Why leave your dog behind when you go on a road trip? Motoring expert Tim Barnes-Clay picks five of the best cars to accommodate your pooch.
Dogs are more than a man’s best friend, they’re part of the family.
As such, family road trips need a dog-friendly motor and some cars are better at canine transportation than others.
Most sports utility vehicles (SUV) are great for taking your dog off the beaten track and the Mazda CX-5 is no exception.
It’s an excellent choice for most dog owners, especially if you’re ferrying children too, as it’s officially one of the safest cars in the world.
It has generous front and rear legroom and a roomy 463 litre boot, while its premium feel, superior functionality and low noise levels make for a pleasurable ride.
Easy-to-use features include three-piece 40/20/40 split folding rear seats with release levers in the cargo area.
This SUV is perfectly suited to many a dog lover’s way of life.
This is the ideal vehicle to chauffeur your muddy mutt back home if you’re not precious about keeping your car clean.
It drives like a normal car but it has the space of an estate, as well as 4x4 safety, and enough grunt to tow a trailer, caravan or horsebox. The CR-V has it all.
With the rear seats up, the boot capacity is a spacious 589 litres extending to 1669 litres when the seats are down, so your hound will have heaps of space.
The 3008 is versatile and roomy, but not too big to be intimidating.
The French vehicle offers bags of storage space and benefits from a user-friendly load area.
Access is made easy by a split tailgate, of which the lower part can become a seat or support a weight of 200kg, so it’s ideal for your canine companion.
The flat boot surface can easily be compartmentalised thanks to the cleverly designed floor and its three adjustable positions.
If you have a dog and you really don’t want an SUV, your best alternative is an estate car.
The Volvo XC70 is a perfect example as it’s been created especially for pet and outdoor devotees.
The rear seats can be folded down in three 40/20/40 sections and if you collapse all of them the load space swells from 575 litres to 1,600 litres.
Another handy function is the power-operated tailgate and a divider to keep your furry friend safely in the load-area alongside your shopping.
It even has a dog barrier to ensure your pet’s wellbeing while travelling.
Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Estate
Due to its hearse-like appearance it’ll come as no surprise that the Mercedes-Benz E 300 BlueTEC Estate is big enough to carry a coffin – probably.
In other words, the car’s load area is colossal and ideal for Pongo, Patch or whatever your best friend is called.
It’s also low, so you can load the vehicle without straining your poor old back.
It’s very hard to fault this estate – just don’t get one in black, or people really will think you’re carrying a coffin rather than your dog.