Cars with the largest boot space (for pads, gear and sleeping)

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 fatchild 12 Feb 2024

As it says on the tin. What cars do you have experience with, that have a large amount of boot/back area space? If the space is achieved through folding the back seats down then please say. As I want to be able to travel with a group and gear.

  • I want to fit up to 5 pads in
  • 5 seats min
  • A box of trad gear
  • Be able to put a pad long ways and sleep
  • Decent mileage

I am downsizing vehicles from a high top van I have been living in, as I am moving into a house and no longer need all the facilities and the expensive mpg.


 wercat 12 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

Zafira is still a car and has more room than a lot of similar vehicles,  We know from experience with a lot of family camping trips with kids (based on having an old one, 2013 and a 2007 similar version and the original before that, all bought used)

Post edited at 08:18
 midgen 12 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

I don't know how you think you can manage 5 pads + passengers in anything short of a van. 

My Alphard will happily fit 5 people plus a week's worth of winter kit. But it's van territory, and 29mpg on motorways probably isn't what you're after.

I have a Toyota Avensis estate which 3 or so pads.....but we are talking my Snap Grand Wham a Ocun Incubator, and a smaller they are absolutely massive pads. If you're just talking little pads then could probably cram 4-5 in, but you're not taking more than one passenger.

 Dave Todd 12 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

We had a Ford S-Max for many years. Massive boot, very comfy and car-like mpg. Ideal.

 DamonRoberts 12 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

Short of an old 60's or 70's American wagon, the biggest car you'll get is an old Volvo 940, or an early 10's Skoda Superb. Not sure you'll meet your specs in either. In my Mondeo estate, you can get 5 people plus clothes and 3 pads at a push. You could probably manage 3 people and 5 pads, and could add a roof box. 

Crew cab pickup truck with a bed cover would do it. Maybe something like a Ford Galaxy or equivalent people carrier would get close with the back row removed, but then you're basically driving a low top van anyway.

Normal car with a trailer for pads? 

Post edited at 09:01
 spenser 12 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

My 2007 Astra estate would have been able to do lots of this:

I used to sleep in it with a mountain bike and climbing gear/ holdall in the car, back seats down.

You could probably fit 5 pads if you dropped one of the back seats with a box of trad gear in that footwell.

Drove like it was on rails.

Leaked like a wounded animal toward the end (a seal failed), but I adored that car!

It would do Derby to Aviemore on a tank of fuel (although I wouldn't choose to do this deliberately, I just forgot to refuel in Perth and missed the Dalwhinnie petrol station).

 petegunn 12 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

In our berlingo I can get 5 people in with 4 pads and 1 mini pad in the boot. If it's just us we can convert it into a small camper and have done up to 5 nights away. 

Post edited at 09:55
 slawrence1001 12 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

My mate had a volvo V50 estate and used to be able to fit multiple bouldering pads in the boot with all the seats up. Could definitely sleep with the seats down. Also great cars and great fun to drive, as well as being famously long-lived.

 Siward 12 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

We used to have  Mazda 'MPV'. Space for luggage even with the third row of seats deployed. Think Toyota Previa or Renault Grand Espace.

Not sure what the current equivalents are but they're a lot bigger than an estate car and still very car like to drive.

 James Malloch 12 Feb 2024
In reply to slawrence1001:

Similar with my Berlingo. You can stack a lot of pads (I think I’ve had 5 high before if you slot some in from the back seats). If they are “normal” sized pads there is still a bit of room in the boot for some other bits down the side.

The seats on mine fold down flat and I’ve slept in it plenty of times (though have to bend my legs a bit at 6’ 1”).

Then still loads of space for passengers in the back. Though as the middle seat has a seatbelt coming from in the boot, if you stack pads right to the ceiling, then you might not be able to use the middle seat. I’ve never tried that before. 

 Summit Else 12 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

A decent size roofbox makes quite a difference, pretty much + 50% boot space.

 montyjohn 12 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

Range Rover

Won't help with the mpg however

 Andy Hardy 12 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

What's your budget?

A Mondeo estate is pretty huge, but no idea how expensive they are to buy / run.

 crayefish 12 Feb 2024
In reply to montyjohn:

Nah... Disco 4.  The ultimate boot swallow.

 PilkingtonD 12 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

I had a 2010 Santa-Fe that i slept in for a while, 7 seats, back two folded down for a big boot space, definitely 3/4 pads worth. Back row folded down completely flat again for a huge cargo space that I used to be able to sleep in lengthways! Used it for ages for an ace climbing trip car, passengers and gear no problem. Mileage wasn't bad either!

Post edited at 18:50
 Pina 12 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

Volvo V70 (production stopped in 2015 I believe so there should still be some decent second hand ones available.) The new V90 if you're loaded.

Mine would get 50mpg on the motorway (2.0D, though the 2.4D is more reliable),  massive boot and the only car I've ever had which didn't need the driver seat to be moved forward before sleeping in the back.

 bouldery bits 12 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:


E class wagon. 

I have the Merc, it's awesome. Except when it breaks....

 Siward 12 Feb 2024
In reply to crayefish:

I used, briefly, to have a Landcruiser. Nowhere near as much internal space as my aforementioned MPV.

 Luke01 12 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

Caddy maxi life, 7 seater with 2 seats removed. The boot is massive, 5 pads with room for other stuff as well. 45mpg. Plenty long enough to sleep in. 

 montyjohn 12 Feb 2024
In reply to crayefish:

> Nah... Disco 4.  The ultimate boot swallow.

but that's not a Range Rover 

 CantClimbTom 12 Feb 2024
In reply to wercat:

Not so sure, I have a Zafira B although it's better  than the newer Zafira tourer (the "improved" later tourer has slightly less useable space in the back) 5 mats and 5 people will be pushing it!  Also Zafira aren't that great to sleep in, the way the seats fold down doesn't go flat. Think OP needs larger, but agree that Zafira can be good value 

 leland stamper 12 Feb 2024
In reply to wercat:

I think my Zafira is great too.All my grown up children refer to me as the "childminder"

 carl dawson 12 Feb 2024

Re Caddy: 2.0 rather than the 1.6 (read the reviews)

Post edited at 20:39
 Gemmazrobo 13 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

Best we managed in a Berlingo;

  • 5 passengers (inc driver)
  • about 4 full sets of climbing equipment (2*rope +rack)
  • 6 peoples camping stuff
  • 4 pads (1 being slightly smaller)
  • likely a lot of food as well.

Even managed no bags on any ones laps. 30 mins of very impressive Tetris was well worth it for the 5hr drive. 

In reply to fatchild:


5 pads + 5 people.

If you take fold the back seats down it fits a double air mattress.

Fits in normal parking spaces and is easy to park.  Also not overheight on the ferry.

Don't buy the diesel, we had expensive emissions issues (the petrol one we have now runs like a dream).

If you colapse the middle rear seat you can get 2 adult and 2 kiddy bikes down the middle and still seat 4 people.

If you can, get the model with the opening window in the rear tailgate, our new one doesn't have it and I really miss it.

Its not as comfy to sit in for long periods as my mates octavia but not too bad.

I'm on my second and I'd buy another.

 phizz4 13 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

Peugeot 5008? We hired one recently, 5 people, 6 22kg hold bags, 5 rucksacks. Very impressive, comfortable and economical.

 ChrisBrooke 13 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

Skoda Superb. 660L boot is one of the biggest I've seen. It's also a nice drive the rest of the time.

 elliot.baker 13 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

We just got a VW Sharan 2014 for our growing family. Amazing visibility in all directions for the driver, three individual rear seats that each slide and recline (i.e. you can make boot a bit bigger or smaller depending on passenger leg room needed). For 5 adult passengers I don't think I've seen a car with as much room, the middle person get's a whole proper seat! It's got 2 more adult sized seats in the boot, with these down the boot is absolutely cavernous, internet says 711litres with 5 seats. With all 7 seats up it's only 300 litres but you could potentially still get away with it if you had a roof box and / or tow bar box fitted and 7 passengers. With all seats down it's van like - 2,300 litres.

We've not had it long but the only practical example of it's size I can give is that I went to the tip with a double mattress and loads of cardboard boxes (for a bed, to give you an idea of size), and I could still see out of the back window (with all the seats down this was).

 Fraser 13 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

I'm guessing not but can you just confirm that you don't need 5 pads in it and still have 5 seats available at the same time. Also FYI, if you use the Autotrader website / app you can get the boot volume info.  (with seats up and down) in the Dimensions tab.

 morpcat 13 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

Volvo V70 or XC70 estate. I'm on my second one. Rear seats fold completely flat and I can comfortably fit in to sleep with some extra head room (I'm 170cm), and there's space for another. The boot is enormous and has cubbies underneath for spare wheel and all the essential tools (and more). 

 Fraser 13 Feb 2024
In reply to morpcat:

I really love both these and would seriously consider (the right) one for my next car but their basic boot volume isn't as big as the E-Class, Passat, Audi A6 Avant or the Skoda Superb.

 trying.soft 17 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

Mine's a Ford Mondeo Estate Titanium X. 

When you fold the back sits flat, you have 180cm of space, which fits an inflatable bed. Great for yourself with space on the side for bags/boxes.
f it's two of us, we use our camping mats, so we fit side by side, bags at the front. 
Have never travelled with crash--pads... cos yuck

In reply to wercat:

+1 for a Zafira, ours will take a family of 5 with family camping gear and a spaniel in the boot. No idea about pads though.

 top cat 18 Feb 2024

My Ford Custom Tourneo is classed as a diesel car and does 40 mph.........loads of room cos it is effectively a van

 Pedro50 18 Feb 2024
In reply to top cat:

> My Ford Custom Tourneo is classed as a diesel car and does 40 mph.........loads of room cos it is effectively a van

😆 🤣 

In reply to montyjohn:

The Sport from a similar vintage has seats that go completely flat and easily long enough to sleep in and a roof high enough that one can sit up resting against the back of the front seats and contemplate the ULEZ, £625 road tax and 25 mpg…

 Siward 18 Feb 2024
In reply to Siward:

Here's the space in the old Mazda. I'm 6'3" and plenty of room 😊

In reply to fatchild:

I had a Nissan Pathfinder for some years. enough room for Moon Saturn pads in the boot with the seats all up. Put the rear seats down, and it’s a flat floor with enough room for a big double inflatable mattress. Selectable 4x4 and low gear ratios, lockable diff and I found it pretty well bomb proof. Can certainly sleep on pads in it. 

 johncook 20 Feb 2024
In reply to fatchild:

Peugeot 508. A turbo diesel estate with a very good fuel consumption, over 65+mpg on Spain or Alps holidays. With rear seats down,  long enough for a 6 footer to stretch out. Plenty of boot room for pads and 5 passengers. Seats 5. Expensive because they are so much in demand. (Used at ambulances in France!)

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