Here is the thing. 99% of SUVs - big little compact whatever - do NOT WORK with dogs. Those things are 34-36" from the ground into the cargo space.
Wagons are 22"+/- from the ground into the cargo.
50 lb dog - I'm guessing maybe 18-22 inches at the shoulder.
Might as well ask the dog to jump up onto your kitchen counter as to jump up into the SUV.
So that means lifting the dog in a l l t h e t i m e
THe lowest of all the crossover/SUVs are Honda CR-V (28 inches in through the door onto cargo area folded flat and 24" in through the tailgate) Accura RDX (28" in) and Outback (28" in through door and tailgate) ....maybe the Toyota Rav-4 (haven't gotten around to measuring it)
That is it on the crossover/Suvs that might maybe sort of kinda can work with medium and small dogs and elderly large dogs.
We are having the same problem looking for vehicles - must have a wagon type thing. Small dogs (shelties - 14-16 inches at the shoulder) who can not jump into an SUV and giant breed dogs (28-29 inches at the shoulder and who outweigh me) who can jump in when young but not when older.
Based upon talking to mechanics and the parts departments of the dealers, we have ruled out"
* Any so-called "wagon" that has less than 66 cu ft with the seat down and the size we have now (and barely enough as it is.) That means no Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Mini or Mazda etc.
* Mercedes & Volvo - insane regular routine maintence costs and Volovs eat ball joints at $1500/wheel. Not using a $40000 -60000 car to take the dogs, to fill up with plants & to go to the beach 3 times a week
* Subaru -- mechanics dream if their customer is dumb enough to buy one. Blasted things want a head gasket & timing belt every 75,000 miles (We keep cars until they die.) My current model of cars - total of over 1,000,000 on the various cars we have owned until they quit- NEVER needed a $2500 head gasket! Never needed more than $2000-2400 in extraordinary repairs in as much as 23 years.
* VW - wagons are great until they hit 150,000 then you get lots and lots of 4-figure repair bills
* Prius V - horrible layout inside as you can't see what is outside the right rear quarter panel except by mirrors. No way will I have a touch screenthat controls the heat & AC. That is a $3000-3500 computer monitor + 2 days in the dealer to replaced and not bloodly likely to last over 75K - a $4500 -5000 repair several times during the life of the car. Ditto the hybrid batteries which routinely fail around 100K+ and are a $5400 repair. ANd they like suck in snow.
We will probably have to track down a low miles Acura TSX wagon. They were made between 2011-2014.
Back up alternatives would be the Honda CR-V and Acura RDX. Not that much higher from the ground and maybe I could figure out how to (a) help elderly dogs in who outweigh me and whose torso is bigger than mine and (b) add running boards or something so the younger dogs have an extra step to help them get up and in. They also run forever - easily can hit 300,000 miles - have low maintenance and repairs, the body holds up and I can get themwithout that #$%@ touch screen controllingeverything.
If you don't plan on keeping a car after the warranty ends, then maybe you would be okay with a Subaru or VW