Toyota Highlander Trunk Space

The Toyota Highlander has 16 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 48.4 cubic feet behind the second row, and 84.3 cubic feet behind the first row.
Written by Rob Shapiro
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The Toyota Highlander is a mid-size SUV with 84.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row of seats and 16 cubic feet with the third row up. Its starting cost is $35,205 and it received a Car and Driver rating of 8/10.
SUVs have a lot of appeal for families and car enthusiasts. Their trunk space is a high priority as it allows families to bring everything they want on their weekend adventures or lets them drive to hockey practice with only their kids in the backseat. 
If you’re looking for a new car and have your mind set on an SUV, you need to consider how much cargo space you need and how cubic feet is measured.
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How is trunk space measured?

First and foremost, you need to understand what 84.3 cubic feet actually means and what it can realistically fit. Otherwise, how will you know if it’s right for you and your family?
SUVs are not designed with a trunk that’s separate from the rest of the vehicle. This means that manufacturers measure trunk or cargo space by two figures that reflect the configuration of the rear seats.
The two configurations are:
  • Cargo volume with rear seats up: the number of cubic feet behind the rear seats when they are in the up position
  • Cargo volume with rear seats down: the number of cubic feet behind the front seats when the rear seats are in the down position
Cargo volume measures the height, width, and length of the space and this, in turn, provides the total cubic feet. Cubic feet also account for the space close to the vehicle’s roof and the bottom of the cargo bed. 
Despite there being formulas to get it right, cubic feet measurement does have its flaws. Namely, every vehicle’s cargo space is shaped differently, so the final measurement might not account for the curves and contours of a vehicle’s interior. That includes seats that aren’t perfectly flat when folded.
Before making your purchase, think about how many passengers and the amount of cargo you will typically carry on an average week. If you will need to use the rear seats most of the time, then only worry about cargo volume with the rear seats up. 
Key Takeaway Cubic feet are used to measure the cargo space in an SUV. This isn’t an exact measurement, though, as it varies when the rows of seats are up or folded.

Toyota Highlander trunk space 

Number of seats: 8
Cargo volume with rear seats up: 16 cubic feet
Cargo volume with rear seats down: 84.3
The three-seat Toyota Highlander can seat eight passengers in its standard configuration. 
If you’re driving a car full of passengers, there will be 16 cubic feet in the rear cargo area for you to use. Think about it this way: the typical suitcase is around four cubic feet. With eight passengers, you should be able to fit four average-sized suitcases. 
When the second row is down, the cargo space expands to 48.4 cubic feet. Now, you could fit around 12 suitcases in the available cargo space. If the second and third rows are down, you should be able to fit around 21 suitcases

How does the Toyota Highlanders’ trunk space compare to other SUVs? 

The Toyota Highlander is equipped with a bit more cargo space than the majority of mid-size SUVs. Its maximum cargo volume is more than the 2022 Mazda CX-9 and the 2022 Kia Sorrento. Incidentally, it offers less cargo volume than the 2022 Ford Explorer and the 2022 Kia Telluride.
If cargo volume is your top priority, several SUVs will offer more cargo space than the Toyota Highlander.
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How to check trunk space

Manufacturer measurements are one thing, but getting an accurate idea of how much trunk space a vehicle will offer you in real-time is another. 
Bring a tape measure with you to the dealership and take your time measuring the trunk space. Also, check how the seats fold and if the interior will make the job of packing any easier. 
Remember, the best way to measure the size of a trunk is with objects. Bring a piece of luggage with you—one that you typically travel with—and take pictures of it placed in different parts of the cargo space. This should help you determine if there is enough cargo space for you.

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So, you’ve got your new shiny SUV in your driveway, but do you have the car insurance that’s right for you?
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