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How Much Cargo Space In A Subaru Forester?

If you love the outdoors and haul a lot of things, the Subaru Forester could answer your needs. You wouldn't want to travel without your essential gear, so you wish to know how much cargo space the Subaru Forester offers. We have researched to give you the precise information.

The Subaru Forester is a compact SUV that boasts more cargo space. The 2022 model offers 28.9 cubic feet behind the rear seats. You can maximize the cargo volume to 74.2 cubic feet by folding the rear seats.

In its category, the Subaru Forester can outdo its rival in terms of cargo space. It has plenty of room in its big trunk plus other impressive features. Read on as we dig into the details of this vehicle’s cargo capacity and other useful offerings.

Subaru Forester e-Boxer outdoors on dirt road during sunny summer day - How Much Cargo Space In A Subaru Forester

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The Subaru Forester Cargo Dimensions

Subaru Forester 2018 Test Drive

When talking about the Subaru Forester cargo space, only a handful of rivals can outmatch it. The table below shows the comparative data in cargo volume for the Subaru Forester.

  •  2022 Model - behind the rear seats 28.9 cubic feet/folded rear seats 72 cubic feet
  • 2021 Model - behind the rear seats 35.4 cubic feet/folded rear seats 76.1 cubic feet
  • Other Models - behind the rear seats 26.9 cubic feet/folded rear seats 69.1 cubic feet

The Subaru Forester 2021 model is ranked second overall in the compact SUV segment in terms of usable cargo space; that is, you can virtually fit all your gear in the rear compartment. It is touted for its go-anywhere capabilities.

The 2022 model, though the volume figures are a bit shy of its rivals such as the Honda CRV, Toyota RAV4, and Hyundai Tucson, it is still more than competitive.

The Subaru Forester Cargo Features

Subaru Forester, Rear view of a car with an open trunk. Exterior of a modern car

Cargo space does not pose a problem even if you bring the whole family. Much more for outdoor lovers who load as much cargo as they need for long weekend drives. The Subaru Forester is able to carry everything you need. Let’s explore!

Big Trunk

The exterior body measures 71.5 inches wide by 67.6 inches in height. This crossover carves out a big trunk, thus giving as much space for cargo. The trunk floor is slightly higher than its rivals, which could mainly contribute to its lower cargo volume in the 2022 model.

What makes the Subaru Forester unique is it has more of a box-shaped and an upright roofline. This feature definitely gives this SUV more usable space than its competitors. The competitors are more narrow and sleek in this body design aspect.

Wide Rear Opening

Consumer reviews expressed that some SUVs are narrow and not cargo-friendly concerning the rear hatch opening. It was even criticized that the hatch door cannot be closed when the trunk compartment is fully loaded with cargo.

The Subaru Forester’s rear aperture measures 51.3 inches wide. This is the widest rear hatch opening in its category. This wide rear hatch opening makes organizing, loading, and unloading even big cargo easy.

Golf enthusiasts fully appreciate this feature. The wide rear hatch proves useful when loading items no other than their golf bags with clubs and tees. The golf bag doesn’t need to be tilted to one side during loading. It can smoothly slide into the trunk.

Low Cargo Floor

Two happy dogs in the car are waiting for journey. Beautiful Samoyed dog on the backseat . animal concept

Aside from a wide rear opening, the cargo floor is lower and flatter. This makes carrying long items with them folded down. A low cargo floor makes loading cargo, especially bulky items, much easier.

With the rear seats folded, it can accommodate your bike even with both wheels attached. You can also conveniently bring along your dogs, even the large ones, as the trunk affords much comfort and space for them.

Power Rear Gate

Even when your hands are full, you can still access your cargo area with a single switch. It also comes with an inner lock switch that you can conveniently close the rear hatch and locks all the vehicle’s doors simultaneously.

You don't need to unload your hands to look for the key fob to manually open the rear hatch. 

Cargo Lights

The rear hatch and the trunk opening are equipped with LED lights separately. This gives ample illumination during your night cargo loading or in dim areas during the daytime. The lights are also useful during camping, picnics, and other outdoor activities.

At times when you are caught up on roadside emergencies in the dark, just open your rear hatch, and the lights automatically power on. Similarly, it serves as lighting signage.

Additionally, there is also a light that is strategically positioned at the center ceiling of the trunk area. The placement gives a better illumination of the whole cargo area to help you even in the dark.

Power Supply

The trunk area is equipped with 12 volts power supply. This is helpful when you need a power source for your night lanterns, mobile charging, and the like. All these help make your outdoor activities convenient.

Luggage Capacity

Vehicle fully packed for a hiking and camping trip. Dog bowl included. Fishing rod and rifle included.

The Forester may not have as much cargo space compared to its rivals, but its luggage capacity is functionally the same and can be at par with the competition, thanks to its boxy shape trunk. You do not need to tightly squeeze the luggage to fit in the trunk.

You can fit two pieces of mid-size luggage, small-size luggage, and an overnight bag neatly arranged with much space left for loose personal belongings. In addition to the luggage, it can also accommodate a 38-quart cooler for your picnic on the go.

60/40 Folding Rear Seats

down rear seats of a modern passenger car

This feature comes as a standard among SUVs. The second-row seats are easily stowed and folded to a nearly flat position towards one side. This 60/40 split reclining feature can more than double the cargo volume as reflected in the table above.

When the rear seats are folded down, it gives more room for the passengers while at the same time opening the cabin for more cargo space.

Rear Seat Folding Switch

These are one-touch push-button switches that make folding the rear seats easy and convenient. Situated on each side of the trunk area, this feature comes as an upgrade option, but you can still fold the rear seats manually.

This feature proves useful since they come in handy and are within your reach at the time when you are already loading your cargo at the vehicle’s rear. You do not need to go to the passengers’ side just to fold down the seats. This enables you to save time and lessen leg work.

Also, when both hands are full, the switches enable you to fold the rear seats less awkward and cumbersome.

Water-Resistant Seat Covers

The rear seatback covers have a water-resistant and easy-to-clean surface. It is a mesh-like fabric and doesn’t fully absorb liquids. Plus, an all-weather floor mat is also included. These features prove useful since the surface regularly comes into contact with the rugged and dirty cargo in the trunk area.

While loading and arranging your cargo, you don’t need to worry that your rear seat covers get stained or dirty. The surface can be easily wiped for dirt and mud stains, spills, and grease marks. Else, scratches and dirt are hardly noticeable. Rugged outings are meant to be fully enjoyed!

Removable Tray and Net Hooks

Subaru Forester, close-up of the open trunk, headlight, bumper, front view. Exterior of a modern car

There is a lift-over tray with a cover plus tie-down hooks. This feature makes your daily cargo such as grocery bags, duffel bags, toys, and other loose personal stuff get securely fastened while on the road. The net hooks are attached to the four corners of the trunk, thus securing your belongings. It will not get displaced or rattle while in motion, and your small item's cargo gets neatly arranged in the trunk compartment.

Roof Hooks

This feature is an update to the 2022 model. These hooks are strategically positioned near the roofline at the rear hatch as the name suggests. Each hook is capable of carrying 6 pounds each.

Roof Rails

Subaru Forester with three bicycles on roof rack

The Subaru Forester offers one of the best roof rails in the industry. These are your hooks to carry long and bulky cargo or anything that cannot be stored inside the trunk area. These are your kayaks, paddleboards, snowboards, and other similar items.

You can also tow big cargo like a trailer or a boat. The Forester has a maximum towing capacity of 1,500 pounds.

Under-Floor Storage

The spare tire and the toolbox have their own compartments tucked underneath the baggage compartment. These are your road essentials, yet these definitely don't alter the cargo capacity. It also has a cargo cover on the fly. You could remove the cargo cover in case you need even more cargo space.

The Nine Best Compact SUVs

As mentioned above, the Subaru Forester 2021 model ranked second in terms of usable cargo space. You may also find other models that you may be interested in on this list.

Here are the respective rankings of the SUVs in their category:

  1. Hyundai Tucson
  2. Subaru Forester
  3. Nissan Rogue
  4. Honda CRV
  5. GMC Terrain
  6. Volkswagen Tigua
  7. Honda HRV
  8. Chevrolet Equinox
  9. Jeep Cherokee

Final Thoughts

The Subaru Forester has enough space for your sports gear, luggage, and even your pets for your long road trips. Thanks to its spacious trunk, rear folding seats with button switches, a power rear gate, and other remarkable cargo features.

The big trunk space, box-shape rear hatch for easy loading, and the functional roof rails are Subaru Forester’s unique features. These significantly contribute to its “go anywhere” capabilities more than the cubic-foot numbers could merely indicate.

Indeed, the Subaru Forester has carved out its own mark in terms of cargo capacity among compact SUVs.

Want to know more about Subaru Forester's other features? Check out these posts:

How Long Do Subaru Forester Brakes Last?

What are the Best Tires for a Subaru Forester?

And if you wish to know other vehicle's cargo space, check out these posts:

How Much Cargo Space in a Toyota 4Runner?

How Much Cargo Space in a Chevy Suburban?