Five top cars for dog owners
There are an estimated 4.8 million pet dogs in Australia, spread out among more than a third of all Australian households. Meanwhile, more than 90 per cent of the population lives in a household with access to a car.
Put those numbers together and it’s clear plenty of our furry friends are coming along for the ride and would benefit from a car that accommodated them better.
But how do you find that car? Well, it should be easy for your dog to get into and to see out of, and give them a comfortable, safe space in which to travel. Other considerations are boot size, harness-attachment possibilities and the availability of dog-friendly accessories.
This quintet of contenders all have the goods to keep Fido comfortable, safe and happy on their next ride.
City car – Honda Jazz
Perhaps not the best choice for your Irish wolfhound, but this pint-sized Honda’s big boot and unique back-seat setup – which doesn’t just fold flatter than rival setups but has bases that flip up creating a sizeable space behind the front seats – give it a wider array of dog-transporting potential than your typical city car. Honda also sells a hard-wearing boot protector to keep muddy paws off delicate trim. From $14,990.
Small car – Volkswagen Golf Wagon
The best small car for a dog owner is a small wagon. And this Volkswagen, in addition to being one of the best small wagons on the market, has one of the biggest, most airy boots in its class. If you’re worried about how the upmarket trims will stand up to abuse, Volkswagen offers a double-sided boot floor (one side carpet, the other rubber) and other protective accessories. From $28,990.
Small SUV – Skoda Karoq
This Skoda isn’t just very roomy for its size but also has three individual back seats that can be folded or removed altogether, allowing you to create the dog-transportation space that works for you. Clever features such an umbrella hidden away in the door will come in handy for that next walk, while Skoda’s long list of dog-friendly accessories includes back-seat/boot protectors and even its own dog harness. From $29,990.
Family SUV – Nissan X-Trail
This Nissan’s boot isn’t just bigger than most medium-SUV alternatives, it has a removable carpeted floor that hides a handy plastic-lined storage spot for wet or dirty items. Take that floor out and the whole boot becomes a carpet-free, hose-out plastic tub, or you can partition the space with dividers as required; all appealing features for dog owners. A cargo barrier – a vital safety measure if your dog is riding in the boot – is on the accessories list. From $28,490.
Luxury car – Volvo V90 Cross Country
The Cross Country’s huge, flat and airy load space looks made for dogs and the Volvo brand obviously agrees – its staggering array of dog-related accessories includes everything from a dog gate designed for safe canine transportation to load-compartment dividers and liners that allow you to keep a dirty dog away from delicate carpet and other items in the boot. From $99,900.