Road Tests

Top 10 dog-friendly cars

By Nick Watkins Published

Ford | Kuga | Vauxhall Mokka | Fiat 500L | dogs | dog | top 10 | Top Ten | animals | kia soul | Ford Kuga | Volvo XC70 | Hyundai Santa Fe | Peugeot 3008 | Citroen C3 Picasso | Fiat Qubo | Jeep Wrangler

Dog

Paw-fact... The best cars for your dog

THERE'S a good chance our dogs don't care as much about the state of our cars as we do. In fact, let’s be honest, they don’t care about  that at all.

Worrying about getting muck on the back seat will not be in your pooch’s mind when they’re rolling around in a puddle of mud.

Nevertheless, dogs are part of the family, and so we take them with us wherever we can and it’s only fair to make sure they’re as comfortable as us.

We’ve picked the best motors for carrying our canines in comfort. Just make sure they wipe their feet before jumping in.

Ford Kuga (used from: £7,789)

Ford Kuga

THE GOOD

  • Very spacious cabin and loads of room for your pooch in the back

THE NOT SO GOOD

  • Might be a struggle to get it in your garage

READ THE FULL ROAD TEST

WITH its 96 litre boot this is ideal for those with large dogs.

Ford decided bigger is better with the Kuga, making it a whopping 4.5 metres long so you’ll be able to fit the family and the weekly shop in along with your pets.

From the Fiesta to the Focus and the Kuga, Ford likes to standardise interiors, so don't expect this crossover to stand out inside, but it’s not such a bad thing.

In terms of drive quality, long motorway journeys aren’t a struggle and its Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system means it susses out the driving conditions before you do and automatically adjusts to cope.

A nice comfortable car with lots of space, what more could your dog want?

Volvo XC70 (used from: £1,990)

Volvo

THE GOOD

  • Optional divider and dog barrier makes travelling with pets extra safe

THE NOT SO GOOD

  • Not the smoothest drive, and a slow-reacting automatic gearbox

IF any car was designed for the great outdoors it’s this one.

Volvo built the XC70 for adventurous drives so why wouldn’t your dog want to come along too? With that in mind, the car has a dog barrier to keep your pet safe when he’s bouncing up and down with excitement in the back.

A divider can be added if you wish to keep your dog in the back with your shopping, without worrying about them rummaging through it in search of an early dinner.

The XC70s steering is nice and light too so you’ll have no problem driving around town when you’re not off on adventures with your four legged friend.

Kia Soul (used from: £3,950)

Kia

THE GOOD

  • Excellent visibility and increased boot space (2014 onwards)

THE NOT SO GOOD

  • Rivals are more practical and more fun to drive

READ THE FULL ROAD TEST

THE Soul caters well for small and medium-sized dogs thanks to its range of accessories such as protective mats and covers to keep the car sparkling.

Special glass means the heat build-up is kept to a minimum so your pooch will be cool even when the sun’s shining.

It's fun to drive and cool design touches, such as the round speakers stacked above the air vents and the substantial feel of the leather-trimmed gear lever, are impressive. Plus, it’ll return 70mpg.

Hyundai Santa Fe (used from: £995)

Hyundai

THE GOOD

  • Great handling and plenty of power for overtaking

THE NOT SO GOOD

  • No petrol option, all models come with a diesel engine

READ THE FULL ROAD TEST

Looks-wise the new Santa Fe is a vast improvement over previous generations — it's now more angular and sleeker, less curvaceous and a seriously good looking SUV.

Even when all seats are in use there is enough space in the boot to store some items and a handy underfloor compartment to stow the parcel shelf and keep valuables safe and out of sight, and more importantly, out the way of your dog!

Peugeot 3008 (used from: £4,695)

Peugeot 3008

THE GOOD

  • Ideal for medium-sized pets to jump in and out of

THE NOT SO GOOD

  • Legroom in the back is fine for your pooch but tight on passengers

YOUR dog will have no trouble getting in and out the 3008, no matter what size they are.

The boot space is large and can be protected by affordable dog guards so you don’t have to worry about the interior being torn up on a long drive.

While it might not be the most exciting to drive, it’s comfortable and will keep you and your passengers safe. The 3008 was given a face lift in 2014, making it feel more expensive on the inside with just a few tweaks to the exterior.

Citroen C3 Picasso (used from: £3,789)

Citroen

THE GOOD

  • Value for money and humongous boot

THE NOT SO GOOD

  • Not as sharp to drive as some rivals

READ THE FULL ROAD TEST

WITH a high roof and low to the ground every breed of dog would be happy to travel in the C3 Picasso. There’s plenty of room, front and back, with the option of folding seats to create more space, perfect if you’re planning on taking you pooch and their pals for a walk.

Boot space with the seats up is 500 litres that rises to 1,506 with the seats flat, compared to 222 and 700 for the Kia Soul, while the Renault Modus is 217 and 1,195.

Fiat Qubo (used from: £2,800)

Fiat Qubo

THE GOOD

  • Almost enough room for your dogs to run around inside

THE NOT SO GOOD

  • The rear windows don’t open fully so it’s hot on a summer’s day

WHAT’S great about the Qubo is the rubber flooring which is easy to clean after your pooch dirties it with his mucky paws.

For its size Fiat has created a really practical car, there’s loads of room inside and the high driving position means you’ll be able to see all of the road ahead.

On the outside, let’s face it, it’s not the coolest looking motor on the road, but your dog won’t mind that – and neither will you when it doesn’t take a minute to clean after a long walk with your four-legged friend.

Jeep Wrangler (used from: £3,495)

Jeep Wrangler

THE GOOD

  • Ultra durable and good for taking off-road

THE NOT SO GOOD

  • Pretty uncomfortable and very noisy

READ THE FULL ROAD TEST

WE all know dogs like nothing more than sticking their heads out of car windows, which is why the Wrangler is ideal.

Your canine companion will love the wind in his fur as you drive along with the top down on a warm summer’s day. Make sure you tie their lead to the roll bar, so they’re kept safely inside of course.

The Wrangler is a great performer off-road, if a little uncomfortable. If you’re as big of a fan of the great outdoors as your dog is, this is certainly a motor to think about.

Fiat 500L (used from: £7,590)

Fiat 500L

THE GOOD

  • Large boot and optional pet guards

THE NOT SO GOOD

  • Any swollen MPV version ‘500’ will always have a limited appeal

READ THE FULL ROAD TEST

ROOMIER and more pleasant to be in on longer journeys than a Mini Countryman, the 500L Beats Edition gets a few bonus toys too.

Your dog will like the room is has to walk in circles in the boot and the family can travel in comfort in the back.

With a 10% raised ride height this faux 4x4 goes head-to-head with the Mini Countryman as a funky family runabout.

Additional accessories can be bought separately such as pet guards and covers.

Vauxhall Mokka (used from: £9,999)

Vauxhall Mokka

THE GOOD

  • Enough room to add in a travel dog cage

THE NOT SO GOOD

  • Like a super-mini on stilts, you can get more room in other compact SUVs

READ THE FULL ROAD TEST

LIKE the ever-changing world of coffee flavours, car firms are constantly looking for something new to appeal to buyers.

The compact SUV is just 4.28 metres long - only marginally bigger than a five door Corsa - but its chunky design and raised body height give it a much greater road presence.

Dog lovers can easily fit in a cage for their pet so they can travel safely in the back.


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