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My dog and I are in the market for a 2009+ Element and was wondering if there are things I should be aware of and/or look out for as I may be getting a used model.

The other car that we are considering is the Mazda5. Both cars will allow my buddy to get in and out of the car easily (bad hips). The Mazda5 gets a plus for being lower to the ground, but I would most certainly have to remove a seat or two so that he can lay down. The only thing I really don't like about the Element is the clamshell doors design. Been there, done that, hated it, but here I am again. The Mazda5, on the other hand, uses very useful sliding doors.

Any advice is appreciated! :)
 

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I hate sliding side doors.

I bought my Element for the suicide doors, the Clamshell tailgate, near infinte seating arrangements, cavernous interior and headroom.
You could buy a SC model if you want a lower step in height.
Plus it's a Honda!

But it sounds like you're going with the Mazda anyway.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I hate sliding side doors.

I bought my Element for the suicide doors, the Clamshell tailgate, near infinte seating arrangements, cavernous interior and headroom.
You could buy a SC model if you want a lower step in height.
Plus it's a Honda!

But it sounds like you're going with the Mazda anyway.

Good luck.
I live in an area where tight parking spots are the norm. Sliding doors just make sense for me, even though they make me feel old. With that said, I'm actually leaning towards the Element because of all the other reasons that you listed. Plus, I much prefer the way the Element looks over the Mazda5!
 

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My dog and I are in the market for a 2009+ Element and was wondering if there are things I should be aware of and/or look out for as I may be getting a used model.

The other car that we are considering is the Mazda5. Both cars will allow my buddy to get in and out of the car easily (bad hips). The Mazda5 gets a plus for being lower to the ground, but I would most certainly have to remove a seat or two so that he can lay down. The only thing I really don't like about the Element is the clamshell doors design. Been there, done that, hated it, but here I am again. The Mazda5, on the other hand, uses very useful sliding doors.

Any advice is appreciated! :)

I think you answered your own question. If you dog has bad hips the Mazda is the better choice...Lower floor and sliding doors may be more to your liking.

The choice is yours to make. I made a choice 4 years ago that i still regret. I replaced my 2003 E with a 2006 instead of getting a CRV. Now i am stuck with it for another 4-5 years.
 

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I think you answered your own question. If you dog has bad hips the Mazda is the better choice...Lower floor and sliding doors may be more to your liking.

The choice is yours to make. I made a choice 4 years ago that i still regret. I replaced my 2003 E with a 2006 instead of getting a CRV. Now i am stuck with it for another 4-5 years.
2Es no CRV no regrets here...have to say the second E deal was too great to miss out...... however, i wished it was green tea metalllic!
 

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I think you answered your own question. If you dog has bad hips the Mazda is the better choice...Lower floor and sliding doors may be more to your liking.

The choice is yours to make. I made a choice 4 years ago that i still regret. I replaced my 2003 E with a 2006 instead of getting a CRV. Now i am stuck with it for another 4-5 years.
The Mazda does seem like it makes more sense for me, but I have to admit I've had my heart set on an Element for a while now. What don't you like about your Element? And why did you end up getting another Element if you weren't happy with your first one?

If anyone has any experience, are the side step bars a good idea for big dogs (100+ lbs.)? Is it practical for them to use it as a step? Or does it just get in the way?
 

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The Mazda does seem like it makes more sense for me, but I have to admit I've had my heart set on an Element for a while now. What don't you like about your Element? And why did you end up getting another Element if you weren't happy with your first one?

If anyone has any experience, are the side step bars a good idea for big dogs (100+ lbs.)? Is it practical for them to use it as a step? Or does it just get in the way?

I did like the first one and i had no issues with number 2 until my son was born. getting him in and out in a crowded parking lot can be a nightmare at times. I had the side bars on my 2003 and they wont be of any help for the dog at all.
 

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I did like the first one and i had no issues with number 2 until my son was born. getting him in and out in a crowded parking lot can be a nightmare at times. I had the side bars on my 2003 and they wont be of any help for the dog at all.
Yeah, I get what you're saying and I can see why you'd be really annoyed by that. I hated dealing with clam shell doors, but the more I think about it the more I realize that I rarely have more than one other person riding with me. With that said, I'm still leaning towards the Element. The heart wants what the heart wants. :razz:

And thanks for the tip on the side step bars!
 

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I've had my E since May of '04 and yes there were times when I hated the doors. But then after I realized that I don't have to park so close to the entrance, then no more problems. And the walking has probably done me some good.

Make a list titled "Pros" and "Cons" for each car. And be perfectly honest in your evaluation and then grade the cars.

I have found, for me, the pros far out weigh the cons and that is why I still own an E!!!

BTW, this is coming from a person that, up until now, has never kept a car over 3 years!!
 

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We have 2 100 lb dogs and one is starting to slow down a little. He is still able to get in and out of the E but I can see a ramp in our future.

The clamshell doors are great in all but a tight parking situation. The front seats slide very far forward so that it makes plenty of room for my guys to get in and out. Of course, both my rear seats are removed. I have tethers attached to the seat clips in the floor that attach to the dogs' harnesses for safety. I also covered the floor in the rear with interlocking foam panels from Home Depot.

We travel from PA to FL every fall and we find the E to be a great vehicle that enables us to take the dogs with us.

I had considered a Mazda 5 when I bought the E but it didn't have the room or flexibility I desired. I also own a Miata so I am a Mazda fan as well as a Honda fan.
 

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I bought the E for my old Mastiff She could put her front paws in and I pick up the rear. with no carpet she would slide easily. Sam steps up where as Delilah can jump in though the open top of the tail gate.
Take the little one with you and let them decide which car to buy.
 

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My dog and I are in the market for a 2009+ Element and was wondering if there are things I should be aware of and/or look out for as I may be getting a used model.

The other car that we are considering is the Mazda5. Both cars will allow my buddy to get in and out of the car easily (bad hips). The Mazda5 gets a plus for being lower to the ground, but I would most certainly have to remove a seat or two so that he can lay down. The only thing I really don't like about the Element is the clamshell doors design. Been there, done that, hated it, but here I am again. The Mazda5, on the other hand, uses very useful sliding doors.

Any advice is appreciated! :)
Chipper,

I don't think you will go wrong with either vehicle. I was an original "E" owner, buying one when they first came out in 2003 (regretfully sold it in 2007), and am now driving a 2007 Element...I just traded in my 2007 Mazda5 in on it!

So, having owned both vehicles for 3-4 years each that you are considering purchasing, here are my thoughts. The versatility of the "E" can't be overstated; it does have the limiting factor on seating capacity though, which the Mazda5 surpasses. On the dog-hauling factor, there is enough info out there to support the "E"...know that the entry height is a concern for you though.

On the Mazda5, your interior choices are cloth or leather, and either tan or black. I found that the black cloth interior on my Mazda5 held up well, but did attract lint/hair which was "much" harder to remove than from my Element's cloth. On the carpet, the Mazda5's did wear well, but again the black carpet held lint/hair...my shop vacuum pulled it out, but it took a good deal of time and effort to maintain; can't compare to the vinyl floor of the "E" for ease of maintenance. Overall, the interior durability goes to the Element.

My Mazda5 was a great vehicle, never had a single issue with it...just did regular maintanence. It owed me nothing in the end. I even considered trading it in for a 2010 Mazda5, but really missed the versatility of the Element. Both vehicles get similar gas mileage (23-25 overall), both are within the same ballpark for price, and I found they were equally reliable. However, I don't think that you can compare the residual value...if you are planning on trading in or selling in 3 years, the Element will hold a greater percentage of its value.

Good luck!
 
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