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'Booty' Call: Who's Giving You The Most Concealed Trunk Space For Your Dollar?


2008 Hyundai Azera Limited

Lets say you need room to haul your stuff, and want a bona fide car, be it sedan or coupe. Youre not even up for a hatch with a folding rear seat. No, you want something where you can stow things securely out of sight.

In an age when SUVs the size of buildings dominate the automotive landscape, one might forget about concealed storage. Guess what? It still makes sense. Do you really want every aspiring thief to see that set of matched luggage or holiday gift packages when you park?

So before you hit that showroom or rental counter, lets see which cars can actually make the claim: baby's got back!  Keep in mind the stats below are the result of an extensive web search - don't try this at home.

Surely, that steroid-abusing Chrysler 300C looks impressive and it must be a contender, right? But no, it only holds 17.2 cubic feet, not bad - but well under the best. Are there other surprises in the concealed cargo category?

First check out these import candidates for the Trunk-Space Hall of Shame:

Jaguar XJ - 15.2 cubic feet. The long cat comes up a tad short.

Infiniti M45 14.9 cubic feet is disappointing and just matches my own 2003 I35.

Audi A8 - 14.6 cubic feet for your $74K base price. Not exactly flagship storage.

Bentley Brooklands 14.2 cubic feet for Bentleys largest? Not very sporting.

Toyota Avalon - 14.4 cubic feet. The rising sun misses the baggage boat.

Acura TL 13.1 cubic feet means back to the drawing board.

Volvo S40 with only 12.6 cubic feet, not a safe bet to fit much luggage.

Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead 11.1 paltry cubic feet for her majesty. 

Aston Martin DB9 10.6 cubic feet. James Bond had better pack light.

Those Boxsters, Corvettes and Camaros that just zipped by? About the same trunk capacity as the Rolls. And two of those are roadsters. Go figure.

Okay, then there are the also-rans, cars that are just one or two cuts below the best baggage bins:

Cadillac DTS 18.8 cubic feet for the new model.

Lexus LS460 18, or 17.5 with the optional rear A/C. 

Chevy Impala - 18.6 for the legendary nameplate.

BMW 7 Series 17.7 for the ultimate driving machine.

Buick Lucerne 17 cubes for GMs Great-Wheeled Hope.

Hyundai Azera - 16.6 cubic feet but a large opening gives it real-world utility.

Mazda 6 16.6 cubic feet ties the Azera. Zum-zum indeed.

Ford Fusion 16.5 for the blue oval is not too shabby.

Hyundai Sonata 16.3 is another good showing for Hyundai.

Dodge Charger 16.2 cubic feet and some Mopar muscle.

Hyundai Genesis 15.9 and still fun to drive.

Mercedes E-Class 15.9 cubic feet and 15.4 for the six-figure S-Class. Yoo-hoo, engineering?  Did you forget something? 

Porsche Panamera 15.7 cubic feet, but the tall trunk allows bags to stand upright.

Nissan Altima 15.3 for the standard bearer.

Chevy Malibu 15.1 cubic feet of covered air from the bow tie.

Toyota Camry 15 .0 cubic feet for the best seller. Still, better than the

Honda Accord's class-trailing 14.

                       

So who rules the rear roost?  Who has the biggest ahem, adequacy in the nether regions?

The unloved Ford 500 comes in at a staggering 21.2 cubic feet, which is matched by the Lincoln Town Car, the Ford Crown Vic, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Mercury Sable.

The brilliant new Ford Taurus SHO holds 20.1 cubic feet while tearing up the tarmac.

You may have noticed some patterns here. The UK comes up long in style and heritage, but short on stowage. The only German car maker who surprises to the upside is Porsche. Upstarts like Hyundai are showing promise, and even the ergonomically focused Japanese are surprisingly uneven at best on this measure.

Luxury dollars don't necessarily buy you more room back there.  This is especially true if you are Ford, whose divisions dominate the rankings. Even Cadillac, Lexus and BMW take a back seat to Henry's offspring. As for serious driving machines with serious storage, the Taurus SHO tops the heap, with the Panamera, Charger and Genesis all offering to hold and hide your luggage; and get it there quickly.
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