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.
The second row of seats in the T-Cross can slide 140mm fore and aft which can vary boot space between 385-455 litres. Folding the rear seats flat expands cargo-carrying capacity to 1281 litres. They also fold individually in a 60:40 split which adds flexibility for combining rear passengers with long loads
The front-wheel-drive Yaris Cross versions come with a very handy 390-litre boot while opting for all-wheel-drive traction brings just 314 litres. The front drivers gain the extra space via a 60:40-split false floor that provides more depth. All versions feature a 40/20/40-split rear seat with each individual section able to be folded flat to increase the rear luggage space.
With the second-row seats upright, the Venue’s cargo bay holds 355-litres with cover in place, which is just 6.0-litres less than its bigger Kona sibling. Boot capacity is helped by the two-stage boot floor which can be lowered. The parcel shelf can be tucked away neatly behind the rear seats with ease to accommodate taller items. With the rear seats down it can carry up 903 litres of stuff.
The Stonic's cargo area is 28 litres bigger than the Rio hatchback on which it's based. Putting both 60:40 split/fold seats down means you can fit up to 1155 litres of stuff. The boot space itself has a deep floor due to only having to fit a space-saver spare wheel underneath.
The CX-3 certainly lives up to its compact SUV tag when it comes to 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 just 264 litres. The seats do split-fold to open the area up to 1174 litres, but if you need to carry two kids or a dog with a worth of weekend’s luggage, you may need to invest in roof racks.
Other light SUVs
- Nissan Juke - 422 litres
- Ford Puma - 410 litres
- Citroen C3 Aircross - 410 litres
- Suzuki Ignis - 271 litres
- Suzuki Jimny- 81 litres
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. Fold the rear seats down brings up to 1585 litres.
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 at 1193 and 1143 litres respectively, but each will accommodate an object up to 1.47m long.
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.
The ZS's boot space is shallow and narrow but managed to hold a handy 359 litres that expands up to 1166 litres with the rear seats folded down. The ZS EV has the same sized boot as the petrol versions as does new and more powerful ZST.
Opening the tailgate reveals a 317-litre boot space that’s a little tight for a small SUV, however extra storage under the boot floor extends capacity to 430 litres. The rear seats can split 60:40 to help you carry up to 1406 litres.
Other small SUVs
- Renault Captur - 536 litres
- Audi Q3 - 533 litres
- Jeep Compass - 438 litres
- Honda HRV - 437 litres
- Kia Seltos - 433 litres
- Toyota C-HR - 377 litres
- Suzuki Vitara - 375 litres
- Nissan Juke - 354 litres
- Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross - 341 litres
- Subaru XV - 310 litres
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. Folding the rear seats will let you haul up to 1690 litres of cargo.
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 2000 litres. 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.
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.
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 477-litre boot to begin with which means there are just 128 litres to play with with all three rows in use. With the second-row seats folded capacity increases up to 1609 litres.
Like most Mazdas, the CX-5 is below par compared to its main rivals when it comes to boot space. With the seats up, the boot is narrow but it does have a trifold second row, so families with two car seats can still stow all the skis. With no one in the second row, you can carry up to 1342 litres.
Other medium SUVs
- Mercedes-Benz GLB - 565-litres
- Ford Escape - 526 litres
- Honda CR-V - 522 litres
- Hyundai Tucson - 488 litres
- MG HS - 463 litres
- Kia Sportage - 446 litres
- Renault Koleos - 458 litres
- Volkswagen Tiguan - 615 litres
The luggage area, which is accessed via a single top-hinged tailgate, is not as big as it seems from the outside of the car because the third-row seats, even when folded down, eat into the available space. With the third row in use, there is 235 litres behind the seats or enough room for a few soft bags. On a more positive note, the three-person middle row of seats folds 60/40 and the two-person third-row folds 50/50. That adds versatility, allowing you to tailor the car’s interior for carrying people or gear or both.
The luggage space behind the CX-9's third row is 230 litres, which is slightly less than you get in a 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.
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, its boot size, while substantial, is considerably less CX-9, which would surprise some. With three rows up there is just 120-litres of space and with the third and second rows down it will carry up to 1833 litres.
571 litres 547L
The minimum cargo space in the Santa Fe with all three rows up is 130 litres. That expands to 571 litres when the third row is folded flat and represents a 24-litre increase on the previous model. Fold the second row down and Hyundai says it will hold 1649 litres worth of cargo.
The 60:40 split seats fold down to increase boot space from 522 litres to up to 1267 litres – this can be done easily when standing at the tailgate using quick-release latches. The boot is deep and wide but a little shallow if using the pull-out cover. There are pop-out hooks to secure your load, a 12-volt socket to plug in a car fridge or other appliances and a bright LED light.
Other large SUVs (five-seat configuration)
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