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The Best Compact Sedan Trunk

August 24th, 2011

For some compact sedan owners, the trunk area is of low importance, since they use the car mostly for commuting and short trips around town, with little need for much trunk space.  Other owners need a spacious trunk for vacations with the family or for hauling items like strollers, bicycles, sports team gear, camping equipment, home business supplies, or even those big Costco grocery boxes.

We assembled over 100 compact sedan owners to carefully evaluate 11 of the best compact sedans in America.  Included were the all-new 2012 Civic and Focus, and the new-for-2011 Elantra, Cruze, and Jetta.  We had them rate each model on 87 attributes, including 8 detailed trunk area measures.  Here are their findings for the best compact sedan trunk.

The 2nd runner up:  The Toyota Corolla and Kia Forte tied for 3rd place for overall trunk area.  Corolla scored above average on all 8 detailed measures, and its best-in-segment trunk opening made loading and unloading easy.   Forte scored above average for 5 of 8 measures, with trunk space ranked 4th out of 11 sedans tested.

The 1st runner up:  The new-for-2011 Hyundai Elantra.  Some cars sacrifice functionality and room for the sake of style.  Not so with Elantra.  The clear exterior styling favorite, Elantra also delivers in the functional arena, scoring best-in-class for front and rear seat roominess and comfort, and taking second place for overall trunk area.  Elantra rates above average for all 8 detailed trunk measures, and best-in-class for 5.  Trunk space with the rear seats up rates second best, and with the rear seats folded rates first.  Elantra’s trunk mounted levers for folding the rear seats rate best-in-segment.

The winner:  The new-for-2011 Volkswagen Jetta.  Jetta’s trunk rates first overall, with above average ratings across all 8 detailed measures, and best in class trunk space (rear seats up) and size of trunk opening.

So, Jetta’s trunk is the champion among compact sedan trunks.  But, storage is not all about loading large items in the trunk.  What about small item storage in the cabin?  In a few days, we will roll out what 100 segment owners said about interior storage after comparing all the major compact sedans.  But, you don’t have to wait.  See for yourself by selecting the compact sedan segment and then scrolling down to select the interior storage attribute.  You’ll be given results for the best compact sedan in order of their overall trunk area ratings.