As a designer, you have no doubt been in situations where you have had to haul furniture or artwork (or even plywood boards) in your car to a clients’ house, and each time, you think that stuffing your car’s trunk so that it bursts at the seams isn’t a very pleasant experience. In some other cases, you found some really good antique furniture at throwaway prices on a road trip, and knew it would be perfect for your next project, but alas! Your mini cooper could not accommodate the lovely furniture.
This article takes into account recommendations from many seasoned designers about their favorite cars that have been really loyal workhorses for their interior design business. So, unless you have a strict “only people/pets allowed in the car” philosophy, read on to see what your fellow interior designers prefer to drive. Note: the cargo capacities mentioned are with the back seats folded down.
1. GMC Denali Yukon (145 cubic feet )
The GMC Denali Yukon has a mean, muscular look that complements its utility as a designer’s workhorse. The spectacular cargo space of 145 cubic feet can be loaded with all kinds of designer things such as furniture, plywood boards, sofas, and more.
2. Honda Odyssey (144.9 cubic feet)
The Honda Odyssey is a good car for a large family, but it doubles up as a spacious cargo hauler as well. Interior designers say that the cavernous minivan can easily carry a sofa.
3. Chevrolet Suburban (144.7 cubic feet)
The Chevy Suburban is a sister to the Denali Yukon (above). Many interior designers love to drive it because of its enormous storage capacity. Once the rear seats are folded, there is enough space to fit furniture, rugs, and artwork.
4. Chrysler Pacifica (140.5 cubic feet)
This three-row family hauler minivan is a hot favorite for interior designers. The Stow ‘n Go feature makes the second-row seats fold away leaving a flat floor in its place. The third-row seats fold into the floor easily giving a maximum cargo space. Designers vouch that this car’s cargo space can haul even a sofa. It is now available as a more fuel-efficient hybrid.
5. Chrysler Voyager (140.5 cubic feet)
This Chrysler minivan is great if you’re someone that occasionally finds yourself hauling around a ton of stuff. Designers say that the third row Stow ‘n Go option which allows the seats to fold down into the floor, makes the cargo space large enough. Its low floor design makes it very easy to crawl in and out of.
6. Toyota Sequoia (120 cubic feet)
The Toyota Sequoia is best for interior designers who also have a big family because of the ample legroom in all three rows. The cargo capacity on this beast allows interior designers to haul lots of stuff, making the large SUV a hot favorite.
7. Toyota Sienna (117.8 cubic feet)
With a capacity to fit a full 4×8 piece of plywood with the rear seats removed, interior designers vouch that this minivan will carry everything you want. It is comfortable and versatile and is a stylish-looking workhorse. It now exclusively comes as a fuel efficient hybrid.
8. Chevrolet Traverse (98.2 cubic feet)
The Chevy Traverse is a sleek full-size crossover utility vehicle that boasts great cargo space. With second and third-row seats folded down, the Chevy Traverse offers impressive cargo capacity. Some designers say that they have effortlessly been able to fit 50-inch artworks and loveseats in there.
9. Mercedes Benz Metris Passenger Van (97.3 cubic feet)
The Metris works like a large van while also giving you the comfort of driving a premium car. The large cargo area is suitable for any kind of profession that involves delivery, and also works as a great car for a large family. Many consider the Metris the king of minivans because of its Mercedes dashboard, fit & finish, and features.
10. Buick Enclave (97 cubic feet)
This mid-size crossover SUV is the biggest of the Buick line. Folding the second-row seats gives additional storage area, which would be great for hauling furniture and other things. Select the Avenir model if you want to pimp your ride with luxury touches.
11. Volkswagen Atlas (96.8 cubic feet)
Many interior designers claim that this car is awesome for both work and home. When the third row is folded down, it offers the most cargo space versus others in the same SUV class.
12. Toyota 4Runner (89.7 cubic feet)
This midsize SUV comes with an optional pull-out cargo deck which makes pulling and lifting heavy objects easier. We’ve heard a designer claim to have fit everything from a large chair to a chest in her Toyota 4Runner. Just keep in mind that it is designed as a rugged truck and thus it has a harsher than normal ride.
13. Ford Explorer (87.8 cubic feet)
This classic mid-size SUV is great for all terrains, even if your interior design project takes you up a rocky road. The ample cargo space is great for hauling lots of furniture, rugs, and whatever else you want to deliver to the client.
14. Kia Telluride (87 cubic feet)
The Kia Telluride has an impressive storage capacity with 21 cubic feet of cargo space behind its third row, 46 cubic feet with these seats folded, and 87 cubic feet with all rear seats folded. Designers say it can fit 9 feet long rugs, dressers, and lots of boxes.
15. Subaru Ascent (86.5 cubic feet)
With 7-8 person seating capacity, the Subaru Ascent is a great vehicle for both families and for work. It can be used for shuttling people and furniture with ease.
16. Hyundai Palisade (86.4 cubic feet)
This 8 seater with 86.4 cubic feet is a hot favorite among interior designers. The cargo space can fit many of the items you’ll need for your install day.
17. Toyota Highlander (84.3 cubic feet)
A midsize SUV, the Toyota Highlander is roomy and spacious. There are three rows of seating space and once the rear seats are folded down, designers vouch that its cargo space can easily fit most of your items. It is more luxurious and car-like than the 4Runner.
18. Nissan Pathfinder (79.5 cubic feet)
This mid-size SUV comes with good storage space in the rear and is a favorite among designers for its roomy and comfortable cargo space. Some designers think that while it’s not the most stylish car, it is perfect for fitting chairs, rugs, tables, and more!
19. Infiniti QX60 (76.2 cubic feet)
The seven-seater midsize SUV is another hot favorite among designers. With an impressive and roomy third-row seating, designers report that they can fit a 6-foot artwork in there without compromising too much on fuel-efficiency.
20. Hyundai Santa Fe (71.3 cubic feet)
With plenty of room for luggage, the Santa Fe is a hugely popular car among interior designers. Some designers say that it’s amazing what they can fit into the vehicle. Great gas mileage is an additional plus point.
Here Are Some More Favorite Cars Recommended by Interior Designers From Across USA:
Ford Expedition (104.6 cubic feet)
Lincoln Navigator (103.4 cubic feet)
Tesla Model X (88 cubic feet)
Dodge Durango (84.5 cubic feet)
Honda CRV (75.8 cubic feet)
Subaru Outback (75.7 cubic feet)
Nissan Rogue (72 cubic feet)
Audi Q7 (69.6 cubic feet)
This list is in no way exhaustive. There are many options out there to suit the needs of every designer. For example, if you have a small family, but also want a car that can haul stuff for you, then the Kia Soul (62.1 cubic feet) is a designer recommended option.
While you are likely not going to be hauling too much to your design installations, it is always helpful to have the space to carry something. For example, it is the norm for designers to bring items from their homes to help stylize a space before shooting it. In a little Porsche, it will just be too tight to carry those lamps and accessories, along with the flowers and vases. So, select a vehicle that is designed to help you haul.
What car do you suggest for your fellow interior designers to drive? What is working, or not working, for you? Please leave your comments below.