Do SUVs Have More Room Than Sedans? (We Checked)

SUVs, even those of compact size, can be as spacious as a sedan. Sport utility vehicles are taller and wider, can have more seats, carry more cargo, and tow more weight than comparable sedans.

However, Sedans are limited to a front and rear seat and may only seat four instead of 6, 7, or 8.

Measures used to quantify the interior of a vehicle include:

  • legroom,
  • headroom,
  • shoulder room,
  • and cargo capacity.

Let’s dive into the numbers.

Here’s Why SUVs Are Roomier Than Sedans:

An SUV offers a roomier drive than a sedan because of its distinct design, particularly when the rear seats are folded. A higher ride height allows you to accommodate more cargo and passengers than a sedan. The extra space allows for added seating and greater comfort during a road trip.

Ford EcoSport SUV parked

Do SUVs or Sedans Have More Interior Space?

When picking a car, interior space is one of the most significant factors. If you’re driving around town with a family of five, you’ll need enough room for everyone to be comfortable.

If you’ve ever been inside a sedan, you know there’s little room for anything else but the driver and passengers. And even then, if you’re tall or wide, you’ll probably be uncomfortable in some areas of the cabin.

But SUVs are different. They offer plenty of space for passengers and cargo alike.

So which one gives you more room?

Comparing two vehicles of the same price range and manufacturer is the best way to get our answer.

For example, the Chevrolet Malibu Sedan is 5.55 inches narrower and 13.03 inches lower when compared to Chevrolet Traverse SUV. It has 1.5 inches less ground clearance and offers 81% less cargo space.

Therefore, height is one of the most significant differences between the Traverse and Malibu. SUVs are dramatically taller than sedans, so they would generally have more headroom and space inside.

This height difference also translated to the significant difference in cargo capacity – because the Traverse is significantly taller and wider than the Malibu, it can offer more room for cargo space.

The Traverse also has three rows of seats – with configurations that can seat up to eight individuals. In comparison, the Malibu would only seat up to five people.

So, let’s say you have three kids and need seating plus room to store their gear (or your gear). The Chevy Traverse would be your best bet because it offers more interior space for seating and cargo than a Malibu.

For more, check out our article looking at the best and worst years of the Chevy Traverse.

That said, there are many different types of SUVs, each with a different interior layout. But in general, SUVs do have more room inside than sedans.

SUVs are also safer than sedans.

Do SUVs Offer More Storage Space Than Normal Cars?

While SUVs and minivans are often considered big, bulky vehicles, they offer more storage space than smaller cars. This is why many Americans choose SUVs over other vehicles when purchasing their next vehicle.

The reason for the extra storage space supplied by SUVs is simple – SUVs are designed with storage capacity in mind after being based on trucks or vans with higher ride heights.

The storage space is significantly more extensive than what is generally found in the trunk of a regular-sized car like a sedan. Therefore, you will have more than enough room in the rear of an SUV to carry everything you need.

This gives them much more room to store things, making SUVs perfect for families transporting all their gear from place to place. And if you ever need extra storage space, adding to it by dropping the rear seats is simple.

An SUV can also be readily equipped with cargo carriers, roof racks, and bike racks. This keeps you prepared and geared for your next big road trip.

Ultimately, if you plan on taking a trip or driving long distances often, it might be worth considering an SUV instead of a car because of its added amenities.

This is also one of the main reasons SUVs sell better than sedans.

Are SUVs Better for Tall Drivers and Large Persons?

Ideally, the number one objective for any driver is to find the perfect vehicle that suits their shape and taste.

You require a car that is in line with your physical requirements. If you are taller or larger, an SUV is often the best option to fit these requirements.

Few of the many vehicles on the road can accommodate taller persons without making them feel restricted. As a result, tall people frequently have difficulty finding the perfect car.

There are many dependable luxury SUVs with appropriate interior space for tall persons on the market.

These vehicles offer superior legroom and headroom than other cars, making them more comfortable for tall drivers.

The seating position is higher than in sedans and hatchbacks, meaning there is more space for your legs between the seat and the pedals. This makes it easier for people with long legs to get in and out of their vehicles without contorting their bodies or bending over unnecessarily.

If you have long legs and need to stretch out, SUVs are a good option.

Do SUVs Offer More Legroom Than Sedans?

The main reason SUVs have such ample interior space is that they’re taller than sedans and hatchbacks.

That extra height translates into more headroom and legroom inside the cabin. If you have long legs, this can make all the difference in the world.

Sedans generally have little legroom and cramped interiors, making it difficult to get comfortable in the front seat.

The front seat of most SUVs, however, offers more legroom than the front seats of most sedans.

This can be especially useful if you’re tall, have long legs, and need extra space between your knees and the dashboard or steering wheel when sitting down.

Many SUVs, especially ones with more extensive seating configurations, offer much greater front and rear-seat legroom than comparable sedans or hatchbacks do.

Passengers can also stretch out and relax on long road trips when cruising in an SUV.

Therefore, if you’re tall or have long legs, this is a significant advantage over the smaller sedan, which, due to its design and ride height, doesn’t offer much legroom.

Do Sedans or SUVs Have More Comfortable Cabins?

Regarding the cabins of these two vehicles, comfort varies depending on your needs.

Sedans are usually considered comfortable because they have a lower center of gravity, meaning that you sit closer to the road and feel more connected to what’s happening around you.

That said, you’re likely to feel more bumps in the road in a sedan. This, accompanied by limited space, could disadvantage the sedan’s comfortability on longer road trips.

On the other hand, SUVs tend to be higher up off the ground, giving drivers a greater sense of safety because they can see what’s happening around them. Additionally, many SUVs offer excellent suspension, which can make for a smoother ride.

SUVs also tend to have larger cabins than sedans, making them feel more spacious and comfortable for passengers. This is typically an ideal way to travel for long trips and adventures.

Ultimately, SUVs are more comfortable if you’re carrying passengers or cargo, as they have higher overall capacities in their trunks and backseats.

However, the comfort aspect would greatly depend on your needs and uses for your vehicle.

How are sedans and SUVs sized?

Sedans range from diminutive compacts to mid-and full-size sedans that may be as long and wide as an SUV.

SUVs, on the other hand, come as:

Compact SUVs (see dimensions further down)

Include:

  • the Honda CRV,
  • Ford Bronco,
  • and Subaru Forester.

Mid-Size SUVs (see dimensions further down)

Include:

  • the Chevy Travers,
  • Kia Telluride,
  • and Dodge Durango

Full-Size (aka Regular size) SUVs (dimensions further down)

Include:

  • the GMC Yukon,
  • Chevy Suburban,
  • and Jeep Wagoneer

Extended-length SUVs (see dimensions further down)

Include:

  • the Nissan Armada,
  • Lincoln Navigator,
  • Toyota Sequoia,
  • and Ford Expedition.

Comparing the size of an SUV to a comparable sedan can be challenging.

However, knowing how manufacturers measure a vehicle’s size takes a bit of mystery from the equation.

By giving you the internal dimensions and capacities of a vehicle, manufacturers give you numbers you can compare before you hit the car lots.

Do SUVs or sedans have more cabin space?

SUVs have more headroom than sedans because the taller roofline adds extra inches above one’s head.

In addition, some sedans have swept back roof lines that limit their interior capacity.

The sloping rear windows of some sedans also contribute to less cabin space and cargo space.

However, due to the size of a few of these sedans, design features have little effect on their spacious cabins.

Some sedans, like the Mercedes S-Class, offer fewer seats. However, by providing two rear bucket seats, these sedans offer a spaciousness only found in limousines and cater nicely to their occupants.

Do SUVs offer more space than similar-priced sedans?

Compact to mid-size SUVs are comparably priced with many popular sedans. However, full-size or extended-length SUVs can have a price that touches the 100-thousand-dollar mark.

Mid-sized SUVs and sedans have comparable prices.

The outlier is the Toyota Corolla, which has an MSRP of $22,000, yet has more front leg room than the BMW 7 Series or Mercedes Benz S.

Do full-size SUVs have more room than big sedans?

SUVs have more cargo room than sedans, even when fitted with a third seat.

An SUV can haul a load with a roof rack and pull a trailer.

However, the numbers below indicate that sedans are as roomy as SUVs. The problem is they can’t be reconfigured to carry 100 cubic feet of cargo.

Are SUVs or sedans best for tall people?

That depends on the size of the SUV or sedan we are talking about. Of course, the higher roof of an SUV allows more headroom.

However, large sedans can have as much or more legroom as an SUV, which is equally essential for tall drivers.

The only way to try a car is to test drive one to decide if it fits. The front and rear seats, headroom, leg room, and shoulder room can determine whether you can fit your tall frame into a particular sedan or SUV.

What are the roomiest sedans?

2023 BMW 7 Series interior dimensions

38.6 inches of headroom

41.2 inches of front legroom

43.3 inches of rear legroom

61.0 inches of front shoulder room

56.3 inches of back shoulder room

19.1 cubic feet of trunk cargo capacity

  • 2023 Mercedes Benz S-Class interior dimensions

39.3 inches of headroom

41.0 inches of front legroom

44.0 inches of rear legroom

59.7 inches of front shoulder room

57.8 inches of back shoulder room

13.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity

  • 2023 Audi A8 L interior dimensions

38.3 inches of headroom

41.5 inches of front legroom

44.3 inches of rear legroom

59.1 inches of front shoulder room

57.6 inches of back shoulder room

12.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity

  • 2023 Toyota Corolla interior dimensions

38.3 inches of headroom

42.0 inches of front legroom

34.8 inches of rear legroom

54.0 inches of front shoulder room

51.7 inches of back shoulder room

13.1 cubic feet of cargo capacity

  • 2020 Lincoln Continental interior dimensions

39.0 inches of headroom

42.4 inches of front legroom

37.9 inches of rear legroom

56.7 inches of front shoulder room

53.7 inches of back shoulder room

16.7 cubic foot cargo capacity

  • 2022 Cadillac CT5 interior dimensions

39.0 inches of headroom

42.4 inches of front legroom

37.9 inches of rear legroom

56.7 inches of front shoulder room

55.7 inches of rear shoulder room

11.9 cubic feet of cargo capacity

What are the roomiest SUVs?

  • 2023 Nissan Pathfinder interior dimensions

42.3 inches of headroom

44.3 inches of front legroom

35.5 inches of rear legroom

60.8 inches of front shoulder room

59.6 inches of back shoulder room

16.6 cubic feet of cargo capacity seats up

80.5 cubic feet of cargo space seats down

  • 2023 Kia Telluride

39.5 inches of headroom

41.4 inches of front legroom

42.4 inches of rear legroom

61.6 inches of front shoulder room

59.9 inches of back shoulder room

21.0 cubic feet of cargo capacity seats up

87.0 cubic feet of cargo capacity seats down

  • 2023 Hyundai Palisade

39.3 inches of headroom

44.1 inches of front legroom

42.4 inches of rear legroom

61.2 inches of front shoulder room

60.8 inches of back shoulder room

18.0 cubic feet of cargo capacity seats up

86.4 cubic feet of cargo space seats down

  • 2023 Ford Expedition MAX

42.0 inches of headroom

43.9 inches of front legroom

41.5 inches of rear legroom

64.9 inches of front shoulder room

64.8 inches of back shoulder room

34.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity seats up

121.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity seats down

  • 2023 Buick Enclave

42.6 inches of headroom

44.7 inches of front legroom

38.3 inches of rear legroom

62.2 inches of front shoulder room

61.6 inches of back shoulder room

23.6 cubic feet of cargo capacity seats up

97.4 cubic feet of cargo capacity seats down

  • 2023 Chevrolet Suburban

42.3 inches of headroom

44.5 inches of front legroom

42.0 inches of rear legroom

66.0 inches of front shoulder room

64.8 inches of back shoulder room

41.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity seats up

144.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity seats down

What do you need from a vehicle?

As you can see, besides cargo capacity, sedans can be as roomy as an SUV unless it is an Expedition MAX or Chevrolet Suburban.

The spaciousness of these two SUVs tops every vehicle here. However, they are also two of the most expensive except for the Mercedes S and BMW 7 Series sedans, which truly define the term ‘land yacht.’

If you need a vehicle that can haul up to eight and tow up to 5000 to 6000 pounds with ground clearance to go off-road, an SUV may suit you best. However, if most of your driving is on the highway and in the city, a sedan may better meet your needs.

Sedans are nimbler and easier to park than an SUV.

They also use less fuel and are less expensive to purchase and maintain than most SUVs.

On the other hand, SUVs can haul a lot of cargo and pull a trailer while doing so.

Hybrid and EV versions of many popular SUVs have better mileage than some sedans and are also good options when car hunting.

 

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