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When choosing the best family car, dog owners will also want to consider their furry companion and find a vehicle that balances its duties. In the first instance, you’ll be looking for a car that’s suitable for you and the kids. You’ll need a vehicle that’s:
It should also ideally have:
While your canine friend will also appreciate features like air conditioning and dual climate control, they probably won’t care so much for your white leather upholstery. For dog owners, it’s best to pick a car with a dark interior to help hide those dirty paw marks and occasional scratches. To cater for your dog, you’ll also want:
All the cars on this list are well-suited to families and canine family members. With the exception of one vehicle discussed later on, the cars have scored a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating too. Read on to discover our top 10 family cars for dogs.
The Nissan X-Trail is a spacious SUV that excels as a family car. It also caters extremely well to your canine friend. For £599, you can add the Paw Pack to the X-Trail and convert the car’s boot into a luxury travel compartment for your dog. The optional pack adds a slide away ramp for your pet to climb in and out of the boot, a non-spill water bowl, a boot guard, a comfy bed and more. Add the four-wheel drive option and you and your pooch can go on all kinds of adventures.
The award-winning Skoda Superb estate, named the best estate car of 2018 in the What Car? Car of the Year Awards, is an ideal vehicle for the family pet. The 660-litre boot is perfect for dogs to lie down in and the car is incredibly smooth and comfortable whether cruising down the motorway or navigating country lanes. Better yet, Skoda takes your pet’s safety and comfort seriously, with a range of excellent pet accessories. You can get optional equipment such as a rear bumper protector, a boot-liner, a large rear seat cover and even a dog safety belt.
The Land Rover Discovery has long been popular with families and countryside enthusiasts and by the same token, dog owners. Add to that mix a selection of different pet packages and you have a car that excels as a pooch mobile. Packages include useful accessories like a foldable access ramp, a non-spill bowl, full-height luggage partition and – best of all – a portable rinse system to clean your dog’s mucky paws. Of course, you can also use the rinse system to clean your boots or bike wheels, making the car even more practical for outdoor adventures.
The Peugeot 308 SW has a 660-litre boot, perfect for the family dog to kick back and relax in. The boot space also has a low floor and loading lip, making it easier for your pet to get in and out. In addition, you can get an optional dog guard to separate the boot from the rest of the cabin and give your canine buddy their own personal space. The car is comfortable to drive and suited to young families. It’s worth noting the rear passenger space is limited for adults, but spacious enough for children. The car also has excellent fuel economy and even entry-level trims prove excellent value for money.
The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a spacious car comfortable enough for the whole family, which naturally includes your favourite pet. To keep your canine friend happy, you’ll want to opt for either the saloon model with 540-litres of boot space or the estate with 640-litres of boot space. Obviously our money is with the estate, as it provides that extra room for your pet to lie down and relax in. One of the many selling points of the E-Class is the ease with which your dog will be able to get in and out. This is particularly handy for older, less agile hounds.
Along with the Skoda Superb Estate, the BMW 5 Series Touring is another winner of the best estate car according to the What Car? Car of the Year Awards 2018. It’s an incredibly comfortable vehicle that carries the luxury of the BMW brand with it. For your dog, there’s no load lip, making it easy to jump into the 570-litre boot. Whilst not as large a boot space as some other cars on this list, it’s a good enough size for two smaller dogs, or one large one. The 5 Series Touring is also relaxing to drive and smooth on the road, which is great for pooches in the back.
The Volvo V60 is a great family car that also caters to pets, featuring a 529-litre boot space large enough for most dogs. Sticking with the pet-friendly theme, Volvo has a great selection of accessories to choose from. You can get a very handy load divider to separate your cheeky canine from your weekly food shopping. This device gives you back some of your boot space and protects your food from slobbering chops at the same time! You can also get a very useful dog gate to prevent your pet from escaping when the boot is open. Other useful equipment includes rubber floor mats and a bumper cover.
The Skoda Octavia Estate offers your canine friend a comfortable 610-litres of boot space and plenty of room in the cabin for the rest of your family. On top of this, you can get an optional fitted pet package that includes a boot-liner, a rear bumper protector and a dog guard. Like the Skoda Superb, you can also choose optional pet accessories such as a protective rear bench cover and a dog safety belt. The Octavia makes a fantastic family car, too. It’s reliable and cheap to run, with good levels of tech and a superb safety record.
Available as a saloon, an estate, or a four-wheel drive off-road (Alltrack) estate with a raised ride height, the Volkswagen Passat is an excellent choice for families and pets alike. From the available options, the Passat estate is arguably the better model to go for. It offers a massive 650-litre boot for your dog and is a lot cheaper than the Alltrack version. Also, the boot opens low down making it easier for your pet to hop in and out. Inside, you’ll find sturdy dog-proof materials and plenty of room for everyone.
The Dacia Logan is one of the best budget family cars on the market. It’s also one of the cheapest estates available, but that shouldn’t put you off. Like other estates on this list, the Dacia offers lots of cabin space, as well as a comfortable drive. Your dog will love the 573-litre boot and you’ll be happy with an affordable pet package that covers the price of fitting. Included in the package is a nice all-in-one boot-liner to keep the car clean, a dog separation grill and a foldable dog bowl. At such a cheap price, you’re likely to forgive your dog, even if he chews the interior! One of the few downsides to the car is its low, three-star Euro NCAP safety rating.