CR recently published a list of the nine compact and subcompact SUVs that have the most usable cargo room based on its unique testing procedure. The publication tests a vehicle’s cargo space by taking an expandable rectangular pipe-frame box and fitting it through the rear opening in the vehicle. The box is then expanded into the cargo bay as far as possible without prevent the hatch from closing. The vehicle’s total usable cargo capacity is the volume enclosed by the pipe-frame box. CR does this to ensure a vehicle not only has adequate space inside, but also a large enough cargo opening for loading and unloading. “Having a lot of space doesn’t do much good if the cargo opening is narrow, short, or oddly shaped,” the publication says.
According to CR’s measurements, the GMC Terrain has 33 cubic feet of usable cargo room, which is about two inches more than the closely related Chevy Equinox. CR’s experts say the Terrain’s rear seat is “similarly roomy,” making it even more appealing to travellers and road trippers with luggage. The Terrain was ranked one spot behind the Honda CR-V in this luggage-focused analysis, which boasts 36 cubic feet of usable cargo space. It narrowly beat out the 2021 VW Tiguan, as well, which has identical cargo space of 33 cubic feet but lost some points due to its below average reliability, making it a tougher sell for road trippers.
The best small SUV for cargo space is the Hyundai Tucson, which boasts 39 cubic feet of cargo space, followed by the Nissan Rogue with 36 cubic feet of space and the Subaru Forester with 36.5 cubic feet of space.