VOTING is open in the second Sunday Times Motor Awards sponsored by Bridgestone, and over the coming weeks we’ll be introducing you to the shortlisted cars in each category.
Our motoring writers whittled down the long lists of their favourite cars on sale this year to produce the final nominees, but most of the winners will be decided by you. Even better, by voting, you could win a seven-night holiday for two in Thailand.
We created the Dog-Friendly Car of the Year award because man’s best friend is a key consideration for many car buyers. Below are the 2019 contenders with the reasons behind their nomination. When you’ve found your favourite, be sure to click through to vote for it – the winner will be the one that receives the most support from our readers.
Choose between the Land Rover Discovery, Mazda CX-5, Nissan X-Trail, Tesla Model X and Volvo V60.
Our panel of experts were looking for models with boots of a decent size, of course, but other factors were considered, such as the shape and height of the boot aperture, the ease of getting to favourite walking spots down muddy lanes and whether options packs and accessories for dog owners are available.
The winners of the 2019 Sunday Times Motor Awards, including the coveted Sunday Times Car of the Year and Jeremy Clarkson’s Car of the Year, will be announced at a star-studded event in October.
Land Rover Discovery
It was voted dog’s best friend, last year. Can the Discovery make it two in a row? Its credentials remain impressive: there’s a boot large enough for a gaggle of Great Danes (1,137 litres of space, with the third row of seats folded) and Land Rover offers all the right accessories to help pets get in and out and prevent your carpet becoming wet and smelly.
Imagine being a dog. You’re loaded into the boot and start to feel all out of sorts as the car sets off down the road, lumbering about all over the place. Happily, the Mazda CX-5 doesn’t drive like that; it’s a family SUV that is poised and precise which means the pet pooch should feel that bit more comfortable on the way to their favourite walk in the woods.
Who says dogs have to travel in the boot? In the Nissan X-Trail, why use the 565 litre boot when drivers can treat them to a choice of six seats so, with a harness and suitable restraint, they can take in the view and bark the inevitable question: are we nearly there yet?
Tesla Model X
You can order a Model X with five, six or seven seats. It affords a rare degree of flexibility, ensuring you can configure the Californian car maker’s electric SUV to suit your needs, or those of your dogs. And this could be the clincher: Tesla launched a new Dog Mode earlier this year, which keeps the air conditioning running after you leave the car, ensuring no pooch will perish from heat exhaustion in one of Elon Musk’s motors. Even smarter, the big central touchscreen tells passers-by that Dog Mode is activated, ensuring no-one will attempt to smash a window and rescue what might otherwise be assumed to be a literal hot dog.
With the new V60, Volvo has pulled off an impressive trick. It has made a car that looks sleek and more stylish than any of its German competitors, while the bods from the tape-measuring department have also ensured the boot is larger than rivals’, too. That means Fido and his owner will travel in style and comfort.