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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-25-2016, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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What kind of vehicle do you drive?

Hello everyone! I am in the market for a new car and am so lost on what to get. But first things first... my tall handsome boy must fit comfortably! This leaves out small cars, ideally I would like something with seats that fold down into the floor. Fuel efficient, with longevity (I like to keep my cars for years) good for road trips but a four or all wheel drive option also highly desirable. Towing capacity would also be a plus for a jon boat but it just sounds like I want it all . Anyway what do y'all drive and what do you like/dislike about it? Most importantly, what do your dobies have to say about it?

I currently drive a chevy caprice, and he has space but he is so tall he has to stoop his head down. Even in the back seat of my moms extended cab pick up his head is close to the top when he sits, and the seats themselves are too narrow he has to sit sideways to keep from scrunching up his body to keep his front paws on the seat. I'm all ears!
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-25-2016, 09:05 AM
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I'm an SUV fan through and through, personally have a Saturn Vue lasting quite well for an '07.

The upgrade plan (whenever that happens) is a Ford Flex, it's a van crossover (despite the salesmans attempts to sell it as an suv crossover because van is a dirty word ). SO MUCH SPACE! plus it hasn't gone to the space wasting rounded rear shape most new suv's have (hate that!) plus the seats fold flat including the passenger for maximum length storage. Lots of perks, namely, being able to have 2 crates in the back and still have an entire back seat for guests should both dogs be with!
The only other option is a van with the impending babies arrival.... we'll see what feels better. And that would be a dodge caravan with AWD, I drive nothing less than AWD here in the great white north

p.s.
I think there was a similar thread about 2 years ago.... might be worth digging up, had some great! recommendations.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-25-2016, 10:29 AM
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Currently, a Sonata. A crate WILL fit in the back seat but it's a pain to get in and out so we tend not to use the crate in the car much unless I'm taking Rip to an event.

When the Sonata dies or hits 100k miles, the next vehicle will be a Wrangler Unlimited. The rear seats fold flat and I can fit a crate along the side wall, I believe (still investigating - may take a crate to the dealer to test)...plus the rear glass lifts. A priority for me is lifting glass, so I can still keep the tailgate down while providing airflow. The Wrangler is the only vehicle currently available that has this feature. Very frustrating, as I'd like more options.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-25-2016, 10:45 AM
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I drive a Sienna minivan but I also have 3 kids to go with it. Honda CRV had always been top of my list. Tow capacity is 1500 lbs so it should be sufficient. A close friend has one and she loves it. She is 6ft tall so head space was very important to her as well as good gas mileage. (I recently drove a RAV4 and at 5'2" I wasn't comfortable in it and neither were my kids.) I would also add a Ford Escape and a Mazda CX-5 to my list of possibilities but when buying these manufactures' vechile longevity can be hit or miss.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-25-2016, 12:45 PM
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I have a double cab tundra for my everyday driver. The bottoms of the back seats fold up so there's a lot of room for the dogs and they don't have to be on the leather. I use the bed of my truck a lot so I didn't get the crewmax cab (longer cab) because it has a much shorter bed.


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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-25-2016, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the insight so far! I didn't think about it until later, but I probably should've mentioned that my budget is around 10k and I am paying cash through a private seller, no financing or dealers. With that in mind it narrows down my options as far as the newest/best thing out there but it is still a decent chunk of change and I am confident I can find the perfect set up for us. I actually have been heavily eyeing the Honda CRVs, the towing capacity is pretty low but checks off on all the other marks. If I had an unlimited amount of resources I'd get a big ol diesel pick up, but fact is I'm growing up and I need something affordable, reliable, and efficient because we like going a lot of places.

falnfelix... excuse me if I am just being dense, but why do you need the tailgate down while crating in the vehicle? Doesn't the A/C provide enough air flow and comfort?

That all being said, a pick up still isn't completely out of the question so its nice to know that with the rear seats folded there is still adequate room. I was wondering about it because as I mentioned earlier he is not at the epitome of comfort in the rear of my moms pick up, and his big gangly self still has room to grow.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-25-2016, 02:11 PM
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I had an '08 Hyundai Tuscon that I LOVED! Back seats folded down flat, 4x4, very roomy and there was no road it couldn't handle. Only sold it because needed a PU for the farm. Now have an '07 Mitsubishi 4 door 4x4 pickup that I love. Very economical because it's diesel, which is cheaper here.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-25-2016, 02:45 PM
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With budget in mind I would also add Subaru Forester to the list.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-25-2016, 03:25 PM
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2002 Honda Odyssey LE RES here (w/rear A/C for dogs)..
I highly recommend this vehicle if you can get one <125K miles.
Very low deck height, easy for dogs and elderly people vs. new minivans with fold-away middle seats.
Rear seat does stow into back deck compartment, however.
Leather seats are a plus if your Dobes ride strapped in with harness vs. crated.

Kindly refer to this long DT thread from 7.2014 on same Dobe car topic:

What's the best car for a doberman?


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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-25-2016, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the link! There was some surprising (to me) vehicles on that thread, cars that I'd normally think would be way too small. Good to know! Though when my boy is sitting he is noticeably taller than I am, I'm beginning to think I need to go to a used car lot and test drive some to help make up my mind. Do you think the salesmen would have an issue carting around an 85 lbs puppy for test drives?
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-25-2016, 04:52 PM
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I was going to suggest a Toyota Sienna. Then I got farther down the posts and your budget was $10000. I used to drive a corolla and the Great Pyr had his head out one window and his tail out the other. I could never carpool with anyone to training or shows so I upgraded to a Sienna. I can get two crates in the back with seats down. I carry an emergency tote in front of one crate and that forces that 2nd passenger seat forward. I know people that get 4 crates in the Sienna but all the seats have to be out except drivers and passenger. I get 22 mpg on the van. Got 36 with the corolla so I miss that. I do love "sitting' higher and being able to see better. I trade at 150,000 miles so I don't keep mine forever. I will say the 2012 van is by far the better van comparing it to the 2016. I pd 34000 brand new. AWD
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-25-2016, 10:28 PM
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My main daily driver is a 2015 Ford F150. My lease is up in April this year. I'll roll into another F150 or go a little bigger and get the F350. With $10k, Ford Credit is pretty easy to get and usually very good low rates on their financing or leasing plans. Something to consider, new car with new car warranty. Might cost a few bucks more VS buying used outright for $10k. But things like needing new tires, brakes, etc. Can end up costing you more then financing something new and closer to your needs.
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-26-2016, 04:17 PM
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I have a Yukon Denali and my fiancé has a Mercedes GLK 350. My boy fits in both but obviously has more room in the Yukon. I will say he's not a fan of the bucket seats in the back though. My last boy enjoyed my H2 because of the bench seats he could lounge on. As far as a large vehicle with great mileage, that's tough to find. I would say the newer tahoes are a good option as they are large but still get reasonable mileage.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-26-2016, 04:43 PM
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Wife has a 2008 Toyota RAV4 Limited 4x4, 3.5L-v6-269HP, leather, moon roof, heated seats & heated wipers/mirrors. Very capable in snow country.
- 60% of rear seat is folded down (for Kelly girl), so effectively its a 3 passenger now
- best work commute & family car we've ever had, in 40 years
- Canadian made Limited's have external engine oil & auto transmission (5 speed) cooler
- the factory tow package is rated at 3500 lbs.
The legendary v6, was discontinued in the new RAV's, starting 2013 - so these SUV's not as desirable now.
- the Toyota Highlander still has a v6, for those buying brand new

My fun vehicle is perfect for me, in every way / a mint 2000 4Runner, SR5, 4x4, 3.4L-v6.
- being a GM 4x4 truck guy, my Toyota SUV is built on a full frame with true High/Low 4x4 transfer case
- tow capacity is 5,200 lbs / and off-road capable

Our adult son drives a 2015 Lexus RX350, 3.5L-v6-270HP, AWD / has over the top luxury.
- even has an 8" Navigation-hands free phone system and leather computer mouse on console
- its got the interior room & similar wheel base of a Toyota Highlander
^^ Either of these two v6 vehicles, will likely be our next family car. Not interested in 4 cylinder turbo vehicles, after warranty expires.
- I will probably replace my 1998 Silverado 3/4 ton, 5.7L, 4x4 work truck, with a used 5.7L Toyota 4x4 next time.
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------------Kelly & (Amy - RIP @ 11.7 y/o)

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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-26-2016, 08:00 PM
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I drive a GMC Terrain, love the space, enough for two large dogs. 10K would be stretching it if you want an SUV with AWD/4WD. Have you thought of financing a car? or leasing?

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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-26-2016, 09:24 PM
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atomic - are you buying brand new or excellent used / and budget?
- leasing isn't always the ideal choice / especially for those that exceed yearly mileage or don't trade up often
My son & I went into some serious price negotiations on his new Lexus, last year.
- he bought it $40/month cheaper (payments over 4 years) than Lease option
- and in 4 years, will still retain very decent value, down the road
I enjoy searching for replacement vehicles (while avoiding dealer markup) & flipping our older model privately.
- but for the low mileage cream puffs, can typically take 6 months of searching & good patience (is a must)

2008 Toyoya RAV4 - Loads of room for Kelly, in back seat (folded down) & cargo area.
The v6-269HP has decent fuel efficiency with 5 speed auto & unbelievable acceleration for an SUV.
Toyota longevity is a given / like a capable 300,000 mile drive train.

Front bucket seats has a re-purposed golf bag shoulder harness (off a scrap bag), between them.
- to keep Kelly's nose prints off the front glass and toe nails from wrecking top of the console lid & front leather upholstery


------------Kelly & (Amy - RIP @ 11.7 y/o)

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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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For me personally, I am not interested in financing. You are starting with the marked up dealer prices to begin with, then end up paying a significant chunk over the course of time with interest. I also do not have very good credit so if I was approved, my rate would be high. I don't want a large SUV or truck that is a gas hog, something smaller but that still has sufficient room for my tall boy and my much smaller pit. Ideally I'd like fold down seats to where I could create a sort of nest for them to relax, it seems like a crv or RAV4 would be suitable?

Did I mention Kelly is oh so cute?
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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 10:31 AM
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We have a Honda CRV which works great for one Dobe. Since we got Newton, it's been a little cramped. I think our next vehicle will be....gulp...a mini van!

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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomic View Post
falnfelix... excuse me if I am just being dense, but why do you need the tailgate down while crating in the vehicle? Doesn't the A/C provide enough air flow and comfort?
I can't speak for her, but having crated during a long event I can say that leaving the A/C on for hours WILL eat your gas and there's a good chance that your A/C will fail without you realizing it. Additionally not all cars allow you to lock the vehicle while your A/C is on because some cars require the engine to be on for the A/C to continue to blow cold, which is very dangerous in this age of not only car thieves but also PETA people who are already breaking into cars and stealing/poisoning/setting dogs free. When we had dogs in my ex's car during a long event, one of us was checking the car every couple of minutes because we could not lock it and the engine HAD to be on or the A/C would be blowing hot air.

It was much easier with a dog crated in the car and the side door windows rolled all the way down for airflow, and the front windows rolled down enough to allow air but not to encourage someone to stick their hand in my car and try to unlock it. That car could not be unlocked via anything but the front driver's side door, so my dog could be safe and sound while still locked in his crate. That car had a sunroof as well which I left open and Creed is not about to let some stranger approach the car without kicking up a fuss, so it was perfect for the week of outdoor events that we went to.

That car was a Pontiac Vibe that died halfway up a mountain in Vermont and left me stranded very far from home. It was great for car-camping with Creed, worked well for us at outdoor events, and could fit one crate for a small male which is fine with me because I only have the one dog. However, due to the manner in which it died and all of the trouble I had with it in the year and some I owned it, I don't recommend getting one. That's just my personal experience.

I currently have a new-to-me Outback wagon and it can fit Creed's crate longways in the back, and a 300 across the back seats. The last event I attended was with the Vibe so I'll have to discover whether I like it for that or not. It doesn't have a sunroof so hopefully we'll be able to still camp and do events like we were before.


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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 11:23 AM
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I'm no help, because I drive either a '91 Lincoln Towncar or an '02 Ford Taurus. Of the two, the dogs prefer the Lincoln because a) it's bigger, so they have more room to stretch out; and b) it has cloth seats, not slippery leather like the Ford.

If we are ever in a position to get a new(er) vehicle, I'm thinking about a minivan. Right now, my dogs travel strapped in with a harness, which while not ideal, is better than nothing. I'd love to be able to have them in crates, though.

As for financing, we've never used dealer financing, but have always gone through our credit union.

If you are interested, there is a Facebook group devoted to dog sports vehicles. https://www.facebook.com/groups/DogSportVehicleIdeas/


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post #21 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 12:16 PM
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The a/c compressor is driven by a pulley and belt from the engine crankshaft so no vehicles other than some hybrids will blow cold air without running. Leaving your car running for more than a couple minutes unattended with the a/c on is a bad idea because the car can overheat and you will not be there to know. One way around the locking door issue with the car running is to have a remote start system installed. I use this all the time if the dogs are with me on a hot day and I have to run into the store to grab something. Just get out, lock the doors, and push the start button on your key fob.
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post #22 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomic View Post
falnfelix... excuse me if I am just being dense, but why do you need the tailgate down while crating in the vehicle? Doesn't the A/C provide enough air flow and comfort?
Jaz and Melbrod answered for me, and consider this: at a day long trial, when dogs MUST be crated unless they're actively on a course, running the AC nonstop would be dumb, if not dangerous. I would rather have the airflow under an aluminet in the shade or under a popup canopy with frequent check-ins AND a thermometer probe inside the vehicle with the readout on my person...much safer.

“I am the sea witch. I am the tide you fear and the turning you can't deny. I am the sound of the waves running over your bones on the beach, little man, and I am not amused at finding you on my doorstep.”
- the Luidaeg, Chimes at Midnight
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post #23 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atomic View Post
....Ideally I'd like fold down seats to where I could create a sort of nest for them to relax, it seems like a crv or RAV4 would be suitable?
^^ Both excellent choices / Japan brands, usually stands for longevity & lower maintenance expenses.
FYI - the 2006-2012 RAV4 is considered Gen3 / Toyota v6 is premium-desirable, commanding higher resale value.
- however the 4 cyl. engine between 2006-2008 was problematic, as a bad oil user
- some early 4 cylinders have been rebuilt by Toyota, under warranty
- only those are worth further buying consideration, in the early model RAV4 years
In 2009, the 4 cylinder got a redesigned block / avoiding oil consumption.

My 2000 4Runner, has a light-tan cloth interior / not dog friendly.
I've been searching for tough & affordable seat covers, for almost a year now / and finally found a winner.
- when I order, had a 20% off code / so both front bucket covers & head rests, paid $140
- rear bench seat, is same price
SUMMARY
Coverking Ballistic Canvas Seat Covers / Coverking Ballistic Canvas Seat Covers - FREE SHIPPING
- Silo your seats with the toughest covers on the market-Coverking Ballistic Canvas Seat Covers. Built to withstand anything short of nuclear meltdown, Ballistic Seat Covers are crafted from heavy-duty Cordura Ballistic fabric. Plus, they boast a waterproof inner coating that bolsters the already explosive protection.
- Coverking Ballistic Seat Covers mold to your seats over time, ensuring tough protection for your vehicle's original upholstery. The precision designs assure full seat functionality in all rows, plus Coverking includes covers for headrests, armrests, consoles and map pockets (depending on your vehicle). And the fact that they're made to order means your covers install easily without special tools.
- Whether you're working to keep your new seats new, to boost your interior style, or to revive a set of tired old seats, Coverking has you and your seats covered. Cut from precision patterns and high-quality materials, Ballistic Covers keep your seats stylish and protected for miles to come. Best yet, your Coverking Ballistic Seat Covers are backed with a 1-year warranty.

------------Kelly & (Amy - RIP @ 11.7 y/o)

Last edited by Beaumont67; 11-28-2016 at 02:40 PM.
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post #24 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 04:41 PM
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I drive a 2012 Ford Expedition - it is my second and I love it, but don't love the gas milage - haha. However, it is way beyond the budget you have.
Depending on where you live, I'd look at a subaru or maybe a Toyota Rav 4.... not sure about towing capacity on those.

Mary Jo Ansel
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post #25 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-28-2016, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meldrew79 View Post
We have a Honda CRV which works great for one Dobe. Since we got Newton, it's been a little cramped. I think our next vehicle will be....gulp...a mini van!
This made me but out laughing!
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