2014 Toyota Prius Real-World Cargo Space

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Compared to its midsize sedan hybrid competitors, the Toyota Prius hatchback's cargo space is a winner with 21.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the folding backseat, a feature some sedans lose in their transformation to a hybrid. Throw in a 50 mpg combined EPA rating and it's easy to see why the purpose-built hybrid is so popular.

Related: Best Hybrids for the Money 2014

The original Prius fits in the middle of the current Prius lineup that includes the smaller Prius c and wagonlike Prius v. See how well common cargo items fit in the Prius' cargo area below.

By Joe Bruzek | August 28, 2014 | Comments (1)

Honda Fit Handles Wedding Shower Haul With Aplomb

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My fiance and I have one car between the both of us; really, zero, because mine is more of a toy for the drag strip than anything practical, so we looked to the Cars.com test fleet for a cargo-friendly ride for our wedding shower. Despite having an extended-wheelbase Land Rover Range Rover in Cars.com's test fleet at the right time, I wasn't too worried — or bitter — about having to haul a full load of wedding gifts away from our prenuptial party in the hugely versatile, yet still quite small, 2015 Honda Fit.

Related: 2015 Honda Fit Expert Review

The family, however, was skeptical and still pulled two SUVs behind the subcompact Fit just in case we couldn't secure every last oven mitt and spatula in the 52.7 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.

It was a delicate game of Tetris with roasters and toasters, but the Fit handled the task like a champ. The low cargo floor, tall cargo height and wide opening were keys to our successful loading. I didn't even have to adjust the front passenger seat to create a few last ounces of space. I don't think Cars.com's long-term Cherokee would have handled the task any better either. It has just 2.2 more cubic feet of cargo space.

Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

By Joe Bruzek | August 26, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Audi RS 7 Real-World Cargo Space

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Who says you have to compromise when buying a sports car? The pumped-up high-performance 2014 Audi RS 7 variant of the A7 has a 560-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V-8, four doors and an entirely usable cargo area. Zero to 60 mph comes in 3.7 seconds, so you better strap down both strollers in the cargo area. Yes, "both strollers." We fit our large and small strollers in the back of the RS 7 with room to spare.

Related: Research the 2014 Audi RS 7

The RS 7's cargo area isn't the widest. Its strengths are in how deep the cargo area stretches combined with the large hatchback opening and split-folding backseat. There's a generous 24.5 cubic feet of maximum cargo space, which is roughly how much room a compact-to-midsize SUV offers behind the backseat. See how well our assortment of common cargo goods fit in the RS 7's cargo area below.

By Joe Bruzek | August 21, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Lexus RX 350 Real-World Cargo Space

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The 2015 Lexus RX 350's deep, wide cargo area makes use of numerous cargo-friendly features to complement the huge 40 cubic feet of space behind the backseat. Floor tie downs, cargo-area seat release levers, a sliding second row and a 40/20/40-split backseat all make the RX's cargo space extremely versatile.

Related: 2015 Lexus RX 350 Expert Review

Cars.com reviewer Bill Jackson was also impressed by the second row's function of hiding the cargo floor gap commonly left by a sliding second row. Jackson calls it a "thoughtful detail." See how well everyday items fit in the Lexus RX 350, below.

By Joe Bruzek | August 18, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Cadillac Escalade ESV Real-World Cargo Space

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Cadillac's extended-wheelbase Escalade ESV has twice the cargo room behind its third row compared to the regular version thanks to its 14-inch-longer wheelbase and additional 20 inches of overall length — 39.3 cubic feet compared to 15.2 cubic feet. The stretched Escalade has been redesigned for 2015, along with the regular-wheelbase Caddy, and the cargo area gains new usability.

Related: 2015 Cadillac Escalade Real-World Mileage

Escalade owners won't have to remove the third row for a more usable cargo area now with the Escalade's flat-folding second and standard power-folding third row. The cargo floor is higher than it used to be to accommodate the flat-folding seats, however, and overall cargo room is down 16.5 cubic feet compared to the 2014 version. The higher load floor could put off some owners. The cargo area still eats up common items without a flinch, which you can see below.

By Joe Bruzek | August 7, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Toyota 4Runner Real-World Cargo Space

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The off-road-ready 2014 Toyota 4Runner packs a fair amount of cargo room for an SUV geared toward rugged dirt duty. The five- or seven-occupant 4Runner's maximum 89.7 cubic feet of cargo space is actually a wee bit more than the family-focused eight-person 2014 Toyota Highlander's 83.7 cubic feet.

Related: 2014 Toyota 4Runner Expert Review

Though redesigned for 2014, the changes are mostly cosmetic and a number of the 4Runner's interesting cargo features carry over, including the available sliding rear cargo deck on five-person 4Runners that supports more than 400 pounds and slides out of the rear hatch area. The sliding cargo floor makes it easier to cope with the tall off-road-friendly ride height. See how well common items fit into the 4Runner's cargo area, below.

By Joe Bruzek | July 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Mazda CX-5 Real-World Cargo Space

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Mazda's CX-5 has the distinction of being a compact SUV for driving enthusiasts with excellent fuel economy and great cargo room - not your typical compact crossover formula. Making the cargo area everyday friendly are folding seats that release in two locations. There is a set of levers in the cargo area that release the folding backseat so you don't have to walk around to the rear doors to fold the seats and then walk back to the cargo area. There are also seat releases on the backseat itself.

2014 Jeep Cherokee Versus 2014 Mazda CX-5

A 40/20/40-split folding backseat that's standard in Touring and Grand Touring trims offers increased versatility over the Sport's 60/40-split seat, and even the middle section can be folded/released using the cargo area lever. The space-efficient CX-5's cargo area does many things well, though the backseat doesn't slide or recline like in the Jeep Cherokee or Chevrolet Equinox. See how well common items fit in the CX-5, below.

By Joe Bruzek | July 24, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Volvo V60 Real-World Cargo Space

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The V60 wagon joins Volvo's U.S. lineup for 2015. The wagonized version of Volvo's S60 luxury sedan is an alternative to the many small-to-midsize luxury SUVs on the market. The V60's competitors include the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, Audi Allroad and soon-to-be-hard-to-find Acura TSX Wagon; the 2014 model year will be its last.

2015 Volvo V60: Another Luxury Wagon to Tempt Dads

Cars.com reviewer Kristen Varela noted in her review that the V60 has a few utility tricks up its sleeve, including a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat for added cargo and seating flexibility, plus a flip-up panel in the rear with grocery bag hooks. There are also cargo nets that extend from the rear seatbacks over the cargo area. See how well common cargo items fit in the V60 below.

By Joe Bruzek | July 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Volvo XC60 Real-World Cargo Space

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Volvo has progressively updated its XC60 compact luxury SUV over the past few years, adding some great touches like the T6's innovative turbocharged, supercharged and efficient engine and a well-done digital instrument cluster. What Volvo didn't need to change was the XC60's interior space — it's been plentiful and easy to use since the SUV's debut as a 2010 model.

Research the 2015 Volvo XC60

The XC60's cargo space is competitive against luxury compact SUVs including the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, Acura RDX and BMW X3. It actually bests those with 30.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the backseat compared to the 16.5 cubic feet, 26.1 cubic feet and 19.4 cubic feet of the others, respectively. Plus, the XC60 has a standard and versatile backseat that folds in a 40/20/40 split. There was more than ample room to fit our assortment of cargo items in the back without folding the seats, which you can see below.

By Joe Bruzek | June 26, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Real-World Cargo Space

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Toyota's redesigned 2014 Highlander performed respectably in our $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge, finishing third behind the 2014 Dodge Durango and the winner, the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe. One area where the Highlander desperately needed to impress families with its redesign was in cargo room behind the third row.

What's the Best 3-Row SUV for $40,000?

A puny 10.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row was increased to 13.8 cubic feet for 2014. For those hoping to get into a Highlander Hybrid, they'll be happy to hear that cargo room isn't sacrificed for the hybrid system's battery. Even with the newfound cargo space, the Highlander is still on the smaller side compared to many of the SUVs we tested in our SUV Challenge. See the animation below for how well common items fit into the Highlander Hybrid's cargo area.

By Joe Bruzek | June 19, 2014 | Comments (2)

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