Best Cars for Dogs – Midsize, SUV, and Vans for Dog Owners and Lovers
Thinking about adopting a new dog? Considering how the dog will fit in with your family, lifestyle, finances, and environment are important. You should consider what is the best car for your dog! If you are thinking about getting a dog in the toy to medium sized range then you won’t have issues with interior space. You could probably even get a smart car that you can park on the sidewalk and your new pup would fit comfortable; especially if you get a Chihuahua or Toy Poodle!
If a mid-sized car is ideal and you want a medium to super-sized dog then you should consider your traveling habits. There are a number of vehicles for dogs that are perfect for accommodating large dogs. We have reviewed a handful of small to mid-sized cars, trucks, and SUVs. We determined their dog-friendliness based on their interior cargo space. Interior space was solely based on cargo size. Cargo space provides your dog with a comfortable, and safe area to rest or gain their balance. We also decided to take a look at vehicle sizes compared to their fuel efficiency and cost. We know the majority of people don’t want to empty their bank account for dog comfort only. While a truck with a flat bed may seem like it has plenty of room for your dog, this isn’t a very safe or efficient way for your pooch to travel! Read on to learn about the best cars for dogs!
*Best cars for dogs that we recommend are based on interior cargo space, price, reliability, and fuel efficiency*
*Cargo space is determined with all seats in use unless noted otherwise*
Best Minivans for Dog Owners
WINNER: Honda Odyssey: 32.8 cubic feet of cargo space, approximately $30,190 with a fuel efficiency of 19/28 mpg.
Runner up – Toyota Sienna: 39.1 cubic feet of cargo space and approximately $31,315 with a fuel efficiency of 19:city/27:highway mpg.
Minivans are great for the terrier family like the Boston Terrier, Cairn Terrier, and Border Terrier. Note that for 2019 the Odyssey received similar reliability ratings to the Sienna: both cars are extremely reliable.
Best Compact SUV for Dog Owners
WINNER: Honda CR-V: 38 cubic feet of cargo space, approximately $29,283 with a 28/34 mpg.
Runner up – 2019 Subaru Forester: Comes with 35.4 cubic feet of cargo space, priced at $24,295 and comes in at 26/33 mpg.
Compact SUVs are great for Cocker Spaniels, Corgis, and Cockapoos. Compact SUVs give these dog breeds a comfortable amount of room without being overly big. With Ford making a big comeback in the automotive industry, the Ford Escape received the best reliability ratings of all three cars in the Compact SUV category.
Best Midsize to Large SUV for Dog Lovers
WINNER: 2019 Subaru Ascent: With rear seat down, 47.5 cubic feet. Both rows down 86.5 cubic feet. Priced at 31,995 with 21/27 mpg.
Runner up – 2019 Honda Pilot: With the rear seat lowered, 46.8 cubic feet, both rows lowered, 83.9 cubic feet. Priced at 31,450 – 20/27 mpg.
Midsize/large SUVs are great for Bernese Mountain Dogs, Boxers, Giant Schnauzers, and Rottweilers. This category works best for breeds that tend to be larger dogs that need more room in your vehicle. Both Subaru and Honda models received excellent reliability reviews.
Best Sedans for Dog Lovers
WINNER: 2019 Kia Optima: Includes 15.9 cubic feet of cargo space, 27/37 mpg and priced at an impressive $22,990.
Runner up – 2019 Honda Accord: 16.7 cubic feet of cargo space priced at $23,720 and 30/38 mpg.
Midsize sedans are great for Westies, Yorkies, and Shih Tzus. Midsize sedans don’t provide the largest amount of interior space and these dog breeds don’t grow very large.
Best Wagons for Dog Lovers
WINNER: 2020 Subaru Outback: Approximately $26,645, mpg of 25/32 and 32.5 cubic feet of cargo space (75.7 with rear seat down), which is even more than the Jetta, but higher priced with lower fuel efficiency.
Runner up – Volkswagon Jetta Sportwagen TD: mpg of 28/28, $19,395, and 32.8 cubic feet of space (66.9 with rear seat down).
Wagons and hatchbacks are great for Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, and Retrievers. They provide almost the same amount of room (or more) as SUVs for medium to large sized dogs while reducing costs of gas.
Did you already decide on a new car for you and your doggy?! Or maybe you decided to keep your current car? Either way, it is always a great idea to show off your dog with car dog decor, new or old! Check out our car magnets or view a few below:
Yellow Labrador Car Magnet 4×4″$9.99
Husky Car Magnet 4×4″$9.99
Cavalier King Charles Car Magnet 4×4″ Tri Color$9.99
Boxer Car Magnet 4×4″ Brindle Uncropped$9.99
Soft Coated Wheaten Car Magnet 4×4″$9.99
Rottweiler Car Magnet 4×4″$9.99
Golden Retriever Car Magnet 4×4″$9.99
Corgi Car Magnet 4×4″$9.99
Maltese Car Magnet 4×4″$9.99
Any car will fit a small breed like the Chihuahua, Pomeranian, Beagle, Basset Hound, and Bulldog, just fine. If you have or are thinking about getting a large dog, like a Great Dane, Newfoundland, Mastiff, Saint Bernard, Weimaraner, or Great Pyrenees then you may want to consider one of the fuel efficient large SUVs we suggested. If an SUV isn’t your thing then take a look at the hatchbacks or wagons. Hatchbacks and wagons provide a surprisingly large amount of cargo space. Even if you have a Golden Retriever, Lab, or German Shepherd, you may want to look at one of the larger sedans or compact SUV.
You need to consider room for your family, your belongings, and your dog. Researching the best cars for dogs can be tricky and time consuming. Be sure to take your time and consider all options when shopping. Lastly, remember the best cars for dogs depends upon the breed and your personal needs. If a friend recommends their best cars for dogs list, consider what breed they own and compare to your dog.
Dog Lover Store
July 28th, 2011
Revised September 17th, 2019
Kim is the co-owner of DogLoverStore with her husband, John. She earned her BS in operations management at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She enjoys walking in nature, gardening in the sun, eating sour candy, going on drives, yoga, and reading.