As a parent to both kids and dogs, you know that the two have a lot in common; one thing being they both require an astonishing amount of gear. Of course, they’re adorable, but they also love tagging along to wherever you’re headed and, no matter where that is, always happen to find mud and other messy substances to track into the car.
If you’re in the market for a new set of wheels, there are a few things to take into consideration. The following three vehicles for 2015 are ideal for both kids and dogs.
Toyota Sienna: Spacious with tons of storage
In your pre-kid-and-pooch days you might have mightily declared, “I will never drive a minivan;” but never say never, as minivans are practical, comfortable and easy to drive. In fact, Kelley Blue Book lists the Toyota Sienna as one of the best family cars that money can buy. The minivan not only has an enormous cargo area, which is ideal for carrying big strollers and dog crates, the rear seating also folds flat, allowing your dog to lie down comfortably when you are out and about. It features an oddly high number of cup holders which will house both sippy cups and doggie treats with ease, and under-seat storage keeps toys, blankets and chew bones from rolling around on the floor.
Subaru Forester: Deceptively large interior
In most cases, a kid-friendly car will also be a dog-friendly car. Consumer Reports named the Subaru Forester SUV as one of the best vehicles for a mom to drive. Features like big windows are perfect for kids and dogs to watch the passing scenery, and large rear seating areas (one of the largest in its class) make it ideal for multi-kid-and-pet families. The vehicle also boasts impressive leg room, which is nice if your darling dog likes to lie on the floorboards under his or her little master’s feet. The Premium model comes equipped with a backup camera, which is a terrific safety feature to have on any vehicle to prevent busy parents from accidentally running over tricycles or toys that are left in the driveway.
Nissan Juke: Impressive cargo area
When it comes to dog-and-kid friendly cars, it’s a good idea to look for makes and models with low ride heights; this way, little legs can easily crawl or jump up into the vehicle. In addition, tailgates that fold down are good for dogs to hop up into the car; a good idea if your dog weighs more than 25 pounds. Car and Driver created a list of dog-friendly vehicles that are also perfect for kids. In addition to the aforementioned features, the Juke also has seats that fold flat and storage areas under the floor, plus an enormous cargo area in back that will easily hold all of the doggie and kiddie paraphernalia that you lug around on the daily. The interior is easy to clean—another bonus for when you are on the road with kids and pets—and the rear gate folds down nicely for easy access both for dogs and for loading it up with groceries, baby swings and more.