Melody Bond of Livonia, Michigan loved her 2014 Chevrolet Camaro muscle car so much that she called it Esmeralda.
But Esmeralda had to leave when Bond’s all-white German Shepherd puppy Jasper grew up and outgrown the sports car.
âHe weighs 100 pounds and when he sat in the Camaro his head hit the ceiling and his feet were on the ground,â Bond said. “It was ridiculous. Even just to go to the vet, it was just too much.”
Last summer, Bond replaced Esmeralda with a 2017 Jeep Wrangler “Big Bear”. It has a mesh bulkhead in the back to keep Jasper in the back safe.
She named it Liberty. âI want to go on an UP aurora hunt and I want to take a big dog with me to protect me,â Bond said. âHe’s going to be my traveling companion now.
With the water-resistant and easy-to-clean interior of the Wrangler, safety hooks for a harness, and ample cargo space to stow a crate, it’s no surprise that the Wrangler makes most of the top 10 lists. best cars suitable for dogs. But there are a few cars on the lists that might surprise you: the Corvette, for example, and the Tesla models, thanks to their innovative “Dog Mode” technology.
According to dealers, industry experts and consumers, canine consideration is an important factor among car buyers when choosing their next route.
“On the way for the ride”
CarGurus, an online auto buying and selling site, recruited several auto journalists to compile its first list of the best dog cars earlier this spring, associate editor Mike Smith said.
CarGurus has yet to conduct a formal consumer survey, “so the evidence I have is anecdotal, but just about anyone who has met a dog owner in their life knows that their dog plays an incredible role. in their lives and in their decisions, âSmith mentioned.
The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica MPV, followed by the Honda CR-V SUV, is number 1 on the CarGurus list. But the list also included not-so-obvious choices like the Tesla Model Y compact crossover and, of all things, the Corvette super sports car.
âNot everyone has a big dog who loves adventure. Some of us have Pomeranians or Chihuahuas who only need a comfortable seat to snuggle up to. Or maybe you have an older dog who just anxiously awaits morning outings to the cafe shopping with his tongue waving in the wind, “CarGurus freelance Thom Blackett wrote of the Corvette.” Where you go or what you don’t drive doesn’t matter as long as your furry friend can go with you. “
The group of automotive journalists who designed the list test 50 to 100 cars a year and, of course, have dogs, Smith said.
And just because vehicles like the Chevrolet Equinox or the Ford Explorer weren’t on CarGuru’s list does not mean that this is an indictment against those vehicles. They also accept dogs, he said.
âWe wanted our list to contain a variety of vehicle types because there are a variety of buyers,â Smith said. “The Honda CR-V is here for someone who has a dog but wants a compact crossover, the Kia Rio5 is a great choice for dog owners on a budget.”
The full-size Ram pickup got it done thanks to RamBox, the large drainable storage pockets on either side of the truck bed. They are lockable and easily accessible, providing space to keep wet or dirty leashes, food, bowls and towels used on a dog.
The Chrysler Pacifica is equipped with an optional vacuum cleaner, “a necessity during moulting season,” Smith said. The Jeep Wrangler, third on the list, is a good example of dog transport safety thanks to harness hooks, Smith said.
Then there’s Tesla Model Y, # 8 on the list, because of dog mode. Dog Mode allows the owner to adjust the air conditioning system and place a panel on the 15-inch touchscreen that reads, “My owner will be back soon,” indicating the temperature inside the car.
The Land Rover Discovery makes the list because “it offers a lot of features: a splash-proof water bowl, folding ramps, a padded cargo liner,” Smith said. âThen there’s the portable flushing system. It’s basically a garden hose that you charge ahead of time and give you two minutes of water to rinse your dog off.â
The dog factor is important in car sales. In fact, it’s so important that Village Ford in Dearborn, Michigan installed a display of a 2021 Bronco Sport SUV with a stuffed dog in a safety harness and the dog safety screen inside to keep a dog in the back seat.
âWe wanted to start making more accessories and people love their dogs and will spend money on them. So we wanted to show what is available,â said Jason MacDonald, sales manager at Village Ford.
Ford offers a variety of dog accessories such as safety harnesses, water bowl kits, bulkheads, a collapsible crate and waterproof cargo mats, MacDonald said.
âA lot of people take (dogs) into consideration and will get a bench seat in the back of an Explorer, for example, rather than bucket seats because the benches are more comfortable for the dogs,â MacDonald said.
In height, unobstructed view
Floyd Allen has been carrying his German Shorthair Pointer dogs around in Ford Explorer SUVs for over two decades. He bought the vehicle with his dogs in mind.
âThis is probably the most important factor because I wouldn’t want to have a vehicle that wouldn’t fit my dogs well,â Allen said. âMy dogs are a very, very important part of my life. They are my best friend and we do a lot of things together, it’s not just that I go hunting a few times a year. Every weekend we do something. thing.”
Allen, who is a corporate attorney with his office in Detroit’s Fisher Building, said he turned to the Explorer in the mid-1990s.
âI was looking for a utility vehicle that allows me to do all the things I love to do – cycle, golf, ski, hunt and fish so whatever I love about the outdoors,â Allen said. . “I chose the Explorer because my German shorthair dogs over the years have enjoyed the vehicle as much as I appreciate it.”
Allen, who usually has two dogs, currently has one: Broadway Shooter, 5. But he plans to have another dog in a few years.
He said his dogs have always loved the Explorer because they are high up and “can see around”. Allen loves the vehicle because it is comfortable for driving long distances, it can water it down if the dogs are muddy from the chase, the rear seats fold down so the dogs stretch out and there is a lot of storage room.
Last week he ordered a new Explorer to replace his current one when the lease expires in December.
In town for the custard
Margie Bauer also has her priorities when buying a car and they are in this order: “One that my dogs can fit into and one that a lot can fit into and one that is easy to park and can fit. ‘fit in my garage,’ Bauer said.
Bauer of Harper Woods, Mich., Was a muscle car enthusiast like Bond. Bauer’s first car was a 1976 Camaro before he had dogs. In 1988, she had Sandy, her first dog, a golden retriever. The Camaro “was meant to be practical,” she said.
Bauer has driven Chevrolet SUVs since, currently his 2015 Equinox.
âIt’s just the right size,â said Bauer, for his two dogs, Liberty, a 60-pound golden retriever, and Layla, a 54-pound beagle-corgi mix. “They can sit in the backseat and jump in.”
She said there was plenty of storage space for trips with the dogs up north. And it’s easy to clean the fur after short trips around town and those hot summer days when she takes them to a pastry cream shop to get a cup of ice cream with a dog treat in it.
For her, having a car suitable for dogs is not negotiable.
âI’m always going to have dogs and I want to be able to take them with me even if it’s only for short trips,â Bauer said. “These are my friends.”
List of the best dog cars from CarGurus
â2021 Chrysler Pacifica Mini-Van
â2021 Honda CR-V SUV
âJeep Wrangler Unlimited 2021
â2021 Kia Rio5 compact hatchback
â2021 Land Rover Discovery SUV
âSupport RAM 1500 2021
â2021 Subaru Outback Wagon
â2021 Tesla Model Y compact crossover
â2021 Volvo V60 Wagon
â2021 Chevrolet Corvette sports car