Jim, Tinton Falls, N.J.

If you’re simply looking for the largest four-cylinder-equipped SUV in terms of how much space it takes up in your garage, it’s hard to beat the 2009 Dodge Journey. It comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder as standard equipment. When it comes to space on the inside, though, the Toyota RAV4 and Mitsubishi Outlander may be better options. Both have a large enough interior to be equipped with three rows of seats, even though they’re 11.3 and 9.7 inches shorter, respectively, than the Journey.

The Journey’s smallish total cargo area of 67.64 cubic feet behind the first row is primarily because of its narrow width, but the Journey does have more cargo space behind the second row of seats than the Toyota or Mitsubishi, with 39.61 cubic feet. The RAV4 has 36.4 cubic feet and the Outlander has 36.2 cubic feet behind their second rows. To get a third row on the Journey, you have to upgrade to the six-cylinder trim.

The RAV4 crams a lot of space into a small SUV, with a total interior volume of 144.6 cubic feet (in the two-row model) compared to the Outlander’s 139.4 cubic feet and the Journey’s 136.28 cubic feet, but numbers aren’t everything. Factors like floor height, seat arrangement and seat position have a lot to do with perceived roominess as well. Basically, we recommend getting in and test-driving the Journey, RAV4 and Outlander to see if they’re roomy enough for you. 

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Answered by Joe Bruzek on June 5, 2008 in What Car Should I Buy? | Permalink

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