Saturday, June 22, 2013

New Wheels for Me (or Dog Crates in a Honda Pilot)

Since my beloved Honda Odyssey didn't make it through the accident, we were forced, unexpectedly, into buying a new car.  

I didn't want another minivan, as Honda has redesigned the van since we bought ours, and the style is just too "mumsy" for me.  I may be deluding myself, but the old Odyssey was at least a little sporty.  The new one is not, and I'm feeling too much like middle-aged soccer mom to buy another minivan.  So what to buy?

My rental Explorer.  Loved it!

We had a Ford Explorer as our rental car, and I loved it.  Loved how it drove, loved the styling, especially loved the touch screen controls.  I thought maybe we'd just buy one of those.  Then I realized that, with the back seat up, I could barely fit 2 small crates in the back.  With my larger (24"x 36") crate - I could only fit one crate in the back.  No way.  A car that size should fit much more in the back, so the hunt was on.

We test drove and measured the behind-the-back-seat-area of:
  • The Ford Flex (43" long x 40" wide)
  • The Subaru Outback (42.5" long x 33" wide) - with slopey back window
  • The Volvo Wagon (43" wide x 44.4" wide)
We were all set to buy a Volvo Wagon, when we found the Honda Pilot.  It combines good Consumer Reports ratings, decent gas mileage, adequate sportiness, and a dog-friendly rear storage.

Here's a picture of the one we test drove - 
on the left is a 30"x19" crate
on the right is a 24"x36" crate.

So here she is.  Awaiting dog hair.

Ziggy got to be the first canine passenger.
Lucky boy!
I think he likes being able to see the driver from his crate.

And here he is in the 30"x19" crate.
Plenty of room for his wheels, too.
I added pieces of 3 rubber mats under the front of the crate to keep it level.

So far we love the Pilot.  Now I need to find a dog show or clinic to attend so I can really put her cargo space to the test.


  1. Lani, if you are desperate for dog hair, I have plenty I can mail out. Just let me know. I like the Pilot a great deal. My son has one and it holds a lot of people/dogs/boxes/general stuff. Drive your new car in good health!

  2. We've had a Pilot for several years. Great, reliable car although stinky MPG on our 2008 model....Zero repairs though!

    Enjoy your new car!

  3. Whoa, sure looks like there was plenty of room to fit both dog crates. Thanks for sharing... I'm in the market for a new vehicle!

  4. Just looked at the 2013 Pilot today (they didn't yet have the 2014) and was very impressed. The way I measured, I was assuming two 24"x36" crates can fit side by side in the back area. I think it would be tight, but do you think it will fit?

    1. Hi, Lisa - I'd take the crates with you, as it will probably depend on how tall they are. The slope of the back window (even though it's not too steep) gets in the way a BIT of my 24x36 crate. Let me know what you find out!

  5. Yes, we love our honda pilot too! Comes in handy with 2 dogs and their crates. Beautiful dog you have there.

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  8. Can you say how tall that large crate is? Thanks!

    1. Hi, Lisa -
      It's 25" tall. A Midwest brand Select 1336 TD.

  9. I didn't want another minivan, as Honda has redesigned the van since we bought ours, and the style is just too "mumsy" for me. I may be ...

  10. Did the Volvo also work?

  11. Normally I don't read article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to try and do so! thanks
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