child safety doors in the back were kind of a selling point....

the only problem we've run into is that my wife sits in the back seat with the baby. If I don't think ahead, there can be a moment of confusion when I open the doors to let them out in a crowded parking lot, and the three of us get "caught" in between both doors, with no "easy" way to close the doors or back out.... it's a bit of a problem, but one that can be easily worked out (we have)....
 

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I currently have a Chevy S-10 with the "suicide doors". I have found using them to be a problem when I have someone parked beside me. As I put the groceries behind the driver's seat, I end up having both doors open which causes the back door of the "suicide doors" to block access to the grocery shopping cart. Not impossible, but a little frustrating from time to time.

This will not be a problem when I get the "E" as I can load the groceries in the back.

Iskie
 

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So far I like the doors as they are because if I need something I put behind my seat, I can easily access whatever is there because of the way the door opens.
 
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