The Dodge Grand Caravan is DogCar of the Year for 2008, according to DogCars.com. Two vehicles similar to the Grand Caravan—the Chrysler Town and Country and the Volkswagen Routan—received honorable mentions.
Cars, SUVs, and minivans were judged according to dog-passenger-friendly criteria: seats that fold flat or are easily removable; plenty of usable cargo space relative to the size of the vehicle; wide, square backs, with minimal rear slope to maximize the cargo area; door and window locks, so a dog can’t accidentally unlock a door or roll down a window; and all-wheel or four-wheel drive and high ground clearance for particularly sporty dog owners who take themselves and their canine companions off-road a lot.
The judges, journalist Keith Turner and syndicated columnist and author Gina Spadafori, applauded the Grand Caravan, calling it the “consummate dog mobile.” Celebrated features include power doors, multiple storage compartments, a power tailgate, and lots of tie-downs to keep animals and pet carriers secure.
Winners in other categories included:
> Best compact: Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix
> Best “green” vehicle: Toyota Highlander Hybrid
> Best small SUV: Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner, Mazda Tribute, and Mitsubishi Outlander (tie)
> Best midsized SUV: Honda Pilot, Suzuki XL-7, and Hyundai Santa Fe (tie)
> Best wagon: Subaru Forester and Volvo XC70 (tie)
> Best luxury SUV: BMW X5 and Acura MDX (tie)
> Other tailwaggers: Ford Flex and Mini Cooper Clubman