Remember that while a car is subject to many rules in terms of approval, trunk volume (as well as occupancy) is not taken into account by the approval authorities. In France, for example, the private organization UTAC (Union Technique de l’Automobile, du Motocycle et du Cycle), which conducts all tests to bring vehicles in line with the rules set by the European Commission, allows manufacturers to settle on their side the measurements of habitability and volume trunk. This lack of control leads to a complete blur, with manufacturers doing just about anything they want to calculate the trunk capacity of their vehicles.
Loading volume: measurement blur
That is why, regarding the load capacity, pay attention to the manufacturer’s values. Especially with crazy numbers, when the manufacturer filled the trunk with water up to the roof of the car. For greater clarity, let’s turn to the German standard “VDA 210”, which is often used by car brands. It consists in estimating the capacity of a box by inserting standard-shaped briquettes 200 mm long, 100 mm wide and 50 mm high into it. Each of them represents the volume of one liter or one dm3. We then insert as many briquettes as possible, leaving the back shelf well secured and including additional underfloor storage if available. The back door should close easily.
Spare wheel or not?
However, manufacturers often use the spare wheel cover as a place capable of accommodating luggage, which increases by the same amount (it varies from 40 to 80 liters, whether it is a spare wheel cover or a spare wheel). Unfortunately, their measurements do not always indicate the filling of space for the spare tire. There are other standards such as “VDA 211” which allows the briquettes to be loaded up to the top of the rear seat. The difference between loading under the rear shelf or flush with the top of the rear bench seat can be significant, typically around ten liters. When you know that the package size of a water bottle (6 x 1.5 liters) is almost 14 liters, you realize that this is not so small.
Little station wagons are almost gone
Among cars that have a real luggage compartment, station wagons are in the spotlight. Extrapolated from the interior, these backpack-equipped cars can fit the whole family’s luggage in the trunk. Faced with the growing popularity of SUVs, station wagons are trying to retain as much market share as possible. But this is not easy, because city breaks like the Peugeot 207 SW, Renault Clio Estate, Skoda Fabia Combi (production stops) have disappeared, giving way to city SUVs popular with the public. Only the Mini Clubman remains in this segment.
Some new models
Fortunately, among compact or family cars, new models are emerging, such as the Dacia Jogger and MG 5 (electric brake) or the new generation of the Opel Astra Sports Tourer, which will soon enter the concession. A sign of the times, while SUVs grew by 4% in the French market last year, station wagons’ market share declined by 4-3% over the same period. Breakdance specialist Peugeot has remained true to this body style for many years and still has two breakdancers in its lineup (Peugeot 308 SW and Peugeot 508 SW). But the creator of the Peugeot 203 wagon (Peugeot’s first mass-produced wagon), the Peugeot 403 wagon (see photo), the Peugeot 504, Peugeot 505 and Peugeot 305 wagons had to decide to replace the Peugeot 207 SW city wagon from the Peugeot 2008 SUV in 2013. Despite the disappearance, there are still many station wagons on the market, we counted thirty-four of them, which will revive the ranking of this new Top 10.