Just because you need to carry a lot of stuff doesn’t mean you have to settle for a giant gas-guzzler. And just because a car is fuel-efficient doesn’t mean it’s uncomfortable for passengers. Unlike early hybrids with battery packs that could cut into cargo space, most modern hybrids compromise very little, if at all, on room. In fact, there are some compact hybrids that can comfortably fit as much luggage as some compact SUVs, all while boasting an inviting driver’s seat and plenty of rear legroom.
How do we know? Well, we buy every car we test and then spend weeks putting each through a comprehensive series of evaluations. We measure fuel economy ourselves, see how much luggage will fit in the trunk, and have testers of all shapes, sizes, and ages evaluate how comfortable the front and back seats are, along with how easy it is to get in and out of the vehicle.
But we also live with the cars we test. After an impromptu trip to Ikea, this writer was shocked at how much furniture a Prius could fit. Other staffers have taken these cars on long road trips with tons of luggage, gone to warehouse stores to buy groceries, and hauled baby gear.