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UPDATED CR’s Compact SUVs With The Most Cargo Space, Where Subaru Forester Slots

How much cargo and luggage space does the 2024 Subaru Forester have? An updated study from Consumer Reports compares the Forester with other small SUVs. Check out the ten best mainstream and ten best luxury models here.

Does the Subaru Forester have the most cargo and luggage room in the mainstream (non-luxury) compact SUV segment? SUV shoppers needing a vehicle to carry sports equipment, luggage, and cargo have many choices, but which models have the most usable cargo space? 

Among compact SUVs recommended by Consumer Reports (by subscription), the 2024 Forester ranks fifth best in an updated ranking of mainstream models. I will explain why it's best for the most active compact SUV shoppers. 

NOTE: I've updated this report from a previous story to include the ten best luxury compact SUVs. I’ve also included new next-generation 2025 Forester cargo details. 

According to the latest study from Consumer Reports, they say, "At Consumer Reports, we evaluate cargo room differently. For SUVs, we use an expandable rectangular pipe-frame "box." We enlarge it enough to fit through the rear opening and extend it into the cargo bay as far as possible without preventing the hatch from closing. Cargo capacity is the volume enclosed by that box. This gives consumers a better idea of the cargo they can fit in the back, whether it's luggage for a trip, a new dishwasher, or a big-screen TV coming home from the electronics store."

I've listed CR's ten best mainstream compact SUVs with the most cargo space ranked in order of cargo room in cubic feet, with the top performer first.

  1. Hyundai Tucson Hybrid
  2. Kia Sportage Hybrid 
  3. Honda CR-V Hybrid
  4. Nissan Rogue
  5. Subaru Forester 
  6. Mazda CX-50
  7. Volkswagen Tiguan
  8. Chevrolet Equinox
  9. Mitsubishi Outlander
  10. Volkswagen Taos

The 10 Best Luxury Compact SUVs With The Most Cargo Space

  1. Volvo XC60
  2. Acura RDX
  3. Land Rover Discovery Sport
  4. BMW X3
  5. BMW X1
  6. Infiniti QX50
  7. Land Rover Range Rover Velar
  8. Maserati Grecale
  9. Buick Envision
  10. Mercedes-Benz GLC

Vehicles must have active safety technology to make the Consumer Reports recommended list. Subaru's EyeSight suite of safety technology is included in all 2024 Forester trim levels.

Last year, the 2023 Forester ranked fifth overall in cargo space. In the updated study, the Subaru Forester still has the fifth most functional cargo-carrying ability.

Consumer Reports recommends the 2024 Subaru Forester. The model has good road test scores, reliability, and high customer satisfaction to be recommended. 

What Does CR Say About The 2024 Subaru Forester?

"The popular Forester delivers a satisfying combination of a roomy interior, excellent visibility, commendable fuel economy, simple controls, a comfortable ride, and responsive handling. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder CVT returns 28 mpg overall in our tests, among the best in class. But acceleration isn't exhilarating, and the engine's noise isn't the most pleasant." 

"The cabin is roomy, with a particularly generous rear seat and easy access. The cargo room is impressive, given its boxy shape: We measured 36.5 cubic feet of space. Subaru makes BSW and RCTW optional on the Premium trim level; they aren't available on the base trim. A redesigned Forester arrives later this year as a 2025 model."

What is the 2024 Forester price?

The Forester has six trim levels: Base ($28,190), Premium ($31,390), Sport ($32,960), Limited ($35,070), Wilderness ($36,015), and Touring ($38,490). Pricing includes destination and dealer fees ($1,295).

What is the Forester's fuel mileage?

  • The 2024 Forester gets an EPA-estimated 26/33 city/highway mpg and 29 combined mpg.
  • The Forester Wilderness gets an estimated 25/28 city/highway mpg and 26 combined mpg. 

What sets the Forester apart from the other compact SUVs?

The Forester is the best compact SUV for active customers. Forester is for customers who want to go further off the beaten path.

The significant difference between the Forester and the compact SUV competition is that it comes standard with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel drive and X-Mode. You won't pay extra for the all-weather, all-terrain features. In addition, the Forester has 8.7 inches of ground clearance, gets the highest IIHS safety scores, is fuel-efficient, and is fun to drive.

Get Further Off The Grid

The 2024 Forester has the rugged Wilderness trim level, extra ground clearance (9.2 inches), modified suspension, and underbody protection. 

What's next for the 2025 Forester? The all-new redesigned Forester arrives this spring.

What's the price of the 2025 Forester?

The 2025 Forester comes in five trim levels: The Base trim starts at $31,090, Premium ($33,390), Sport ($35,890), Limited ($37,390), and Touring ($38,490). Pricing includes destination and dealer fees ($1,395).

The 2024 Forester Wilderness carries over with a starting price of $36,265. Destination and Delivery ($1,345)

How much did the 2025 Subaru Forester increase in price?

The Base Forester increased by +$2,900

  • Premium +$2,000
  • Sport +$2,930
  • Limited +$2,320
  • Touring + $2,900

What Is The 2025 Forester Cargo Room?

Subaru says, "There's more cargo room with steeper rear gate glass. The cargo area offers 74.4 cubic feet of usable space with both seatbacks down. The wide rear gate opening with low lift-over height allows easy loading and unloading. The previous generation Forester had 69.1 cubic feet of cargo space (74.2 cubes in the Base trim)."

2025 Forester Models Have Textured Paneling In The Rear

The remodeled Forester now has added textured paneling in the rear area for extra protection against scuffing. The side area is also protected when your gear is in the back.  

A Hands-Free Power Rear Gate

The 2025 Forester adds a kick sensor-activated hands-free power rear gate, which owners can open and close automatically simply by placing their foot under the back bumper cover, making it easier to load cargo.

Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this used Subaru Forester cargo space report. See you tomorrow for my latest Subaru Report.


I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News and Subaru reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my The Dirty Subaru website, Dirty Subaru blog, X SubaruReport, All Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierl, Facebook, and Instagram.

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