September 1 is quickly approaching, and if you’re familiar with Boston’s seasons, you know what that means. The city’s population will see a 20% swing in one day as everyone’s lease begins. The streets will be jammed with moving vans, students and parents will desperately try to move large pieces of furniture into dorms and apartments, and everyone will wish that their lease began sometime last week. And with this frustration comes the most wonderful time of the year: Allston Christmas. So, you’ll need a vehicle to move your stuff into your new apartment or pick to up that abandoned recliner you could really use off the sidewalk (I mean, it’s really nice, who would just throw that away)?
These cars will give you the necessary space to carry all your belongings across town without the risk of the vehicle getting Storrowed (most moving trucks cannot survive the Drive). When choosing a vehicle, you’ll want to consider the amount of cargo space and the length of the wheelbase (though realistically you’ll probably just end up parked in the road, flashers blinking). Here are our suggestions. Whether it’s to move your things into a new place or to hunt the sidewalks for some new furniture, these rides will surely give you the space you’ll need without the worries of getting a moving van. So if you know someone with any of these cars, you may want to recruit them for assistance, because what are friends for other than helping you move.
10. Although it’s unlikely anyone will purchase the Chevrolet Impala for it’s moving utility, those already owning Chevy’s recent redesign of the classic sedan will be as satisfied with its cargo space as they will by its styling. The Impala has a massive rear end, creating 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space, with the added bonus of split-folding rear seatbacks, further increasing available space for larger objects. The size of the car is not without its drawbacks—with a wheelbase of 111.7 inches, squeezing this beast into an on-street parking spot will not be easy. Thankfully, we live in Boston, where double-parking is a well-defined gray area, especially when moving.
9. The Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen is a small wagon that still offers a huge amount of cargo space. It really strikes the perfect balance between sporty performance and practical use. Despite its compact wheelbase, it holds up to 67 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded. It is incredibly roomy for its size, and you’ll likely be surprised with how much furniture you can get inside. The Jetta SportsWagen also continues Volkswagen’s reputation for safety and has hybrid-like mileage with the available turbodiesel trims. All around it’s a great choice for your moving needs and beyond.
8. I have a friend from college who drove a Honda Odyssey (actually he still does). Needless to say, he was instrumental in my move last year. Minivans make fantastic movers, and the Odyssey is the top of the line in this category. With about 140 cubic feet of cargo space with the back seats removed, the Odyssey could fit your entire bedroom. No seriously, I fit my entire bedroom in it, queen-size mattress and all.
7. The Subaru Outback has a reputation for being an adventurous vehicle, so it’s perfect for navigating the streets of Boston on September 1. It’s as comfortable as a sedan and as spacious as you can get with a wagon. Its 35 cubic feet of cargo space and tons of room in the back seat will be plenty to move whatever you’re bringing with you to your new apartment. The Outback is also a great car if you happen to be moving outside the city. Its standard all-wheel drive is perfect if you’re transitioning from city life to the countryside.
6. The Toyota 4Runner is one of the few SUVs that doesn’t feel like a crossover. It remains a true SUV, with a lot of space and a long wheelbase. Its long body means a huge amount of cargo space, with the potential to have up to 89 cubic feet available for your things. The 4Runner is also a tremendously rugged vehicle. Built for off-road, it comes with ample space for whatever equipment you may need to carry. It also features a power rear window, which can lower into the bottom half of the hatch, allowing for some extra leeway with longer things—so long as it’s secure, of course.
5. The Honda Fit continues to “fit” into our blog posts for good reason, as the Fit offers an impressive amount of functionality and style in a small footprint. With an impressive 16.6 cubic feet of trunk space and flat-folding “Magic Seats” in the rear, the Fit is sure to transport your impressive collection of picture frames and throw pillows with ease. Already featured in our list of best cars for parking, attempting to squeeze into that tight space in front of your new place will be considered only somewhat delusional. To make a good deal sweeter, Honda has improved the Fit’s suspension, comforting your ride around our great city’s many potholes on moving day. High on utility and easy on the budget, the Fit will do well for city dwellers moving to a new place.
4. The Ford Flex is a car that doesn’t quite fit in our modern world dominated by pickup trucks and crossovers, yet somehow it has flourished. Thanks to its boxy design, the Flex has plenty of cargo room on the inside—20 cubic feet behind the third-row seat, to be exact. If that’s not enough for you, fold down the second- and third-row seats to get an astounding 82.3 cubic feet of room, more than enough space to fit most of the items you’ll be moving. And the Flex doesn’t stop at being a good car for moving. Once you get where you’re going, unload your stuff quickly and head for Foxboro, because the Flex is also a great tailgater.
3. The Nissan Rogue is a jack-of-all-trades. Not only is it impressively fuel-efficient (the front-wheel-drive version gets 28 mpg combined), it’s also quite spacious, with 39.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats (70 cubic feet with the seats folded down). If you’re looking for a fuel-efficient vehicle with lots of cargo space, it’s pretty tough to beat the Rogue. If you’re moving across the country, the Rogue is a pretty good bet.
2. If you own a lot of things and want to make one trip, the Chevrolet Suburban is your ride. Boasting 121.1 cubic feet of cargo space, there really isn’t much you can’t fit in a Suburban. Since it hit American roads in 1933, the Suburban has been a sturdy workhorse, criss-crossing the country with people and their things. Just be careful not to pile too much on top if you’re going to be moving in Boston, because it’d be a shame to get Storrowed.
1. The Ford F-150 is the undisputed king of the American road. For 2015 the truck is all-new, boasting an aluminum body that will help make the truck both stronger and more fuel-efficient. Sure, it won’t be able to match the fuel-efficiency of the Nissan Rogue and won’t be able to fit in the same parking spots as the Honda Fit, but if you’re looking for an all-around awesome mover, the F-150 can’t be beaten. With a comfortable, roomy interior, the F-150 will get you and your family to your new home in style, while a variety of different bed sizes will help you fit every piece of oversized furniture you have in the back. If that’s not enough room for you, load up a trailer and hitch it to the back—the F-150 is capable of towing up to 8,500 pounds.
What vehicle would you want to use for a move?
-jharrington, jhughes and zwaller
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