) -- Mitt Romney might be president today if he somehow could have owned one of the cars on Edmunds.com's new
Top Dogs for Pet Safety
"He'd have fared a lot better with pet owners -- and there are a lot of pet owners in America," says Warren Clarke, one of the editors at the popular car-buying site that recently hosted a rundown of 2013's most animal-friendly vehicles.
Romney drew howls of protest during the 2012 presidential campaign for admitting to transporting his dog in a roof carrier during a 1983 driving vacation rather than putting the pooch in the family car.
While supposedly a sign of the Republican candidate's logical mind, the incident made Romney seem cold-hearted to many animal lovers -- and one poll found the story made 35% of Americans less likely to vote for him.
If Mitt wants to make another run for the White House in 2016, the cars on
"Top Dogs" list all offer plenty of cabin space for the Romney family dog.
Recommended vehicles also generally feature fold-flat seats for easy pet-carrier storage, as well as big doors for convenient animal access. Most models also have side-curtain airbags for animal (and human) safety, while some even boast built-in coolers or refrigerators for pet-food storage.
Clarke says such features make Edmunds' "Top Dogs" good choices not just for four-legged passengers, but two-legged ones as well.
"These are all vehicles that we recommend above and beyond the fact that they're good for pets," he says.
Click below for a look at the five least-expensive cars on Edmunds' pet-friendly list, arranged in order of manufacturers' suggested retail prices for 2013 base models.