Dogs bring us all kinds of joy but not all cars are designed with our four-legged friends’ interests in mind. Some cars, however, have handy features to keep our pooches happy on the road – ranging from reversible boot floors to wide-opening bootlids.
My Dad and his Dogs are searching for a new vehicle, so I thought I’d bring my research skills to bear and compile a Top 10 list of potential purchases for him to narrow down. This list is compiled from manufacturers specs, car magazines and of course a few personal recommendations!
1. Skoda Superb Estate
The name says it all – the Superb!! It’s one of the best all-round cars ever sold. It’s composed, comfortable and easy to drive, while the boot is big enough for a whole pack of Great Danes. Adding to its dog-friendly image is the range of accessories Skoda offers including a Dog Safety Belt that clips into the regular seat belt mounts, a dog ‘hammock’ for the back seats along with a range of dividers and rubberised floors for the boot. Starting at £21,370 it’s a mid-price option for a top of the range vehicle.
2. VW Tiguan
If you need transport for your dog but want a premium badge on the bonnet, this car might just fit the bill. This family SUV has a confidence-inspiring lofty driving position, great VW build quality and chunky off-road styling. If you don’t fancy your mucky mutt getting its grubby paws on the leather, you can fit VW’s optional divider guard separating the mess in the boot from the serene driving experience up front. RRP from £23,250.
3. Skoda Fabia Estate
You don’t need to spend lots of money to get a great dog-friendly car, as shown here. This compact estate might be based on the Fabia supermini, but its 530-litre boot is larger than many executive saloons and the low, wide opening makes it easy for dogs to hop in. You can also get a dividing guard for the Fabia Estate to make sure your four-legged friend doesn’t jump into the front on the move. RRP from just £13,195 – that’s a serious amount of car for that sort of money.
4. Land Rover Discovery
If your ideal dog walk is halfway up a mountain, this one of the few 4x4s you can trust to get you there. Its enormous boot is large enough to recreate scenes from 101 Dalmatians and there are seven decent-sized seats for when you’re not forming your own doggie army. To protect your not-inconsiderable investment, you can buy rubber floor mats to protect the plush cabin from dirty paws. Of course, it doesn’t come cheap – RRP from an eye watering £43,995 – but let’s be honest, if we win the lottery tomorrow we’re all off out to buy ourselves one of these beauties!
5. Mercedes E-Class Estate
Your dog deserves the best so, if you’re after something with a little more kudos than the norm, the luxurious E-Class Merc is worth a look. The gorgeous cabin is complemented by a boot so large it can actually fit a standard Euro-size pallet, so it should have no problem fitting even the largest dogs. Optional rubber floor mats are a must-have to protect the cabin from whatever your hound’s rolled in this time. RRP from £37,205.
6. Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
If you’ve reconnected with nature on your dog walks then you might want to buy a car with one eye on its environmental impact – a car such this. This plug-in hybrid can cover most short city journeys on electric power alone and, if you can charge it at your destination, you need almost never visit a petrol station. A big boot complete with optional rubber boot floor and dog guard complete its handy features. RRP from £34,305 for the only Hybrid to make my list.
7. Dacia Logan MCV
If you need space for you and your pooch but don’t want a big hit in the wallet, the reasonably priced Dacia Logan MCV may be the car for you. For an unbelievable price, you get enough space for five and a 573-litre boot – large enough for two medium-sized dogs. The £225 Protection Pack includes interior mats, rear parking sensors and a rubber boot liner to keep the worst of the mess contained. RRP from just £7,295.00 – making this the best value car not just on this list but probably on the market.
8. Peugeot 308 SW
This great car has a sizeable 660-litre boot space makes it a great option for dog owners. Inside, you’re treated to great build quality and a minimalist design that makes it feel unique – especially the odd small steering wheel that, Peugeot says, makes the car feel more agile. We’d suggest picking the optional rubber boot floor to make sure there are no nasty surprises when you return from your walks! RRP from £19,520 – a great price for a truly great car.
9. Citroen C4 Picasso
This car pairs spaceship-like looks with a comfortable, cosseting driving experience. You’re treated to a spacious driving space up front with a windscreen that extends behind your head and large front-quarter windows. Your pooch won’t miss out, however, because you can select an optional rubber floor mat or, if they prefer to ride in the back, an optional protective cover that stretches over the rear seats and backs of the front seats. RRP from £20,855.
10. Ford Tourneo Connect
If you want the most space for your money, the van-based Ford (and the only Van on my list) offers just that. Its modest £17,005 entry-level price buys you a vast 1,000-litre boot with an equally massive boot opening, making it really easy for even short dogs to jump into the back without a leg up. As ever, a rubber floor mat from Ford’s accessories catalogue means you won’t have to worry about bringing the park back home with you. RRP from £18,455 – a good price for a lot of vehicle space.
If it were just down to me, I’d be going for the Dacia: what Dad and his dogs decide though, is another matter entirely!