Small doesn’t have to mean skimping on cargo volume if you check out these Best Small SUVs with Most Cargo Space:

  • Toyota RAV4Hands down, the 2010 Toyota RAV4 compact SUV boasts the largest cargo capacity in the class – 73.0 cubic feet of volume behind the front seats. Behind the middle seat (without the optional 3rd row), is 36.4 cubic feet.  Best bet: Ditch the 3rd seat, which only has 12.3 cubic feet of volume behind it and is suitable only for a child. Seats fold flat into the floor, a good feature, but the side-opening rear door may be cumbersome in tight spots. Edmunds remarks: “To configure the RAV4 for cargo, all you need to do is flip a lever. There is no need to remove headrests or fold up seat cushions to get a flat load floor that can hold a maximum of 73 cubic feet of cargo. This is bigger than several other midsize SUVs. The load floor is also low for this class, which minimizes the strain of loading a week’s worth of groceries.”
  • Mitsubishi OutlanderThe only other compact SUV to offer an optional 3rd row seat, the redesigned 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander is close behind the RAV4 in terms of cargo volume: 72.6 cubic feet behind the front seats. Consumer Guide notes: “Space is surprisingly good behind the 3rd-row seat in the XLS and GT. 2nd-row seats fold easily. The 2nd row is split 60/40 and it folds forward to create a flat load floor. The 3rd-row seat is difficult and tedious to deploy and stow, but creates a flat load floor when stowed. Outlander’s liftgate is comprised of a clamshell design that creates a handy drop-down tailgate section that can hold up to 400 pounds. Access to the cargo area is easy even with the drop-down part of the tailgate raised.”
  • Honda CR-VThe 5-passenger Honda CR-V provides 72.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity with rear seat folded, and 35.7 cubic feet of volume with it up. CR-V’s easy-to-use rear hatch is an advantage over the RAV4’s rear door that has to swing sideways. Seats also tumble forward in 3 sections, making flexibility a strong selling point. Consumer Guide gives CR-V a Best Buy nod and says: “With the rear seats up, cargo space is generous. The rear seats fold in a 40/20/40 configuration for added flexibility. They also fold and tumble forward in a 60/40 split, but in this arrangement, the seat must be held in place with an inconvenient clip.”
  • Subaru ForesterNo slouch when it comes to cargo capacity, the 2010 Subaru Forester has  68.3 cubic feet of storage with rear seats folded and 33.5 cubic feet  with the 60/40-split rear seatback raised. Forester also features a long cargo floor and the vehicle is not too far off the ground, making loading and unloading items easier. Edmunds comments: “The Forester is one of the most spacious vehicles in the segment, comparing favorably with the RAV4, CR-V, and Mitsubishi Outlander, all of which bridge the gap between compact and midsize SUVs. Like all Subaru models, Forester comes with standard all-wheel drive.

Also check out Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner, Mazda Tribute, Hyundai Tucson, and Kia Sportage.

Search used cars for sale and find the best deals near you at
To get a FREE iSeeCars VIN Report for a car, click here.