Putting in the boot space: Cars with space for all the family
A car’s boot isn’t the most exciting automotive consideration but it’s fundamental. If we can’t fit our life into our car, the relationship will be strained, if not doomed. Of course, children, pets, sporting pursuits and other hobbies can all conspire to make this a fiendish task but these five big-booted contenders go further than most. Between them, they offer a load-lugging solution for families of just about every shape, size and persuasion.
Small car – Honda Jazz
This light-sized Honda is a veritable Tardis, ideal for couples or small inner-city families seeking maximum utility within strict budget, fuel economy or size limitations. Its boot is bigger than many small cars but the way it allows you to make use of every inch of its space is what’s special. Uniquely, the split-fold back seats’ bases can be flipped up, so you can do things like sling a bike in the back-seat area while still filling the boot. The back seat also folds much flatter and lower than usual, so its maximum carrying capacity isn’t far off a small wagon’s. Priced from $14,990.
Mid-sized car – Skoda Superb wagon
If you aren’t quite ready to jump on the SUV bandwagon but need a properly practical family car, this Skoda stands out. Its generous rump is the biggest in the class, bigger even than your average large seven-seat SUV. It’s capable of swallowing up just about anything a typical-sized family can throw at it on a day-to-day basis with space to spare. Drop the split-fold back seats and you get a long, broad and expansive box that swallows bikes, boards, skis, instruments or whatever else an active, interesting family might find themselves lugging about. Priced from $39,990.
Five-seat SUV – Nissan X-Trail
The medium-sized SUV is the car of choice for many average-sized families these days, and this Nissan is one of the most practical.
Its boot is big, deep and right up there with the biggest in the class. What gives it the edge over similarly capacious alternatives, though, is the boot’s false floor: with it you can either maximise carrying capacity, create an underfloor storage area or position it vertically to partition the space. Very handy. In two-seat mode you get a generous, box-shaped space that handles life’s bigger, bulkier objects with ease. Priced from $27,990.
Seven-seat SUV – Toyota Kluger
The Nissan X-Trail offers a seven-seat option but, like other medium SUVs, you don’t get much more than a briefcase-sized boot with all seats in use. This large-sized Toyota is rather better equipped for the task of balancing occupants and luggage. Its load space with seven occupants is better than its rivals and more than sufficient for a decent load of shopping or a bunch of schoolbags. Fold the third-row seats into the floor and you can house five occupants with a large wagon-sized boot. In two-seat mode you’ve got long, broad and intrusion-free space to play with. From $42,190.
People mover – Kia Carnival
If you regularly carry bigger items and a full complement of passengers, even a large seven-seat SUV might not be enough. That’s where this eight-seater Kia comes in. Fill all the seats and you’ve still got a deep and cavernous load space at the back that can swallow prams and other bigger items. Fold the final-row seats into the floor and you get five-up seating and a load space big enough to wheel in a bike or three. Remove the centre middle-row seat and you can carry four people while transporting longer objects like kayaks. In two-up mode you’ve basically got a commercial van on your hands. If you can’t fit your life in a Carnival, it might be time to consider a trailer. Priced from $41,490.
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