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Hello everyone. Thinking of buying a ‘21 crosstrek but want to make sure my dog is comfortable. Really like the car after driving it but I don’t think they’d be ok with letting me test drive with the dog! We have a baby that will be in the backseat and need to separate the dog from him so he rides in the trunk/hatch area of our current cars. He’s a 75lb golden/shepherd mix and fits very comfortably in the hatch of my Jeep Patriot. Anyone have experience with a dog of this size in the rear hatch? Won’t be able to put seats down due to baby and gear in the backseat so he would be strictly behind the backseats only. Any experience would be very helpful!
 

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I think that’s probably not gonna be comfortable for the pup. Our Golden was about the same size and I can’t imagine him being back there.
So consider this: have one side rear seat down, put the “gear” behind the upright seat, giving ur pup a half the width and the whole length of the cargo area. THAT would be a better way.. plus ur pup would have a window.


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As you may be able to see from my profile pic, our 60lb dog fits just fine in the hatch. We have a decent sized bed that she sits on for car rides.

A lot of Subaru dealers here in socal are dog friendly, they let us bring her on the test drive.
 

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I do not think the total space will be an issue in general (the dog should fit in the space). However, if it will work for you is going to depend a lot on the dog. I have had a calm german shepherd in the back of my 2014 before and it was not an issue. She tended to just lay wherever you put her in a car. A more active/anxious dog may require something to block them from crawling into the backseat (Subaru and others sell an accessory to keep animals in the hatch, but this accessory is not always compatible with kid seats so keep that in mind).

My personal preference is to use kennels in the hatch instead of just putting the dog back there. My dogs seem to be calmer this way and they should be safer if there were an accident (since they will not go flying through the car). I currently have a Gunner Kennel for one dog and a Ruffland for the other. A side door on a Ruffland kennel would probably fit in the 2021 cargo area for a dog that size if it is something you want to consider.

If you need more space back there, I would recommend looking into an Outback or Forester. I have a 14 Crosstrek and a 21 Outback. The Outback is comfortably roomier in every way and a better family vehicle as a result IMO. Mine fits two kids in the backseat and two dog kennels in the hatch with enough gear room for day trips hiking. For longer trips with everyone, I will be getting a cargo box for the roof (assuming someone finally sends one to me that is not damaged but that is another story). Noting I have been in the current generation Crosstrek (friend of mine has one). While it is better for space than my 14, it is still far from Outback size.

Since I am sure it will be mentioned, yes the Forester and Outback cost more than the Crosstrek. However, it depends on how you equip them. There is a decent amount of overlap in the price ranges of the vehicles (top trim Crosstrek are comfortably in lower trim Outback territory). Going larger may require stepping down trim levels to keep the price the same, but if you need the space it may be a good tradeoff.
 

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A dog that size should fit. And it should not be a problem for short distances. But the space behind the rear seat is pretty small (my '01 Impreza had more usable space in the hatch area even though the overall dimensions of that car were much less than the Crosstrek) and I do not think it would be fair to the dog to stuff him in there for a long drive. Not only would he have trouble stretching and shifting around, the space can become very warm due to the sun shining through the rear window. When I carry an ice chest in the rear hatch area I have found it necessary to put a multi-layer reflective heat shield atop the chest.
 

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On the heat comment, that is another thing I like about kennels. I run a 12v powered fan on my kennels in the back of my Outback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do not think the total space will be an issue in general (the dog should fit in the space). However, if it will work for you is going to depend a lot on the dog. I have had a calm german shepherd in the back of my 2014 before and it was not an issue. She tended to just lay wherever you put her in a car. A more active/anxious dog may require something to block them from crawling into the backseat (Subaru and others sell an accessory to keep animals in the hatch, but this accessory is not always compatible with kid seats so keep that in mind).

My personal preference is to use kennels in the hatch instead of just putting the dog back there. My dogs seem to be calmer this way and they should be safer if there were an accident (since they will not go flying through the car). I currently have a Gunner Kennel for one dog and a Ruffland for the other. A side door on a Ruffland kennel would probably fit in the 2021 cargo area for a dog that size if it is something you want to consider.

If you need more space back there, I would recommend looking into an Outback or Forester. I have a 14 Crosstrek and a 21 Outback. The Outback is comfortably roomier in every way and a better family vehicle as a result IMO. Mine fits two kids in the backseat and two dog kennels in the hatch with enough gear room for day trips hiking. For longer trips with everyone, I will be getting a cargo box for the roof (assuming someone finally sends one to me that is not damaged but that is another story). Noting I have been in the current generation Crosstrek (friend of mine has one). While it is better for space than my 14, it is still far from Outback size.

Since I am sure it will be mentioned, yes the Forester and Outback cost more than the Crosstrek. However, it depends on how you equip them. There is a decent amount of overlap in the price ranges of the vehicles (top trim Crosstrek are comfortably in lower trim Outback territory). Going larger may require stepping down trim levels to keep the price the same, but if you need the space it may be a good tradeoff.
Thanks for the detail. he is pretty chill in the car, usually just sleeps on longer rides and from what I can tell the space is as large as his crate he sleeps in at home (can’t find exact dimensions but I could measure at the dealer) I have a divider in my current Jeep but honestly not sure he needs it. My wife has a forester so feel weird about having the same car. Love the outback but need to be able to put on longer crossbars…
 

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Love the outback but need to be able to put on longer crossbars…

Not trying to push you to Outback but for awareness…. The Wilderness trim does not have the built in crossbars. Additionally I have seen those with built in crossbars put longer bars on the car. Noting I have heard mixed results on this option. Wider Cross bars solved!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not trying to push you to Outback but for awareness…. The Wilderness trim does not have the built in crossbars. Additionally I have seen those with built in crossbars put longer bars on the car. Noting I have heard mixed results on this option. Wider Cross bars solved!!!!
I was unaware of the wilderness model. That would be the solution if I can convince my bank account
 
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