Dog friendly vehicles

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by CaliTerp07, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    Just Miss Lucy-fur, my wondermutt!
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    Alexandria, VA
    Okay, so I know we've had threads like this before but I failed at the search function and anyway, it's 2013 so maybe there are new cars available? :p

    The criteria:
    • Under $20k (or very close to it) out the door
    • Room for two medium sized dog crates and trial gear (ez up, bags, etc)
    • Way to comfortably crate out of the car with good circulation. Lucy's not able to be inside the building during trials, and there is not good enough air flow in a regular sedan. Although her crate fits in the back seat of my civic, it's not ideal. I want to be able to lift the back and drape shade cloth.
    • Sun roof and heated seats (okay, not necessity, but would really, really like)
    • Used is fine if it's 2-3 years and has less than 40k miles on it

    Top contenders are the new Ford Escape (completely flat folding rear seats in the 2013 model!!) and the mazda CX-5 (would end up being over budget though). I think in either case to get what I want in those models I'd need to wait a year or more for used versions.

    I haven't tried squishing crates into a used CR-V yet. That's on my to-do list. Any other models I should try? The Nissan Rogue was too small in the back. I don't like the square boxiness of a lot of the proposed "dog cars", despite them fitting crates better.

    Are there regular cars that magically have extra space? A hatchback that is still cute?

    What do you have that you love for dog trials?
     
  2. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    Not very glamorous, but a Chrysler T&C with middle and back sto and go seats and tinted windows. I really like the Honda, but my crates don't fit as well with all my equipment.

    I park in full sun all the time, and open the hatch or windows facing away from the sun and it stays as comfortable as any other shade you'll find.

    The smaller vehicles like a CRV won't fit my crates for bigger dogs.
     
  3. frostfell

    frostfell Kung Pow Fish

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    this thread is relevant to my interests :popcorn:

    what about a used scion xd?
     
  4. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    What do you consider a medium crate? A 30" or 36" long? That will make a huuuge difference on what vehicles might fit. Also, do you need to be able to carry more than one adult human passenger with crates installed?

    In the meantime, check out the blog I write, Four Paw Drive (www.4pdrive.wordpress.com), for some vehicle reviews to get you started.
     
  5. JacksonsMom

    JacksonsMom Active Member

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    I love my 2010 Jeep Patriot. Totally affordable, not terribly huge, drives like a car but feels more like an SUV. The seats in the back fold all the way down (you can either do all of them, or just two of them). I'm not exactly sure how big of crates you're talking, but with the seats down, it could fit two. With the backseat up, I'd think it'd probably only fit one medium sized crate in the back.

    But I really love it. I have fabric seats, and if I had a choice, I would've opted for leather -- easier to clean and such with dogs. But I've got the sunroof as well.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    Noooooooo minivan! It is a stretch to even get me in an SUV or crossover. I have driven sports cars my entire adult life (currently driving an eclipse!) so I need a gradual transition into boring car life.

    Luckily I have a little dog, and my co-traveler has two teeny dogs who share a medium crate.

    People must either love their xd's and keep them forever, or no one must have ever bought them. There are only 10 used ones within 50 miles of my house! Thanks for the tip though, I will add them to the research list.

    30", yes. It fit sideways in the back of all the crossovers, but very few of them fit the crate lengthwise. If I turn it sideways I can't fit both crates due to wheel wells on most vehicles. I can always put them in the backseat, but then there's no difference compared to a regular car, imo. Hence the excitement for truly fold flat seats.
     
  7. release the hounds

    release the hounds Active Member

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    pffffft. quit your whining :) I went from a 1967 mustang convertible to a minivan and survived. I did buy it purely for the dogs and I do still have the mustang, though it's in storage.
     
  8. SizzleDog

    SizzleDog Lord Cynical

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    Used Honda Element!

    I have a 2007, and I can fit three dobe-sized crates PLUS show/trial gear into it.
     
  9. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I can fit two medium(smaller) crates in my Prius. We're buying another truck as a dog and camping vehicle though. We considered a van but we want off roading ability. Really, the best choice we found was a van but I feel your pain. lol

    As it is my Prius really is a trooper and if I did custom crates or had smaller dogs it would be plenty. I traded in my previous truck for this due to mpg an it's saved me a ton in cash. It's time to go back for the longer events, potential of a third sporting dog, and camping but for just one or even two smaller dogs I would stick with the Prius long term, it's deceptively convenient.
     
  10. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    One of the benefits of never wanting children is never having to drive a minivan :D Guess I will have to add "never wanting large dogs" to the list!

    Too boxy for my tastes. I realize that my wish list conflicts (good crate space vs. rounded edges), but it is what it is. I have heard good dog things about it though--that's the hose it out car, isn't it?

    I've had the same "leather would be so easy" thought...bonus that if I pay the premium for heated seats, it's almost always leather.

    ----

    This is what I mean by the awesomeness of the Escape's back:

    [​IMG]

    Totally, completely flat. Why can't all manufacturers adopt this wonderfulness?
     
  11. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    Everyone I know with dogs and toyota 4-runner ADORES it. And if Grammy was still around, she'd be posting about her 4 runner in this thread.
     
  12. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    Awesome!! I was hoping that there would be a regular car with magical internal space! I will have to take crates to see how they squish in that car as well.
     
  13. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    My hatchback Pontiac G3 has enough room for two small/medium crates (with the back seats folded down only), but I really don't like the handling or power in the car at all. They also stopped making pontiacs, so unless you found one used, you're out of luck.

    My best friend has the VW Rabbit, which is the exact same shape/body/size of the car, with much better handling and power, but I think was probably a lot more expensive. Both cars are fantastic on gas, which is nice.
     
  14. SevenSins

    SevenSins APBTs & One Crazy Banana

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    Could always get custom crates made to fit the vehicle you decide on.
     
  15. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    Oooh--any idea a ballpark cost on that? Or links to places that do it?
     
  16. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    I test drove the rav-4 and it felt super cheap and yucky. The 4runner is much nicer, but waaaaaay more expensive. 2008 models with 70,000 miles are selling for $23k around here. Friends have the 4-runner though, and it is really nice, you're right. Just can't justify the premium.
     
  17. SevenSins

    SevenSins APBTs & One Crazy Banana

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    They can run a few thousand dollars. But the plus side is you can have your cake and eat it too. KustomKrates does them. And there was another company I really liked but I had it saved on my old computer, can't remember the name at the moment.
     
  18. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    This looks really cool, because the crates are all adjustable...

    http://www.mightymitedoggear.com/MIM_Variocage_crash_tested_Dog_Car_Crate.html

    Would allow me some flexibility...and the angled fronts open up a lot more options.
     
  19. Raegan

    Raegan Member

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    I am madly in love with my 2007(?) Toyota Matrix. Keechak and I fit three dogs and two sets of camping gear and could still see out the back. I've also slept in it comfortably and I am not a small person. I crate Marsh in it all the time, great airflow and the hatch window opens. Its a great car, very comfortable to drive. I've put almost 10k miles on mine in a little under a year.

    Its practically identical to the Pontiac Vibe which is slightly cheaper.

    The only downside is it takes forever to defrost. Its not a great cold weather car.

    ETA: if I were looking today, I'd look at the Dodge Caliber. Still kind of boxy but I think its a really attractive car.
     
  20. SpringerLover

    SpringerLover Active Member

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    Volskwagen Passat Wagen, everyone needs one.
     

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