Editor’s note: Since publishing this story, Cars.com has developed new, more robust methodology for evaluating cargo space. See our full results on SUVs and other vehicle classes for vehicles from the 2020 model year onward. The figures below represent earlier methodology and cannot be compared to our current as-tested cargo figures.
Cars.com editors judged many categories in our 2020 3-Row SUV Challenge, but cargo space is one area bound to stick out for SUV shoppers. Automakers market their own cargo specs, but inconsistent methodology makes for unreliable comparisons. We calculated our own cargo volumes, measuring major dimensions behind each SUV’s second and third rows. Space alone doesn’t fully illustrate an SUV’s cargo setup, so we considered other cargo aids, too: powered and hands-free liftgates, cargo-area controls to fold the seats, additional under-floor cargo space, a sliding second row and cargo depth with all seats folded.
Some of those items, like powered liftgates and sliding second-row seats, came on all the SUVs we tested, so we’ll instead detail the differences. Our calculated volumes account for 20 out of the category’s 30 total points. The category’s remaining 10 points come from those cargo aids. As such, our well-equipped test cars fell into two different groups: those with strong cargo credentials and those without.