It’s estimated that nearly 80 million people own dogs in the Unites States, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Pet ownership has skyrocketed over the years and that means more pooches are taking rides in cars. Car makers have caught on to the trend and some are manufacturing vehicles that accommodate your pup’s needs.
Toy Breeds: Mini Cooper Countryman
The Mini Cooper Countryman has four doors, five seats and plenty of cargo room. It’s also been an IIHS Safety Pick for four years in a row. In addition to being safe for both you and your pup, the Countryman is fuel-efficient, getting 31 miles per gallon on the highway and 25 in the city. The Countryman also comes with All4 all-wheel drive, a performance feature that helps you stay in control, no matter the terrain. And, although it looks small on the outside, the inside of the Mini is actually quite spacious, boasting 42.2 cubic feet of space. Your toy breed might not need all of that space, but it makes packing his or her crate and doggy accessories easy. We actually found it really easy for us to fit our 4 Border Collie mixes in this and everyone still had room to lay down.
Small Breeds: Kia Soul
Pugs, terriers and Frenchies have a lot of personality, and so does the Kia Soul. The interior was developed with comfort in mind, so it’s quiet on the inside, which makes the car ride stress-free for your pup. The Soul even has a panoramic sunroof that opens with just the touch of a button, letting the sunlight and fresh air into the cab. This feature is great for pups who love to feel the wind in their fur and pet parents who care about their dog’s safety. As DriveTime notes, keeping your pet safe starts with keeping them inside of the car. Letting your pup hang out of the window can put him or her at risk of injury. DriveTime recommends using restraint systems or carriers to keep your dog safe while riding in the car. If you’re ready to upgrade your wheels, consider contacting DriveTime to get a great deal on a used car.
Medium Breeds: Subaru Outback
The folks at Subaru are dog lovers, just like you. Subaru promotes an active, healthy lifestyle. If you’re ready to take an action-packed adventure, the Subaru Outback just might be the best option for you and your pooch. It’s the most fuel-efficient crossover in the U.S., and it has 143.6 cubic feet of interior space in addition to the cargo carrying space on the roof that can hold up to 150 pounds of gear. Your adventurous pup has plenty of space to relax on the drive to your destination, and once you arrive you can let your pup out through the hatch with the touch of a button with the Outback’s power rear gate opener. This is our best pick for trips with our pack.
Large Breeds: Buick Encore
In 2014, USA Today named the Buick Encore a top pick for dog parents based on its cabin space, storage options, fold-flat seating and easy-access tailgate. Large dogs have large crates, so they need all the room that the Encore provides. Not only is this crossover great for large breeds, it’s great for large families, too.