What are the most important factors that you have to consider when buying a new car?
Usually cost is a pretty big one; the cost of ownership and insurance, as well as how expensive the car is to run and service are all obviously important, as are factors like fuel efficiency, safety ratings, resale value and many others.
On top of that, one of the most crucial factors to consider is how many people you can fit inside your vehicle.
The amount of passengers that you regularly carry is always going to dictate what sort of car you’re going to buy, and although this group of Kuwaiti fellows show that you can fit more people than you might expect into your average car, there’s no guarantee that it’s going to be particularly comfortable.
However, while considerations are always given to family members and children, you’d be surprised at how often buyers neglect to factor in passengers of the furred-and-four-legged variety.
Dog owners are notorious for treating their pets as overgrown babies, and yet so many try to cram their pooch into an unsuitable vehicle, which can be uncomfortable, as well as potentially dangerous in the warm summer weather.
Wallace famously drove Gromit about in an Austin A35, but that doesn’t seem like the most viable option seeing as that particular model hasn’t been produced since the early 60s. Instead, we tried asking some dogs what they thought the best car for them was, but so far all we’ve received has been a few blank stares and the odd tail wag…
While we’re waiting for their response, we thought we’d make some suggestions of our own for the best car to cart your canine around in. Here’s the results:
Citroen Berlingo Multispace
Spacious and practical, Citroen’s Berlingo Multispace bridges the gap between supermini and minivan. Befitting a car made for families and small businesses, the Berlingo is built to last with tough plastics that can withstand the rigours of excitable pups and excitable children in equal measure, with easy to look after plastic surfaces that can be wiped clean easily.
The Berlingo is available with a range of various engines, though a diesel option will probably be the best choice if you plan on carrying loads. Three 1.6-litre diesels, available in 74, 89 or 113bhp variants give optimum pulling power while remaining smooth and hushed, avoiding any unnecessary noise or distress.
A tall load area, sliding rear doors and back seats that fold down completely flat also make the Berlingo the ideal choice for one or more pets of all sizes, and there’s plenty of additional storage space in the cabin for leads and collars or family picnic items, while a price tag that starts from £13,165 ensures cost-effectiveness.
Dacia Logan MCV
Dacia have built a reputation in the European market for being cheap and reliable and the company’s Logan MCV is the cheapest estate car in Britain to date.
It makes sense that if Fido insists on bounding through mud, water and dirt, that you don’t want him shaking all that gunk off into your luxury shag-pile carpeted flooring. In this respect, the Logan is perfect as you shouldn’t be too bothered if he also decides to chew on the upholstery.
As well as that, the Logan has an enormous boot storage space with a maximum capacity of 1,518 litres when the back seats are folded down; more than enough room for even the Greatest of Danes to sit comfortably.
Prices on the Logan start from just £6,995 for the basic model, making it an extremely affordable option, and luckily cheap price doesn’t translate into cheap performance. The range of engines are all capable and quiet, while steering is consistent and the suspension does an extremely capable job of ironing out speed bumps, potholes and other terrain irregularities, ensuring a comfortable journey for both you and your pets.
Peugeot 308 SW
Worried there’s not enough room in the car for you, your family and your trusty pet too? Fret no longer, as the Peugeot 208 SW is currently the only family estate car on the market with a seven-seater capacity.
In addition to that, it also won this year’s European Car of the Year Award, so that’s something too.
With prices for the Peugeot 308 SW starting at £16,485, it’s a little pricier than some of the other options but proves its worth with the quality of car you get in return. Aluminium gear knob and 9.7-inch touchscreen system all come as standard, as does the 308’s classy and modern interior.
There’s a great choice of engines too, including the 1.2-litre 128bhp petrol variant and 1.6-litre BlueHDi diesel, both of which rev smoothly and quietly but offer more than enough punch on tap when needed, meaning that the 308 is an excellent choice for drivers looking for a versatile car that can handle a variety of situations and requirements.
Suspension has been tweaked to make the ride more comfortable and this, coupled with light steering, makes the car responsive to drive and gives a smooth ride that both your passengers and your pets will thank you for.
Fiat Qubo trekking
Fiat’s Qubo trekking mini-MPV is an impressively well-rounded vehicle that combines efficient engines with a massive boot and is perfect for families of all kinds, long-distance travelling and, of course, dog owners.
With a fuel economy of 60mpg, the Qubo can do nearly 600 miles on a single fill-up of its 45-litre tank and insurance is also low, making it incredibly cheap to run.
It’s not the fastest or most agile car on the list by a long shot, but if sheer clout is what you’re after then the Qubo would never really crop up on your radar anyway; its endearingly boxy aesthetic doesn’t exactly scream high-performance, after all. There is, however, plenty of head and leg room inside the cabin and the suspension is well set up for a comfortable and bump-free ride for all occupants.
Aside from price, a sensible £12,545 for the basic model, the main draw of the Qubo is its storage space. The boot is an ample 330-litres, however when the seats are folded down it expands to a massive 2,500 litres.
In addition, the square rear tailgate acts like a canopy when opened and can shield you and your dog from bad weather while you dry him off before letting him into the car. Never fear if he’s too keen to jump in and shake off, either, as the boot floor is rubber-covered, meaning all that it takes is a quick wipe down to clear it of most residual water and mud.
Designed primarily with practicality in mind, the Kia Sorento is the firm’s largest model, and its seven-seat capacity means that there’s more than enough room to carry the whole pack to the dog park.
That’s not to say it doesn’t look good; the Sorento’s pedigree is thoroughly modern and its design reflects this, as do the features included with it.
The entry-level engine for the car is a 148bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel and there’s also the option of upgrading to a 2.2-litre version with an impressive 194bhp that’ll manage 0-62mph in a sharp nine seconds. The Sorento’s four-wheel drive, coupled with a commendably strong amount of torque allows the quick transport of even the chubbiest of pups.
The ride is comfortable and the Sorento will glide ably across all sorts of road surfaces, while a five-star EURO NCAP safety rating and starting price of £26,700 make the car an attractive, safe and relatively affordable way of getting you and your pets around.
After the release of the popular Qashqai in 2007, Nissan followed it up with the Juke three years later. Crossing the barrier between supermini and SUV crossover, the Juke is a stylish alternative to many of its competitors, and popular with urbanites who like to escape the city once in a while.
Its tall stance gives excellent driver visibility, and despite its SUV styling, the Juke is remarkably spry and sporty. The entry-level 1.6-litre petrol engine is also decently nippy, with 93bhp while a turbocharged 115bhp version of the same engine is also available, for a bit of extra power when you put the foot down.
The Juke doesn’t have the same boot space as some of its other competitors, with a total of 215-litres when the back seats are folded down. This means that you won’t be fitting anything the size of a St Bernard in there anytime soon, but for smaller dogs like chihuahuas or dachshunds, the Juke will have plenty of room for them to get comfortable.
What’s more, they can travel in style with the Juke’s unique body style, while the light steering makes the car nimble and straightforward, even in the tightest of city streets. Pricing for the Nissan Juke starts from only £13,420 as well, meaning your pet and your wallet will be happy, and you both can go home with tails wagging.