Which midsize SUVs have the most cargo space to carry luggage, packages, or even a big-screen television? A new ranking from Consumer Reports (by subscription) did a study and picked the best midsize 2-Row, and 3-Row SUVs with the most cargo room to fit your family and your groceries, sports equipment, and luggage when you take road trips.
CR says they evaluate cargo room differently. For SUVs, they use an expandable rectangular pipe-frame “box.” They enlarge it enough to 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. CR says, “This gives consumers a better idea of the cargo they can fit in the back.”
CR’s best midsize SUVs are ranked in order of cargo room in cubic feet, with the top performer first. Note that not every vehicle is recommended by Consumer Reports. This may be because of below-average reliability or a too-low Overall Score. However, the Outback and Ascent are recommended by CR and ranked high in safety technology, have good reliability and offer fuel efficiency.
The best 2-Row SUVs
The Jeep Wrangler is ranked best, followed by the Ford Bronco, Ford Edge, Honda Passport, Subaru Outback, and Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport.
The best 3-Row SUVs
The Chevrolet Traverse is ranked best, followed by the Volkswagen Atlas, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Jeep Grand Cherokee L, Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota 4Runner, Dodge Durango, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and Subaru Ascent.
What does CR say about the 2023 Outback?
“Subaru’s Outback is a smart alternative to an SUV. Although lower than a typical SUV, it can easily haul long items and has a competitive 37 cubic feet of usable cargo room. The base 2.5-liter four-cylinder does the job but can feel strained when quicker speed is needed. The optional 260-hp, 2.4-liter turbo engine has effortless acceleration. The ride is very comfortable, and handling is responsive and secure.”
How much cargo room does the 2023 Outback have? The Subaru Outback measures 37.0 cubic feet with the seats up and 75.7 cubes with the rear seats folded flat.
What is the price of the Subaru Outback?
The 2023 Outback comes in nine trim levels for U.S. customers; the Base trim is priced from $29,620, Premium ($31,920), new Onyx Edition with a 2.5-liter engine ($34,720), Limited ($36,520), Touring ($41,070), Outback Wilderness ($39,670), Onyx Edition XT ($39,820), Limited XT ($40,920), and Touring XT ($43,520). Pricing includes $1,225 destination and delivery fees.
The Outback has a higher ride height than other SUVs allowing a better road view. In addition, it comes with 8.7 inches of ground clearance allowing you to slide in without stepping up, and you won’t have to drop down to get in the front seat.
The Midsize SUV also has a car-like ride and comes with standard all-wheel-drive and X-Mode to get you off the beaten path.
Should shoppers wait for the 2024 Outback?
New car shoppers who can wait can get the upgraded 2024 Subaru Outback. For the 2024 Outback model change, the midsize SUV gets further improvements like upgraded LED dome and cargo lights; a 360-degree heated steering wheel is now standard on more trim levels, including Wilderness and other Onyx Edition trim upgrades. You can check out the 2024 Outback pricing and model guide here.
What does CR say about the Subaru Ascent?
“The roomy Ascent looks like an inflated version of the Forester compact SUV, which isn’t bad, given the smaller SUV’s great visibility and roomy cabin. Folding down the second and third-row seats opens up more than 45 cubic feet of useable cargo room. The turbocharged four-cylinder delivers ample power in daily driving and gets 22 mpg overall. We like the Ascent’s steady and controlled ride and found that the suspension does an excellent job of mopping up bumps. The cabin is quiet, the second-row captain’s seats are roomy and comfortable, and adults can use the third-row seat for shorter trips.”
How much cargo room does the Subaru Ascent have?
When it comes to cargo capacity, the Ascent is the largest Subaru model for North American families. The Ascent has 43.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the second-row rear seats up. With the third row folded flat, there are 75.6 cubic feet behind the second row.
What is the price of the Subaru Ascent?
The 2023 Subaru Ascent base starts at $35,120, and Premium trims begin at $39,180. The Ascent Onyx Edition starts at $42,520, the upper Limited starts at $42,820, the new Ascent Onyx Edition Limited is priced at $47,520, and the top-trim Touring has a starting MSRP of $49,420. Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($1,225).
Consumer Reports ranks the 2023 Subaru Outback as one of the best in cargo room, the 2-Row Midsize SUV category. They rate the 2023 Subaru Ascent among the best in the 3-Row SUV category. The Outback and Ascent are also recommended by CR and ranked high in safety technology, have good reliability and offer fuel efficiency.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report, where he covers all of the Japanese automaker’s models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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