The Honda Accord has a large 16.7-cubic-foot trunk. (James Riswick / Autoblog)

Each couple of weeks, the ritual is repeated: Seize a laundry basket, head to the automobile, and begin sorting the contents which have gathered. A latest haul included:

Six or seven sweatshirts and jackets introduced in by totally different relations. Two or three pairs of sneakers. A few purses, as a result of for some motive purses get swapped on the fly. Numerous gadgets of paperwork picked up alongside the best way. Masks and hand sanitizer. Outdated grocery lists. Bins of mail-order returns needing to be dropped off on the UPS retailer. Espresso to-go cups and water bottles. Two canes. A folding music stand. A folding cart for the farmers’ market. A folding camp chair. Assorted canine provides: leashes, a Chuck-it launcher with tennis balls, canine blanket, canine towel. Gymnasium bag. Roll of paper towels. Fabric grocery sacks. And all too typically, the wrappers and remnants of meals eaten by the child within the again seat. Sushi, are you kidding me?

A number of gadgets keep within the car, some are returned to the home, some are trash. After which it begins over again. On the peak of the buildup cycle, it feels as if crap is sloshing across the cabin just like the contents of a half-capsized rowboat. As we rush by way of life, the passenger compartments of busy People’ autos can simply turn out to be a rolling rummage sale.

Nevertheless it didn’t was this unhealthy. Why? As a result of we used to have automobile trunks.

The very same baggage loaded right into a Honda Accord and a Honda CR-V.

Automobile trunks had been a factor again once we had automobiles. Earlier than all of us began preferring pickups and SUVs. As autos have moved into and out of my household’s fleet, we’ve one way or the other wound up with an un-diverse combo of a station wagon and an SUV. (Two of the identical factor, actually. SUVs are simply glorified station wagons.) Each autos are nice at hauling massive gadgets and huge volumes of cargo. Neither is right for stowing the combo of small gadgets we use in on a regular basis life.

However sedans? They’ll swallow lots of stuff, in one of the best ways attainable — locked up, out of sight, out of the best way.

Take a look at the Accord/CR-V picture pairing above. The CR-V has just about one of the best house in its phase, however simply have a look at that Accord. The identical is true of Toyota Camry/RAV4 and Hyundai Sonata/Tucson.

Certain, you’ll be able to put each merchandise in your car into an SUV’s wayback to maintain the passenger seats, footwells and cubbies clear. And that’s nice, up to date it’s good to haul one thing huge or to make use of third-row seating. (Neither of which, admittedly, is a sedan able to.) And you’ll put a locking toolbox within the mattress of a pickup, however right this moment’s truck beds are already ridiculously brief to start with.

  • Associated: Autoblog baggage assessments

We dwell within the Pacific Northwest, the place residents have been suggested to hold emergency kits in our automobiles due to earthquakes. Specifically, there’s an opportunity the Actually Massive One will hit — a large quake on the Cascadia subduction zone from 8.0 to 9.2 in magnitude. Such a catastrophe may destroy roads and bridges and depart motorists stranded, so we’re instructed to hold sufficient meals, water and provides to bivouac for days. I’ve a giant plastic go-box of that stuff. Once we owned a sedan, it rode within the trunk and by no means got here out. The gadgets cataloged on the prime of this piece went within the trunk, too, leaving the passenger compartment free and clear.

Now, the earthquake tub rides within the SUV’s open wayback. Which is okay, till we have to transport one thing huge, like a motorcycle. Then it’s in the best way. So, the bathtub comes out, sits within the storage, and will get forgotten about for some time. With out it on board always, it’s nearly like we’re inviting the earthquake to occur.

Think about what flying could be like if there have been no separate cargo maintain on airliners, and we climbed into a giant tube with all our belongings piled round us. That is life with an SUV.

Some SUVs have tinted home windows, some don’t. Both method, it feels dicey to have gadgets of worth out within the open as an alternative of locked away. Golf golf equipment can journey in a trunk, in case you get a couple of minutes to hit a bucket of balls. Leaving a gun case or a musical instrument in an SUV, even briefly, even with tinted home windows, feels dangerous. Nobody is aware of there’s something in a locked trunk.

As for cargo covers, a Honda product planner lately instructed Autoblog that Civic hatchbacks make up a couple of quarter of Civic gross sales. Folks purchase the sedan as a result of they like to lock their stuff away. And so they assume the hatch’s cargo cowl alerts to a automobile prowler that one thing good is hidden underneath there.  

Although SUVs solely first overtook sedan gross sales in 2015, the change within the market has been fast. By 2019, sedans had dwindled to only 22% of general gross sales. “Practicality” is among the many causes shoppers give for switching to an SUV. However together with the not-insignificant proven fact that sedans drive and deal with higher, additionally they supply a facet of practicality that acquired ignored — this potential to isolate cargo from passengers, reduce litter, hold belongings protected and safe.

Think about what flying could be like if there have been no separate cargo maintain on airliners, and we climbed into a giant tube with all our belongings piled round us. That is life with an SUV.

Automakers have come to comprehend it is a drawback. They’re more and more providing underfloor storage areas in SUVS — although this often comes on the expense of selecting to not have a spare tire (as within the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid beneath left), in order that’s a awful tradeoff. And one of the best cabins have gained plenty of cubbies and hidey-holes.

If I had been available in the market for a pickup, I’d purchase the Honda Ridgeline for all types of causes, however a giant one is its locking trunk underneath the mattress pictured above proper. The brand new Hyundai Santa Cruz has one, too, plus a lockable rolling tonneau cowl. Detroit pickups have been getting some storage bins underneath again seats. Even so, the Ridgeline’s trunk is 7.3 cubic ft. The Accord’s trunk is 16.7 cubic ft. No contest.

In the meantime, we might even see a swing again towards sedans. Research have proven that younger folks like sedans, primarily as a result of they wouldn’t be caught lifeless driving the identical sorts of autos their mother and father drive.

And the long run is just a little brighter for litter management as a result of the long run is EVs. We’re getting much more autos with frunks — the Ford F-150 Lightning, the Rivian pickup and SUV, the Mustang Mach-E to call a couple of, with extra on the best way. Tesla sedans have each trunks and frunks.

“The place do I put all my possessions?” is a first-world drawback for certain, a small grievance within the scheme of issues. However do not you miss the sensible simplicity of a automobile trunk?