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When it comes time to choose a new SUV, you will find many choices. Today's SUVs are great for carrying passengers and cargo. These modern SUVs have replaced the huge variety of minivans filling the roads of the early 2000s. We have sorted the more than 140 SUV models to show which models have seats that fold flat into the floor.
Most SUVs designed since 2018 have seats that fold flat into the floor, forming a smooth surface for carrying cargo. Many mid-sized and standard/full-size SUVs even have a 3rd-row bench which may fold into the cargo well behind the back tires. All SUV model lines offer as standard or as an upgrade option power-fold seating. Here is a quick look at top options (non-luxury brands) from the major car companies: :
- General Motors Buick Enclave: Mid-size, 7 people, power-fold option
- Ford Explorer: Mid-size, 7people, power-fold option
- Jeep Grand Cherokee: Mid-size, 7 people, power-fold option
- Honda Pilot, Mid-size, 7 people, power-fold option
- Hyundai Sante Fe: Mid-size, 7 people, power-fold standard
- Kia Sorento: Mid-size, 8 people, power-fold option
- Toyota Highlander: Mid-size, 7/8 people, power-fold option
- General Motors Chevrolet Suburban: Full-size, 8/9 people, power-fold option
- Ford Expedition: Full-size, 8/9 People, power-fold option
- Hyundai Palisade: Full Size, 7/8 people, power-fold option
- Toyota Sequoia: Full-size, 8/9 people, power-fold option
These SUVs are great options with seats that fold flat into the floor, forming a sizeable cargo-carrying space that is usually seamless with the cargo bay floor. These SUV seats fold flat, creating the floor, but this is different from the Christler, and Toyota "stow 'n go" seats literally compact into the floor. SUVs cannot do this because they are designed for off-road driving, which requires a higher clearance. Keep reading to learn more about the great options above!
General Motors offers the following mid-sized/crossover SUVs:
All are 5-passenger vehicles that come with a standard 2nd-row manual 60-40 flat-folding bench. With the 2nd-row seats folded down, you have 57.3 (Equinox) to 64.2 (Buick Envision) cu. ft. of space.
The GMC Terrain also offers a rare bonus with a fold-flat front passenger seat.
These three, at the higher price point, come with more features and options. The Buick Enclave and the Chevy Traverse have as standard fold-flat captain's chairs for its 2nd-row and have an option for a powered folding on the 60-40 split 3rd-row bench. Fold-flat all seats and the Buick Enclave has 97.6 cu. ft. and the Chevy Travers has 98.2 cu. ft. of cargo space
Ford Motor Company
Ford offers four mid-sized/crossover SUV, all with fold-flat seating:
The Ford Edge is a crossover SUV that offers smooth car-like handling for 5-passengers. It has 73.4 cu. ft. of cargo space with the 2nd-row 60/40 split-fold flat reclining bench down. On the Titanium and St-Limited models, you can have Power-fold seats that descend with a press of a button.
The Ford Escape might be categorized as a compact SUV, but with seating for 5-passengers on a 60/40 split-fold flat reclining bench, it is worth considering with the mid-sized SUVs.
The Ford Bronco has many models and trims. It seats 4/5 passengers with a 60/40 or 50/50 split-fold flat reclining bench. On the 2-door, it has 58.4 cu. ft. of space and up to 82.97 cu. ft. on the four-door models with the longer wheelbases.
The Ford Explorer offers seating for 6/7 people with a 2nd-row 60/40 split-fold flat reclining bench or dual captains chairs, all of which fold flat. The 3rd row is a 50/50 split-fold flat bench.
The Ford Explorer has 87.2 cu. ft. of storage space with all the seats folded flat. PowerFold seating is available with the Limited, ST, and Platinum models.
Jeep (part of Fiat Chrysler) offers various compact SUVs, including the Rangler and the Compass, but just the two mid-sized SUVs, the Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee.
The Jeep Cherokee comes in eight models and seats five passengers on a manual 60/40 split-folding seatback. The Jeep Grand Cherokee comes in five models, most with five-passenger and one configuration with a 2021 model with seven-passenger seating. Both have extra storage in the well below the cargo bay floor. With the seats folded flat, the total cargo space is 54.7 to 68.3 cu. ft. Power-folding is either standard or optional.
The Honda Passport offers 5-passenger seating with manual or power-folding 60/40 split rear seatback. The Honda Pilot. The cargo space is 41.2 /77.9 cu. ft. Higher trim levels have a powered liftgate and power-folding standard.
Honda's Pilot is slightly longer, offering 7-passenger seating with manual or power-folding 60/40 split rear reclining seatback for both the 2nd and 3rd-row seats. The cargo space is 16.5/46.8/83.9 cu. ft. Higher trim levels have a powered liftgate and power-folding standard.
The Hyundai mid-sized SUVs come with 5-passenger seating on a manual 60-40 split-folding seatback, powered. Both come with a power liftgate standard. The total cargo space is for the Tuscon 61.9 cu. ft. and for the Sante Fe 72.1 cu. ft.
Kia offers two mid-sized SUVs
Both models come with 7/8-passenger seating. Both the 2nd and 3rd-row are reclining 60/40 Split-folding seats.
The SX with Prestige Package allows you to press a button for the 2nd-row seats to slide forward for easier access to the 3rd-row. A second button folds the seats to the floor.
Additional storage is found under Dual-Level Cargo Floor in the cargo bay of these SUVs. They have up to 87 cu. ft. of cargo space.
The Subaru Outback is Subaru's mid-sized SUV. It is 5-passenger with a manual 60/40 split-folding seatback. The Premium model has an optional powered liftgate. The other models have this standard.
The cargo space in the Subaru Outback is 32.5/75.7 cu. ft.
The Toyota Highlander has 8-passenger seating with manual or power-folding 60/40 split-fold bench on either the 2nd or 3rd-row.
The cargo space in the Toyota Highlander is 16/48.4/84.3 cu. ft.
What is the roomiest mid-sized SUV?
The Kia Sorento, Kia Telluride, and the Ford Explorer have up to 87 cu. ft. of interior space with the seats folded flat. With the seats up for passengers, they have more riding space than most of the others.
The General Motors' standard SUVs offer the 7-passenger GMC Acacia, the 8-passenger GMC Yukon, and the 8/9-passenger Cadillac Escalade and Chevy Tahoe/Suburban. The GMC and Cadillac offer a power-folding 2nd-row captain's chairs, 60/40 split-fold bench, and power-folding 3rd-row 60/40 split-fold bench. The Chevy's only offer the power-folding captain's chairs in the top models.
The GMC Yukon, both Chevy's and the Cadillac Escalade offer a 1st-row three-person bench seat.
Here are the cargo space figures from behind each of the three rows:
- Chevrolet Tahoe: 25.5/72.6/122.9 cu. ft.
- Chevrolet Suburban: 41.5/93.8/144.7 cu. ft.
- GMC Acacia: 12.8/41.7/79 cu. ft.
- GMC Yukon: 25.5/72.6/122.9 cu. ft.
- Cadillac Escalade: 25.5/72.9/121 cu. ft.
Ford Motor Company
The Ford Expedition offers three-row seating options for 7/8-passengers and a 2-row only 5-passenger in the XL-STX models. All 3-row models come with a power-folding 3rd-row bench seating three. The 2nd-row can add the captain's chairs. All seats fold flat.
The cargo space is 19.3/57.5/104.6 cu. ft. You gain 4-5 cu. ft. behind the 2nd-row and 3rd-row seats in some models.
The 7-passenger Hyundai Palisade comes standard with 2nd-row captain's chairs and a 60/40 folding 3rd-row bench. Or it can be 8-passenger with a 2nd-row 60/40 folding bench. The SEL has optional powered folding and unfolding 3rd-row while the Limited has this standard.
The cargo space in the Hyundai Palisade is 18/45.8/86.4 cu. ft.
The Toyota Sequoia has 7/8-passenger seating with standard 2nd-row captain's chairs, or you may change to manual or power-folding 60/40 split-fold bench on either the 2nd or 3rd-row.
The cargo space in the Toyota Sequoia is 18.9/66.6/120.1 cu. ft.
How is cargo space measured in an SUV?
The length, height measure cargo space and width multiplied to form the cubic feet volume. It is sometimes difficult to compare car companies because the industry does not use a standard measurement. Some companies figure cargo volume from the windshield to the liftgate, and others, like the Ford Motor Company, figure it from the rear of the front seats to the liftgate.
The other consideration is whether the wheel housings over the rear wheels are visible in the rear of the SUV or are invisible in the interior. If they are visible, the width is measured at both the beltline and between the wheel housings.
What is the difference between compact, mid-sized SUVs and standard/full-sized models?
Compact SUVs are a lot more car-like than SUV-like. They are often designed on a car frame. Mid-sized and standard SUVs are usually built on a truck frame.
Mid-sized SUVs are different from the standard SUV as they are designed to be easier to drive and get better gas mileage than their full-sized cousins. Standard/full-sized SUVs have more off-road and towing capabilities. Both may seat 7/8 passengers, but the standard SUV usually has a more comfortable 3rd-row seating experience.
What is the roomiest compact SUV?
Before digging into the mid-sized and standard SUVs, it is good to consider the passenger comfort of the compact SUV if carrying passengers is a higher priority than cargo space. The Ford Escape, the Mazda CX-5, the Honda HR-V, and the Suburu Forester offer some of the best legroom and 2nd-row comfort in the compact SUV category.
Which 8-passenger SUV has the most cargo space?
General Motor's Chevrolet Suburban has by far the most cargo space with 2nd and 3rd-row fold-flat seating with 144.7 cu. ft. of space. Chevy's Tahoe and the Cadillac Esplanade have fold-flat seating of 122.9 cu. ft. of space.
The Kia Carnival MPV has 145.1 cu. ft. of space, but the 2nd-row seats do not fold flat and have to be physically removed.
Which luxury SUV has the most cargo space?
This look at mid-sized and standard SUVs won't be covering the luxury brands and models. If vehicle price is less of a concern, the most cargo space with all seats folded flat is found in the following:
- 2020 BMW X7 - 90.4
- Infiniti QX80 - 95.1
- Lincoln Navigator - 120.2 cu ft
Most mid-sized and standard SUVs offer fold-flat seats. This feature has become a hallmark of the SUV for its versatility and convenience. It is so helpful to fold the seats flat, making a large surface for hauling cargo.