The Mutt Cutts mobile gets an honorable mention.
National Pet Day is April 11 so we figured there's no better time to dig into which brand makes the best cars for traveling (not letting them drive) with your furry friends. Obviously, we need space, but other than that there are no hard, fast rules for animal friendly vehicles. We know there are a ton of accessories for keeping your canine or feline (or bovine, we don't judge) safe in the car, but which manufacturers pay the most attention from the factory?
The Chrysler Pacifica has loads of space for a pet. Behind the third row might be a little tight, still not out of the question, but if you fold the third row down it'll leave more than a doghouse-worth of space for your pooch. The family minivan also comes with the FamCAM interior camera. It's new for 2021 and allows the driver to see rear passengers and pets, and even zoom in on them.
The stowable seats are a bonus, as are the in-floor storage bins when those seats are in place. It's the perfect spot for food, leashes and whatever else you might need on the road. Finally, the vacuum. The worst thing about pets in the car is the mess of hair left over. With Chrysler's vacuum you can take care of that hair while your filling up your van. We'd also accept Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey as they both have vacuums.
Even if you don't opt for the new Wilderness model, the rugged Subaru Outback has a huge cargo area, even with the seats in place. Not only can you fit a big dog crate back there, but it also features hooks to secure it. The rear features a wide opening for pets to hop into and if you're riding solo with your pet pal, you could fit equipment for a whole team of sled dogs, including the sled!
It's also one of the safest cars on the road with the company's EyeSight safety system and the interior is durable. In fact, it can be optioned with water-repellent faux leather.
The Kia Telluride offers even more space behind the first row, up to 87 cubic feet in max configuration. That cargo space shrinks to 46 cubic feet with the second row up and a still useful 21 cubic feet with all seven seats in place.
Most of those seats are power sliders, which is convenient when getting older pets in and out, and like the Outback, has a synthetic leather option. The Telluride also comes with a speaker feature that allows you to talk to the second row only, or all rows. Who's a good boy!?
If you want your pet to enjoy the open air as much as you do (or more), might we suggest the Jeep Wrangler with a removed soft top. That way your leashed friend can let his tongue hang in the breeze and he won't fly out if you step on the gas.
Wranglers are notable for being durable inside and out, which means claws, dirt and drool won't ruin a thing. There are also about a million pet accessories including kennels, partitions and more. As for off roading, maybe leave Fido at home. But you should get the Hemi.
The 4Runner has been a favorite of ourdoorsmen and women for years, and it's quite a handy pet hauler too. The current model features almost 90 cubic feet of space with the seats folded and almost 50 cu. ft. with the passengers in place. It offers a third row, but if you have a pet and travel with them often, you should skip it, though it does fold away.
The killer feature here is the sliding rear glass in the tailgate. That allows your dog to safely ogle traffic and sniff the fresh air. Just remember to harness them up to one of the attachment points.
The all-electric Model 3 makes this list for one special feature called Dog Mode. That mode, when engaged, lets you set the climate control even when you're running into the store. It also displays on its 15-inch screen, "my owner will be back soon" along with the interior temperature. We know what happens when concerned citizens see a dog locked in a hot car. Spoiler alert, it usually ends with a broken window.