For many car buyers, having a vehicle with a large boot is one of the biggest priorities.
If you have a number of small children and need to transport pushchairs and buggies in the back or use your car for business purposes and have lots of kit to carry, the boot capacity figure is one of the first you’ll look for on a new car’s specification sheet.
However, there’s a huge issue with how manufacturers measure boot capacity and it doesn’t necessarily represent how much luggage space a vehicle really has.
Instead, real-world assessments of boot capacity are carried out by WhatCar? to find out which models are most capacious – and here are the results.
Junk in the trunk: It’s hard to work out how much you can really fit in the boot of a car by the litres quoted in brochures. Using suitcases as a measurement gives as clearer idea
All manufacturers list the boot capacity of their vehicles in litres.
While this helps buyers compare the like-for-like luggage space of different models, the figures aren’t representative of what you can really get in the back.
This is the size of the cabin bags used by What Car? for the assessments
That’s because the litreage is based on the full boot space.
Think of it as filling the entire trunk with water, claiming the small nooks and crannies that you can’t really use at all.
What Car?’s more realistic test uses carry-on-size suitcases (56x35x23cm).
It then quotes the full capacity based on the number it can swallow.
These are the new models that can take between 10 and 11 – and the standout winner that can consume an unmatched 12.
CARS THAT FIT 10 CASES
Price from: £56,310
Claimed boot capacity in litres: 770
The Audi Q7 has a claimed boot capacity of 770 litres. That’s with the two rearmost seats folded flat, offering passenger space for 5 instead of 7
The Audi Q7 isn’t cheap, but you get a lot of car for your money. There are few SUVs as huge as this one, or as premium feeling.
The boot capacity (both for cases and litres) is based on five seats being used, not the full quota of seven.
Hyundai Santa Fe
Price from: £33,450
Claimed boot capacity in litres: 625
Like the Audi Q7, the Santa Fe offers up to 7 seats. The boot, with the 2 rear seats down, provides a large loading space
Like the Q7, the Santa Fe is a seven-seat SUV – though the measurements are again based on just five seats being upright.
While it might have the same passenger and suitcase-carrying capacity, it’s quite a bit cheaper than the Audi.
Price from: £28,015
Claimed boot capacity in litres: 952
The Peugeot 5008 is the French firm’s answer to a large family SUV. Claimed boot space – with 5 seats up instead of all 7 – is 952 litres, though that translates to just 10 cases
Despite the 5008 having 327 litres more claimed boot capacity than the Santa Fe, What Car? said there wasn’t enough usable space for any more suitcases than the Hyundai could take.
Again, the measurement is with the sixth and seventh seats of this SUV folded flat.
Price from: £57,195
Claimed boot capacity in litres: 772
Porsche’s Cayenne offer lots of performance and luggage loading. It can hit 60mph in under 6 seconds – less time than it takes to load 10 cases into the boot
If you’re looking for rapid load lugging, the Cayenne will be the car you want.
Even the entry-level model can hit 60mph in less than six seconds, which is pretty impressive for a two-tonne motor.
Range Rover Velar
Price from: £45,260
Claimed boot capacity in litres: 632
The Range Rover Velar is arguably the stylish choice of all the models here. Style can mean substance, though, as the posh Range Rover can fit 10 cabin cases, says What Car?
If the Cayenne is the performance model with a big boot, the Velar is the one you’d probably choose if you’re looking for outright style.
Given the litreage capacity is far short of others here, 10 carry-on cases will fit.
Price from: £23,095
Claimed boot capacity in litres: 625
Skoda’s Superb looks like a saloon car. However, it has a clever hatched boot lid, meaning you can pack more into the back
It’s not just enormous SUVs that offer lots of carrying capacity. The first non-4×4 to feature in our list is the Skoda Superb, which looks like a saloon but has a clever hatched boot lid.
It’s the cheapest of all 10-case-carrying models by some way, too.
Tesla Model 3
Price from: £38,500 (inclusive of £3,500 government grant)
Claimed boot capacity in litres: 542
Tesla has proved that electric cars can have cavernous boots. The most compact car it sells, the Model S, can swallow 10 cabin cases
This is the biggest surprise of them all. For any electric car to have a big boot, given that the chassis has to hold lots of batteries, is commendable, but for Tesla’s most compact vehicle – the Model 3 – to be able to hold 10 cases in the boot is some feat.
Price from: £49,135
Claimed boot capacity in litres: 810
The VW Touareg is a big brute that shares many of its underpinnings with pricier Audis. The boot has a claimed capacity of 810 litres, though this translates to 10 small suitcases
On the face of it, the Touareg should offer far more loading space than a Tesla Model 3 or Skoda Superb – given that the claimed litreage is around 200 litres greater.
However, What Car? found that this mammoth SUV won’t fit any more cases.
Price from: £53,085
Claimed boot capacity in litres: 775
Yet another ginormous SUV makes the list, this being the Volvo XC90. With the 2 rearmost seats out of the 7 in total folded flat, it will squeeze in 10 small cabin suitcases
The XC90 is no small car. Even with all seven-seats in place, there’s a similar amount of boot capacity as a small hatchback.
Put the two rearmost backrests down and it increases to 775 litres. However, 10 is the maximum number of carry-on cases it can consume.
CARS THAT FIT 11 CASES
Price from: £30,250
Claimed boot capacity in litres: 605
Kia’s Sorento is another 7-seat SUV option for drivers, but at a lower cost than most of the rivals here. This boot can take up to 11 of the small cases
When you consider that the Volvo XC90 – a seven-seat SUV – has a boot capacity of more than 775 litres and the the Kia Sorento – also a seven-seat SUV – has 170 litres less, you’d think the latter would be able to swallow fewer cases. But you’d be wrong.
Price from: £18,610
Claimed boot capacity in litres: 590
The most affordable car to make this list is the Skoda Octavia. It can take 11 of the small cabin cases (not the larger suitcases pictured right)
We recently revealed that the Skoda Octavia is Britain’s most common workhorse car, with more examples with over 250,000 on the clock.
And it’s also a standout performer for load lugging, with its, on paper, modest 590-litre boot cavernous for 11 carry-on cases. It’s also the cheapest of all cars in this list.
Skoda Superb Estate
Price from: £24,810
Claimed boot capacity in litres: 660
Skoda clearly knows how to make cars with big boots: the Superb Estate outguns the hatched version by consuming one extra carry-on case
The Superb hatchback has already proved its luggage lugging credentials, making it into the list for being able to transport up to 10 carry-on suitcases.
The estate version, which has a marginally bigger litreage, can take an extra case, What Car? found.
Tesla Model S
Price from: £77,700 (inclusive of £3,500 government grant)
Claimed boot capacity in litres: 894
The second Tesla to feature in the list is the larger Model S. Despite the saloon design meaning limited loading height, the compartment is extremely deep
Tesla has proved that electric car ownership doesn’t have to limit practicality. The Model 3 impressed by being able to carry 10 carry-on cases in its boot, but the bigger Model S saloon can take 11.
In terms of value for money, the smaller Model 3 looks like the better buy to us.
THE CAR THAT CAN FIT 12 CASES
Price from: £70,130
Claimed boot capacity in litres: 750
The winner for load lugging is this, the BMW X7. It might not be pretty, but the boxy proportions means loads of luggage space. It’s the only new car that can fit 12 of the small cases in the boot
According to WhatCar?’s reviews team, there’s just one new model on the market today that can gobble up 12 carry-on suit cases – the BMW X7.
This doesn’t really come as a huge surprise when you consider the sheer size of the SUV and its boxy proportions.
A square boot area means it can take more suitcases than any other – though it’s an expensive practicality to have, given the £70,000 asking price for the entry-spec version.
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