Looking for a car that can accommodate every member of your family, including the dog? There are loads of cars out there which make it really easy to make your pampered pooch comfortable in the back. From large boot spaces and easy-clean loading bays, right through to separate temperature controls in the rear of the vehicle... you name it, car manufacturers have almost certainly thought of it. Whether you are going on an epic walking holiday with all the family or just a quick trip to the shops, here’s our round-up of the best cars to transport your beloved pet in.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate
Looking for something which can accommodate your 4-legged friend without compromising on luxury? The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate is a firm favourite of dog lovers who appreciate the finer things in life. Comfort is a top priority for passengers and dogs alike, and with a colossal 640-litre boot capacity, you can see why. Your furry companion can settle comfortably in the back and perhaps have a refreshing little snooze while you drive to your destination.
Even something the size of a St. Bernard couldn’t complain about the lack of space in the Skoda Superb Estate, with its whopping 660-litre boot. It also has a reversible load floor so you can ensure that your boot stays clean, even after messy walks. The Superb is a very accomplished family car overall, with a hard-wearing interior, great equipment levels and supremely refined driving manners. Skoda even makes it easy for all weathers, with ‘Simply Clever’ little features such as an ice scraper in the fuel flap and even an umbrella in the driver’s door – perfect for those days when the foul weather has caught you out.
It may come as a surprise that a MINI would be a suitable car to get your pampered pooch from A to B, but the Clubman is ideal as it has twin-opening doors that can open wide for your pal to jump right in. MINI is so focused on making sure your 4-legged friend is safe and happy in its cars that the British company has teamed up with the Dogs Trust charity to provide you with a ‘Dogs Hub’ on MINI’s website, to give you tips and tricks to make your canines happy in the car. Not only that, MINI has a range of accessories available for you and your pooch, including dog guards, mats and boot liners to keep your car clean at all times.
If you’re looking for something cost-effective for you and your furry best friend, take a look at the Dacia Duster. This small crossover-SUV is brilliant if you’re looking for something with space and has a well-shaped boot that has enough room for larger dogs. It’s easy to clean, too. If outdoor adventures are one of your favourite pastimes with your canine chum, the Duster has high ground clearance so you can go off-road for you and your pal to enjoy some of the more remote walking expeditions.
Nissan has really thought of everything when thinking of you and man's best friend. The X-Trail is a fantastic family SUV that has everything you need – space, comfort and affordability. If keeping your dog happy and comfortable is a top priority for you, then Nissan has a pet-friendly option bundle that is aptly named ‘Paw Pack’. For £600, you’ll have a boot liner, a hanging storage rack, a dog bed and a spill-resistant water bowl too. It also comes with a ramp to help smaller or less able dogs get into the boot, and a dog guard which separates the boot from the rest of the car. Brilliant!
If you have your very own wolf pack, you may want to look at leasing a Citroen Berlingo. This van-like car has a big old tailgate which makes it easy for large dogs to jump into the boot, or – if you have a smaller dog who needs a helping hand – you can open the top-hinged rear screen to pop them in the back. You have a 775-litre cavern for the pooches to play with and if you opt for the longer Berlingo XL, this expands to 1050 (in 5-seat guise). If internal storage is what you’re after to hide treats, toys and the necessary poo bags, you can count yourself lucky with 28 interior storage areas dotted around the Citroen’s cabin!
If you have a smaller pooch, you may want to look for a small crossover-SUV to taxi your 4-legged friend to your local walking destinations. Unfortunately, thanks to the great British weather, this means you’ll almost inevitably be bringing in the unavoidable elements (as a result of rain or shine, but mostly rain) into the car with you too. So say hello to the Ford Puma’s Megabox, which is located in the boot. This nifty feature comes with a drain plug and waterproof lining, which means you can sling the muddiest items into the Megabox and then swill it clean later. Even better, its positioning does not compromise on boot space at all – neat, eh?
Land Rover Discovery
Land Rovers and dogs are a match made in heaven. You’ll always arrive in style in something like a Discovery, which has more than enough space for several spaniels. Even 7-seat models have 228 litres of space in the boot with all chairs occupied, but that rises to a more comfortable 698 litres with the rear row folded away. You also have the option to include dog-friendly extras to your car, including a foldable pet access ramp, a portable shower, a pet carrier and a premium quilted loadspace liner to protect your flooring and seat backs. Classy.
An SUV is always a good option when looking for a large car for you, the family and the dog. The Volvo XC60 is no exception, with its renowned safety and sturdy, spacious interior. Volvo has really thought of everything when thinking about the safety of your pet, with the option to have a dog gate fitted to the back, which fits snugly into the rear storage compartment. It also prevents those cheeky mutts from jumping out of the back when the tailgate is open. If you have 2 furry friends, you can fit 2 compartments for them in the rear and you also have the option for a protective grille (which is colour-matched to the interior of the car) which prevents them from being thrown into the cabin if you have to brake suddenly. Always thinking of safety, Volvo, even for non-human occupants of the vehicle...
Tesla Model 3
Who would have thought that a Tesla would be an option for those looking for a car suitable for our closest canine companions? Tesla offers what it calls ‘Dog Mode’. No, it’s not a setting where your 4-legged friend takes to the wheel while you sit back and relax (unfortunately), but instead when set this mode keeps the in-car cabin temperature stable when it’s locked and switched off. This means if you need to quickly leave the dog(s) in the car for a few minutes while you pop to get a pint of milk, your pet won’t overheat in the vehicle. In reality, this feature is just a cool marketing ploy to save your battery so you don’t waste range from heating or cooling the car when it’s stationary. But what other manufacturer offers Dog Mode?!