Fifth-least-expensive pet-friendly car: Mitsubishi Outlander
Base price: $22,695

This small crossover sport utility vehicle gets the nod primarily because its second- and third-row seats fold flat, creating a generous 72.6 cubic feet of cargo space for pet carriers, dog-food bags and the like.

Clarke says the model also has lots of storage compartments perfect for things such as pet toys -- a good safety feature.

"It's a bad idea to keep things loose in a car cabin when traveling with pets, because they can fly around and injure your animal if you get in an accident," he says.

The Outlander also comes standard with a tailgate that can hold up to 440 pounds, perfect for getting Fido in and out of your vehicle or taking him along on a tailgate party.

Another bonus: Mitsubishi plans to roll out a completely resigned Outlander this year as a 2014 model, so you should be able to find good deals on the current version as 2013 wears on.

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