Buying a new car can be exciting and confusing in equal measures, and everyone has their own ideas, requirements and must-haves when it comes to their potential purchase! If you own a dog, this too is likely to factor into your decision when it comes to your new car, as your dog will almost certainly need to take a ride in it at some point, whether that be on a regular basis to go out and about with you, or just now and then for the occasional trip to the vet or the kennels.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best choices of new car for the dog owner, and examine some of their most dog-friendly features. Read on to learn more!
The Skoda Octavia is an estate car that is notable for its wipe-clean grey plastic interior trim, five-star NCAP rating for post-collision braking and tyre pressure monitors, and 610 litre boot space.
The rear space is expandable to 1740 litres with the back seats down, and has a 60/40 rear seat split, meaning that you can choose to recline either just the smaller side of the rear seats, or the entire area. However, when reclining the seats in the 60/40 position, the floor behind the seats creates a step, although investing in a £150 additional mod will provide you with a variable load floor, which removes the step and provides an additional area of underfloor storage.
The Octavia is a good pick of reasonably priced estate car that offers a large boot area with even more scope to expand it with the rear seats down, and reasonably head height to accommodate medium to large breeds comfortably. The Octavia is also air conditioned.
The Fiat 500L is a five-door model of the original 500, and is both longer and taller than the 500 as well as offering all-door access. The 500L is classed as a “mini MPV,” and also has a five star NCAP rating.
The boot space with the rear seats up is 343 litres, while with the rear seats down, offers 1310 litres, which given the size of the car itself, is very spacious and should be suitable for most small to medium sized dogs. This model also has an option for an original fitted Fiat dog guard to separate the boot from the back seats without restricting the driver’s vision, and the added bonuses of soft suspension, light steering and a raised driving position make for a smooth and comfortable journey. Again, air conditioning is offered as standard.
The BMW X3 is a sleek 4x4 vehicle that offers better traction on slippery roads than the average two wheel drive car, but that is really only suitable for light off-roading and transiting bumpy country lanes. The boot is large and well-shaped, offering 550 litres capacity with the rear seats up, and 1,600 litres with all of the seats down. The rear seats can be split 40/20/40 too, allowing you to drop just one side or the other if you wish, and has the added advantage of no lip on the boot, and so no step to negotiate. The headroom inside is also ample, making this model a good pick for those with larger dogs. As you would expect from BMW, air conditioning is fitted as standard.
The second generation Volvo XC90 is lauded as “the ultimate family 4x4,” and benefits from Volvo’s sterling reputation for safety and comfort with all mod cons. One interesting feature of this model is that each of the three rows of seats (offering seven in total) are staged to be slightly higher than the row in front, allowing everyone to see out of the front window-an added advantage if you like to secure your dog with a seatbelt harness in the rear whilst still allowing medium to large dogs to see the road ahead.
With all of the seven seats in the upright position, the boot of the XC90 has a capacity of 451 litres, more than the average MPV, while with both the second and third row of seats folded down, you benefit from a massive 1,951 litres of space, ample to travel a whole pack or medium to large dogs! The headroom of the XC90 is also relatively roomy, although it gets lower towards the rear, and so this is a good pick for people with large dogs. Optional dog guards to fit the model are available direct from Volvo, and again, this vehicle is air conditioned.
The Peugeot 3008 has a roomy interior without being overly large externally, making it a comfortable and safe drive for anyone to manage. The boot’s surface is flat, and benefits from three adjustable positions that can be compartmentalised, offering 512 litres of capacity with the rear seats upright, and 1,604 litres with the seats down, making it one of the most roomy options on the market when it comes to medium sized cars.
An added advantage of this model is the split tailgate feature, which makes for easy loading of dogs, and that is able to support up to 200kg of weight, ensuring that even the largest of hounds can get in and out safely, and without having to make a jump for it!
This model has air conditioning and also, a refrigerated glovebox, which is handy for hot days out with your dog when it comes to keeping their food fresh!