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The Best and Worst New 2014 Volkswagen Models for Dog Owners

Volkswagens have always been like cherished members of the family to people who have owned them whether we are talking about the original Beetle or the VW ‘s current lineup of TDI clean diesel models. And if a car can be like a beloved member of the family, then surely the family dog fits into a very similar category that can make you appreciate your Volkswagen and your dog more than your human relatives that can unfortunately talk.

If you aren’t one of the millions of Americans who owns a dog then perhaps you just wouldn't understand why so many dog owners bring man (and woman’s) best friend with them everywhere they go even in the car. But when doing so you really do need to consider if the car you have is suitable for a canine passenger. That, of course, is why whenever we road test a new Volkswagen we bring along our very own canine road tester Roxy, a Boxer that we rescued after her previous owner decided they couldn't take care of her anymore.

Now Roxy considers more things than just the comfort of the back seat when she is riding around in a test Volkswagen. She likes to have a rear seat air conditioning vent for hot days like you can find in models such as the Golf and GTI and her personal driver likes it when the U-rings most owner’s might use for car seats are easily accessible to attach her fitted safety harness. Roxy may only weigh 45 pounds but if we had an accident in one of our Volkswagen testers she could get seriously hurt without proper restraint just like any human occupant. So remember to always consider your dog’s safety before heading to the mall in your Jetta or Passat.

So as follows is a list compiled by Roxy the dog and her human so that new car buyers who love to bring their dogs with them everywhere will pick out just the perfect Volkswagen for them. Because if you have a 150 pound Bull Mastiff you may want to reconsider that 2014 Beetle.

Excellent for all Breeds:

2014 Touareg SUV: This rough and tough SUV has an interior built to seemingly withstand a nuclear blast so even with two large breed dogs in the back we are confident that after a trip to the car wash the Touareg would be ready to take friends out to a night at the Opera. Add in the fact that there are vents for the back seat as well as handy folding rear seats that could allow you to make the entire cargo hold a canine automotive paradise and you have the formula for an SUV winner.

2014 Tiguan SUV: Not only is the Tiguan fun to drive thanks to its 200 horsepower 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cyllinder motor but it makes for the perfect dog car. Honestly, what compact SUV doesn’t? But we just so happen to really love the Tiguan.

2014 Passat Sedan: Roomy, solidly built with interior materials clearly chosen for their ability to take a beating as well as a trunk that is big enough to haul five 100 pound bags of kibble all contribute to make ta family sedan perfect for the kids and Fido. It also has vents for back seat passengers.

2014 Jetta Sedan/GLI/TDI: The Jetta sedan may lack the interior polish of the Golf and Jetta Sportwagen but it is definitely good enough to withstand any abuse from your dog. A fine choice.

2014 Jetta Sportwagen: If ever there was a car designed for dog owners, the Jetta Sportwagen is well and truly it. With a cavernous cargo area your dog can ride either in the back seat or with the rear seats folded down they can enjoy their own giant doghouse.

2014 Golf/GTi: Volkswagen has sold over 30 million Golfs since its introduction so we are pretty sure a few dog owners have bought one over the years. A rock solid interior, roomy back seat that’s a snap to clean and rear seat ventilation make for a great dog hatch.

Passable for Most Dog Owners:

2014 CC Sedan: The CC sedan has a back seat that is specially sculpted to feel like two sport seats for human occupants making it less than ideal for your dog who will most likely lie across it. So unless your dog sits upright at all times like a person maybe you should just get the Passat. Otherwise, the CC should suit your dog just fine.

Not Recommended Except for Small Breeds:

2014 VW Beetle Convertible: If you are riding around in any convertible with a dog with the top down then it is absolutely essential that you have a safety harness attached to them at all times. Come on, what if they see a squirrel in a tree when you are stopped at a light? A dog won’t hesitate to leap over the side!

2014 VW Eos: Want to see your dog freak out? Leave them in the back seat as an Eos convertible does its folding metal hardtop origami act and watch as they leap out and run back home.

2014 VW Beetle: Unless you order your Beetle coupe with a sunroof the interior can feel a bit claustrophobic thanks to its sloping rear end as well as relatively high feeling doorline. This sensation is exacerbated if you are in the dark pit known as the back seat which might terrify your dog. Or maybe they will think it is like their doghouse at home so make sure to bring your dog to the dealer so they can test it out before signing on the dotted line. Hey, if they want to make a sale they will let you.

Not Recommended for Canine Consumption:

VW Routan: Because even dogs have pride and they don’t want to be seen in a rebadged Dodge Caravan either. Good thing Volkswagen killed the model for 2014.


Molly Zahner (not verified)    January 1, 2014 - 1:50PM

I just traded in my leased Jetta TDI with leatherette seats for the 2014 Golf TDI which comes only in the Velcro-like interior that actually attracts and holds dog hair better than any substance known to man. So I'm surprised you say it's a snap to clean. How is that? I would warn off any dog owner to his model which I'm sure includes many VWheads like me. Any thoughts or suggestions? It has made me regret my decision to go with VW. And I've bend diving them since 1973 when I was 13. Help!

J. Hamel (not verified)    January 1, 2014 - 10:13PM

In reply to by Molly Zahner (not verified)

I have had a number of VW's and I honestly wondered about how durable the Jetta's upholstery would prove to be over the long haul with a dog riding in the back seat most of the time. I am glad to hear it held up but first, what kind of dog do you have? A dog with short hair will leave a mess that is harder to clean and re-reading that portion of my comment, I should have said that it's easy to clean if you have a small steam hand vac like I do and a full fabric seat cover. has a great choice of seat covers and pick one designed for an SUV so it will take you only 45 seconds with practice to remove or re-install it. Also, for safety and to keep your pup from making a mess invest in a restraint harness. It may seem like a pain but I nearly drove into a piano that fell off a pickup truck with my earlier 90 pound boxer right behind me. I had to take LA Freeway evasive action and if she wasn't wearing that harness one or both of us would have died.