The best new cars with the biggest boots and quietest cabins for transporting your pets in comfort
There are around 12.5 million dogs in the UK and for many owners their four-legged friend is as much a part of the family as any child.
That means that when it comes to choosing a car, the needs of their pooch have to be considered alongside all the other requirements.
Matters such as space and ease of access are just as important for canine passengers as humans, so to help pet lovers pick the right wheels, car dealership chain Dick Lovett has compiled a list of the best new cars for dog owners, taking into account various factors that make life more comfortable and easier for pet and owner alike.
The most obvious and important factor is boot space, which is why the list is dominated by SUVs and estate cars. But the research also considered the importance of a low load height to make it easier for dogs to get in and out and a quiet cabin to keep pets calm. Running costs in the form of fuel economy were also taken into account, as was the availability of hands-free tailgate operation - a nice luxury but hardly a necessity.
The key factors contributed to a total potential score of 100, with a weighting of 40 points for boot space, 20 each for cabin noise and economy, and 10 each for electric tailgates and low lips.
1. Land Rover Discovery Sport
Land Rovers have long been favoured by the welly boot and Labrador brigade, so it’s no surprise to find several on this list. However, it is more surprising to find the green oval’s smallest model outranking several others. While the boot is smaller than some other cars, the more compact Discovery Sport offers a lower load lip and better economy than bigger rivals, while still packing plenty of off-road chops for venturing into the wild with your pets. Like all LR products on the list, the Discovery Sport’s boot capacity was measured from floor to roof rather than luggage cover but plenty of headroom is important for larger breeds of dog.
2. Range Rover
The Range Rover is another model that benefits from measuring the full height of the boot rather than just to the window line but there’s no doubt that the big daddy of premium 4x4s is an ideal choice for well-heeled dog owners. Not only does it offer plenty of space (909 litres) in the boot but it also has the quietest cabin on the list and probably the most luxurious for two-legged passengers. Fuel economy - at 34mpg - isn’t great and a six-figure asking price isn’t for everyone, though.
3. Skoda Octavia
The perfect antidote to a £100k luxury SUV is Skoda’s no-nonsense family hatchback which has for many years offered huge amounts of space for relatively little money. The latest version continues that and with a 600-litre boot, low lip, power tailgate and 50mpg+ economy it’s ideal for dog owners. Plus, the new one has a premium look and feel not previously associated with the Czech brand.
4. Seat Tarraco
The Tarraco is Seat’s first seven-seat SUV and offers plenty of space for passengers and pets alike. It can’t match the Octavia’s economy or low loading height but with a quieter cabin and 760-litre boot, it’s more peaceful for your pooch and has more space for the wellies, coats, towels and more that come with being a dog owner.