GRR

The 10 best cars for dog owners

15th October 2018
Goodwood Road & Racing

We all know who the most important members of every family really are, and it isn't you or me. So your canine companion should be at the forefront of your mind when selecting a new car, but which are the best out there?

Land Rover Discovery

From £43,495

This is the one for stylish mutts, as we discovered earlier this year. Land Rover has partnered with Barbour for a while now on dog accessories, from tartan rugs and collars to a funky bandana. Last month they launched their new dog pack, which consists of an extending ramp up to the boot for less energetic dogs (the air suspension drops the car lower for ingress), a smart cage that sits in the boot and even a portable shower to get excess mud off.

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Volvo V90

From £34,955

Being the inventors of the three-point seat belt, it’s no surprise that Volvo offers dog harnesses that clip onto the rear seat belts, in four different sizes. Plus a smart cage in the boot with a hydraulic pump to open the door. Now all you need is a large shaggy Scandinavian breed. 

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Dacia Duster

From £9,995

The is the one for owners whose dogs shed hair like there’s no tomorrow and can’t stay away from muddy water. You can’t beat the price, and the utilitarian nature of this SUV means you won’t be precious about a few scuffs on the interior. It’s also not a bad drive, at all, so the Duster is not a completely hair-shirt purchase. But you will want one of the more expensive versions for a decent infotainment system and reversing cameras if your dog’s large.

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Vauxhall Combo Life

From £21,540

It’s not the greatest looking MPV ever, but, like the Duster, you get value for money. This van-like MPV was designed with passengers in mind, instead of cargo, so drives and rides well. You can choose five seats or seven, and a standard wheelbase or longer one. Take the manual gearbox and 1.5 diesel engine.

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Honda Civic

From £18,235

It doesn’t sound like the ideal car for dogs, but it won the category in Auto Trader’s awards this year, which are voted for by the public. It won’t suit the biggest dogs, but it does prove that you don’t need fancy pet kit to carry a dog around: just a decent sized boot which is easy to get in and out of, comfy ride and a reliable powertrain which won’t leave you and pooch stranded.

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Skoda Octavia estate

From £19,000

This may be the perfect all-rounder for dog owners. Sensible price, good VW Group interior and infotainment system, a gigantic boot for the dog and decent styling, too. Of course, ideally we’d go for the vRS hot version, but the dog might not appreciate the harder suspension. The Scout version, with its off-roading character, might be the best choice.

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Audi Allroad quattro

From £41,225

Essentially the more plush version of the Skoda Octavia Scout. If your budget can stretch to it, the better off-roading styling, more dynamic handling and more involved drive are worth the extra money. Plus, Audi’s MMI – its infotainment system – is an absolute joy to operate and look at. We just wish Audi still did the larger A6 Avant in Allroad form. It beats an SUV any day of the week.

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Porsche Cayenne S

From £68,330

We’ve been carting two dogs around in this for a week and they (and we) loved it. Just a big five-seat SUV, with great performance from its V6, massive Porsche touchscreen with great graphics and Apple CarPlay, loads of space for adults in the rear and still a wide boot for two dogs to lie down in.

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BMW i3

From £34,073

For smaller dogs around town, and their chic urban owners, this is the one. We know a beagle who loves his i3 almost as much as his owner. The silent drive, the futuristic interior, the bright blue seatbelts to match the electric blue touches on the outside, plus BMW’s legendary iDrive infotainment system and great satnav graphics… it’s all there. Just not quite the right choice for a Great Dane.

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Seat Leon ST Cupra

From £35,575

The surprise element. A bog-standard small estate on the outside; 300 horsepower on the inside. We love, love, love this car, with its DSG auto 'box and all that power, combined with unassuming looks. The VW Golf R estate might be a more involving drive, but the sweet spot of the Seat’s price combined with all the cool stuff Seat is putting into its cars – Amazon Alexa and Shazam are on the way – makes Seat one of our favourite brands at the moment.

  • Land Rover

  • Discovery

  • Volvo

  • V90

  • Dacia

  • Duster

  • Vauxhall

  • Combo Life

  • Honda

  • Civic

  • Skoda

  • Octavia

  • Audi

  • A4

  • Porsche

  • Cayenne

  • BMW

  • i3

  • Seat

  • leon

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