Ideas for small Inexpensive car that will work with big dog

I would like to replace my Honda minivan with a small inexpensive care. I was first thinking a compact car, but wasn’t sure if that would work with our big dog (taking him to grooming and to the vet). I need a flat floor in the back seat with about 18 inches of space like my minivan has for him. He won’t get up on a seat or jump into the back of a car and is too big/heavy to lift. He refuses to even go into my husbands compact car (lays down and grinds his nails into the ground.) His limited experience in compact cars when we were able to get him in were cramped and unpleasant, so he just says not, refuses to get in. He’s very cooperative getting in to the minivan though.// Any suggestions for cars other than minivans that might work? I was thinking maybe the Kia Soul would work? Any suggestions for other vehicles that might fit the bill to look at?

He won't get up on a seat or jump into the back of a car and is too big/heavy to lift.

If he won’t get in a car and you can’t lift or force him to I guess its a moot point. You’re stuck with minivans.

I have a friend who has two big St. Bernard dogs. She has a very old Volvo station wagon to take the dogs to the veterinarian and to the groomer. Her main vehicle is a Honda Civic. A small SUV might work if you can fold the second seat. A Honda Element SUV would be great if you can find a good used one. Unfortunately, new ones aren’t available as Honda discontinued this vehicle.

The Honda Fit has a flip up rear seat bottom, the dog could walk right in.

I think you need a hatch with rear folding seats. Mazda 3, Toyota Matrix, Ford Focus, etc; you have to take the dog for the test drive.

As texases said, the Fit’s rear seat flexibility is ideal. Watch how he puts the bicycle in the car.

I second the honda fit. Watch this youtube video where a lady loads a small horse into the fit.

Wonder how she got the horse out again. Maybe through the other door but where was the manure bag?

It just amazes me though that for prolly an extra $20, they don’t univerally make seats fold down. The seats in my G6 fold down and I can get 8 foot lumber in with no problem. All my Acura has though is the fold down center arm rest. Can’t get anything through there. Seems like it should be a standard feature to make cars more usable.

Speaking of folding down rear seats . . .

That’s been a weak point of Honda products for a long time

Whereas Toyota always seemed to have 60/40 split folding rear seats, Honda had a rear seat that wouldn’t fold over at all, a 50/50 folding rear seat, or just a passthrough slot

Kind of disappointing, considering that Hondas, good as they may be, aren’t cheap cars

Maybe things have changed, but that’s how I remember it

Another thing, while I’m at it . . . a Honda Accord also didn’t have a lined trunk lid, whereas even the base model Corolla would have it

I’ve never understood how a manufacturer can claim to make such an excellent product, yet cheap out on such noticeable features

Last I knew…

Dogs drive Subarus


That’s got to be a pretty untrustworthy car…the Honda Fit…if you need to take a horse along for when it breaks down.

Maybe he was the guest of honor at a cook out. Pony Roast!!!


Thanks so much for the tips everyone. Love the suggestions.

Here in Mexico, I had to drive half an hour to a metal supply store to get metal posts. They were several feet longer than the inside of the car.

So, I let them hang out the back, raised the rear hatch on my Sienna all the way up, and drove home. Speed limit around 35 mph. The hatch never even wiggled. Old car, but those hatch struts were solid as new.

My builder was amazed. He assumed on an older car the door would have been banging up and down as I drove.

I normally leave the most rear seats out, but the middle row was there, with an opening for the posts to lie in.

I always just use a bungee to hold the trunk down. I also keep a bungee in the other cars for when traveling if needed. Like ever try getting a flat tire in a fully loaded trunk?