Dog-Friendly 2020 SUVs

If you have a four-legged friend, you want them to be comfortable riding in your vehicle just the same as your human passengers. Finding a pet-friendly SUV can be a must.

Before you start the buying process, it’s important to know which vehicle features your dog will appreciate. Below are some of the most dog-friendly vehicle features:

  • Ample cargo/passenger area (you want your dog to be comfortable and have enough room)
  • Tinted windows (to keep dogs cooler)
  • Rear air vents (for climate control)
  • Leather material seats (easier to clean dog hair)

seats fold flat

Other Dog-Friendly Features

  • Tie down hooks in the cargo area (to secure dog crates and other items)
  • Low load cargo area (or have a ramp for easy ingress and egress)
  • Foldable rear seats (with a level floor)
  • Moonroof (for a better view)

With these features in mind, let’s look at some of the top dog-friendly 2020 SUV models.

We’ll review vehicles from a range of SUV categories highlighting their useful features and pricing, starting with the most expensive.

tesla model x

Tesla Model X

The Model X is Tesla’s only crossover model currently on the market. Despite having a lofty starting price of over $80,000, Tesla models have a climate-control feature unique in the industry. It’s ‘dog mode’ keeps the air conditioning or heat on in the car while an owner is away from the vehicle.


When in dog mode, the Model X’s large center console display shows a message indicating ‘My owner will be back soon. Don’t worry! The heater (or A/C) is on and it’s ‘x’ degrees. If the vehicle’s battery goes below 20 percent, a notification is sent to the owner’s phone to alert them to get back to their pet.

The Model X can also be equipped with built-in cameras so you can monitor your dog when in the car solo. It is also one of the safest SUVs ever with a 5-star overall NHTSA crash rating.

Because Tesla makes regular software updates on their cars, they do not use model years on their vehicles. However, you can know the production date of a Tesla by checking the manufacturing label on the inside of the driver’s door frame.

2020 Ford Explorer

The Explorer has been on the market for more than 30 years, but it keeps getting better for dog owners. It offers plenty of extras like tri-zone climate control and cargo hooks.

The Explorer is perfect for larger dogs. It has 38 to 40 inches of headroom and a spacious 87 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats folded down. Expect to pay over $40,000 for a well-equipped Explorer.

jeep wrangler

2020 Jeep Wrangler

The Wrangler is perfect for adventurous dog owners and their furry friends. With prodigious off-road capability and durability, the Wrangler can get you just about anywhere.

The four-door Wrangler Unlimited is the smart choice for pet owners. It has a larger cargo area and the roof and doors are removable for a delightful open-air ride. Just be sure to invest in a dog harness and you may also want a ramp if your dog has trouble with a rather tall tailgate.

The Wrangler was the 2019 Motor Trend SUV of the Year and has few changes for 2020. The Wrangler Unlimited starts at about $40,000.

2020 Subaru Outback

The Outback is a spacious midsize crossover. The cargo space is 32.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up and an impressive 75.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. It also has tie-down cargo hooks and a low floorboard

More good news for Subaru owners and their pets is their vehicles can be fitted with a number of pet-oriented accessories specifically designed for their models. It also comes standard with a suite of driver-assist safety features.

2020 Nissan Rogue

The Rogue is a good choice for dog owners wanting a compact crossover. It has ample space for most dogs and four standard cargo hooks. It also has an available motion-activated liftgate.

While not available in the U.S., the Nissan X-Trail 4Dogs version is the ultimate dog mobile with a built-in show, dryer, and ramp.

2013 subaru xv crosstrek

2020 Subaru Crosstrek

The Crosstrek is a subcompact crossover that features a relatively large cargo area for its size. And it shares many of the features found in the Outback in a smaller package.

The Crosstrek is perfect for budget-conscious dog owners and can be purchased for less than $25,000. And like all Subaru crossovers, the Crosstrek comes standard with all-wheel drive, for added safety and capability.

Tesla Model Y

The Model Y isn’t expected to arrive till Spring 2020, but the new compact crossover will feature ‘dog mode’ and a starting price of $39,000.

dog in vehicle

The Perfect Vehicles for Dog Lovers

You want your canine to be a happy traveler in your SUV and the above models should keep their tails wagging.

These are all solid vehicle models with good resale values, even if a furry friend isn’t riding with you.

Other options to consider in SUVs for pet owners include built-in dog bowls, washable cargo area, and waterproof materials.

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