Chicago—November 13, 2006—According to a recent survey conducted by Cars.com, more than 30 percent of holiday travelers will take their pet on the road with them this year. Roughly a quarter of all pet owners travel with their pet more than 20 times a year.
Whether it's a once-a-year trip to the veterinarian or everyday car trips, pet owners are faced with the task of keeping themselves and their animal companions safe and comfortable in the car. With that in mind, Cars.com offers advice for pet owners about the various features and products that are available to them.
"In our research, we found that Volvo does the best job of offering products for pet owners," said Cars.com Managing Editor Patrick Olsen. "However, many automakers offer features and options that are pet-friendly, even though not all of them were designed specifically for pets."
The following are pet-friendly features offered by manufacturers:
* Nets that span the space between the ceiling and the backrests of the front or rear seats.
* A collection of metal dividers for wagons and SUVs.
* A vertical grate that divides the cargo area into halves, separating a dog from cargo or another dog.
* For the S80, a pair of grilles that divide the trunk in two, turning it into something like a pet carrier, with a front gate that blocks the opening to the cabin once the smaller side of a split, folding seatback is lowered.
* The 9-3 SportCombi and 9-5 SportCombi (wagon) include a cargo space divider, cargo mat, cargo apron and cargo guard in the back; the 9-5 SportCombi also has a trunk tray.
* The Vue has a cargo management system.
* The Jetta and Passat wagons offer cargo partitions, while driver accessories include a VW Beetle squeaky toy, air freshener and squishy pillow. Other VW gear includes heavy-duty floor mats and cargo liners.
* A Pet Guard Divider accessory that helps keep pets secure while in a vehicle's cargo area.
Other features that can make traveling with pets easier, and a few cars that have them, include:
—Fold-up backseat cushions, which allow a larger area on the floor for pets to lie down.
* Honda Ridgeline, Dodge Dakota
—Fold-flat second-row seats, which open up the cargo area for more pet space.
* Most wagons/SUVs/minivans
—Fold-flat front passenger seat, which opens up the cargo area for even more pet space.
* Toyota Tacoma, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Dodge Caliber, Toyota Sienna, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Edge, Nissan Xterra, Pontiac Torrent
—Hard-coated and scratch-resistant load floor/folding seatbacks, making for easy cleanup.
* Jeep Compass, Dodge Caliber, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Chevrolet HHR, Toyota Yaris hatchback, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Honda Element, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda CR-V
* Dodge Caliber, Toyota FJ Cruiser, Jeep Compass, Jeep Wrangler ('07), Honda Element, Chrysler Aspen, Chrysler Pacifica, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chrysler Sebring ('07), Dodge Nitro, Dodge Dakota, Dodge Durango, Dodge Ram 1500 Mega Cab, Jeep Patriot
More information about pets can be accessed at www.cars.com. The site includes information on the types of products available to help secure pets safely in the car, and offers tips on traveling with pets. The guide also provides some insight into what some professionals in the pet industry drive.
Partnered with more than 200 leading metro newspapers, television stations and their websites, Cars.com is the most comprehensive destination for those looking to buy or sell a new or used car. The site lists more than 1.8 million vehicles from 12,000 dealer customers, classified advertisers and private parties to offer consumers the best selection of new and used cars online, as well as the content, tools and advice to support their shopping experience. Recently selected by Forbes.com as a Best of the Web site for car shopping, Cars.com combines powerful inventory search tools and new-car configuration with pricing information, photo galleries, buying guides, side-by-side comparison tools, original editorial content and reviews to help millions of car shoppers connect with sellers each month.
Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, which is owned by leading media companies, including Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).