Compact SUVs With the Most Cargo Space in 2020

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By |2020-07-02T08:26:57-04:00June 29, 2020 - 04:54PM|Car Research|
2020 Subaru Forester / Photo Credit: Subaru

2020 Subaru Forester / Photo Credit: Subaru

11 Compact SUVs With the Most Cargo Space in 2020

Key: Vehicle | Max cargo space in cubic feet | Used listings

1. Honda CR-V


2020 Honda CR-V Touring / Photo Credit: Honda

2020 Honda CR-V / Photo Credit: Honda

  • Cargo Space With Rear Seats Folded: 75.8 cu ft
  • 2020 Base Price: $26,170 (including destination charge)

The CR-V not only has more maximum cargo capacity than all of its rivals, but it also has 39.2 cubic feet behind its rear seats, which is impressive for the class. In addition, it has an attractive interior, roomy seats for five people, and well-balanced driving dynamics.

The CR-V returns good fuel economy and comes standard with a full suite of advanced driver-assist systems (ADAS). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named it a 2020 Top Safety Pick.

Research the Honda CR-V | Find a Used Honda CR-V

2. Volkswagen Tiguan


2020 Volkswagen Tiguan

2020 Volkswagen Tiguan / Photo Credit: Volkswagen

  • Cargo Space With Rear Seats Folded: 73.5 cu ft
  • 2020 Base Price: $25,965

The Tiguan is one of the few compact SUVs to come standard with a third row, though it’s only really suitable for kids. The 3-row Tiguan has 12 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 33 cubic feet behind the second row, and 65.7 with all seats folded down.

To get the most cargo room, you have to choose the range-topping 2-row SEL Premium R-Line, which comes standard with all-wheel drive (AWD) and starts at nearly $40,000. It has 37.6 cubic feet behind the rear seats.

The Tiguan is an IIHS 2020 Top Safety Pick and comes with plenty of standard safety and convenience features. It delivers a comfortable ride, but its lone engine lacks adequate power and returns below-average fuel economy.

Research the Volkswagen Tiguan | Find a Used Volkswagen Tiguan

3. Jeep Wrangler 4-Door


Wrangler Unlimited Four-Door

2020 Jeep Wrangler / Photo Credit: Jeep

  • Cargo Space With Rear Seats Folded: 72.4 cu ft
  • 2020 Base Price: $33,290

To get a Wrangler with competitive cargo capacity, you have to choose the 4-door model. The 2-door Wrangler only has 32 cubic feet of total cargo space with its second-row seats folded down. The 4-door model has 32 cubic feet behind its rear seats, in addition to plenty of head- and legroom in both rows.

The Wrangler isn’t upscale, refined, or comfortable to drive, but it’s a beast in off-road situations. It has two powerful engine options, standard four-wheel drive, and user-friendly infotainment features, but no standard ADAS features.

Research the Jeep Wrangler | Find a Used Jeep Wrangler

4. Subaru Forester


2020 Subaru Forester

2020 Subaru Forester / Photo Credit: Subaru

  • Cargo Space With Rear Seats Folded: 70.9 cu ft
  • 2020 Base Price: $25,505

Like the Honda CR-V, the Forester is a great choice for families since it has 35.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats. Sure, its maximum cargo capacity is excellent as well, but many people will be using the area behind the seats on a more regular basis. It’s also important to note that while most Forester models have 70.9 cubic feet of total cargo volume, the base model has 76.1, which is more than any vehicle on this list.

The Forester features spacious seats, standard AWD, and an IIHS 2020 Top Safety Pick+ designation. It comes standard with straightforward infotainment technology and an entire suite of ADAS features. The Forester gets impressive gas mileage, but its engine power is merely adequate.

Research the Subaru Forester | Find a Used Subaru Forester

5. Nissan Rogue


2020 Nissan Rogue / Photo Credit: Nissan

2020 Nissan Rogue / Photo Credit: Nissan

  • Cargo Space With Rear Seats Folded: 70 cu ft
  • 2020 Base Price: $26,395

The Rogue is about halfway down our list since other compact SUVs have more maximum cargo capacity. However, this Nissan boasts more room behind its rear seats than any other vehicle in the class, at 39.3 cubic feet. The Rogue also has a high-quality cabin with generous passenger space and supportive seats in both rows.

The Rogue is an IIHS 2020 Top Safety Pick. It’s packed with standard driver-assist technologies and has an easy-to-use touchscreen infotainment system.

Research the Nissan Rogue | Find a Used Nissan Rogue

6. Toyota RAV4


2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Toyota RAV4 / Photo Credit: Toyota

  • Cargo Space With Rear Seats Folded: 69.8 cu ft
  • 2020 Base Price: $27,070

Toyota completely redesigned the RAV4 for 2019, and it has a bit less cargo space than in its previous generation. Still, it has a sizable 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind its second-row seats. Its cabin is composed of high-grade materials and there’s ample room for adults in both rows.

The RAV4 receives 2020 Top Safety Pick honors from IIHS and comes equipped with a full complement of driver-assist systems. Its touchscreen interface is intuitive and responsive, and its 4-cylinder engine is capable and fuel-efficient despite the lack of a turbocharger.

Research the Toyota RAV4 | Find a Used Toyota RAV4

7. Ford Escape


2020 Ford Escape

2020 Ford Escape / Photo Credit: Ford

  • Cargo Space With Rear Seats Folded: 65.4 cu ft
  • 2020 Base Price: $26,130

The Escape was completely redesigned for 2020. It gets a host of new standard ADAS features and a new lineup of engines, but it has less cargo space than the outgoing model. You’ll find 33.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats, which is still good for the class.

The Escape’s interior isn’t as upscale as rivals’, but it has enough room for taller adults in both rows of seats. Other notable strengths include its engaging overall performance, fuel-efficient base engine, and solid crash test ratings. It’s an IIHS 2020 Top Safety Pick.

Research the Ford Escape | Find a Used Ford Escape

8. Chevrolet Equinox


2020 Chevrolet Equinox

2020 Chevrolet Equinox / Photo Credit: Chevrolet

  • Cargo Space With Rear Seats Folded: 63.9 cu ft
  • 2020 Base Price: $24,995

The Equinox has 29.9 cubic feet of space behind its rear seats, which is enough room for most families’ luggage. Its interior is well-constructed and practical, though there’s a lot of hard plastic. Most adults should have enough room in the rear seats. The Equinox has two fuel-efficient turbo-four engine options, but the base engine is weak for the class.

The Equinox is reasonably priced and loaded with desirable standard features, including a user-friendly touchscreen, smartphone connectivity, and several key ADAS features. The IIHS designated it as a 2020 Top Safety Pick.

Research the Chevrolet Equinox | Find a Used Chevrolet Equinox

9. (tie) GMC Terrain


2020 GMC Terrain

2020 GMC Terrain / Photo Credit: GMC

  • Cargo Space With Rear Seats Folded: 63.3 cu ft
  • 2020 Base Price: $26,195

The Terrain is the Equinox’s corporate cousin, so they’re built on the same platform and similar in many ways. The GMC has the same engine options and the same amount of passenger space as the Chevy, and only marginally less cargo room – 29.6 cubic feet behind the second row.

The Terrain has a more upscale cabin, more standard niceties, and a longer list of driver-assist features than the Equinox. However, it’s more expensive and it’s not an IIHS Top Safety Pick.

Research the GMC Terrain | Find a Used GMC Terrain

9. (tie) Mitsubishi Outlander


2020 Mitsubishi Outlander GT

2020 Mitsubishi Outlander / Photo Credit: Mitsubishi

  • Cargo Space With Rear Seats Folded: 63.3 cu ft
  • 2020 Base Price: $26,090

The Outlander has the same amount of overall cargo volume as the Terrain. It’s the only compact SUV aside from the Volkswagen Tiguan to come with three rows of seats. However, the third row is tight, even for some children. The Outlander has 10.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row and 34.2 behind the second row.

The Outlander struggles to compete against most classmates due to its unimpressive powertrains, uncomfortable seats, unsettled ride, low-grade interior, and dated feature set. It does, however, return good gas mileage, tow more than some rivals, and earn an IIHS 2020 Top Safety Pick designation.

Research the Mitsubishi Outlander | Find a Used Mitsubishi Outlander

11. Hyundai Tucson


2020 Hyundai Tucson

2020 Hyundai Tucson / Photo Credit: Hyundai

  • Cargo Space With Rear Seats Folded: 61.9 cu ft
  • 2020 Base Price: $24,690

Despite being the least expensive compact SUV on our list, the Tucson features a healthy assortment of standard features, a long warranty, and a well-built interior. It’s not as roomy as many compact SUVs, but both rows can accommodate adults. The Tucson has 31 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, which is less than many competitors, but enough for vacation luggage.

The Tucson comes equipped with forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, driver monitoring, and a user-friendly touchscreen infotainment system. Neither of its engine choices is very energetic or fuel-efficient.

Research the Hyundai Tucson | Find a Used Hyundai Tucson

Other Cargo Space Rankings

How We Ranked These Vehicles

Some compact SUVs have enough cargo volume behind the rear seats for a whole family’s luggage. If you’re buying an SUV to transport the family, it makes sense to make sure it will also fit everyone’s gear. Folding the rear seats down in some compact crossovers more than doubles the available space. The Honda CR-V can fit a twin size mattress with the seats folded down. With more than 70 cubic feet of maximum cargo volume, you can move a sizable load of stuff.

We’ve ranked these compact SUVs by their total cargo space with the seats folded down. In addition, we provide information about how much space is available behind each row of seats, as well as overall passenger accommodations. To help you decide which SUV is the best fit for you, we also highlight each vehicle’s key standard features and primary strengths and weaknesses.

All the vehicles on our list of compact SUVs with the most cargo space are 2020 models, but some haven’t been redesigned for a few years, so you can save money by buying a used version. If you decide to buy a used vehicle, be sure to search Carfax’s Used Car Listings. In addition, check each vehicle’s Carfax Vehicle History Report.

If you have questions about this story, please contact us at Editors@carfax.com

About the Author:

I grew up near Detroit and have been surrounded by the automotive industry my entire life. I spent much of my youth attending car shows, rebuilding classic cars and accompanying my father at work-related events at various test tracks, proving grounds and other automotive facilities. I’ve always had an affinity for writing, research and education, so reporting about cars and working to educate people just makes sense. I currently write for U.S. News & World Report and Carfax, and I hold the roles of executive editor and director of communications at InsideEVs. I studied at Central Michigan University and the University of Michigan, as well as VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, IL, where I completed my master’s degree.