Honda Element (2009/2010) - Current Owners' Opinions?

I’m considering buying a Honda Element (or possibly a CRV) - would like some information from current owners or anyone who has a lot of knowledge about them.

I’m a little confused about the back area, as I can’t seem to find a lot of photos online. Is the only way to get a lot of cargo space to either fold the seats way up on the sides (therefore making the back windows unusable), or take the seats out completely? I thought I saw a photo where the seats folded down & were hidden (cushions not showing - more like a floor area instead).

Also, do you know what the ground clearance is? It’s more than a regular sedan, isn’t it?