While searching for the SUVs, crossovers, sedans, hatchbacks, drop-top convertibles, and longroofs with the most cargo space, we omitted pickup trucks and cargo vans for a reason. This type of vehicles can be loaded in more configurations than passenger cars. In addition to that, workhorses and commercial vehicles are measured in payload rather than cubic feet.
In their respective segment, the following ten vehicles have the most cargo capacity with the seats in place and the most maximum luggage capacity with the seats folded down. Let’s get on with it:Full-Size SUV – Ford Expedition EL (42.6 CuFT and 168 CuFT / 1,206 liters and 4,757 liters)
Based on the Ford T platform, itself based on the P2 truck platform from the 2000s, the Expedition isn’t exactly a thrilling car. It’s a massive gas guzzler with the aerodynamic qualities of a brick. The selling point of the Expedition, especially in EL guise, is the can-do character on and off the beaten track.
42.6 cubic feet of cargo space with all the seats occupied is more than enough for all the family’s belongings. The best thing about the Ford Expedition in EL guise is that you don’t have to make compromises. Some interior trim feels nasty, though, despite the fact that prices start at $48,145.Mid-Size SUV – Toyota 4Runner (47.2 CuFT and 89.7 CuFT / 1,336 liters and 2,540 liters)
Starting at $33,810, the 2016 Toyota 4Runner offers body-on-frame ruggedness and lots of standard equipment. Power adjustments for the driver’s seat, Bluetooth phone connectivity, air conditioning, satellite radio, and a 6.1-inch diagonal Entune touchscreen infotainment system included.
I’m not too enthusiastic about the hard-plastic dashboard and fake metal trim, to be frank. Nevertheless, the 4Runner has a purposeful thing going on, a utilitarian design that can’t be paralleled by any mid-size segment rivals. A word of warning, though – the third-row seats of the 4Runner SR5 and Limited models are inhospitable to adults unless they’ve mastered the Lotus position.Compact SUV – Subaru Forester (34.4 CuFT and 74.7 CuFT / 974 liters and 2,115 liters)
Many automotive journalists have bashed the 2016 model year Subaru Forester for the standard 6.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system that knows how to HD Radio. Are they mad? I wonder if these guys also complain about the size of their phones, especially when they use the navigation app.
Something the automotive media didn’t complain about is the space with or without the seats up, as well as the engine lineup. Be it the 2.5-liter boxer or the 2.0-liter turbo boxer, you can’t go wrong with the Forester. As an added bonus, even the $22,395 entry-level Forester comes with Symmetrical AWD.Subcompact SUV – Honda HR-V (24.3 CuFT and 58.8 CuFT / 688 liters and 1,665 liters)
On Mother’s Day, you can buy a potted tree for the most important woman in your life (other than your S.O.) and store it upright in the HR-V. All you have to do is fold the seat bottom up for almost 4 feet of vertical space. The Jeep Renegade may be more competitively priced than the Honda HR-V, but there’s a catch. The Honda model is far better equipped than the Jeep.
Curious about the key features of the entry-level Renegade? The list consists of four things I can hardly define as key features: the 1.4-liter turbo engine, premium cloth seating, personalized instrument cluster, and remote keyless entry. Nice effort, Jeep, but Honda offers so much more than that.Minivan – Toyota Sienna 7-Passenger (39.1 CuFT and 150 CuFT / 1,107 liters and 4,247 liters)
Its packing possibilities are as generous as it gets. From 39.1 cubic feet behind the third row to 150 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded flat into the floor, the Sienna is both minivan and van. The flexible seating also helps with offering the ideal combo of passenger comfort and cargo capacity.
The mid-cycle revamp of the Sienna made it better than before, partly because Toyota improved the quality of the interior and the ergonomics. It may not live up to its “Swagger Wagon” punchline because it’s dull, but the 2016 model year Toyota Sienna is all the minivan you could ever wish for.Full-Size Car – Tesla Model S (31.6 CuFT and 63.4 CuFT / 894 liters and 1,795 liters)
The Tesla Model S is a case in point that electric cars don’t have to be compromised as far as space is concerned. Then again, the real magic of owning a Tesla lies within its capabilities. 288 miles of range for the 90D isn’t too shabby. In fact, it’s the best EPA-rated range offered by an all-electric car.
As a large family sedan, the Tesla Model S is great. As an electric car, the Model S is a mold for all other manufacturers with electrified ambitions. The only downside to that beautiful body shell is that rear passengers taller than 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 meters) will brush their head against the headliner.Mid-Size Car – Subaru Outback (35.5 CuFT and 73.3 CuFT / 1,005 liters and 2,075 liters)
Of course, everybody wants a rally-spec Impreza or a WRX STI with a big spoiler, but the Outback differs from its brothers because it is a car that one needs. The fair handling on pavement and the ability to scurry along unsurfaced roads come as fringe benefits of the family-oriented longroof.
So how come a generously equipped wagon as capable as the Outback starts at $24,995 in the United States? The explanation is Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc., the manufacturing facility where the Japanese outfit makes the Outback, Legacy, and Impreza, along with the facelifted Toyota Camry.Compact Car – Volkswagen Golf SportWagen (30.4 CuFT and 66.5 CuFT / 860 liters and 1,883 liters)
The highlight feature, however, is how much room is available behind the rear seats and with the seats folded flat. To understand how much junk you can fit inside the SportWagen, I’ll mention that its maximum luggage capacity trumps the Touareg SUV by 2.5 cubic feet. With the seats folded.
Don’t go for the entry-level S model ($21,625), though, because that one is more empty-handed than a bum. The next best thing is the SE, which is a lot more expensive: $27,025. A little too pricey for a compact longroof in my book, more than an abundantly appointed Mitsubishi Outlander SEL S-AWC.Subcompact Car – Hyundai Accent Hatchback (21.2 CuFT and 47.5 CuFT / 600 liters and 1,345 liters)
From the get-go, Hyundai developed the Accent to feel bigger inside than it looks outside. That’s why the EPA boffins classified the sedan as a compact instead of a subcompact. The thing is, the sedan offers 13.7 cubic feet with the rear seats up while its hatchback brother boasts 21.2 cubic feet.
Packaging is the name of the game here. As if that weren’t enough, the Hyundai Accent Hatchback can do better with its maximum cargo volume of 47.5 cubic feet. For more cargo volume, you will have to go for the Honda Fit (52.7 cubic feet / 1,492 liters), a model that’s almost a grand more expensive. Convertible Car – Mercedes-Benz SL-Class (13.5 CuFT / 382 liters)
The current Mercedes-Benz SL, on the other hand, is far from that. As fate would have it, the SL gradually transitioned from being a race car with number plates road to a fat bruiser with a heavy retractable hardtop. I don’t mind the change of heart, though, because the SL is brilliant at what it does.
Going on a cross-country road trip by convertible also implies the need to store a pair of socks and a wash bag. Curiously enough, the SL offers the most luggage capacity of any other convertible on sale in the United States, even compared to the Euro-spec Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet (12.3 CuFT / 350 l).Fun fact:
The car with the least cargo capacity in the list is the most expensive ($85,050 for the SL400).