Best Small SUVs for Traveling With Luggage

These compact models have the most cargo room, according to Consumer Reports' tests

2019 Honda CR-V Photo: Honda

Automakers tout the family-friendliness of their SUVs, particularly how much room there is for sports equipment, luggage, or other cargo. While they highlight the overall luggage capacity in cubic feet, not all of it is necessarily usable space. Having an interior that—on paper—offers a lot of room doesn’t do an owner much good if the cargo opening is narrow, short, or oddly shaped.

Consumer Reports’ auto experts evaluate cargo room differently. For SUVs, we use an expandable rectangular pipe-frame “box.” We enlarge it enough to just fit through the rear opening and extend it into the cargo bay as far as possible without preventing the hatch from closing. Cargo capacity is the volume enclosed by that box. This gives consumers a better idea of the cargo they can fit in the back, whether it’s luggage for a trip or a big-screen TV from an electronics store. (Learn more about how Consumer Reports tests cars.)

Below, we’ve identified seven compact SUVs with the most usable cargo room based on this testing process. They’re ranked in order of cargo room in cubic feet, with the top performer first. One model is still in testing and doesn’t have its final Overall Score.

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We also indicate if they come with forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), and blind spot warning (BSW) as standard or optional equipment.

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