The cars with the biggest boots
Forget the official figures. What Car?'s unique way of measuring boot space reveals the cars that really have the biggest luggage capacities.....
Boot space is a priority for many car buyers.
And if a particular model simply doesn’t have enough room to handle all your kit, then it has to be struck from the shortlist.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the cars with the biggest boots on sale today, using our own unique method of measuring the available space. All manufacturers list boot sizes by litres, but that includes the nooks and crannies of a boot that are – in reality – very hard to make use of.
Instead, our independent test team uses carry-on suitcases to realistically assess each car’s cargo capacity. The more suitcases we can fit in the boot, the better the car for buyers who need to transport big loads. Every car on our list can carry between nine and 12 suitcases, making them the most spacious models we've tested.
First, we start with cars that can carry nine suitcases:
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Cars that can carry nine suitcases:
Even in saloon form, the Audi A6 has a large enough boot to earn a place on this list. The luxury car can swallow nine suitcases, which is enough to outdo all of its direct competitors except the Mercedes E-Class, which it matches.
Build quality is superb and the interior very attractive.
It's not quite as accommodating as the seven-seat Q7, but the Q5 still offers a massive amount of boot space given its relatively compact size.
A top-notch interior and lower running costs than the Q7 also work in its favour.
BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo:
The BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo sits between the 5 Series and 7 Series luxury saloons, but its sleek, hatchback-style tailgate makes it more practical, and it’s possible to fit nine suitcases in the boot.
It’s only just shorter than the 7 Series, but based on the 5, which is a sensational all-rounder.
Citroën C5 Aircross:
It's very easy to get bulky items into the boot of the C5 Aircross, thanks to a large aperture, while the load space itself is tall and square.
Mazda's otherwise brilliant CX-5 is just one of the rivals it betters in this area, while the C5 also offers a super-smooth ride.
The CR-V is another large SUV that can swallow nice carry-on suitcases. Just bear in mind that this is only the case if you go for the five-seat version; Honda has essentially bolted the additional seats of the seven-seater to the boot floor rather than integrating them properly like most rivals do, so the boot size is reduced considerably. Unlike the C5 Aircross, the CR-V is available with hybrid power.
Lexus RX L:
Not so long ago, the Lexus RX was the only hybrid luxury SUV around (there are plenty more these days), but it was hampered by its lack of a seven-seat option.
The RX L rectified that by adding a longer rear overhang to make room for a third row. And when this is folded away you can just about squeeze nine suitcases into the boot.
Mercedes E-Class/E-Class Estate:
As long as you avoid the E300de hybrid, the E-Class has a bigger boot than any of its luxury saloon or estate rivals.
Add in an extremely classy interior and superb refinement, and it's a compelling package, even if the BMW 5 Series is more enjoyable to drive.
The Karoq is the smallest SUV on our list, making its presence even more impressive. The boot is very well laid out and includes a smaller storage area below the main luggage section for storing delicate items.
Even without using that, though, it’s possible to fit nine suitcases inside.
If the Karoq isn’t quite big enough, the Kodiaq is the logical next choice. It’s Skoda's largest SUV, with seven seats for maximum practicality. And while it couldn't swallow any more cases than the Karoq, there was more room to spare for smaller items.
Cars that can carry 10 suitcases:
As a gigantic seven-seat SUV, the Audi Q7 is exactly the type of car you’d expect to find on a list like this. It can accommodate 10 suitcases in its massive boot, and it’s as comfortable as it is beautifully finished. It doesn’t come cheap, though.
Hyundai Santa Fe:
In both five and seven-seat configuration, the latest Santa Fe has more space for luggage than the Land Rover Discovery Sport. However, whether you’re paying cash, signing up to a PCP deal or running one as a company car, it isn’t quite the value option you might expect.
The Peugeot 5008 offers the most space per pound of any SUV on our list – and it even has seven seats. The boot is very well designed; it’s square, with a low lip, and there are no intrusions from the wheelarches or anything else to eat into the space. As a result it will take 10 suitcases with no trouble.
Performance meets practically with the Porsche Cayenne, because it’s as quick as it is spacious. Even the entry-level model will accelerate from 0-60mph in less than six seconds, and you can fit 10 suitcases in the boot. It’s strictly a five-seater, though, so look elsewhere if you need a third row.
Range Rover Velar:
The Range Rover Velar occupies the middle ground between the entry-level Evoque and the seven-seat Sport model, yet it has a bigger boot than both. As with any Range Rover, it’s excellent off road and doesn’t skimp on luxury.
Unsurprisingly, the estate version is bigger still, but even in hatchback form the Superb has an enormous boot. This is a classy car inside, too, and the ride is so comfortable that you’d think you were in a much more expensive model.
Tesla Model 3:
The Model 3 is a saloon, so its boot aperture isn’t huge. However, there’s actually more space for luggage than you’ll find in electric SUVs, such as the Jaguar I-Pace – thanks partly to a huge well under the main boot floor, but also further space for a single suitcase or a couple of soft bags under the bonnet. The Model 3 is also fast, great to drive and stuffed full of tech.
It shares its underpinnings with the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne, so it’s no surprise that Volkswagen's Touareg also has one of the biggest boots in the luxury SUV class.
As with its fellow VW Group models, you can fit 10 suitcases in the back of the Touareg, but unlike the Q7, it’s only a five-seater.
The original Volvo XC90 was launched in 2002 and instantly gained a reputation for class-leading practicality. The current model lives up to that heritage; it’s an incredibly spacious seven-seater and the boot can handle 10 suitcases.
It’s also stylish and well built, while the T8 plug-in hybrid version is quick and, if you charge it regularly, cheap to run for a big SUV.
Cars that can carry 11 suitcases:
It’s a little surprising that the Kia Sorento is the only SUV with space for 11 suitcases, but nonetheless, the seven-seater trumps much more luxurious cars on cargo capacity.
The latest version is also a lot classier than the ones that came before it, although costs have risen accordingly.
If you want the best blend of value and boot space then the Skoda Octavia is it. Our list is populated with estates, SUVs and executive cars, but the Octavia is the only family car to be found.
Its huge boot can handle 11 suitcases and it also has the lowest starting price of any model on this list.
Skoda Superb Estate:
The Superb Estate can carry one more suitcase than its hatchback sibling. But in other respects it's the same; in other words, comfortable and classy.
Tesla Model S:
A high-end, electric luxury car isn’t exactly what you’d expect to find near the top of a biggest boots list, but Tesla’s Model S can accommodate 11 suitcases.
This is because the electric tech takes up much less space than a conventional internal combustion set up, which leaves room for a huge boot and an additional storage area under the bonnet.
Biggest boots: 12 suitcases
There's only one car that we've tested which has room for 12 carry-on suitcases in its boot, and that's the BMW X7.
Sitting at the top of the BMW SUV range, it's big, bold, practical and comfortable, with a very luxurious interior.