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Toyota Has the Single Best Feature for Dog Owners

When it comes to dogs, owners tend to do whatever it takes to make their dogs happy. As the caretaker to two retired racing greyhounds, I know this very well. My wife and I find ourselves catering to our “kids” much more than either of us would like to admit — and many of you are in the same boat.

When my wife’s Lexus RX350 was rear ended a few weeks ago, we worried it might be totaled. In the meantime, the search for a new car commenced. The insurance company ultimately deemed the car to be repairable — but in that search, we started ranking what was not only important to us, but what would be important to transportation of our large canines.

As we searched, two features in the current RX came to mind as important on our next vehicle: the power liftgate and the flat-folding seats. The power liftgate allowed us to hold the hounds back (who love jumping in cars) before the door opens, while flat-folding seats gave the dogs room to spread out on longer trips. But as a lifelong Toyota and Lexus guy, I knew there was one more feature out there in the Toyota family that surpassed these two in every way. This feature?

The sliding rear window.

We’ve mentioned this feature before, but I wanted to reinforce how great this is for pooches. While most manufacturers have rear hatch windows that pop up, Toyota’s rear windows famously slide down into the gate just like any other door on the vehicle. This allows dogs to put their heads out the window without having to be in the backseat. If your dog’s breath stinks as bad as my dogs’ does, the rear window can be lowered at any time for quick evacuation of the toxic dog breath gases.

If you’re in the market for a new dog hauler, you can pick up any generation of Tundra, Sequoia or 4Runner and it will come with this feature. The Tundra is not as dog friendly, as the rear seats get in the way when folded up or down, but the Sequoia and 4Runner are both Grade A purchases that your pup will approve of.

You can find your very own mobile Puppy Palace on Autotrader right here.

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  1. I have owned three 4Runners (two 1999s and one 2016) and I think this is one of the best things ever. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to haul plywood or long 2x4s and instead of having the rear gate open (or putting the wood on the roof, which doesn’t bode well on an overland vehicle with gear up there) I simply drop the rear window and lay the wood on the window sill, and don’t have to listen to the vehicle freaking out because it has a door open or worry about having to strap the rear door down as well. 

  2. The rolldown back glass in the 4Runners and Sequoias of nowadays first occurred (in the Toyota line) in 1984 with the introduction of the RN60 4Runner. Solely based off of Toyota’s truck from the same era, Toyota literally just took the truck’s chassis, and mounted the truck front with the rear integrated in it. Thus, they also needed a window so they could also take the roof off. 

    Some fun facts: All 4Runners from 1984 to 1989 were 4WD, and had a roll bar in the rear.
  3. I don’t understand why the other manufacturers don’t do this. It’s awesome and seems like it would be simple to implement.

    • I have owned a few vehicles with this features, and the window invariably gets stuck in the tailgate. That is probably why it is not too common.

      It is now being used in some pickup trucks…

      for the back window where there is no tailgate to get bent and prevent the window from moving.

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