This article originally appeared on Evans Halshaw.
When searching for a suitable car all members of the family need to be considered, including your four-legged friends. The UK is a nation of pet lovers so it is no surprise that some people base their purchasing decision on the suitability of the car for dogs. If your dog is a frequent passenger in your car they will need to be comfortable, safe and find it easy to get in and out of the vehicle.
Not sure where to start in your search for a dog-friendly car? Here are our top 10 cars in this article.
Ford Kuga (Second Generation)
The Ford Kuga is a spacious Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) that is suitable for carrying a larger dog, such as a Labrador or German Shepherd, due to its large 406-litre boot. To gain even more boot space the rear seats can be folded down in a simple, one-hand operation to create a remarkable 1,693-litres of boot space.
Dogs can get in and out of the Kuga easily thanks to the large, flat load space with no real boot lip. Boot liners, dog guards and a rear bumper protector are also available from Ford and are designed specifically for the Kuga.
Furthermore, the Kuga's boot can be opened by waving your foot underneath the rear bumper, if the car has the optional hands-free electric tailgate feature. A perfect feature for when your hands are full!
Nissan Qashqai (Second Generation)
The Nissan Qashqai is an award-winning urban crossover that is well-known for its practicality and space.
In addition to the 430-litre boot, the Qashqai has a compartment beneath the boot floor which is the ideal size for storing the parcel shelf. Another benefit for dogs is that when the rear seats are folded, a flat load floor is created and the boot capacity increases to 1,585-litres.
The boot lip can be completely removed to make the boot more accessible for your dog and the luggage boards can be flipped so dogs with muddy paws can travel on a surface that is easy to clean.
With a full five star Euro NCAP safety rating it is reassuring that your dog can travel in the Qashqai not only in comfort but safely too.
Peugeot 3008 (First Generation)
A combination of practicality and style, the Peugeot 3008 is a family-focused crossover SUV with an impressive boot space of 512-litres; larger dogs can travel in comfort with plenty of space. The rear bench seat can be folded to create a flat load lip and a completely flat floor; extending the boot capacity to 1,604-litres.
Benefiting from a two position boot floor, the parcel shelf can be stored under the boot floor for when your canine friend is riding in the boot. Furthermore, dogs have easy access to jump in and out of the boot due to the shape of the opening being wide.
The 3008's smart electric tailgate technology makes the process of letting your dog in and out of the boot straightforward, opening from a simple foot movement underneath the bumper.
Contributing to the comfort of your pet is the tinted panoramic glass roof. The tinted glass limits the penetration of light and heat, it also has an electric shutter.
Land Rover Discovery Sport (First Generation)
Replacing the popular Land Rover Freelander SUV in 2014, the Land Rover Discovery Sport is one of Land Rover's best-selling models.
The seven seat models' 194-litre boot can be extended to a 981-litre space with the two rear seats folded down. For an even larger boot the middle row of seats can be folded down, leaving you with an incredible 1,698-litre boot space. Furthermore, the low loading lip makes it easy for dogs to jump into.
Additional benefits are the battery powered tailgate and the panoramic sunroof which provides light and air into the cabin for longer journeys, making the trip more pleasant for dogs.
Land Rover also have a large range of pet packs including Pet Loadspace Protection Pack, Pet Transportation Pack and Pet Care and Access Pack. These packs include accessories such as full height partitions, loadspace liners and ramps.
Range Rover Evoque (First Generation)
Launched in 2011, the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque is an incredibly popular luxury compact SUV that appeals to both city and rural drivers.
With a well shaped load area and a capacity of 575-litres (550-litres for the three-door model) the Range Rover Evoque's boot provides ample space for large dogs. What's more, the rear seats fold almost completely flat increasing the boot capacity to 1,445-litres (1,350-litres in the three-door model).
The Range Rover Evoque boasts off-roading capabilities so you can head further afield for walks with your dog in all weather conditions. Land Rover's various pet packs will protect the boot from muddy paws and provide a comfortable travelling experience for your pooch.
MINI Countryman (Second Generation)
The MINI Countryman is a compact SUV and is the biggest MINI in the range. With a practical 450-litre boot, 1,390-litres with the rear seats folded down, the MINI Countryman provides more than adequate room for small and medium sized dogs.
A fairly low load lip provides easy access for dogs and if the optional Storage Compartment Pack is included you will benefit from a lockable variable height boot floor which provides a flat floor; perfect for your canine companion.
Find a MINI Countryman with the optional Activity Pack for sliding and reclining rear seats to either maximise boot space or seat room. Another option some used vehicles may have is the electric tailgate that can be opened by waving your foot under the rear bumper.
You can also head further afield for dog walks thanks to the all-wheel drive system ALL4 which is optionally available for all engine variants.
Despite being a mini SUV, the Renault Captur is surprisingly practical and provides a generous interior space, especially considering its size.
The boot size is slightly smaller than a VW Golf but it still has a decent capacity of 377-litres which can be adjusted to 1,235-litres when the rear seats are folded down .
Renault have a variety of pet-friendly accessories that would help protect your car when transporting your furry friends. Choose from a boot sill protector, an all-in-one boot liner or, if your dog is riding inside the car, there are easy to clean seat covers available to purchase.
For further details on the Renault Captur check out our Renault Captur review.
Kia Sportage (Fourth Generation)
The Kia Sportage is a family Crossover model in the mid-sized SUV market.
A spacious boot, with a 491-litre capacity, makes the Kia Sportage an ideal car for larger dog owners. Require a bigger boot? The boot can expand to 1,480-litres if you fold the rear seats down. Additionally, the load lip is low and the large boot opening is square in shape; convenient for dogs to get in and out of.
Scoring a maximum of five-stars Euro NCAP safety rating, the Kia Sportage isn't just a safe car for the humans in your family it has a strong offering that will benefit the dogs in your family too.
Volkswagen Golf (Seventh Generation)
An SUV isn't for everyone, if you're wanting to purchase a dog-friendly hatchback the Volkswagen Golf is a great option. The main positive is that it isn't as far for dogs to jump in and out the boot as the Golf is a lot lower than the majority of SUVs.
The Volkswagen Golf may not have the largest boot out of this list of cars, however, for a hatchback the boot is certainly a well-shaped, decent size with a capacity of 380-litres. This storage space can be increased to 1,270-litres by folding down the 60:40 rear seats.
A wide opening and low load lip make the boot accessible and more dog-friendly. Accessories can be purchased from Golf that will protect your car from muddy paws such as a boot loadliner and a dog guard to keep your dog secured in the boot.
Vauxhall Mokka X
The Vauxhall Mokka X is a stylish sub-compact SUV. Although the boot is the smallest option in this list, with a capacity of 356-litres, it is still adequate size for small and medium dogs.
An optional adaptive all-wheel drive system gives the Mokka X an advantage over some of its rivals if you need this feature. The system is only engaged when driving situations require the improved traction meaning it runs as an economical front-wheel drive car whilst driven in for normal conditions.
What's more, Vauxhall sell pet accessories designed to fit the Mokka X such as a dog guard so you can comply with Rule 57 of the Highway Code: "When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly."
Now you have an idea of the best used to cars to own if your family dog(s) regularly join you for a drive, you can check out our pet zone for lots more information relating to driving with pets.
These are just 10 cars that are suitable for dog owners, there are many more vehicles that would be fit for purpose so why not browse our whole range of used cars?