Looking for a new car for the new year? You might want to review this list if your dog rides in your whip!
Top Safety Picks Explained
Every year, “IIHS conducts vehicle tests to determine crashworthiness — how well a vehicle protects its occupants in a crash. It also rates vehicles for front crash prevention, systems that warn the driver or brake automatically to avoid or mitigate a frontal collision. The vehicles that perform best in the tests qualify for TOP SAFETY PICK, which has been awarded since the 2006 model year, or TOP SAFETY PICK+, which was inaugurated in 2013.” – IIHS.org
Top Safety Pick+ Winner Qualifications
“To qualify for a 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK, a vehicle must earn good ratings in five crashworthiness tests — small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints — as well as an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention” – IIHS.org
What Makes a “Dog-Friendly Car”
A “dog-friendly car” as outlined by Autotrader has the following components:
- A rear lift gate is crucial for being able to load your dog — or dog accessories — as easily as possible.
- Fold-flat seats are important for creating the largest possible interior space for your dog when you’re stopped.
- Rear cargo rings are important for making sure your dog’s crate stays put while the car is in motion.
- A low ride height helps dogs get in and out as easily as possible, especially when they’re very young or very old.
- Rear climate control can provide dogs with the cool air or heat they need to remain comfortable.
- A spacious back seat makes it easy for your dog to climb inside and for you to strap on a dog seat belt before setting off.
2017 Top Safety Picks & Dog Friendly Cars
In no specific order, these cars made the cut for both safety and dog-friendliness. For a complete list of 2017 Top Safety Picks, click here.
The 2017 Toyota Avalon has many dog-friendly qualities that we appreciate, including 3-zone automatic climate control that ensures maximum comfort for our four-legged friends in the back seat who may be too hot or too cold. A spacious second row and power rear sunshade also help to keep your pets cool and comfortable when the sun is strongest.
If your new car budget has you in the market for a compact car as well as a pet-friendly vehicle, the 2017 Subaru Crosstrek has the flexible space you need to travel and explore with your dogs! “The Crosstrek boasts 51.9 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats lowered” – Subaru. This provides plenty of room for crates for your pets to ride safely with you.
Looking for a little luxury in your dog-carrying vehicle? The 2017 BMW X1 has that and more! “The BMW X1 leads the pack in cargo space with an impressive, best-in-class 61.5 cubic feet with seats folded down.” – BMW
Equipped with 3 rows, the 2017 Acura MDX offers more space for MORE DOGS! The MDX offers a variety of passenger and cargo combos with more than 90 square feet of dog-traveling bliss. A power moonroof recesses fully or opens to a tilt letting in fresh air and sunshine, making it the perfect open road vehicle for plenty of adventures with your best friends.
Don’t knock it until you try it! This minivan isn’t just made for soccer moms. With seating for up to 8 passengers, there’s no shortage of space in the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica. Our favorite feature of this dog-friendly van has to be the Stow ‘n Vac™. This powerful vacuum extends throughout the entire cabin allowing you to clean up the messes and hair your dogs leave behind without all the trips to the car wash!
Turn on the tunes, get in and get comfortable. You and your dog will love riding with the windows down and the sunroof open in 2017 Toyota Camry. With 10 Airbags, and a roomy backseat perfect for the pooch, the Camry is your year round road tripping dream.
If you’re looking for a smaller SUV to carry your family and 4-legged friends, the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe is the solution. One of the coolest features of the Santa Fe is it’s seats! All of the Santa Fe standard seats are covered in YES Essentials® premium seat cloth that is stain resistant, has an antibacterial feature to control odor, and an anti-static technology. Now if we could only get that to cover our houses…
Riding in the 2017 Volvo S60, your dog will be in the lap of luxury- literally. You and your dog will enjoy comfort and class with leather seats, protective sunshades and the most rear-seat legroom of any car in its class.
When it comes to dog-friendly, Top Safety Picks for trucks, The 2017 Honda Ridgeline takes the crown. Storage and seating are no question with room for 5, and your dog can rock out to tunes in the back with a built in trunk-bed audio system.
Last, but not least, representing the Large SUV category, the Audi Q7 is 2017’s SUV of choice. When it came to choosing our favorite features, a panoramic sunroof that extends to the 3rd row was hard to beat. We also loved the hands-free tailgate release- perfect for eager dogs and those who never have enough free hands!
To see a complete list of 2017 IIHS Top Safety Picks click here