No. 1 on the CarGurus list is the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica minivan, followed by the Honda CR-V SUV. But the list also included some not-so-obvious choices such as the Tesla Model Y compact crossover and, of all things, the Corvette super sports car.
"Not everyone has a large dog that loves adventure. Some of us have Pomeranians or Chihuahuas who need nothing more than a comfortable seat to curl up on. Or, maybe you have a larger older dog that simply looks forward to morning trips to the coffee shop with his tongue waving in the wind," CarGurus free-lancer Thom Blackett wrote of the Corvette. "Where you're going or what you drive doesn't matter as long as your four-legged friend gets to go along for the ride."
The group of auto journalists who devised the list test-drive 50 to 100 cars a year each and, of course, have dogs, Smith said.
And just because vehicles such as the Chevrolet Equinox or Ford Explorer were not on CarGuru's list doesn't mean it's an indictment of those vehicles. They are also dog-friendly, he said.
"We wanted our list to have a variety of vehicle types because there are a variety of shoppers," Smith said. "The Honda CR-V is there for someone who has a dog, but wants a compact crossover, the Kia Rio5 is a great choice for dog owners who are on a budget."
The Ram full-size pickup made it because of RamBox, the large, drainable storage pockets on each side of the truck's bed. They are lockable and easily accessible, providing space to keep leashes, food, bowls, and wet or dirty towels used on a dog.
The Chrysler Pacifica has an optional vacuum installed in it, "a necessity during shedding season," Smith said. The Jeep Wrangler, which is third on the list, is a good example of safety in transporting the dog because of the harness hooks, Smith said.
Then there is Tesla Model Y, No. 8 on the list, because of Dog Mode. Dog Mode lets the owner set the climate control system and puts a sign on the 15-inch touch screen that reads, "My owner will be back soon," noting the car's interior temperature.
The Land Rover Discovery made the list because "It offers lots of features: a spill-resistant water bowl, folding ramps, a quilted cargo liner," Smith said. "Then there is the portable rinse system. It's essentially a garden hose that you load up ahead of time and it gives you two minutes of water to rinse off your dog."