We’ve taken the best selling small, mid and large SUVs and compared their backsides to see which has the biggest booty.
How boots are measured
Boot space, unfortunately, is not measured in by length and width; it’s either litres, or the cubic-foot measurement equivalent of a litre.
This does not help if you need to fit a 2.0-metre-long Ikea flatpack or a couple of chairs, and also does not take into account a narrower space, wheel arches eating into the cargo area, or how high one can stack one’s stuff.
So when car-hunting, be aware of what you will be carrying and have a tape measure handy to ensure the boot accommodates your needs.
Seats up - 437L | Seats down - 1462L
The Honda HR-V was one of the original small SUVs, and its old boxy shape had a big square boot for stacking your stuff. The current-model is slicker and much curvier and manages to keep that practical back end without the boxiness, boasting 437 litres; one of the largest in this class.
Seats up - 433L | 900L
With a full-size spare wheel, Kia's foray into the Aussie small-car market almost matches the Honda HRV with a 433-litre boot that expands to 900 litres with the back seatbacks folded down. The entry-level Seltos S variant has a space-saver spare that adds another 65 litres under the fold-up boot floor.
Seats up - 430L | Seats down - 1585L
The Qashqai features a storage compartment under the boot floor for bits and bobs to bring cargo storage to near class-leading size. The tailgate opens quite high too, making it even easier to use.
Seats up - 393L | Seats down - 1193L man/1143L auto
The ASX's exterior shape hides a big, boxy boot with a large opening for access. The boot does have some awkward bulges near the wheel arches that eat into the physical boot space ever so slightly; if you need a certain width in the cargo area, take a tape measure to the showroom. With the second row seats down the capacity varies between the manual and automatic versions, but each will accommodate an object up to 1.47m long.
Seats up - 361L | Seats down - 1143L
With the second-row seats upright, the Kona’s cargo bay holds 361-litres with cover in place, which is about the average size for a small SUV. With the second-row seats folded down the capacity is 1143 litres. The rear opening is nice and wide to help with loading bulky objects.
Seats up - 310L | Seats down – 765L
The XV has a surprisingly small boot on paper; though the floor hides a full-size spare instead of a can of goo, and its low lip makes it easy to load and unload. If you are buying or upgrading to an SUV to have more carrying space, this may not suit your needs.
Seats up - 264L | Seats down - 1174L
The CX-3 certainly lives up to its compact SUV tag when it comes storage space. An excellent car with a dynamic drivetrain and easy affordability and servicing, its boot space has come off second-best to the second row of seats. It may be roomy for the human occupants, but its cargo volume is comparable to a lite hatch at 264 litres. The seats do split-fold to open the area up to almost 1200L, but if you need to carry two kids or a dog with a weekend’s luggage, you may be investing in roof racks.
Other small SUVs (seats up)
- Ford EcoSport - 346L
- Holden Trax - 356L
- Jeep Compass - 438L
- Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross - 341L
- Toyota C-HR - 377L
Seats up - 580L (542L - with full-size spare) | Seats down - 1690L
Toyota has always been big on the storage solutions, and the big-selling RAV4 is no exception with the cargo area up by 33 litres from the previous model to 580L, or 542L with the optional full-sized spare tyre in the entry-level GX version. It also gets a cargo tie down hooks/rings as standard.
Seats up 565L (135L 3 rows) | Seats down – 945 (825L 7 seater)
The X-Trail always has been popular for its pure practicality, and the back end does not disappoint. While it has a narrow 135L of storage behind the third row of seats where fitted – to be expected in the medium class – there is capacious and stackable storage at 565L with just the five seats. Fold all flat, and the space is close to 2000L. Storage drawers under the floor are handy for messy or fiddly gear, and a sweet ‘Divide ’n’ Hide’ stackable storage system for the five-seaters lets you partition the boot for multiple items.
Seats up - 498L | Seats down - 1768L
With the rear seats in place, the Forester's boot accommodates 498 litres of stuff and expands to 1768 litres with the 40/60-split seats folded. The load opening measures 1258mm wide between the tail-lights and the widest point of the luggage area is up to 1300mm – enough to fit a golf bag sideways.
Seats up - 488L | Seats down - 1478L
The current Tucson is a far cry from the old, mid-2000s, barely mid-sized SUV that used to wear the badge. All Tucson’s come with a full-size spare tyre which eats into capacity, but it's still 54-litres shy of RAV4 with a proper spare
Seats up 477L (128L 3 rows)| Seats down - 1608L
The Mitsubishi Outlander is another medium SUV that manages to fit seven seats in the back of some variants, though, unlike the X-Trail, it has a pretty tight boot to begin with. In five-seat mode it’s tighter than the Tucson, but pips that Hyundai with all seats folded down.
Seats up - 442L | Seats down - 1342L
The second-generation CX-5 saw an increase in cargo space, but it’s still below par compared to its main rivals. With the seats up, the boot is narrow buy it does have a tri-fold second row so families with two car seats can still stow all the skis.
Other medium SUVs (seats up)
- Ford Escape - 406L
- Holden Equinox - 846L
- Honda CR-V - 522L
- Kia Sportage - 446L
- Renault Koleos - 458L
- Volkswagen Tiguan - 615L
READ NEXT: Boot sizes of Australia's favourite sedans
Seats up - 1042L (292L - 3 rows) | Seats down - 2102L
Holden's big American-built Acadia does boot space well. With all seats in place, the boot holds 292 litres which expands to a capacious 1042 litres with the third row folded down. Fold down both the third and second rows and you can stash up to 2102 litres of gear behind the front seats. Additional capacity can be found in under-floor tubs in front of the second-row seats.
Seats up - 810L (230L - 3 rows) | Seats down – 1641L
There’s 230 litres of luggage space behind the CX-9's third row, which is slightly less than you get Mazda2 hatchback. In five-seater mode, however, with the 50/50 third-row backrests folded flat, there’s a substantial 810 litres, which really is a family-sized cargo hold. And in van mode, with both the third and (60/40) second rows folded away you get a decent 1641 litres of space.
Seats up - 620L (120L - 3 rows) | Seats down – 1833L
The Prado has all the hallmark advantages of a Toyota 4x4 – ability, reliability, affordable running costs, storage absolutely everywhere – without the enormous exterior dimensions (or price tag) of the full-blown Landcruiser 200 Series. However, it's boot size, while substantial, is considerably less the Acadia and CX-9, which would surprise some.
Seats up – 547L | (130L 3 rows) Seats down – 1647L
Boot space in the new 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe holds more than the previous model. With all seven seats in use there is only 130 litres of boot space, which is less than a third of most small hatchbacks, but there is some additional space under the floor for small items. The 50-50 split-fold third row retracts into the floor, to create a broad, flat luggage space, while the middle row seats split-fold in a 40-20-40 configuration, which is great for flexibility.
Seats up – 529L (195L - 3 rows) | Seats down – 1872L
A compact rear suspension allows the Kluger to boast 529L even with a third row of seats and a full-sized spare wedged under the floor. With the third row in place, the boot still packs a respectable 195L to allow school bags to be stacked and stowed.
Seats up – 512L | Seats down – 1801L
More a crossover than an SUV, the Outback offers the best of both worlds with a wagon boot and the high ride height and approach/departure angles of SUVs. The latest update saw it increase in length and width to offer even more second-row and boot space – though you would need to check the interior height of the boot if bulky items are to be carried.