Which Full-Size SUV Has the Most Cargo Space? (Including a Data Table)

Thinking about buying or renting a large SUV but worried about cargo space? You should be. These beautiful vehicles all look huge from the outside but they can be surprisingly different inside.

We looked into the leading full-size SUV models in the US and compared the numbers. You can see our data and tables later in this post. First, here’s the bottom line:

Which Full-Size SUV Has the Most Cargo Space (Including a Data Table)Ford Expedition EL (that’s the long version of the Expedition) is the SUV with the most cargo space. Coming in as a very close second is the Chevy Suburban.

How did we come to this conclusion?

For the purpose of this blog post, we made a list of the six leading full-size SUVs in the US:

  • GMC Yukon
  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Nissan Armada
  • Toyota Sequoia
  • Chevrolet Suburban
  • Ford Expedition

What you’ll find here is a comparison of these leading models as well as overall descriptions in case you’re not familiar with them.

Important Update:

Note that the vehicles presented in this article are in their 2017 versions on which the 2017 Ford Expedition EL is crowned as the full-size SUV with the most cargo space. Ford redesigned the Expedition from the ground up for its 2018 version and the automotive giant hasn’t manufactured any 2018 EL version. Further, it’s important to note that all other SUV’s presented in this article seem to retain their cargo space from their 2017 to 2018 models. So here are two important points to understand:

  • If we compare ONLY the 2018 models, the Ford Expedition 2018 will no longer be the champ in the cargo category because it has lost its EL (extended length) edge against its competitors.
  • If we compare BOTH 2017 and 2018 models, the 2017 Ford Expedition EL will still be the full-size SUV with the most cargo-space, just as this article implies.

Why we’re even exploring full-size SUV’s?

If you’re following this blog you know that I’m researching the best options for our own RV fantasy. There are many types of RV’s, including motorhomes, travel trailers or a 5th wheels. If we go for a towable setup, we would need a vehicle that’s powerful enough to tow.

With a 5th wheel option, that has to be a pickup truck. But with a travel trailer? A full-size SUV can pull a lightweight and possibly a medium-weight travel trailer (depending on the configuration). Full-size SUV’s are fantastic vehicles. They offer the combination of spacious – and often luxurious – interior with powerful engines that are strong enough to tow a small travel trailer.

The SUV’s have the added benefit of being able to comfortably sit several passengers around, so the choice between SUV or truck is not a simple one.

Now, here’s the thing.

If we go with an SUV + small trailer combination, we’re going to need an SUV that has room for luggage. The general plan is for us to live in a small trailer and travel around North America. Every now and then, we hope to have some family and guests to join for a while. We want to be able to share a ride together and enjoy each other’s company. And for that, the SUV needs to have enough cargo space to comfortably carry both the guests and luggage.

With that’s in mind, let’s dive into those beautiful SUV and explore cargo space and other

GMC Yukon

The tandem of the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL is quite similar to how Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban are related. They share the fundamental platforms and have identical body dimensions.

The GMC Yukon leaves a mark in terms of giving you a different feel to its interior. If you’re looking for something more luxurious, you can opt for the Yukon Denali – the Denali’s interior can rival the Cadillac Escalade.

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GMC Yukon Cargo Space

While the GMC Yukon can impress you with the luxury and opulent feel it can offer, the SUV offers the least cargo space on the list – along with the Tahoe.

Cargo Volume to Seat 3  – 15.3 cubic feet

Cargo Volume to Seat 2  – 51.7 cubic feet

Cargo Volume to Seat 1 – 94.7 cubic feet

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Chevrolet Tahoe

The Chevrolet Tahoe is one of the most popular full-size SUVs to date and you can see it everywhere – from movies to real roads. The 2017 Tahoe accounts a staggering third fraction of all sales in this category.

It comes with a six-speed automatic transmission in a 355-horsepower V8 engine. Moreover, the Tahoe can tow up to 8,600 pounds. While it delivers plenty of power, the Tahoe has a decent fuel economy.

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Chevrolet Tahoe Cargo Space

Cargo Volume to Seat 3  – 15.3 cubic feet

Cargo Volume to Seat 2  – 51.7 cubic feet

Cargo Volume to Seat 1 – 94.7 cubic feet

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Nissan Armada

An Asian beauty, the Nissan Armada can easily compete with any of the vehicles on the list – offering a pretty decent cargo space for people looking for a sexy SUV. It’s the only one that comes with a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Based on reviews, you can expect the Armada to deliver great acceleration and impressive throttle response. It’s all thanks to the 5.6-liter 390-horsepower V8 engine. Surprisingly, the Armada feels lighter than it turns out to be.

2nd Gen Nissan Armada | Photo by AOL Inc

Nissan Armada Cargo Space

Cargo Volume to Seat 3  – 16.6 cubic feet

Cargo Volume to Seat 2  – 49.6 cubic feet

Cargo Volume to Seat 1 – 95.1 cubic feet

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Toyota Sequoia

The Toyota Sequoia is a symbol of power and prestige especially in Southeast Asian countries where owners are mostly celebrities and politicians. And it’s equally popular in the US. It looks smaller than the Tahoe at first glance, but this one actually offers more cargo space.

This SUV is said to deliver well-balanced overall performance with its 381HP 5.7-liter V8 engine in a standard six-speed automatic transmission.  The Sequoia is noted for its easy maneuverability and comfortable ride. Further, it can easily compete in the pulling category with towing capacity of up to 7,400 pounds.

Toyota Sequoia Cargo Space

Cargo Volume to Seat 3  – 18.9 cubic feet

Cargo Volume to Seat 2  – 66.6 cubic feet

Cargo Volume to Seat 1 – 120.1 cubic feet

Chevrolet Suburban

Only one SUV in this list can beat the Suburban in terms of cargo space – so yeah, it’s pretty large. And if you value passenger room, this Chevy also makes a good choice.

The Suburban is said to give you a distinct driving experience – that the SUV is smaller than it actually is. But don’t let it fool you, the Suburban is really big. It comes with the familiar six-speed automatic transmission with a performance packed in the 5.3-liter 355-horsepower V8 engine.

Chevrolet Suburban Cargo Space

Cargo Volume to Seat 3  – 39.3 cubic feet

Cargo Volume to Seat 2  – 76.7 cubic feet

Cargo Volume to Seat 1 – 121.7 cubic feet

Ford Expedition

Behold the one with the largest cargo space!

The Ford Expedition 2017 comes in two versions – standard length body and extended EL body – with the latter offering more interior room and a longer wheelbase. Both versions utilize a six-speed automatic transmission in a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine possessing 365 horsepower.

Automotive experts applaud the Expedition for offering a quiet, smooth ride. Further, it’s considered a champion in towing too, capable of towing up to 9,300 pounds. The Ford Expedition 2018 is now available and comes with a refreshed look.

2017 Ford Expedition | Photo by David Guo

Ford Expedition Cargo Space

Cargo Volume to Seat 3  –  42.6 cubic feet

Cargo Volume to Seat 2  – 85.5 cubic feet

Cargo Volume to Seat 1 – 130.8 cubic feet

2018 Ford Expedition | Photo by ForzaHorizon3 – Wikipedia

SUV Cargo Area Comparison Table

Seeing the data in table form can be helpful in comparing the cargo space available in these SUV’s, so here it is all in neatly arranged rows and columns –

Cargo Volume to Seat 3 (ft³) Cargo Volume to Seat 2 (ft³) Cargo Volume to Seat 1 (ft³)
GMC Yukon 2WD 4-Door SLE 15.3 51.7 94.7

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe 2WD 4-Door LS

15.3 51.7 94.7

2017 Nissan Armada 4×2 SV

16.6 49.6 95.1

2017 Toyota Sequoia SR5 RWD

18.9 66.6 120.1
2017 Chevrolet Suburban 2WD 4-Door 1500 LS 39.3 76.7 121.7

2017 Ford Expedition EL XLT 4×4

42.6 85.5 130.8

Clearly, the decision on which vehicle to buy – or even rent – is based on many other factors too. Still, if you’re concerned with cargo space and volume, I hope this post was helpful.

If you still haven’t made up your mind on which vehicle to buy – possibly tow an RV with – you may want to check out these posts –

SUV vs. Pickup Trucks for Family Travel  because after all, cargo space isn’t the only consideration when making your choice! There are pros and cons to both options that you may want to consider.

Gas vs. Diesel Pickup Trucks – which is better? If you’re going with a truck – check out my post about the differences between gas and diesel engines.

If you own or have owned or driven one of these beauties and can comment on the experience, leave me a comment! I’d love to hear how you used the trunk of the vehicle and how it felt.

 

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