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These 2014 Vehicles are "Top Dogs” for the comfort and safety of Canines

The 2014 Mazda3 was not only a favorite of Roxy but also of another boxer named Peyton who refused to get out until he got a longer ride.
The 2014 Mazda3 was not only a favorite of Roxy but also of another boxer named Peyton who refused to get out until he got a longer ride.
James Hamel

We would have included Pickup trucks on this list but we fear that this would encourage too many idiots to leave their dogs in the pick-up bed as they sped down the highway. Just because your new F-150 has that convenient “man step” into the bed doesn’t mean you have to turn it into a “dog step.” That’s about as smart as using a gas powered weed whacker to floss your teeth.

But if you are responsible enough it is true what they say—dogs do love trucks. But the following list, however, doesn’t just talk about which models are easy to clean. These offer safety features, unique design elements and interior qualities that just struck us as very family friendly. After all, dogs are family. All of the following vehicles have been road tested for a week with a dog adopted from Boxer Rescue Los Angeles riding in the back seat wearing a safety harness.

2014 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI

Trust us, when your dog goes with you everywhere you are going to want to buy a 4-door. This economical VW hatch is about as fun as a GTI when equipped with the 6-speed manual and has seat upholstery that is the definition of “dog proof.” It’s the perfect economy car for the single person with a dog and honestly any station wagon like the Acura TSX Sportwagen or new Volvo V60 make for perfect dog cars.

2014 Scion tC

You don’t want a dog and a two door coupe, unless of course, it’s the 2011 Scion tC. We have tested many coupes in our time but none have offered as wide an entry point for your dog to hop in on either side of the car. Then, both seats return to their original position! And this is all for just about 20,000 nicely equipped! If you require a two door coupe this is your best choice.

2014 Subaru Outback 3.6R

Sturdy, faithful and loyal—the Subaru Outback is the automotive equivalent of a 13 year old Golden Retriever. Just like that breed of dog this wagon really never goes out of style. The cargo area is positively commodious, the materials are sturdy and the standard all-wheel drive affords you go anywhere capability anytime.

Since most automakers are abandoning wagons, the Outback really is one of the best choice. Also, the interior feels like it was designed to take 10 years of abuse and come out the other side looking good. There is nothing flashy, just that time tested Subaru build quality. This wagon is also available4 with a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder that is deathly slow and has an obnoxiously noisy CVT automatic. Even dogs have standards and like to get to the park before sunset.

2014 Mazda CX-9 : This is the only three row SUV, or SUV for that matter, that offers a light tan leather interior option that is seemingly impervious to scuffing or paw marking after trips to the park or dog beach. Usually grey or black is a smarter interior color choice but in the CX-9 you can take your pick. All interior plastics are of very high quality (above average for a mainstream brand), the back seat is very roomy with easy to access safety buckles and most importantly it is actually very fast and fun to drive.

2014 Honda CR-V: A true industry stalwart that sells in huge numbers for a reason, the CR-V makes the list here thanks to a lowest in class step in height that will make it easier for anyone with an older or arthritic dog to get in. There is also a rear seat mirror mounted above the front seats so the humans can make sure the puppies are behaving in back. We suppose that was meant for children originally.

2014 Mazda3 : A huge and spacious rear seat with enough room for two 60 pound dogs to ride comfortably, optional leather interior that is both affordable and supremely durable feeling and a truly minimalist interior built from the best materials in its class ensures that the Mazda3 is easy to clean and is a favorite of any dog. We actually had to force a dog to get out of the 2014 Mazda3. After driving him around for a half an hour for no reason.

2014 Kia Soul : With prices starting as low as under $16,000 (but stretching to over $25,000), buyers can equip their new and stylish Kia Soul however they want. But no matter if you have leather seats, navigation or an Infinity sound system you will always get this Kia’s smartly laid out interior, fine quality interior plastics, roomy cargo hold perfect to fit a dog crate and that great long warranty.

2014 Honda Accord/2014 Mazda6 (tied) : Family sedans are a huge market and quite simply the Mazda6 and Honda Accord are currently the best of the best. They both offer roomy back seats, high quality interiors, great value, rear seat climate control vents, easily accessed safety buckles and a fun to drive feel essential for humans.

2014 Lexus RX350/Cadillac SRX (tied) : As for sex appeal, we’d go for the SRX any day as human buyers but there is no denying the fact that the Lexus RX350 has a high quality interior that never seems to age, similar interior space to the Cadillac for either harnessed or crated dogs plus an air of elitist privilege. Come on, you know some dogs know they come from money and these two let them flaunt it.

2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo : First off, the Veloster turbo is a fun car to drive but it also very practical with its full-size third door making it perfect for canine entry/exit. The cargo hold is also large enough for huge 80 pound dog food bags and its stylish. For the dog owner who refuses to drive something sensible.

2014 Acura MDX : The MDX is such a successful luxury three row SUV because it has all of the feel and features of competing brands with none of the feeling that it wasn’t built to be abused by things like children or dogs. The MDX has an interior built to withstand nuclear explosions, a newfound high style that ensures it will look good to snobby human passengers and dogs as well as climate vents all over the cabin and a true feeling of impermeability. We are driving this right now and trust us, dogs love the 2014 Acura MDX.

Roxy in front seat of VW
Roxy in front seat of VW James Hamel

Roxy in front seat of VW

In this photo we see our canine tester Roxy Hamel sitting up in the driver's seat of the Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen without a harness. It is also not smart to have a dog anywhere but the rear seats or cargo area as front airbags can easily kill even a restrained pet.

Daisy Mae Hamel harnessed in back of a Hyundai Veloster Turbo
Daisy Mae Hamel harnessed in back of a Hyundai Veloster Turbo James Hamel

Daisy Mae Hamel harnessed in back of a Hyundai Veloster Turbo

This is perhaps one of the most unsung automobiles for possible purchase by dog owners. You know, the kind who take their dogs with them everywhere they go? Not that we know anyone like that. You can find harnesses like Daisy's online or at most major pet chains.

Indiana the dog says she only rides in the cab of pickups!
Indiana the dog says she only rides in the cab of pickups! James Hamel

Indiana the dog says she only rides in the cab of pickups!

If you were a dog and didn't have any way to grab onto the side of a pick-up truck bed, do you think it would be fun to ride back there? We don't think so but if you do, clearly you aren't smart enough to own a dog.