Seven budget family sedans with the biggest trunks

If you golf, play hockey or have a family that does all the above, you may often find yourself asking, “How much junk can I fit in this trunk?” when you’re looking at new cars to buy. No, trunk capacity isn’t as sexy as horsepower or a blazing zero to 100 km/h time, but is a practical specification that is probably more useful to more people.

The common route to go is a big, honking SUV, but not everyone wants an SUV or a truck and may like something a bit more compact and manageable. This is where full-sized sedans come into play — full-sized sedans have full-sized trunks.

We’ve looked at all the budget full-sized family sedans on the market to see which ones had the biggest trunk capacities, and determined that these seven come out on top:

5. (virtual tie) 2014 Volkswagen Passat: 450 L and 2014 Kia Cadenza: 451 L

2014 Volkswagen Passat

2014 Volkswagen Passat

PHOTO: Handout, Volkswagen

The 2014 Kia Cadenza's big, roomy trunk.

The 2014 Kia Cadenza’s big, roomy trunk.

PHOTO: John LeBlanc, Driving

2014 Kia Cadenza.

2014 Kia Cadenza.

PHOTO: John LeBlanc, Driving

The Volkswagen Passat and Kia Cadenza are both stylish sedans with luxury car aspirations and a quality build you’d expect to find in more expensive cars. Just one litre of trunk space separates the two, so I’ve considered this a virtual tie. The front-wheel-drive Passat has three engine options (1.8L turbo four-cylinder, 2.0L turbo-diesel and 3.6L V6) while the front-drive Cadenza has just one engine (3.3L V6).

In a Reader Review of the Cadenza, Dave DeBoer says, “We had a full-sized hockey bag in [the trunk]. It gobbled it up and there was still lots of room.”

The Passat starts at $23,975 and the Cadenza starts at $37,895.

4. 2014 Toyota Avalon: 453 L

The 2014 Toyota Avalon Limited is the perfect car for Camry-lovers looking for more room (and luxury).

The 2014 Toyota Avalon Limited is the perfect car for Camry-lovers looking for more room (and luxury).
John LeBlanc, Driving

The Toyota Avalon is more stylish than it has ever been and has been surprising car reviewers with its sporty driving characteristics, comfortable ride and roomy interior. The front-drive Avalon is powered by a 3.6L V6 and also comes as a hybrid model.

In a Reader Review of the Avalon, Bob Golding of Calgary said the sedan’s trunk was “huge.”

With a large opening and low liftover, it was able to swallow the luggage of two airport-bound passengers with no problem, he said.

The Avalon starts at $31,340.

3. 2014 Chrysler 300: 461 L and Dodge Charger: 467 L

The Chrysler 300C can be had with either a 3.6-litre V6 or a Hemi V8 under the hood.

The Chrysler 300C can be had with either a 3.6-litre V6 or a Hemi V8 under the hood.

PHOTO: Nick Tragianis, Driving

A unique rear spoiler and 20-inch wheels are included with the Scat Pack on the Charger.

A unique rear spoiler and 20-inch wheels are included with the Scat Pack on the Charger.

PHOTO: Handout, Chrysler

Although they’re based on the same platform, the Dodge Charger mysteriously has six more litres of trunk capacity than the Chrysler 300.

Arguably the best-looking and most gangster of this group of sedans, the 300 and Charger both have great presence on the road. They’re both powered by a 3.6L V6 and have optional Hemi V8s and all-wheel-drive.

I also did a (very professional) unofficial test of the 300′s trunk capacity for our more shady readers like the Walter Whites or Jimmy Hoffas among us:

Important testing in progress. RT @NickTrag: Professional passenger on a closed course. Do not attempt. #swag http://t.co/DEsoMNmjuy—
Jodi Lai (@DrivingMissJodi) November 21, 2013

The 300 starts at $34,595 and the Charger starts at $29,995.

2. 2014 Chevrolet Impala: 532 L

The front-wheel-drive, five-passenger Chevrolet Impala feels more expensive than its sticker. It helps a lot that it shares its architecture with parent General Motors’ upscale Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac XTS sedans.

The front-wheel-drive, five-passenger Chevrolet Impala feels more expensive than its sticker. It helps a lot that it shares its architecture with parent General Motors’ upscale Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac XTS sedans.
John LeBlanc, Driving

Fully redesigned for the 2014 model year, the new Chevrolet Impala gets a dose of the Camaro in the looks and performance department. Available with two engine options (2.4L four-cylinder and a 3.6L V6), the front-drive Impala has always been one of the top picks for comfort and roominess.

In his review of the Impala, Jim Leggett says, “The exterior styling is a big improvement, but it does make rear visibility limited through the steeply angled rear window. The truncated trunk opening does limit the access with larger items, although the cargo capacity is very good.”

The Impala starts at $28,445.

1. 2014 Ford Taurus: 569 L

2014 Ford Taurus

2014 Ford Taurus
Handout, Ford

The Ford Taurus sits at the top of this list because it has the biggest trunk capacity by a long shot: It has 37 litres of space over the Impala runner-up. The front-drive Taurus is powered by a 3.5L V6, 2.0L EcoBoost four-cylinder or a twin-turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5L V6 (SHO models only) and has optional all-wheel-drive.

In his review, David Booth says, “The Taurus has a huge trunk. The 569 litres that Ford boasts it can carry really doesn’t do it justice. As my good friend — Driving’s own tech guru — Graeme Fletcher would say, it’s a four-Hoffa trunk.”

The Taurus starts at $28,999.

About Jodi Lai