If you have a dog or dogs, they really are like members of the family. When it comes time to change your car then, it's important to know what the best cars for dogs are in the market at the time. There are lots of things to consider before you decide which new model to go for, and I know I spent a lot more time deciding which model to buy once I had a dog than I ever did before.\n\n\n\nThe best vehicles for dogs are ones that have plenty of room and are easy for the dog to get in and out of. SUVs and wagons can be particularly good for dogs as liftgates make getting in and out easy for dogs. \n\n\n\nThe best cars for dogs are the ones that suit the lifestyle of you and your family, but which also take into consideration the needs of your beloved pet. Unfortunately, the choice is far from clear cut as dogs can be as different as the vehicles themselves. While it's easy to think the choice is simply between sedans, hatches, SUVs, crossovers, pickup trucks and the various brands, models and trim levels, what kind of dog we have is equally important.\n\n\n\nA day out with the family\n\n\n\nIt isn\u2019t just whether you have a small, medium or large dog\neither. Different dogs have different temperaments, age and fitness needs to be\nconsidered, and the amount of dogs you have or are likely to have in the future\nalso needs to be considered.\n\n\n\nHere are the vehicle categories we're\ngoing to look at:\n\n\n\nCompact SUVsMidsize SUVsLarge SUVsSedansHatchesPickup trucks\n\n\n\nBest compact SUVs for dogs\n\n\n\nWe're perhaps taking a bit of a liberty here with this\ncategory, and that's because compact SUVs and crossovers cover quite a range of\nsizes. We're going to overlook subcompact SUVs for the moment, although if you\nonly have a single small dog, a subcompact model like the Buick Encore or MINI\nCooper Countryman might be fine. However, if you have a larger dog, multiple\ndogs, or a family that wants to travel with you a lot of the time, you are\ngoing to be pressed for space.\n\n\n\nI'm going to give you my suggestion for a mass-market model\nand a luxury model in each segment, and here in the compact crossover segment,\nI'm going to recommend the Kia Sportage for the mass-market model from personal\nexperience. For the money, it's hard to find fault with the Sportage in\ngeneral. It looks good now we're used to this current generation's slightly\naggressive, bug-eyed look, and it's really good value for money.\n\n\n\nThe EX and SX Turbo models both come with leather upholstery\nthat's easy to wipe and keep clean, and the cloth seats in the base LX model is\nnice and durable. There are good anchor points for attaching harnesses in the\nrear seats to keep your dog safe, and there's enough cargo space behind the\nrear seats to accommodate a good size dog crate if necessary.\n\n\n\nA flat load space is a big help\n\n\n\nA particularly strong feature of the Sportage is the flat\nload floor in the trunk. There isn\u2019t one of those deep lips that can make it\ndifficult for a dog to jump in or out, although it is a relatively high trunk\nif you have small, old or infirm dogs. In those cases, an SUV might not be the\nbest idea in any case.\n\n\n\nAlthough the Volvo XC60 has a touch less room behind the\nrear seats than the Kia, it's still out choice for a luxury compact SUV. It\ncould be questionable how luxurious the Volvo brand is compared to the likes of\nBMW, Mercedes and Cadillac, but the price and sheer quality make it a\ncontender. Once again, it has a nice flat load space area, and if you are going\nto use the rear seats for a dog, every model has standard leather.\n\n\n\nMidsize SUVs\n\n\n\nIf you were going to choose a midsize SUV based on what you\nmight like to look at outside your home, the Subaru Ascent probably wouldn\u2019t be\nyour first choice. But if you have particularly active dogs that you like to\ntake into the wilderness or to the beach to run wild, the Subaru is a great\nchoice. There's a ton of room in the back, especially with the seats folded\nflat, and there's that important flat load space I consider vital for dogs to\nget in and out without injuring themselves. Best of all, the Ascent is standard\nall-wheel drive, so your vehicle can go most of the places your dogs can.\n\n\n\nFor my luxury selection in the midsize segment, this is\nanother case of personal experience, and I'm going with the Land Rover\nDiscovery. This is the replacement for the LR4, and it really is something\nspecial. \n\n\n\nIt's not a cheap option by any means, but this is a vehicle\nthat can cope with just about anything you care to throw at it. Leather\nupholstery, four-wheel drive and seven seats are standard fare, and this is a\nmodel that can go anywhere and still look good while it's doing it. It is high,\nbut that's the nature of the beast with SUVs. If you love it as much as I do,\nyou could always buy a ramp for your dog if the height did prove to be a\nproblem.\n\n\n\nDon't worry, he's not driving!\n\n\n\nLarge SUVs\n\n\n\nThere's no such thing really as an affordable large SUV, at\nleast not one that's any good, so the lines between mass-market and luxury can\nget a little blurred. For the mass-market model, I'm going with the Chevrolet\nSuburban, although you could go for the slightly shorter Tahoe if you don\u2019t\nneed the extra space. Let's face it; the Suburban is another of those models\nthat can do anything, which is probably why it's so popular.\n\n\n\nAlthough even in its all-wheel drive form it's not as good\noff-road as something like the Subaru, it's still suitable for a little\noff-pavement action, and it's a model you probably won\u2019t mind the dogs messing\nup a bit from time to time. A couple of dog crates or one very large one will\nsit nicely in the back. There is a bit of a lip, but it's a step up from the\nedge of the load space area and not a drop down.\n\n\n\nIt would have been easy to go for the Cadillac Escalade as\nthe luxury alternative, but I'm going to go with a Range Rover instead. It has\nall the space and luxury you could wish for, and the drop-down section of the\ntailgate comes in useful for lots of reasons. You'll love it; your dogs will\nlove it. Your bank balance? Not so much.\n\n\n\nSedans\n\n\n\nIf you're going to be transporting your dogs a lot, I'm\ngoing to go out on a limb and say I'm not a fan of sedans. Some states like New\nJersey and Rhode Island require dogs to be restrained when in transit, so\nyou'll have to have them secured by a harness to the seats, and that can be a\nhassle on repeated short journeys. \n\n\n\nIf you must have a sedan and you\u2019re prepared for your dogs\nto occupy the rear seats, the Honda Accord is a great call. It's pretty huge in\nthe back, it's easy to get in and out of, and dogs will love the moonroof\nthat's standard on EX models and higher. Active noise cancellation is standard\nacross the range, but it won\u2019t do anything to quieten a barking dog! And if you\nwant to save the planet for dogs and families of the future, there's also a\npretty excellent Accord hybrid.\n\n\n\nThere is a luxury sedan we can wholeheartedly recommend to\ndog owners, and if you have a dog that's not exactly spritely, the\nMercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon is a better option than an SUV. It's a great car\nfor the family, and there a ton of room in the back for dogs or crates that's\neasy to access thanks to the tailgate and low load level. Both trim levels are\nalso standard all-wheel drive too, so this really is a great choice for\ndiscerning dog owners. \n\n\n\nA Jaguar XF Wagon has tons of room\n\n\n\nHatches\n\n\n\nI know hatches are not a popular body style with American\nbuyers, but they're a great choice for dog owners shopping on a budget,\nespecially if you only have the one dog to worry about. The combination of rear\ndoors for accessing the back seat, and a practical hatch to access the load\nspace behind the rear seats makes a hatch a great car for our doggie friends. \n\n\n\nThere aren't too many hatches to choose from at the moment,\nbut even if there were as many hatches as there are SUVs, I'd still probably\nopt for the Volkswagen Golf. It's practical, affordable, good-looking,\naffordable to buy and run, and just a great vehicle all around. It's even\navailable in performance and all-wheel drive wagon formats, so there's s Golf\nfor every owner and just about every dog.\n\n\n\nTo be honest, luxury hatches are more than a little thin on\nthe ground, so we're going to cheat a little by going for the Jaguar XF Wagon.\nIt could have gone in the sedan class, but it would have been beaten by the\nE-Class we chose. Anyhow, it's not far behind the Mercedes and it's also\nstandard all-wheel drive. Your dog won\u2019t know it's not a real hatchback, and at\nleast it will be easy to pick out in a crowded parking lot.\n\n\n\nPickup trucks\n\n\n\nIf you don\u2019t mind, I'll forgo trying to make a case for\nsomething being a luxury pickup, and just make the case for which pickup is\nbest for you and your furry friends. It would have been easy to just go\nstraight for the Ford F-150, but although it's easy to make a case for it being\nthe best pickup of all, there is a model that beats it for dog owners, and that\nmodel is the Nissan Titan.\n\n\n\nThe reason for choosing the Titan is its optional rear seat\ncargo organizer, and benches that when folded flush can safely transport a dog\nand non-animate objects at the same time, without worrying about\nincompatibilities. The Nissan also offers a slew of bed additions and\naccessories that make hunting, camping, sailing and any other types of trips\neasier, depending upon what you need kennelled in the cab or tethered in the\ntruck bed during the night.\n\n\n\nThe dog-friendly Nissan Titan\n\n\n\nWhichever vehicle or model you decide to go for, just make\nsure you've thought things through properly before you commit. For example,\nyour dog might be fit and healthy right now but what if you intend to keep your\nvehicle for five years or more? Will your pet still be good with jumping up\ninto the back of a Suburban after three or four more years? \n\n\n\nI have a 做bermann, and he's an incredibly fit an agile dog\nwho had no trouble getting up into the back of a Kia Sportage. However, when it\nwas time to change, I had to think of what he would be like towards the end of\nmy next lease, and by then he would have been 10 years old. For that reason, I\nwent for a sedan instead of another SUV, so it would be lower for him getting\nin and out. The things we do for our dogs!