Everybody needs a reliable passenger when they’re on the road. For some, that’s man’s best friend, a dog, and rightfully so. How do you provide a journey that’s just as enjoyable for your dog as it is for you? Here we explore a few of the most affordable, quality dog-friendly SUVs on the market.
The 2017 CR-V has the largest cargo space in affordable, dog-friendly SUVs with 75.8 cubic feet. The rear seats fold completely flat, and the cargo floor can be lowered for more height in the back. Different models of the CR-V come with a power liftgate or a hands-free liftgate. It also has a nice center console that with adjustment options, allowing more storage or function. The CR-V isn’t just a fantastic SUV for dog-owners.
The RAV4 is a sleek option that has a low cargo floor for easy puppy entrance. The rear seats fold mostly down for a 73.4 cubic foot cargo. There is a power liftgate available, as well, that allows the driver to adjust and set the opening height.
The Sportage comes with more function for pet and pet owner. The upholstery is cloth with a stain resistant seating option. The rear seats split 60/40, allowing for back passengers and dog entrance. When seats are folded flat, cargo space is 60.1 cubic feet.
This is smaller than other SUVs on this list, but the cargo floor can lift up to reveal storage underneath. The storage cover can also be removed for more space. There is a hands-free liftgate available on the Sportage.
Honda Element (Discontinued as a new model but still many good used models available)
The Element is has options to make riding in this compact SUV a truly comfortable experience for your dog. The Element’s rear seats have several folding options, some of which are folding completely flat, to the side, or coming out completely. Folding the rear seats completely leaves you with a large, 74.6 cubic foot cargo. The cabin floor is also durable and easy to clean.
Not luxurious enough? The Element EX model offers a dog-friendly package upgrade. Available options include a custom fitted soft crate, built in dog bowls, a cooling fan, a portable ramp, washable and removable rear seat upholstery, and more.
All of these fun and affordable options are available under $30,000. In no time at all, you and your best adventure buddy can be on the road together. And neither of you have to compromise.
Other Factors to Consider
Dog-friendly features include rubber mats for the cargo area, pet barriers that securely fasten and tie down points for kennels and crates. Waterproof rear seat covers and an adjustable harness/booster seat are also a big plus.
For those with a larger budget, consider models such as the Subaru Outback, Volvo XC60, or Ford Edge. The Edge has a reputation for being a smooth ride on rough roads, which is good news for skittish pups. Like the Sportage, the second row has 60/40 seating and folds mostly flat. The cargo space is 73.4 cubic feet and comes with a hands-free liftgate.