The best vehicles for Christmas shopping
The battle of the trunksby Ciprian Florea, on
The winter holidays are all fun and joy once you’ve set up the Christmas tree and invited everyone over, but before you do that, you obviously need to buy everything on that shopping list. That includes presents, food, and everything else you need for the holidays, and they all need to fit in your trunk unless you want to make more than one trip.
You obviously need a pretty big trunk, so I went ahead and compiled a list of the best vehicles for Christmas shopping. Large SUVs are best recommended for the job, but you can also consider wagons and minivans. Yes, there aren’t many wagons to choose from in the U.S. nowadays, but if you’re not a fan of SUVs, there are few large sedans that offer decent trunk space. Let’s have a closer look at what you can use.
The battle for most trunk space is more heated than ever between full-size SUVs with at least four options if you want at least 120 cubic feet. The latest Ford Expedition is one of them.
Opt for the longer Max model and you can load 36 cubic feet of luggage behind the third-row seats.
That’s almost twice the volume you get with a big sedan. Fold the third-row seats and space increases to 73.3 cubic feet. Need more than that? Well, folding the second-row seats as well will get you a whopping 121.5 cubic feet of room. That’s enough to fit a Christmas tree in there.
Read our full review on the Ford Expedition Max
The Chevy Suburban is just as big and offers comparable luggage room. It actually comes with a few extra cubic feet in all configurations, starting with 39.3 cubic feet of room behind the third row. Sacrifice these seats, and you can load up 76.7 cubic feet of luggage.
In case you do your Christmas shopping with just one person, you can also fold the second-row seats for no less than 121.7 cubic feet of room.
Read our full review on the 2018 Chevrolet Suburban
Essentially a fancied up Suburban, the Cadillac Escalade also offers plenty of storage room. However, it’s not as spacious as the Chevy or the Ford Expedition. Trunk room is limited to only 15.2 cubic feet behind the third-row seats while folding the latter increases room to 51.6 cubic feet. Go with the longer ESV model and fold both the third and second row and you get a competing 120.9-cubic-foot trunk though.
Read our full review on the 2018 Cadillac Escalade ESV
Speaking of fancied-up SUVs, here’s the premium version of the Ford Expedition. For maximum cargo capacity though, you have to go with the longer L version, as the standard Navigator offers only 19.3 and 63.6 cubic feet of space behind the third and second row, respectively.
Go with the bigger SUV, and these figures increase to a more solid 34.3 and 79.6 cubic feet.
Total trunk capacity is just as good as the Caddy’s with both second- and third-row seats folded flat, coming in a whopping 120.2 cubic feet.
Read our full review on the 2018 Lincoln Navigator.
You don’t necessarily need a big SUV to get enormous luggage room. A minivan will do just fine. Actually, the Toyota Sienna trumps all of the SUVs above in just about any department. Hit the supermarket with the third-row seats in place and you have 39.1 cubic feet of room.
If you're not taking the entire family plus the dog with you, fold the third-row seats and space increases to 87.1 cubic feet.
If you also fold the second-row seats, the Sienna swallows up to 150 cubic feet of luggage, or almost 30 cubic feet more than any full-size SUV. Now you can buy presents for the entire neighborhood.
Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota Sienna
Wagons are also a good option to haul stuff, but this segment is almost extinct in the U.S. The good news is that you can still buy a Volkswagen Golf SportWagen, which comes with a 30.4-cubic-foot trunk. Fold the rear seats, and it increases to 66.5 cubic feet. That’s almost four times more than what you get with the Volkswagen Passat sedan. Pretty cool, huh?
Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
When it comes to sedans, nothing beats the Ford Taurus. Launched in 2009, the sixth-generation Taurus is a dinosaur that’s about to go extinct, but it’s a solid option if you want a family sedan with a big trunk.
The Taurus can swallow up to 20 cubic feet of luggage, which is at least one extra cubic feet over any other competitor.
Opt for the SHO and you also get solid horsepower. Getting to that supermarket fast won’t b an issue with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 rated at 365 horsepower. The Taurus won’t be around for next Christmas though, as Ford plans to phase it out in 2019. You will be able to buy one in China though, where a seventh-generation model co-developed by Changan Ford and Ford of Australia is available since 2015.
Read our full review on the 2014 Ford Taurus.
The Chevrolet Impala is next in line when it comes to trunk space. Unlike the Taurus, it has been redesigned for the 2014 model year, so it’s not as dated. It looks modern, it feels modern, and it’s equipped with GM’s latest technology. It doesn’t have as much power as the Taurus SHO, but its 3.6-liter V-6 engine delivers a solid 305 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque. How much cargo can it take? Almost 19 cubic feet.
Specifically, it's rated at 18.8 cubic feet, 1.2 cubic feet less than the Taurus, but it's roomy enough for a serious shopping session.
Read our full review on the 2015 Chevrolet Impala.
Introduced in 2011, the current Passat is the first that was designed specifically for the North American market. Although it’s fairly old, the facelift that Volkswagen designed for the 2016 model year keeps it competitive in its segment.
The Passat boasts one of the biggest trunks in the sedan world, offering up to 17 cubic feet of luggage room.
Granted, it’s far behind the Taurus, but it can swallow more luggage than vehicles like the Dodge Charger, Ford Fusion, and Kia Optima. The upcoming, new-generation Passat might arrive with an even bigger trunk though.
Read our full review on the 2016 Volkswagen Passat
When I said the Taurus has the biggest trunk on the sedan market, I actually lied. It’s the biggest on the full-size market because you can get more storage room in the Tesla Model S. Powered by batteries cleverly stored under the floor, the Model S offers notably more room in the trunk.
Specifically, it's rated at 26.3 cubic feet, but things gen even better when you fold the rear seats.
That’s when you can get up to 58.1 cubic feet, nearly as much as in a wagon. What’s more, because there’s no engine, there’s more storage room under the front hood. Granted, it’s not much at 5.3 cubic feet, but it takes the Model S’ total storage capacity up to a whopping 63.4 cubic feet. And because it’s all-electric, you can go to the supermarket without polluting the air.
Read our full review on the 2017 Tesla Model S