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Car manufacturers have learned that they have to sell a car not just to one person, but also to the entire family. And that includes the family pet. Those of us who share our lives with pets know that their needs are an essential part of every car-buying decision. That explains why Subaru offers a Dog Matchmaker on its Facebook page and why you’ll see dogs co-starring in ads from Land Rover and Chevrolet, among others.
Jean Jennings, editor-in-chief of JeanKnowsCars.com and Automobile Magazine, has been taking her four dogs along in a wide variety of test cars for years. She notes, "Cars today are so much more dog-friendly: from technology such as air bags and traction control that make cars safer than ever to seats that fold easily so you can fit dog crates in back. That, and the proliferation of tall wagons and SUVs, means you are much less limited in your car choices as a pet owner than in the past."
At the New York International Auto Show, which will be open to the public April 18-27, you’ll see a wide variety of cars, from dreamy supercars to the latest high-tech concepts. But what is there for someone who has an animal companion along for the ride? Good news: Here are six great possibilities, each of which will make a splashy debut at media previews in New York this week. They run the gamut from a pair of subcompacts that have surprisingly usable space in back to a couple of SUVs that will take you and your dog just about anywhere you can dream of. One might be just right for you and your pets.
Believe it or not, this all-new version of the subcompact is enough car to let you bring your pets wherever you’re going. The hatchback, shown here, went on sale April 14. At the New York International Auto Show, a small SUV version, out this fall, is making its debut. Both will be built at a dedicated new plant in Mexico. Interior space was the goal, and Honda met it. “Man maximum, machine minimum” was the watchword in creating the completely new 2015 Fit, says Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of Honda Division, but “man’s best friend maximum” also applies. Conrad calls it Honda’s “packaging magic.” Your dog gets maximum space in the back seat, even in a crate, once you fold the 60/40 split seats. With both folded, which can be done instantly by flicking a switch, you get a surprising 54.1 cubic feet of space back there, handily accessed through the easy-open hatchback. If you need a subcompact but also need your pet to ride along, one of these Fits might fit your needs perfectly.
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