Are you looking for a car to cater for all members of the family, including the pooch? We’ve pulled together our top picks for small, medium, and large dogs to make every journey a breeze.
The best cars for small dogs
You don’t always need an SUV or 4X4 to ferry your furry friend around. For many people and their dogs, a smaller vehicle will do the job just fine. As long as there is enough room for animals to sit, lie down, and turn around comfortably, then you’re winning. Check out our top picks for small dogs...
SEAT Leon Estate
The SEAT Leon Estate is a great family car that is genuinely fun to drive. It’s one of the most stylish estate models on the market, thanks to the manufacturer’s sporty Spanish roots.
The boot has a capacity of 620 litres, which extends to 1,620 litres once the rear seats have been folded down – this should provide plenty of space for your dog and any accessories. Plus, the boot has a low floor and flush lip, which makes it easy for petite pups to climb in and out.
Dacia Sandero Stepway
Dacia is well known for creating cars of extraordinary value that come with practicality in abundance. The Sandero Stepway is no different.
With a large, well-shaped boot, you will get 328 litres of space, which extends to 1,108 litres with the rear seats folded flat. Plus, throughout the cabin, there is an additional 21 litres of storage found in various compartments and pockets – ideal for leads, toys, and treats.
As you’d expect with a Dacia, there are plenty of wipe-clean, durable surfaces inside too so you needn’t panic about your dog damaging the interior.
Ford Focus Estate
The Ford Focus is one of the best-selling cars in the UK. The estate version in particular makes use of every centimetre inside, meaning occupants will have ample room in the front and back.
The Focus’s boot compartment is impressive, with 575 litres of space that can expand to 1,620 litres with the rear seats folded. The adjustable load floor in the boot can be raised to give hidden storage underneath, or lowered to increase space further.
The best cars for medium dogs
If you need something a little bit roomier, check out our recommendations for medium dogs.
The Hyundai BAYON is a striking SUV that comes packed with clever features to make you and your four-legged friend feel comfortable and safe.
The boot is ideal, providing ample space with a 401-litre volume, expanding to 1,205 litres with the back seats folded. An adjustable boot floor can be manoeuvred to provide a flat surface with the loading lip, to improve access into and out of the area.
A number of smart features will help make your life easier too. Remote Keyless Entry is ideal if your hands are tied, privacy glass can help keep temperatures in the rear nice and cool, and a high centre console prevents animals from climbing into the front seats.
The Nissan Qashqai is one of the most popular cars on UK roads - it’s a bold SUV that is built for family adventures.
The back doors open to 85 degrees, which makes access to the rear seats a breeze. The amount of space inside is impressive, with a roomy cabin creating maximum comfort for all.
The boot also has a wide opening which makes access a doddle. With a 504-litre capacity that grows to 1,441 litres with the back seats down, it should be large enough for most dogs. Mucky paws? No problem! A reversible boot floor with a wipe-clean surface should keep mud to a minimum in the back.
MG ZS EV
The MG ZS EV is a practical family SUV that comes with an outstanding amount of kit for its price tag. It was also named the 2021 winner of the AutoTrader Best Car for Dog Owners Award.
With an impressive range of 273 miles and the ability to rapid charge from 0% - 80% in just over an hour, you’ll be able to get where you need to go. Plus, it won’t just be you that benefits from the electric powertrain – the smooth and silent drive is calming for dogs.
The boot offers great levels of practicality with a 470-litre capacity that extends to 1,100 litres with the back seats folded - perfect for small to medium-sized dogs and their gear.
Plus, the MG ZS EV comes with the manufacturer’s comprehensive seven-year warranty – which demonstrates the brand’s sheer confidence in the vehicle’s quality and reliability.
The best cars for large dogs
In the market for a car big enough to carry a large canine or multiple mutts? Read on for more.
In a highly competitive mid-size SUV market, the Skoda Karoq stands out. It has an outdoorsy image and all the practical features to match.
The boot space is substantial and offers a 521-litre capacity, rising to 1,630 litres with the rear seats folded down. There is also the option of Varioflex seats which can further increase the volume in the back depending on various configurations.
The Skoda Karoq was crowned Best Car for Dog Owners at the AutoTrader New Car Awards 2020. Customers praised it for its safety features, running costs, and the range of accessories available.
The Citroen e-Berlingo is a large, electric MPV that is extremely capable. Having been based on a van it ticks the boxes for spaciousness, practicality, and accessibility - whilst SUV-esque looks give it some mainstream style.
Available in two sizes – M and XL, both models will provide ample space for your family. The M model’s 775-litre boot extends to 3,500 litres with the back seats removed, and the XL boot starts at 1,050 litres, extending to 4,000 litres. That’s enough room to transport a kayak - so we think a dog should fit just fine!
Rear sliding doors make it easy for passengers and pooches to get in or out of the vehicle, especially if you are parked in a tight spot.
The efficient electric powertrain provides a smooth and quiet driving experience as well as a lengthy range of up to 174 miles.
The robust, supremely practical, and efficient Peugeot e-Rifter has a huge amount of space to carry your family and your four-legged friends.
The expansive boot has a wide opening and no lip, which means your dog(s) can jump in and out of the car at ease. The five-seat option provides 774 litres of boot space, expanding to a total capacity of 3,000 litres, whilst the seven-seater model has an initial boot space of 1,050 litres -expandable to 3,500 litres.
Whilst this vehicle may look van-like, it has been specifically designed to carry people and therefore features several practical elements, including easy back folding seats and sliding rear doors.
There are also so many storage options on board, including aeroplane-style overhead compartments, and plenty of room in the centre console, door bins and glove boxes.
With a range of up to 172 miles, it's more than capable of meeting the demands of everyday life.
With recent research suggesting dogs can cause costly damage to your car, we hope this guide has helped you consider some practical options! If you need more advice, contact your local Bristol Street Motors dealership.