Full disclosure: I’m more of a cat person. Now that we have that out of the way, I love and adore all animals and will not hesitate to give a dog a good scratch behind the ear if he so desires. I’ve only ever owned two dogs in my life, and I was much too young at the time to have to worry about such things as transportation and getting around with my pooch. And travelling with a cat, well, that just doesn’t happen so it’s not something I ever really consider when I get into a new vehicle; Hmmm, wherever will Fluffykins sit comfortably without scratching the leather surface? It just doesn’t happen. (Of note, I do not own a cat nor have I ever with the name Fluffykins, this I promise you.)
However, I’ve heard that carting a canine around can be quite the task and cause quite the mess in a vehicle’s backseat or trunk. From fur to dirt/mud and everything else the dog drags in (see what I did there?), it can spell disaster for your vehicle interior.
Well, Nissan’s latest engineering concept has taken dog and car ownership jointly to a whole new level. Known as the X-Trail 4Dogs this concept is a Rogue (known as the X-Trail in Europe), their flagship crossover, that’s gone straight to the dogs, quite literally.
Nissan took the time to interview and speak to over 1,300 dog owners about their cars, and nearly 90% agreed that they wished their vehicles were more dog-friendly. And truth be told, Nissan’s not the first to look at this. My recent trip to Utah with Land Rover had engineers explaining how they carefully studied the load height of the trunk to ensure medium to large-size dogs could easily jump up (with ride height adjustment if they struggled a bit). And Volkswagen has recently launched their latest Woofwagen ad campaign that likens their vehicle models to different dog breeds.
It seems Nissan really has taken this dog theme to a whole new level with the X-Trail 4Dogs. The integrated 445-litre cargo-space insert offers everything from a two-way camera system that lets you see Fido and he see you to an integrated doggy ramp, 360-degree pull-out shower (for those extra-muddy walks), dryer, and integrated automatic feed bowl and water bowl, your Rogue’s trunk becomes an ultimate canine retreat.
While only a concept, the ideas in general are actually quite ingenious and much better than simply installing a cage barrier and tethering your dog’s harness to a cargo latch for safety. Will we ever see the X-Trail 4Dogs become a reality or is Nissan barking up the wrong tree?
You knew I’d go there eventually …