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July 30, 2012

Top 10 Most Popular Vehicles Purchased by People with Pets

SOW-120704-Thinkstock_96450960-petsYou might think you're just a pet lover, but behind your back, your friends call you the "Crazy Cat Lady." Or maybe you've got a couple of great big dogs you call your “kids.” Don’t worry, we speak your language. That's why, the authority on new car pricing, trends and forecasting, has done some research into the needs of pet lovers, to find the best deals available for cars ranked highly by other pet lovers.

Regardless of whether your animals range from small to large, from cute little pocket pups to giant canines that look more like small horses, this slideshow highlights something for every pet owner’s needs, regardless of whether you're driving an economical car, or something just a little bit larger.

Ready to get the lowdown on what cars are most popular with pet owners? It's all here. We also provided the vehicle’s market average[i] and current potential discount off of MSRP[ii] to give car buyers context on how that vehicle’s price is trending in the automotive marketplace during the month of July. Rankings are based on 2011 Strategic Vision Data received from people with pets about the cars they drive.


2012-Toyota_Prius_TrueCar-pricing10) 2012 Toyota Prius

MSRP: $26,325 / Market Average: $25,705
Potential discount: $620 or 2.4%
Passenger volume: 93.7 cubic feet

Toyota's popular hybrid car proves to  be popular with pet owners as well, thanks mostly to its roomy interior and massive 21.6 cubic-foot cargo area, which doubles the cargo space found behind the rear seat of the Honda CR-V. It's not the right shape for a large animal carrier, but you can still throw plenty of supplies back there. And there's much to love about its fuel economy as well, boasting the best of all the vehicles in this list, with 51 mpg city, 48 highway, and 49.3 mpg combined.



2012-Toyota-Camry-TrueCar-pricing9) 2012 Toyota Camry 

MSRP: $23,980 / Market Average: $22,704
Potential discount: $1,276 or 5.3%
Passenger Volume: 102 cubic feet

It doesn't matter whether you're carrying large people or large pets, the Camry is the roomiest sedan on the list, offering plenty of space for up to five passengers or big pets in a cabin with 102 cubic feet of passenger volume. While the pets won't care, your human passengers will appreciate its Entune connectivity that allows passengers to access such popular mobile apps and data services as Bing for search, Pandora for music, for entertainment, and OpenTable for movie reservations. The reinvented Camry promises fuel economy of 21mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined.



2012-Hyundai-Elantra-TrueCar-pricing8 ) 2012 Hyundai Elantra 

MSRP: $21,370 / Market Average: $20,988
Potential discount: $382 or 1.8%
Passenger volume: 95.6 cubic feet

The Hyundai Elantra turns heads wherever it goes, thanks to its elegant styling and sporty profile. Under the hood, the Elantra is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed transmission that provides smooth performance along with fuel economy ratings of 29 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, and 34.2 mpg combined, placing it ahead of every other vehicle in this list (besides the hybrid choice in the number one slot). Inside, the affordable Elantra offers 95.6 cubic feet of passenger space so your passengers and pets can travel in style. If you live in a colder climate, your pets will appreciate the Limited's heated rear seats on frosty mornings, which keeps them out of your lap on in their seats.



2012_Honda_Civic_TrueCar-pricing7) 2012 Honda Civic 

MSRP: $19,595 / Market Average: $18,591
Potential discount: $1,004 or 5.1%
Passenger volume: 94.6 cubic feet

Honda's popular Civic is big on fuel economy, but compact on interior space. Boasting fuel economy rated at 28 city, 39 highway, and 33.1 combined miles per gallon, but offerling only 94.6 cubic feet of passenger space, the Civic is one of the smallest among the most popular cars for pet owners (only Toyota's Corolla and Prius are smaller). That back seat is probably best for one big dog or a couple medium-sized dogs, while the trunk will sufficiently hold a couple big bags of animal chow.



2012_Subaru_Outback-TrueCar-pricing6) 2012 Subaru Outback Four-Door Wagon

MSRP: $25,070 / Market Average: $23,824
Potential discount: $1,246 or 5.0%
Passenger volume: 105 cubic feet PLUS 34.3 cubic feet of rear interior cargo

Regardless of whether or not you love a wagon, you gotta love the safety of the Subaru Outback, which has been recognized by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for the third consecutive year as a Top Safety Pick. Its 256-horsepower/3.6-liter six-cylinder engine is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission to offer fuel economy rated at 18 city, 25 highway, and 21.3 combined miles per gallon. Combine all that with room for five passengers as well as a generously sized cargo area where you can load a couple animal crates, and it’s easy to see why pet owners love the Outback.



2013_Ford_Escape_TrueCar-pricing5) 2012 Ford Escape

MSRP: $22,265 / Market Average: $19,344
Potential discount: $2,921 or 13.1%
Passenger volume: 99.5 cubic feet PLUS 34.3 cubic feet of rear interior cargo

Redesigned for 2013, the new Ford Escape provides seating for five plus a cargo area that holds another 34.3 cubic feet of stuff for big dogs AND their crates. The Escape features a choice of fuel-efficient engines boasting highway fuel economy as high as 33 mpg, cargo capacity of up to 67.8 cubic feet, and a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. And as useful as all that is, the available hands-free liftgate raises with a kick of your foot to make loading that jumbo 150-pound bag of elephant kibble that much easier.



2012-Toyota-RAV4-TrueCar-pricing4) 2012 Toyota RAV4

MSRP: $23,460 / Market Average: $22,147
Potential discount: $1,313 or 5.6%
Passenger volume: 132 cubic feet PLUS 12.3 cubic feet of rear interior cargo

Toyota's got four vehicles on this list, covering nearly every possible vehicle segment for pet owners of every shape and size. Toyota's midsize sport/utility vehicle slots right in the middle of this list for its price point, but leads the others with its 132 cubic feet of passenger volume thanks to roomy first- and second-row seating and optional kid-friendly third row. The space in the wayback is a little smaller than other vehicles (ranging from 12.3 cubic feet with the third row up, to 73 cubic feet with the second and third row down), and be warned that access to the rear cargo area is via a side-hinged cargo door, so you'll need to accommodate that opening if you'll be loading large pets or carriers.



2012-Toyota-Corolla-TrueCar-pricing3) 2012 Toyota Corolla

MSRP: $19,580 / Market Average: $18,416
Potential discount: $1,164 or 5.9%
Passenger volume: 92.1 cubic feet

Of the cars on this list, the Toyota Corolla is the smallest inside (92.1 cubic-feet of passenger space) and has the smallest trunk (12.3 cubic feet), so what makes it so popular with pet owners? Most likely, its teensy MSRP of $19,580. The back seat of this efficient little car is best suited for transporting small people, small pets, or maybe a canary in a cage.



2012_Honda_CR-V-TrueCar-pricing2) 2012 Honda CR-V 

MSRP: $25,425 / Market Average: $25,055
Potential discount: $370 or 1.5%
Passenger volume: 101 cubic feet PLUS 37.2 cubic feet of rear interior cargo

Honda has two vehicles in the top 10 most popular cars for pet owners, with the CR-V midsize SUV leading the pack. Its popularity is thanks largely to Honda's strong reputation for quality, its five-passenger capacity, spacious and functional 37.2 cubic feet of storage behind the second row, and fuel economy rated at 23 city, 31 highway, and 26.8 combined miles per gallon. Lay that back seat down, and you've got 70.0 cubic feet of space to bring your best friend and ALL your animals out for a romp at the dog park.



2012-Ford-F150_XLT_frontview-TrueCar-pricing1) 2012 Ford F-150 

MSRP: $31,800 / Market Average: $27,983
Potential discount: $3,817 or 12.0%
Cargo volume: 65.6 cubic feet

Ford’s F-150 full-size pickup truck boasts best-in-class towing and a variety of trim and powertrain options to allow buyers to configure cab, bed, and engine to suit their specific comfort, cargo, and performance needs. With room for three to six passengers depending on the cab selection, and another 65.5 cubic feet of storage in the bed, you've got a variety of options for your best friend to ride along inside -- or outside if he's been playing in the mud.



Ready to Buy a New Car?

If you’re ready to go shopping for a new car to transport your pets, be sure to visit the TrueCar shows you what other people paid for the car you want (not just MSRP) by make/model and down to the options. TrueCar users can  also connect with TrueCar Certified Dealers that offer a fast and hassle-free car buying experience.

And remember, responsible pet owners always ensure their pets are properly harnessed or buckled. Regardless of your vehicle choice, please make sure your furry passengers are safely restrained with the proper harnesses or crate straps. 

[i]Market Average is estimated based on the national average of recent vehicle transactions, including destination and delivery charges after incentives that are subject to change, but does not include tax, title, licensing, documentation or processing fees, other state and governmental charges and/or fees, or any other charges or fees allowed by law. [ii]Percent Discount is rounded to the nearest tenth.

Brandy Schaffels



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