Hitting the Road with Lots of Luggage: Top Car Choices for Frequent Travelers

Hitting the Road with Lots of Luggage: Top Car Choices for Frequent Travelers

For enthusiastic travelers who crave adventure and exploration, packing light isn't always an option. Whether you're embarking on a cross-country road trip, a family vacation with everyone's gear, or a seasonal move with all your belongings, having a car that swallows luggage is essential. This article dives into the top car picks for those who prioritize ample cargo space and travel functionality.

We'll explore a variety of vehicle types, considering factors like cargo capacity, passenger space, fuel efficiency, features, and overall value. Buckle up and get ready to discover your perfect travel companion!

Spacious Champions: Minivans

When it comes to sheer cargo volume, minivans reign supreme. These versatile vehicles offer unmatched luggage capacity behind the third-row seat, often exceeding 35 cubic feet. With the rear seats folded flat, the space expands dramatically, reaching a staggering 80 to 150 cubic feet depending on the model.

Popular choices include the perennial favorite, the Chrysler Pacifica, known for its comfortable ride and available all-wheel drive. The Honda Odyssey boasts a cleverly designed interior with a built-in vacuum cleaner – a lifesaver for long trips with kids. Kia's Carnival offers a stylish alternative with a luxurious feel and impressive features.


  • Unmatched cargo capacity
  • Comfortable seating for passengers
  • Family-friendly features like entertainment systems and sliding doors
  • Available all-wheel drive for various road conditions


  • Larger size can be cumbersome for city driving
  • Lower fuel efficiency compared to smaller vehicles

Spacious SUVs: Adventure-Ready Solutions

SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles) strike a balance between passenger space and cargo capacity. Mid-size SUVs offer a comfortable ride for five with ample luggage room behind the rear seats, typically ranging from 20 to 30 cubic feet. Folding down the rear seats expands the cargo area significantly, making them ideal for road trips and outdoor adventures.

Popular options include the Toyota Highlander, renowned for its reliability and comfortable seating. The Honda Pilot offers a spacious interior and a smooth ride, perfect for families. The Subaru Forester prioritizes safety and all-wheel drive, making it a great choice for intrepid explorers.


  • Good balance between passenger and cargo space
  • Higher seating position for better visibility
  • Available all-wheel drive for off-road capability
  • Many offer towing capacity for trailers or boats


  • Cargo capacity might not be as large as minivans
  • Can be less fuel-efficient than sedans

Wagon Wonders: Timeless Functionality

For those who appreciate a touch of European flair and prioritize cargo space without sacrificing handling, station wagons are a compelling choice. Modern wagons offer a surprisingly spacious cargo area, often exceeding 20 cubic feet behind the rear seats. With the rear seats folded, the cargo capacity expands significantly, making them perfect for weekend getaways or hauling gear for hobbies.

Popular options include the Subaru Outback, a wagon with rugged capability and excellent fuel efficiency. The Audi A4 Allroad offers a luxurious take on the wagon concept, combining premium features with ample cargo space. The Volvo V60 prioritizes safety and comfort, making it a great choice for long journeys.


  • Sleek and stylish design
  • Excellent handling compared to minivans and SUVs
  • Often more fuel-efficient than larger vehicles
  • Can be surprisingly spacious with folded seats


  • Cargo capacity may not match larger SUVs or minivans
  • Lower ground clearance compared to SUVs

Crossover Considerations: The All-Rounder Option

Crossovers have become a popular choice for their blend of car-like handling and SUV-like practicality. While cargo space can vary depending on the model, many mid-size crossovers offer a good balance between passenger and luggage capacity. Additionally, some offer clever cargo management features like hidden compartments and adjustable shelves.

Popular options include the Toyota RAV4, a perennial favorite known for its reliability and fuel efficiency. The Honda CR-V offers a spacious interior and a comfortable ride, making it a great choice for families. The Mazda CX-5 prioritizes driving dynamics and offers a stylish design, appealing to those who desire a fun-to-drive option with decent cargo space.


  • Good balance between passenger space and cargo capacity
  • Often offer car-like handling for a more comfortable driving experience
  • Many come with fuel-efficient engines
  • Can have features like all-wheel drive and towing capacity


  • Cargo capacity may not be as large as dedicated SUVs or minivans
  • Might not offer the same off-road capability as some SUVs

Choosing Your Perfect Travel Partner

Beyond the basic characteristics, consider these factors when making your final decision:

  • Number of passengers: How many people will you be traveling with regularly? Cars with three rows of seats offer maximum passenger capacity, while smaller SUVs or wagons might be sufficient for couples or small families.
  • Trip frequency and duration: How often and for how long will you be traveling? If you take frequent weekend getaways, fuel efficiency might be a priority. For longer road trips, comfort features and ample legroom become more crucial.
  • Budget: Consider not just the initial purchase price, but also fuel costs, maintenance expenses, and insurance rates.
  • Lifestyle and cargo needs: Do you need a vehicle that can handle outdoor gear like bikes or kayaks? Do you have specific cargo needs that require a flat load floor or a certain height clearance?

Beyond Cargo Space: Features for the Adventurous Traveler

While cargo capacity is a crucial factor, several features enhance the travel experience:

  • Roof rack and cargo boxes: These expand your storage options for bulky items like luggage, bikes, or sporting equipment.
  • Towing capacity: If you plan on towing a trailer or boat, ensure your chosen vehicle has sufficient towing capacity.
  • Fuel efficiency: Consider fuel economy, especially for long journeys. Hybrid or electric options might be ideal depending on your travel range and charging infrastructure availability.
  • Comfort features: Look for comfortable seating with adjustable lumbar support, a smooth ride quality, and features like climate control and a good sound system to keep passengers happy on long trips.
  • Safety features: Advanced safety technologies like blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking can provide peace of mind on the road.

Test Drive and Decide

Once you've narrowed down your options based on cargo space, passenger needs, and features, schedule test drives! This allows you to experience the vehicle firsthand, assess cargo space functionality, evaluate comfort for both driver and passengers, and ensure it fits your driving style.

By considering your specific travel needs and preferences, you can find the perfect car that swallows your luggage with ease and becomes a trusty companion on all your adventures. Happy travels!

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