Posts Tagged ‘2WD’

While my Impreza was in the shop after my accident in August, I had to get a rental. I knew it was going to be challenging to find one in my price range that would accommodate dog crates, but one of my friends told me that they had had good luck with the Versa, so I went ahead and asked for one since it was listed in the “Budget” category.

When I went to pick it up, I immediately thought my friend had made a mistake. There was no way I was going to fit two 36″ crates in this teeny car, but it’s all they had, so I figured I’d just make it work.

When I got it home and tried the crates, the car seemed to expand. It took a little finagling and a side door crate, but sure enough, I fit two 36″ crates in this tiny vehicle! Amazing!

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Width between wheel wells (narrowest part of the vehicle): 39.5″

Width at the widest point: 48.5″, across the back seat

Cargo depth with all rows up: 29″ at the floor, 9″ at 25″ up.

Cargo depth with all rows down: 49″

Interior height (min): 28.5″

Interior height (max): 35.5″

Hatch dimensions: 30″ tall, 24.5″-40.75″ wide

Keep in mind that one crate just fits on the folded back seats, while the other squeezed into the cargo depression. The rear hatch was so snug to the crate that I had to pad the corners. The door on the crate in the cargo area was a “garage door” style so opened up instead of out – an outward opening door would’ve been unable to clear the rim of the hatch.

MPG city: 24-28 mpg

MPG highway: 31-34 mpg

The Versa is not a cargo vehicle, but it is pretty flexible and with a little creative thinking it can actually carry more larger crates than many other larger vehicles. It’s definitely worth a second look if you’re looking to find a vehicle with great gas mileage that will carry either small or medium breed dogs, but human passengers aren’t a concern!

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Need tons of cargo room sans human passenger in a vehicle that’s easier to maneuver in traffic and on those narrow roads on the way to some obscure trial site? The Transit Connect might be for you!

The Transit Connect is a workhorse! It’s primarily marketed as a business vehicle and the interior and features certainly reflect that!

Width between wheel wells (narrowest part of the vehicle): 47.5″

Cargo depth with all rows up: NA – no passenger seating behind the driver and front passenger seats

Cargo depth: 71″

Interior height (min): 52″

Interior height (max): 54.5″

Hatch dimensions: 51″ tall, 50.5″ wide

MPG city: 21 mpg

MPG highway: 27 mpg

True to its service vehicle marketing, the Connect doesn’t come with a ton of additional bells and whistles. There are a few though: multiple lights throughout, including in the rear and in the middle of the cargo area ceiling, 12V outlet in the rear, multiple cargo tie down points, and optional second row seating or shelving is available.

Additional vents are added with second row seating, but the salesman was unable to tell me if those seats were at all easy to remove if needed.

The Connect does NOT have 4WD as an option, so it’s not suited for off roading, but otherwise it seems to be a very flexible option for those with multiple large dogs!

2010 Ford Edge SEL

Posted: August 21, 2012 in Vehicle Reviews
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The Ford Edge seems like a pretty nifty looking crossover – is it as equally nifty when looked at through dog vehicle glasses?

[not my image – found via Google image search]

A typical small crossover, the Edge does not have a 3rd row seating option, but it does offer more interior space than other vehicles in the same category.

Width between wheel wells (narrowest part of the vehicle): 42″

Cargo depth with all rows up: 34.5″ on the floor, 27″ deep at the narrowest point (seat back 20.5″ above floor level)

Cargo depth with the second row down: 60″

Hatch dimensions: 31″ tall, 32″ to 48″ wide

MPG city: 18 mpg (this was a 2WD model)

MPG highway: 25 mpg (this was a 2WD model)

The Edge has extra lights in the cargo area and rear facing air vents on the console between the front two seats; both features appreciated when using a vehicle for dog toting!

Unlike the Equinox, which is very similarly sized inside but is larger outside and has several features that make the interior harder to use for crated animals, the Edge provides a wider space between wheel wells and slightly longer interior cargo space with the second row folded. The second row is slightly angled when folded, but less angled than many other vehicles we’ve looked at.  The hatch opening *is* smaller than other similarly sized vehicles in some dimensions, but should still be functional given its size at the widest point. Folded crates are likely much easier to fit through the hatch than pre-assembled crates.

The wider space between the wheel wells does open up the possibility of larger crates sitting side-by-side, but you will need SUV-style crates if you hope to fit 36″ or 42″ long crates into the space.

Overall, the Edge is a decent option in this class, but I highly recommend trying your crates in the vehicle before jumping to conclusions as it does have some drawbacks that may make certain crating setups more difficult.

2006 Kia Sedona

Posted: May 2, 2012 in Vehicle Reviews
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You always hear about minivans being the best option for the cargo area dimensions crates require, but I had never really looked into the category further until now. I do have to give the minivan proponents their due: so far the Sedona provides faaaaar more interior space than any of the vehicles I’ve reviewed for this blog to date.

Sure, it’s not the most visually attractive vehicle:

But look at these dimensions!

Width between wheel wells (narrowest part of the vehicle): 47.75″

Width at widest point: 66″ at second row, seats removed

Tallest point: 45.75″ in the middle of the cargo area

Lowest point: 40.25″ for 11″ from the hatch

Cargo depth with all rows up: Not useable due to depression designed for storing rear seats when folded.

Cargo depth with the third row down: 54″ on floor, but a slope in the hatch starts at 25″ above the floor. At the narrowest point, it is still 44″ deep.

Cargo depth with all rows down: With second row seats folded forward, the cargo area is 66″ deep.  With the second row seats fully removed, the space is 95″ deep at the floor and 85″ at seat back where the depth is shortest (24″ from the floor).

Hatch measurements: 40-49.5″ wide with the narrowest point at the top, 40.5″ tall

seat stowing depression

MPG city: 20 mpg

MPG highway: 26 mpg

The minivan layout is especially helpful for fitting a number of large dogs crated for sure. Additional lighting over the cargo area/hatch, extra vents for AC/heat at each row of seating, and additional power outlets in the cargo area means that the Sedona is well suited to traveling with multiple, crated pets. The seat anchors are flush with the floor and appear to be positioned in a way that might lend them to use as tiedown spots. On top of all of those perks, the Sedona also carries the spare tire under the vehicle instead of in the floor, so removing crates and other items isn’t required if a tire change is needed!

As with any vehicle, there are disadvantages to take into account. One potential issue I saw was that the second row of seating is made up of two captain’s chairs, which means that there is an aisle between the seats up to the front of the vehicle. This may not seem like a big deal, but you will need to block this aisle to prevent items from rolling forward during stops.  Another flaw: the minivan-standard lack of fully opening windows in the rear of the vehicle. While moving, the rear air vents take care of this, but at a stop air is much harder to circulate behind the driver’s seat.

Overall the Kia Sedona is certainly up to the challenge of a multi-dog household that prefers having their pets ride secured in crates during travel. The expansive interior and convenient vents and lights make trips more comfortable for all.

Note: The Kia Sedona’s design hasn’t changed much over the years from what the salesperson at the dealership said, but I would still suggest doing your own measuring of any vehicles Four Paw Drive reviews, before committing to one, just in case!

2012 Kia Soul

Posted: April 25, 2012 in Vehicle Reviews
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The Soul is most recognized as a dancing hamster-mobile, but can it also transport dogs? The answer is “yes, but only loose or belted, not crated” from my perspective. With the rear seats up there is next to no cargo space behind them and the seats, as in the other Kias Four Paw Drive had reviewed, do NOT fold flat. The interior space is great for a vehicle of this size thanks to the boxy design, but will not accommodate crating without some form of platform to level the floor surface.

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If you’re handy with tools or ride with your dogs out of crates, the Soul does still have some possibilities, so here are its dimensions:

Width between wheel wells (narrowest part of the vehicle): 43.75″

Width at widest point: 51.25″ at the edge of the passenger doors

Tallest point: 33.5″

Lowest point: 30″ for 6″ starting at the hatch

Cargo depth with all rows up: At the floor, 24.25″, but at the narrowest point, only 16″ which is too narrow for any crate but those small enough to stop before reaching the back of the seat.

Cargo depth with the second (and only) row down: 47.75″ – the second row does NOT fold flat, so crates would need to have something to rest on other than the seat backs to remain level.

Hatch measurements: 32-37″ wide, with the narrowest point at the top, 29″ tall

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MPG city: base model 4 cylinder, fuel injected engine: 27 mpg; engine in other packages: 26 mpg.

MPG highway: base model 4 cylinder, fuel injected engine: 36 mpg; engine in other packages: 34 mpg.

The Soul does offer several helpful features for those transporting dogs regularly, though:

  • Optional power outlets in the rear cargo area
  • Optional sunroof that opens completely

The optional sunroof and the shallow cargo area does mean that air circulation in the rear of the vehicle is quite generous, even without extra vents in the rear passenger or cargo areas. Unfortunately, there is no included spare tire, but space under the flooring of the rear cargo area holds either the included inflation kit or a spare tire you provide, so if you need to replace a tire, all items in the cargo area must be removed!

The Soul is a unique small passenger vehicle, but if you’re looking to travel with crated dogs, there are many better options out there. If Kia does offer fold flat seats at some point, it will greatly enhance the Soul’s function as a dog vehicle, so it’s always wise to look at the enhancements made between model years.