A few years ago I was researching dog friendly cars and I couldn’t find any good resources! Certain cars have good reputations for dogs, such as the Honda Element or Subarus, but I wanted feedback from the “crazy” dog people. The kind with multiple dogs in crates, not one or two dogs loose in the car. Many serious dog people drive vans or SUVs, but neither of those appeal to me as daily drivers.
- Space for crates: currently two 28″L x 20.5″W x 21.5″H, planning ahead for a large dog
- Air circulation: roomy interior with large windows
- MPG: high 30s is ideal but 25 is minimum
- Options: leather heated seats, power everything, sun/moon roof
- Color: light colors only
These are the experiences I had with the various cars I’ve owned since getting Wally and I’ll keep updating this as I get new vehicles. These are listed in chronological order with the most recent vehicle first. Currently I drive the Prius.
2015 Toyota Prius V Five
Are you totally surprised to see this car here? I am! I was shocked to find out that the Prius V has more cargo space and overall interior space than my VW had. The two BT-size crates fit perfectly in the cargo area with plenty of space for the dogs to jump up or for a fan during summer, and space on the sides for stuff. The back seats incline/decline as well as lay down (not totally flat though, so a large crate may not fit) and the rear windows are huge. The dual moon-roof doesn’t open but, despite my best efforts, I love this car!
2008 Dodge Ram 3500 Quad Cab
I loved this beast but, if I’m being honest with myself, it was completely impractical. I could fit two crates in the backseat but that meant nothing else would fit (I won’t put my dogs in the bed, even with a canopy). The MPG was horrendous and parking was usually a nightmare; parking garages were downright scary and driving through downtown Seattle was an adventure. On the other hand, the air circulation was phenomenal! My suggestion? Unless you plan to put your dogs in the bed, only buy a truck if you need one for truck stuff (that was a hard lesson for me).
2009 VW Jetta SportWagen TDI
This was the first car I bought based on the criteria above, and it was a dang near perfect car (plus sexy). Unfortunately it was part of the VW TDI scandal so I no longer have it, and because of the company’s highly questionable ethics I won’t own another VW or Audi. As a dog car, it had lousy circulation (even with a sunroof) and it needed a lot of repairs. Newer models of this car were built on the Golf chassis so I believe they’re smaller than the model I had (the VW Tiguan is also built on the Golf chassis).
1997 Honda Accord Sedan
I had this car when I got Wally and even with just one dog it was a trial. One crate will fit in the backseat but you have to get creative to make it sit level. I’ll never own a sedan again.
Most Dog-Friendly Car Styles
- Station Wagon