With more than 8.5 million dog owners, Mazda’s £24,368 CX-5 SUV has been crowned the most dog-friendly car.
A panel of What Car? readers conducted real-world ‘dog trials’ of the size and accessibility of the boot, air flow and interior durability.
Five other short-listed cars were the Suzuki Vitara, Skoda Octavia and Superb Estates, Mercedes E-Class Estate and Land Rover Discovery.
Paws for applause: Mazda’s £24,368 CX-5 SUV has been crowned the most dog-friendly car
Nathalie Ingham, of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, said: ‘Not all dogs enjoy travelling — like humans, some can get frightened or even car sick.
It’s worth taking time to make your car familiar for them.’
Judges worked to a list of criteria drawn up with the help of the canine experts at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home when they came with their dogs to a day of testing at the Hitchin Priory Hotel, with results published in time for Pet Appreciation Week runs until Sunday.
The declared the Mazda CX-5 ‘pawfect’ for dogs among cars in the £20,000 to £24,999 price category as well as the overall winner.
British supermodel, car enthusiast, and dog lover David Gandy became the Battersea’s first ‘ambassador’ and a major supporter of the charity.
Judges declared the Mazda CX-5 ‘pawfect’ for dogs among cars in the £20,000 to £24,999 price category as well as the overall winner
The Judges worked to a list of criteria drawn up with the help of the canine experts at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
What Car? editor Steve Huntingford said: ‘There are more than 8.5 million dog owners in the UK, and 99.9% of them consider their dog to be a member of their family.
It therefore seems only right that we should be taking our four-legged friends into consideration when choosing our cars.’
He noted: ‘To find the best car for dogs, we carried out real-world testing with real dogs and real owners.
‘Our panel of readers found the Mazda CX-5’s practical features, stylish yet solid interior and affordable pricing to be a winning combination.
Not only can owners have a great-looking, great-driving car, they can also have one which gives everyone inside a safe and comfortable ride.’
The Mazda CX-5’s was praised for its practical features, stylish yet solid interior and affordable pricing
Miss Ingham, Canine Behaviourist and Training Manager at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, added: ‘Road trips with your dog are part of the fun, whether that’s going cross-country on a weekend break or a short trip to the park.
‘However, you need to make sure your dog is safe and feels secure in the car, so we would always recommend ensuring any new vehicle has the appropriate features to give your furry friend a pleasant travelling experience.
‘You should always make sure there’s plenty of ventilation and never leave a dog in a hot car – the temperature inside can rise very quickly, even when it’s overcast.’
He added: ‘Remember you also need to comply with the Highway Code, which says that dogs need to be suitably restrained while driving so they don’t distract you or cause injury to you or themselves if you stop too quickly.’
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home was founded more than 150 years ago in 1860 and since then has rescued, reunited with their owners and found new homes for more than 3.1 million dogs and cats, including more than 7,000 last year alone.
It cares for around 300 dogs and 200 cats across its three centres at any one time. The average stay for a dog is 38 days and 22 days for a cat.
In addition to its traditional site in South West London, Battersea also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch, Kent.
More details here.
Jaguar serves up a new electric iPace to tennis ace Andy Murray
Two-time Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray has become one of the first people to take delivery of Jaguar’s all-electric I-Pace.
He said: ‘It’s clean and safe, but also has the world-class design and sports performance that suits my lifestyle.’
Two-time Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray has become one of the first people to take delivery of Jaguar’s all-electric I-Pace
Priced from £58,995 (including government subsidy) the Jaguar I-PACE can achieve an 80 percent battery charge in 85-minutes using DC charging (50kW) with a range of up to 298 miles on a single charge.
It will be fully compatible with DC Rapid Chargers (100kW) to be rolled out across the UK, which will enable a 0-80 percent charge in just 40 minutes.
Life in the slow lane
On launching the new 200 mph-plus 488 Pista supercar in Italy, Ferrari teamed me up with James May — the Captain Slow of TV’s Grand Tour and formerly Top Gear.
Not only were we slow, we managed to get lost when the satnav threw a wobbly and we nearly missed our test-track session.
Race day: Ray and James argue over who was slowest in the Ferrari 488 Pista
That aside, our grand tour on winding Italian roads proved to be an entertaining drive in an exciting car before we both nervously returned for a blood-and-guts drive around Ferrari’s Fiorano test circuit. It’s opposite the firm’s factory in Maranello and is where road-going and F1 cars are put through their paces.
The new 488 Pista costs from £252,765 before you start adding any expensive ‘extras’ such as £2,112 for a four-point seat harness, £8,640 for the ‘go faster’ racing stripe, and £14,208 for the carbon-fibre wheels alone.
The first two years’ production run of about 2,000 488 Pistas is already sold out. The car itself is phenomenal — powered by a mighty four-litre (3,902cc) V8 engine developing 720 horse-power linked to a slick seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox with manual override via paddles on the steering wheel.
Ferrari teamed up Ray Massey, right, with Grand Tour and ex-Top Gear star James May, left, to test drive the new 488 Pista
It accelerates at blistering speed from rest to 62 mph in just 2.85 seconds — and up to 124 mph in just 7.6 seconds — with a top speed of 211 mph and virtually no turbo-lag when you floor the throttle.
The new supercar’s name may not be familiar in English, but it simply means track, as in the Pista di Fiorano circuit, where we took it in turns for a spin. After a leisurely drive with the engaging Mr May, Ferrari’s chief tester Raffaele De Simone took the wheel, with me strapped into the passenger seat, and gave me a masterclass in what this car can really do.
Drifting in full track mode with all the safety key settings off, it was the automotive equivalent of a virtuoso violinist playing a Stradivarius.
New Audi Q7 unveiled
The battle between upmarket 4x4s intensified this week when Audi took the wraps off its new flagship Q8 SUV (left). I was in China — now Audi’s largest market — for its global launch.
Launch car for the UK will be this six-cylinder 50 TDI in S-Line trim
Created with a more coupe-like aerodynamic look, the new Q8 has been designed to appear much lower than its smaller Q7 sibling
Audi’s new sleek SUV: The Audi Q8 will become the German brand’s range-topping 4X4 when it goes on sale in the UK in July
It reaches UK shores in July priced from about £65,000 to more than £80,000, packed with high-tech kit and a luxury interior. Its coupe-like aerodynamic look makes it Audi’s answer to Britain’s Range Rover Sport, BMW’s X6, the Mercedes GLE Coupe and Maserati Levante.
The UK launch car will be the 50 TDI in S-Line trim powered by a three-litre, six-cylinder diesel, linked to a fuel-efficient ‘mild’ hybrid, developing 286 bhp, that can go from rest to 62mph in 6.3 seconds. A smaller diesel and a three-litre petrol-SUV developing 340 bhp will follow early next year.
The minimalist luxury interior includes two high-resolution touchscreens with almost no buttons or knobs.
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