2022 Subaru Forester features, specs, cargo space
Denis Flierl's picture

10 Small SUVs With The Most Cargo Space - Why The Subaru Forester Lost Ground

How much cargo space does the 2022 Subaru Forester have? See why the Forester lost ground with other small SUVs in a new study.
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How does the 2022 Subaru Forester cargo space compare with other small SUVs? Cars.com measured twenty-eight small SUV's cargo space behind the rear seat. And Cars.com measurements are much lower than the manufacturers' numbers because they only measure to the top of the rear seatback and not the roof's top.

They say this maintains rear visibility and helps prevent cargo from becoming projectiles in the event of a crash. But do consumers only carry items that go to the top of the seatbacks? Keep reading, and we'll see how Consumer Reports testing may be a more accurate determination of cargo space.

2022 Subaru Forester features, specs, cargo space

Check out the complete Cars.com list here. The 2022 Subaru Forester ranks 7th with the most cargo space among mainstream car brands. Here are the top-10 non-luxury small SUVs with the most cargo space measured by Cars.com. behind the rear seats.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid measures the most, with 21.7 cubic ft behind the rear seat. The Hyundai Tucson is next with 21.5 cubes. They are followed by the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (20.7), Honda CR-V Hybrid (19.6), Volkswagen ID.4 (18.9), Toyota RAV4 Prime (18.7), Subaru Forester (18.2), Mazda CX-5 (17.9), Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe plug-in hybrid (17.7), and Nissan Rogue (17.1).

2022 Subaru Forester features, specs, cargo space

What if you do need to carry oversized cargo?

Subaru's measurements for the Forester base trim's cargo space behind the rear seats to the top of the roof is 31.1 cubic feet. Consumer Reports says the 2021 Subaru Forester's cargo space behind the rear seats is 36.5 cubic feet.

But they measure total cargo room to the top of the roof and measure the rear opening because sometimes you need to carry large items. They score Forester 2nd in any compact SUV's most usable cargo space.

CR says some compact SUVs have narrow, short, or oddly shaped rear hatch openings, and they don't have the most usable space. It's not total cubic feet, but the volume enclosed by the SUVs rear box gives consumers a better idea of the cargo you can fit in the back and still get the hatch door closed.

"We measured Forester's generous cargo space at 36.5 cubic feet. It's easy to load items in the back, thanks to the low lift-over and wide opening. It can accommodate bulky items, including a bike with both wheels attached, when the rear seatbacks are folded flat," CR said.

Consumer Reports' best compact SUVs for cargo space

In 2021, CR scored the Hyundai Tucson number one with 39 cubic feet of usable cargo space. The 2021 Subaru Forester is second with 36.5 cubic feet. They are followed by the Nissan Rogue (36 cu ft), Honda CR-V (36.0 cu ft), GMC Terrain (33 cu ft), Volkswagen Tiguan (33 cu ft), Honda HR-V (32 cu ft), Chevrolet Equinox (32 cu ft), and the Jeep Cherokee (31 cu ft).

Measuring cargo space to the top of the rear seats is good, but small SUV owners carry more than small shorter items. Active customers use their SUVs for carrying gear for camping trips, and dog carriers.

2022 Subaru Forester features, specs, cargo space
photo credit: Subaru via @TheKarebear

Consumers want more cargo space

A recent study by Kelton revealed more than three-quarters (76 percent) of drivers had experienced difficulties trying to fit what they wanted to bring along into their vehicle.

Many respondents have had issues with cargo space, saying the top items they wish they had enough room for include camping or sporting equipment (63 percent), luggage (46 percent), and even space to take their pets on road trips (29 percent). Ten percent even said they missed out on a road trip because they didn't have enough space for all their gear.

In the real world, where customers carry oversized cargo, the 2022 Subaru Forester is ranked one of the top compact SUVs for fitting all your gear in the back and offers near the most usable cargo volume. The Hyundai Tucson is ranked number one in both studies.

The refreshed 2022 Subaru Forester did not grow in cargo space and measures the same as the 2021 models. When the Forester gets a complete remodel in 2023, Subaru will likely increase Forester's interior dimensions.

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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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