CARS.COM — The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan has a maximum 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the backseat and 73.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the backseat folded — but what does that really look like? Specifications like cargo volume can be misleading, so during Cars.com's 2017 Compact SUV Challenge, we placed a standard set of cargo items in each cargo area to visualize the differences between the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox, 2017 Ford Escape, 2017 Honda CR-V, 2017 Jeep Compass, 2017 Mazda CX-5, 2017.5 Nissan Rogue and Volkswagen's 2018 Tiguan.
Cargo included a 23-inch adult bicycle and an adjustable cardboard box tested in two sizes: 37 inches long, 6 inches wide and 41 inches tall, which we fit behind the backseat, and an expanded 70-by-6-by-41 inches, which we fit with the backseat folded. And to top it off, a pair of golf bags. Though we laid the cardboard box flat for visualization of the cargo area, general practice for transporting a cardboard box like ours with a flat-screen TV inside is to keep the TV upright.
The VW reigned king of cargo usability despite not having the highest specs in any cargo category. It fit the small box behind the third row while keeping the second row seating usable for passengers, which no other SUV in this test could do. There's a lot of room, and it's flat, wide and not obstructed by wheel wells or cargo management systems. The cargo area also has backseat releases to fold the backseat flat. There's no question the Tiguan is the one you want if you need the most cargo room. This SE model didn't have a power liftgate unlike all the others in the test, though it is available on more expensive versions of the Tiguan.