The Honda HR-V vs the Subaru Crosstrek: who is the cargo king?

HR-V vs Crosstrek


The subcompact SUV (or crossover) market has really been heating up in the last few years. The combination fuel efficiency, maneuverability, a commanding seating position, and available all-wheel drive is hard to resist. However, not every crossover is created equal. That is particularly apparent when it comes to cargo carrying ability.

This can be handily demonstrated by comparing the Honda HR-V to one of its worthiest competitors, the Subaru Crosstrek. The HR-V bests the Crosstrek in rear seats-up cargo capacity with 23.2 cubic feet vs the Subaru’s 20.8. This is not insignificant certainly but when it comes to moving cargo there’s a lot more to consider than room for a few more grocery bags.

Cargo Volume

Take, for example, the floor height. The Crosstrek’s is 5” higher than the HR-V’s, a recipe for back strain when loading and unloading heavier items.

Lift Over Height

The Crosstrek’s hatch opening is also considerably smaller so though the space itself is decent there is any number of larger awkwardly shaped items that you just won’t be able to get inside. When you do have the Crosstrek loaded closing the hatch can be a challenging if you’re on the shorter side. When the door is fully open the handle sits 3.5” higher than that of the HR-V.

Reach to Hatch Handle

On those occasions where you need all of the space behind the front seats the HR-V makes that easier too. Large easy to grab levers that allow you to release and lower the seat backs in one easy motion. The Crosstrek uses awkward stalks that turn the process into a two handed affair.

Lever vs Stalk

Once the seats are down the HR-V also provides you with a flat load floor. You’ll have to contend with a hump in the Crosstrek.

Flat Floor vs Hump

The HR-V’s cargo friendliness doesn’t stop there. The HR-V is based on the Fit platform so it’s no surprise that some of that vehicle’s packaging magic has rubbed off. The rear seat cushions flip up to allow you to carry tall objects easily. The HR-V is friendly to people too with 2.8” more rear legroom than the Crosstrek.Tall Mode and Extra Legroom

While the numbers are solid evidence of the HR-V’s parcel packing prowess I wondered if there some items at the dealership that could really show off the HR-V’s capabilities. I was in luck. I borrowed a guest chair from one of our salesmen’s office and a tall bar-style stool from our showroom waiting area. To even my surprise I was able to get the chair in the back with the seats up and comfortably close the hatch. The stool took a little maneuvering but it did fit behind the front seats with the rear seat cushions flipped up. Honda magic!

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