Consumer research for older and disabled people

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Loading and stowing

What to look for

  • A flat boot sill means no ledge to lift things over. These are usually found on estate cars and MPVs.
  • Many MPVs have seats that can be moved, taken out or folded, depending on the model. This, and their size, makes loading bulky items easier.

Features found on some cars

Subaru Outback with boot open
A flat boot sill
Toyota Verso with boot open
Split rear seats
  • If you're loading large items, you'll find it easier if the rear seats can be folded entirely flat.
  • Look for easy to use catches or levers for folding the rear seats.
  • Several vehicles have a 'ski flap' in the back seat, so you can carry long, narrow items without folding the seat.
  • Split rear seats let you juggle passenger and storage space. Some rear seats slide backwards and forwards to give more space, and some can be removed.
  • With some cars, you can open the whole tailgate or just a hatch in the top. This allows you to load items on top of what you already have in the boot.
  • On some cars, the tailgate is split so that each half opens independently - the bottom half folds down and the top half folds up. This may be helpful when loading some loads, but you may find the lower half just gets in the way.
  • Shelves in the boot, cargo nets and other luggage separators help stop things moving around - useful on shopping trips if you have bulky equipment. 
  • In most cars, you can unlock the boot from inside. In a few, you can even open it - and sometimes close it - electronically.
To search for cars by boot size, sill height and other dimensions, use our Advanced car search.

Last updated: June 2011


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