August 8, 2013

Mirth Watch Thursday: What Car Should I Get for Me & My Pup?

I really need to get a new car one of these days. I hate the thought of actually going shopping for it though. And I hate the thought of researching what's the best car for me and Rita (and often the hubs too) to toodle around in. So... I thought I'd ask y'all. Any suggestions for a good dog-friendly car?

Keep in mind that we go to the beach a lot, so it needs to be able to take a lot of sand/water abuse.
Yes. This. But in the back of the car.

Thinking like maybe a VERY small SUV or little hatchback kinda thing. Considering maybe something super fuel-efficient like a Prius hatchback or a Ford C-Max. I also saw an adorable Mini Cooper hatchback in a great turquoise color. (But my friend's boyfriend has one and he's had a lot of issues with it, apparently. So that's a vote in the 'no' column.)

I like the look of the Toyota Matrix, but when we test-drove one a few years back, the front seat was super uncomfortable for long-legged folk. (Maybe they've improved that in the past 5 years.)

I'm open to suggestions. 

Rita doesn't really care, as long as she can do a lot of this: (the 2nd and last dogs are my faves!)


And a whole lot of this as well: (there's a dog at the 15 sec. mark or so that looks a lot like Rita!)

[The Subaru commercials alone make me just want to go get one of those... except that we had a real bummer of a Subaru when we lived in Bermuda, and I did swear I'd never buy one again... So, there's that to consider...]

Got any car-buying words of wisdom to share?

36 comments:

  1. We no help I am afraid as we just have a little town run around. Have a tremendous Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  2. Mom loves the mini cooper but it is not practical here in the Midwest but it's very CA. Mom's car (my car too) is old and just a sedan but been using since my agility years. Dad had a wagon (our favorite style of car) just sold it recently and exchange it to a small SAV (yes, not SUV). We only had 1 brand of car since mm got her 1st job after college. The most important criteria for us are safety and the quality of the car. Also, we did blog about that our car dealership is dog friendly. In a way, it is FUN to car shop. Good Luck. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

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    1. I remember you post about the dog-friendly car dealership! I don't think Rita would find that fun though... :(

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  3. Okay this is how my mom bought her blue streak and we don't recommend it for any sane person to do. The blue streak is a little aveo...notice the word little so if you are tall you may want to forgo this purchase...my mom is short. She went online to the local car dealership and found a car she liked and called him up and told him. He said come on over and test drive it, she said no thanks just do the paperwork and I will pick it up in a few days....he was dumbfounded and at first said no, you have to come drive it. Mom said nope, she researched it online, looked at the carfax report etc etc. so if they wanted to sell it to her, to have it ready on Saturday. So Saturday (in february) Dad drove Mom to the dealership and she signed the paperwork and drove her new aveo home. We do not recommend this for sane people. It did work out for my mom tho.
    Stella Rose
    p.s. we had a mini when we lived in germany mom loved it , but if you are tall your head might stick out of the sun roof.

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    1. What an interesting way to buy a car! Sure takes a lot of the hassle out - but I do need to test drive whatever we get!

      Yes, would love a mini, but it would have to be a convertible for us! :)

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  4. Replies
    1. Hmmm.... I see my sis did not read what I wrote. Subaru is trying to make me love them again, but we got burned before!

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  5. I currently drive a Ford Escape - it's old and this past year I dropped more money than I could afford to keep it alive. So I'm in the market for a new car too. I've been looking at Toyota Four Runners, because people say that they hold up. The Toyota FJ Cruisers are appealing, but I hear that they have a blind spot that's hard to get used to and it's higher off the ground than I am now and as our dogs age, is this a good idea? So I'm thinking a Subaru might be our best bet. I hear rumors that they aren't good cars, but mostly (like from 99% of people) I hear only good things and I'm going to go with the majority on this one. It's such a big investment that I want to get it right :)

    Good luck with your choice. I can't wait to read what you choose.

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    1. I drive an OLD Ford too - an Explorer. Would like something slightly smaller and more efficient. We had a few Toyotas between me and the hubs and have always been happy with them. My Ford is very dependable too. It's just getting old and way beat up! It's 15 years old.

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  6. Unfortunately I'm not in the market for a new car. I say unfortunately because I love to shop for cars, going around to all the lots, test driving all the cars, seeing all the technological improvements, driving the sales staff nuts...

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  7. I love Mazdas! I am on my second one. First I had the Mazda3 coupe. It was SO much fun to drive! When I got into doing lots of agility trials, the Mazda3 wasn't too practical anymore, so I upped it to a Mazda5 which is a mini-minivan. With the seats folded down (and they go fully flat!) I have tons of room for crates and junk. Also, both Mazdas got 30mpg plus on the highway. My next car will definitely be a Mazda..either another Mazda5 or the new CX-5 that gets 40 on the highway. Both my Mazdas have been incredibly reliable as well.

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    1. I used ot have a Mazda long ago and it was a fun car. I've heard that Mazda 5 is a good car - read a good review of it. Maybe I'll check one of those out.

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  8. We love Toyotas!!! Dad has a BIG Tundra that is terrierible on gas mileage but he needs that for work (construction). Ma LOVES her Toyota RAV 4...it has plenty of leg room in front and back, there's good space in the cargo area and it is good on gas mileage. Toyotas are pretty safe cars too. Our friend has a 4runner (loves it), Auntie has a Sequoia (loves it), uncle has a Prius (loves the gas mileage) and a new hybrid Camry (very nice car!!).

    Oh, we could go on. You just have to choose what is best for you (and your wallet)! BOL

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    1. We've had a lot of Toyotas too and always had good luck with them. I bought myself a Celica long ago and I LOVED that car! Lately we've had Camry's. I'm leaning toward a Prius or a RAV4. Thanks for the votes!

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  9. Yay! A new car for Rita! Too bad the Car Guys went off the air. This would be a good call-in to them. I did find this article, which might be some help:

    http://www.thestreet.com/story/11637356/1/10-best-vehicles-for-pet-owners.html

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    1. I see some of the things we are considering are in here, so that's good!

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  10. I'll be in the market for a car soon, used, so I'm curious, too. I lean toward a later model VW Beetle. You know, so people will punch each other when I pass. I'm dead serious. That's good enough reason for me.

    My Hunny drives a Ford Ranger. Bought it new ten years ago. Still going strong. The floor in that thing is rubber, making it SUPER easy to clean. That's a plus for a beach dog like Rita. We're fans of Ford trucks because they just last forever with little maintenance. Gas mileage ... everything's a trade off, huh?

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    1. You're hysterical. I'd like to have a VW Beetle (the new ones) solely because they come with that little vase on the dash for a flower. That's a good enough reason for me! (The hubs... not so much...)

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  11. We love our VW Tiguan, small SUV, good mileage, safe, 3 yrs of free service, great in sand, on snow, lots of room. It is our second one actually.

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    1. Those are cute. I've never had a VW. Will look into it!

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  12. I love my Toyota Rav 4. We had a Rav 4, then went to a Matrix, but I did not love the Matrix. They redesigned the Rav 4 and now I love my new one. It's a small-ish SUV and gets decent gas mileage, for a small SUV. I've been taking Sheba in it to go swimming, and it's easy to keep clean, with a rubber mat in the back. It's good for tailgating too, if you ever do any of that. :)

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    1. Oooo, a rubber mat in the back would be awesome. (My Ford has carpet in the back. Not good.)

      So, another vote for the RAV4.

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  13. I have 2 friends with rave 4 and they love them. one does hunt test so she has 2 crates in back and all her gear. my other friend has a pontiac wagon/ suv thing and she loves hers too. good luck.

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    1. Wow, more votes for Rav4s! Looks like we might have a winner!

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  14. It may be a little bigger than your definition of "small" but I absolutely LOVE my Honda Element. Having no carpet on the floors would definitely be beach friendly, and I can fit a crate in the back and still have a seat set up for a third person. Mine's ten years old now, and I'd get another one in a heartbeat.

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  15. I'd get a Subaru Forester...I wanted one back a few years ago but got talked into a Jeep Liberty instead...big mistake...next car is a Subaru

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  16. My friend has a Prius. They have a lot of room and seem to last forever.

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  17. I'm not really much help, but I think you'd look cool driving around in a VW campervan!
    Pippa :)

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  18. Laughing about you and Rita tooling around in a VW campervan ;-) Love this post! I keep looking at vehicles hoping to find something 3 big dogs will fit it... that gets decent gas mileage and is comfortable for 2 tall humans. Hmmm... maybe I'll live long enough to find it. My personal car is a 1968 Volvo Amazon and one one dog will fit in the back seat :-( When they come along, I drive our Dodge Ram PU and they ride in the back seat. Very comfy... but terribly hard on the wallet!

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  19. Are you absolutely certain about the Subaru? Because I loved my Impreza. The hatch back made it roomy while it was still small enough to have a tiny turning ratio. And it was easy to clean out.

    It was so reliable and started right up every morning without fail.

    The only thing I hated about mine was the tendency (that all subarus have) of rusting above the wheel well. But in Southern California, I doubt you'll have to worry about road salt, eh? :)

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  20. I can't say enough good things about Subaru. I have owned many of them, and will never own any other kind of car again. I have always said I should be on their commercials! I live in central Massachusetts "hill and farm country" and we own our own business and live basically in the middle of nowhere, so I have to be able to get to work, sometimes at very odd hours, evenings, overnight, weekends, etc. in snow and ice, thunderstorms you name it, New England weather has it. My Subarus have always been very dependable (I always say just change the oil regularly and you are good to go!). My cars never break down, and run into the hundreds of thousands of miles. In fact, the only reason I've traded in most of them was because I was on leases for a long time and the lease expired so I'd need to get a new car. Eventually, I bought the car I now drive (2009 Forester) and I could not be happier. It's my favorite Subie of the 7 or so that I have owned/leased. All three of my dogs (over 70 lbs apiece) ride comfortably in the car on our frequent trips to the coast and back, along with all of our gear. I have convinced several of my co-workers to buy Subarus, and have posted pictures of our parking lot at work (filled with Subies of all shapes and sizes!) on my blog and Facebook/Pinterest/Twitter/Instagram. It's a dependable, reliable, safe vehicle for bad New England winters, and dog tested/dog approved, too! :) Cheers! Thanks for listening!

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  21. Subaru certainly does a great job marketing to the dog lover! I'll be watching your comments - I'm shopping for a new vehicle, too. Finn is smaller then Rita, but we have the same post-beach dilemmas! I'll be looking for a bit of leg room, too - I barley top 5 feet so I fit anywhere, but my husband is 6 feet and is always whining about having nowhere to store his lower half when he drives my car.

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  22. I am a mini van Mom. No kids but I have a mini van because I can get three crates in it. We laugh because the seats stow flat and no one has ever had their toosh on them. I bought a vinyl mat type thing which is under the crates and the crates are bungied to a plywood frame. It is whole thing...lol. It is good on gas too, but probably more than you need and no 4 wheel drive.

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  23. I'm partial to Mazdas in general for their style, but I'd also give votes for Toyota, Honda, Acura, and Nissan for quality. Hmmm... a theme here? Yeah, I'd love to rave on about some American names here, but in the car industry... we just fall behind.
    Subaru definitely markets to dog lovers, and I'm certain the Outback is a great vehicle... but it looks just a little too much like a station wagon for me. It's like a station wagon and an SUV had a baby, but it took a little more after the station wagon. I'm kinda persnickety when it comes to design tastes, lol. I hate hatchbacks and station wagons and anything that looks too much like either of those.
    But if I was to get a Subaru, I'd get the Crosstrek or maybe a Forester
    In a Mazda, I'd go with a CX 5.
    In a Toyota, the RAV 4
    In an Acura, the RDX (although Acura is certainly not in our budget)
    In a Nissan, probably the Rogue, although I don't love its butt
    In a Honda, the CRV, although I definitely don't love its butt
    If I wanted to go with an American name, the Buick Encore... although it lacks power...
    A link that might be helpful: http://usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/cars-trucks/rankings/Affordable-Compact-SUVs/

    And a doggie shout-out to the Mazda CX-5: http://www.autotrader.com/research/article/car-reviews/198993/2013-mazda-cx-5-dogs-and-mountain-mpgs.jsp

    My old Jeep Grand Cherokee was dog-friendly, but it certainly wasn't friendly to my wallet. Currently, I don't drive a dog-friendly vehicle... I drive a 2007 Mazda 6 that looks exactly like this: http://imgur.com/fHR9naV
    But it's the designated dog-toter because my hubs just bought a 2-seater. Thanks hubs.

    I'll be interested in what you end up getting. Just go crazy test-driving a bunch of stuff. You'll know what's right the moment your butt lands in the driver's seat.

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