Top 10 best cars for dog owners 2022
Whether you’re already a dog owner or are looking for a vehicle before a puppy arrives, we have taken the stress out of searching by shortlisting the 10 best dog cars for you.
Searching for a family car can be difficult enough because children or other family members need space and comfort. Add in the challenge of keeping your beloved pet happy and it can be a real challenge to find your next car. Since man’s best friend is so good to you it feels right to make sure you are good to them. Picking a car that can transport them everywhere from the local park to their check-ups at the (whisper it) vets, and the long drives for weekends away will be a lot easier with our top 10 list.
When it comes to our tail-wagging passengers, it’s not necessarily just a case of choosing a car with a big boot. Although there are an abundance of estates and SUVs that may appeal due to the space they have in the rear, some models are undoubtedly more canine-capable than others because of their intrinsic design.
Beyond size, you’ll want a boot that’s lined with sturdy materials, so that it won’t look like a dog’s dinner after every journey. It needs to be low enough to allow easy access – a senior Samoyed will likely be less mobile than an adolescent Alsatian and the interior should be easy to clean after Mastiff mishaps. Extra features like tie-down cargo hooks can also keep your Spaniel secure.
Read on for our round-up of the top 10 best cars for dogs and their owners.
The Toyota Corolla has long been considered a wise choice for car buyers, with strong reliability and dependability. The Touring Sports estate model takes the basic recipe and adds additional space and a flat entry at the bottom of the boot, so even shorter dogs can make the jump.
The 581-litre boot should be enough for those with a larger paw print or if you need to take a few extras with your pet they will still have enough space to get comfortable.
Add to this a 10-year warranty from new if you service at the main dealer and the Corolla Touring Sports should allow you to spend more time worrying about your pet, and less about your car.
When it comes to sheer space for pedigree pooches, the Discovery Sport gets off to a good start with a claimed boot volume of 981 litres.
Don't be deceived, though – Land Rover measures load capacity right up to the roof, and the Discovery Sport actually has little more space on the boot floor than its Nissan X-Trail rival. However, the famous SUV brand has demonstrated that it has our four-legged friends in mind by offering a range of Pet Packs as optional extras.
They range in price and content, but offer helpful features such as an access ramp that can take dogs of up to 85kg, and even a shower whose 6.5-litre water capacity is enough for a five minutes of flow – ideal for cleaning mucky dogs or even bikes before they go in the boot. Sealing the deal is the fact that the Discovery Sport is one of the more enjoyable SUVs to drive, so both the driver and their furry friend will enjoy making journeys.
We could have actually chosen several cars from the Skoda range, but it’s the Superb that we reckon will treat your terrier the best. The Skoda Superb places its emphasis very much on comfort and is a fantastic motorway cruiser. It so happens to have an enormous boot, too. It can hold a huge 660 litres of cargo and is long and flat, with a low loading sill that pets will easily leap onto.
Once on board, they’re likely to find themselves very comfortable. The Superb is a terrifically relaxing car to travel in, so every occupant will arrive at their destination fresh and alert, no matter what their species.
The Mercedes E-Class Estate has long been a favourite among dog lovers with an eye for quality. Like the Skoda Superb, its main aim is to provide occupants with comfort, but the Mercedes offers luxurious finishes and materials, as well as cutting-edge technology. It’s a car that specialises in effortlessly shrugging off the longest of journeys.
What’s more, it can carry huge loads at the same time. Most models have 670 litres of boot space – enough for most dogs to lie down safely and sleep contentedly while the car glides along the motorway. In E200d and E220d diesel forms, it’s a very economical car, too, while providing all the power any driver could reasonably need.
Peugeot has been on a bit of a winning streak lately when it comes to design, and the 5008 is one of the cars that gets these striking good looks.
It’s not just a pretty face, though; drop the rear row of seats in the Peugeot 5008 and you will have a whopping 780 litres of boot space at your disposal, which is plenty for even the largest of breeds. The 5008 is a rather cost-friendly SUV, too. If you opt for the turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol or 2.0-litre diesel engine, you can enjoy an easily achievable fuel economy of well over 40mpg.
The optional panoramic sunroof does eat into headroom, so it may be worth sacrificing its extra natural light for comfort if you have a particularly large dog or are carrying adults in the back seats.
The Tesla Model Y brings a feature that suits our British weather and our love for dogs. Owners across the country will know the feeling when they have taken their fluffy friend along for the ride, only for the weather to take a sudden turn. Seeing the sun break from the clouds can leave you second guessing how hot it is going to get in the car, even on a relatively mild day, and if the place you are visiting doesn’t allow pets inside it can become a real headache. Tesla believes it have the answer by creating a dog mode feature that allows you to set the climate control to your dog’s preferred temperature while you run into the shop without them. This guarantees no matter how hot or cold it is outside it will always be comfortable inside. We’re not sure that’ll be enough to get a ringing endorsement from the RSPCA, though.
The Model Y also has a front boot that offers additional storage space if you want to carry something with you but are afraid your pet may also take an interest in it en route.
The Honda Jazz has hybrid technology that can save you money on running costs, but our furry friends will be more interested in a different key feature. The rear seats on the Jazz can slide backwards and forwards on a rail - similar to the front - which boosts boot space. This allows for you to slide the seats back when you need a little extra room for passengers, but then slide them forwards again so the small car can have a big boot.
We found the Honda Jazz to be smooth-riding in our testing, although you may want to avoid the larger wheel options because they make for a slightly bumpier ride that your pet won’t appreciate.
The MINI Clubman didn’t make our list just because of its long rear boot and flat entry. MINI has added a dog hub to its website that invites owners to browse the range of cars to find the right fit for them and their pet. MINI has created an online hub in partnership with DogsTrust to find ways to make journeys more comfortable for dogs. There are also recommendations on the best accessories to make long journeys a dog's life.
The softly sprung suspension is a big advantage if your pet likes to stand while in the car because it smoothes out bumper road surfaces. Boot space in the Clubman is 360-litres which isn't as much as in rivals, which means larger dogs may find the rear space a tight squeeze when compared with a Peugeot 308 SW or Volkswagen Golf Estate.
Though it may not stand out as much as some rivals, the Kia Ceed is a solid car. The Sportswagon takes the build quality, seven-year warranty, and overall value for money from the standard hatchback and adds a significant amount of extra space. It’s a winning combination.
The 625-litre boot should prove plenty of room, but the Ceed also features underfloor storage that’s perfect for hiding away any treats. A plug-in hybrid is available but the onboard batteries intrude into this boot space, causing it to drop to just 437 litres. Be sure to choose carefully depending on the size of your four-legged friend.
The Citroen Berlingo was one of the very first MPVs to be based on a small van, and it has come a long way since its introduction in 1996. It is still a van-based car, so, naturally, space in the rear is plentiful.
The standard ‘M’ spec car has an enormous 775-litre boot, and access is incredibly easy, thanks to a huge tailgate and sliding rear doors. If that still isn’t enough, the ‘XL' version increases boot space to a cavernous 1,050 litres and adds 2 removable extra seats; it’s perfect for everyone, canine or otherwise.
Just because this car is based on a van it does not mean that you have to make sacrifices in terms of luxuries. An eight-inch touchscreen media system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto comes as standard, as well as a pleasant interior with soft materials and even Citroen’s ‘ambiance’ colour-scheme options.
There are a number of engines available depending on which spec you opt for, but the diesels tend to cope better when the car is fully loaded.
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