Considering that few other types of vehicles match the practicality of the crossover and SUV market, finding the SUVs with the most cargo space can actually be quite challenging. The numbers are huge, far more than any sedan or hatchback could hope to meet, but size alone is no indicator. Even the largest SUVs might have less storage volume allocated to the trunk than smaller crossovers, and there are many factors that contribute to cargo space, not the least of which is how many seats there are. That’s not to say that dimensions don’t matter, though. Let’s have a look at the characteristics of SUVs with the largest cargo spaces.
Styles of SUV and Crossover With The Most Cargo Space
There are many different types of SUVs and crossovers in the USA, but some are better suited to hauling people than cargo, and vice versa. However, an SUV with a big trunk can still be great for moving people. Here are the most common types of SUVs, and what each vehicle brings to the table:
Crossovers: These are the city runabouts and generally fall into the subcompact, compact, and midsize categories. Two-row seating is the most common in a CUV, but this also means that there is equal focus on people and stuff, with sufficient cargo space behind the rear seats. Balance is the key here. They are still high-riders, but since they aren’t meant to go off-road, crossovers generally have comfortable loading heights.
Three-row SUVs: You can find seating for up to seven or eight people in midsize or large SUVs, but if you want to stow cargo, bigger is better. Smaller three-row models generally make huge sacrifices in the back to squeeze in the extra row. However, you can find an SUV with large trunk space even with three rows. However, you normally have to fold the third row down to exceed what the crossovers offer.
Off-roaders: Not all SUVs are made for venturing off the beaten path, but those that are generally like to supply a fair amount of room for cargo. This makes them ideal campers, but even if you don’t get an SUV with big trunk space, you can normally count on a decent towing capacity. This means that anything you lose out on in the back can be made up for with a trailer.
Characteristics of An SUV With a Big Trunk
Automakers generally try to give the best of all worlds. But, practicality is what separates crossovers and SUVs from the competition, and some brands like to lean a little more into that aspect. This is what leads to the SUVs with the most cargo room. Within this specialized subsegment, these are the qualities that set the mediocre apart from the SUV models with the best cargo space.
Biggest cargo area behind the rear seats in the segment
Large-opening trunk for easy access, often hands-free and power-operated
Underfloor storage for extra utility
Fold-flat seats for maximum storage
Rear passengers might have to sacrifice legroom
A small engine might not be able to handle too much cargo
Measurements optimized for space might compromise handling
What is the SUV with the most cargo capacity?
Naturally, the largest SUVs have the most space, like the Chevrolet Traverse, which supplies 23 cubic feet with all the seats in place, and 57.8 cu. ft. with the third row folded. However, some midsize models can almost match this, like the Honda Passport with its 50.5 cu. ft. maximum capacity.
What small crossover can carry the most cargo?
Despite their smaller overall size, crossovers are phenomenally practical. The Honda CR-V was one of the top sellers for a long time, and it still remains one of the most practical options. With all the seats in place, it can handle 39 cubic feet of cargo, and up to 76 cu. ft. if you don’t need the rear seats.
Which is the best SUV to sleep in?
Sometimes, what you’ll be storing in the back of your car won’t be stuff, but rather people. Overall capacity isn’t the most important thing here. If you’re going to sleep in the back of your SUV, you need a certain amount of floor length and width. These vehicles are generally great campers, too, and include the likes of the GMC Arcadia, Ford Expedition, and the VW Atlas.
What’s the difference between payload and cargo capacity?
While cargo capacity refers to the volume of stuff you can fit into a certain area, payload refers to the actual weight of the stuff you’re packing in there. This is usually expressed in pounds. For example, the Cadillac Escalade can carry between 1,620 and 1,647 lbs of weight, depending on configuration.
Is a two-row SUV better than a three-row SUV?
Depending on what your needs are, both two- and three-row SUVs have their benefits. Cars with two rows tend to have a little more space allocated for cargo in the trunk but can only carry five passengers at most. Those with a third row can haul more people, but at the sacrifice of much less space in the trunk.