Third-least-expensive pet-friendly car: Hyundai Tucson
Base price: $19,395

Your pet will be plenty cool traveling on hot days in the Hyundai Tucson, thanks to its multizone climate system and privacy glass that helps block the sun's rays. (Just make sure you don't leave animals unattended in a hot, parked car.)

The Tucson, a compact crossover SUV, also features fold-down rear seats that make carrying animals and pet accessories easy.

On the downside, the five-passenger Tucson has only 55.8 cubic feet of cargo space -- far less than rivals such as the Honda ( HMC) CR-V or Toyota ( TM) RAV4. Clarke adds that the Hyundai comes with a firm, sporty suspension that not all drivers like.

"The Tucson is a good choice if you're looking for something sporty and fun," he says. "But if you're looking for the most comfortable ride quality, you might be disappointed."

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