How much cargo can it carry?

The Dodge Hornet is priced and marketed as a compact SUV. In terms of dimensions, or not. On the outside, it’s 2 inches shorter than one of the smallest compact SUVs, the Mazda CX-5, and about 7 inches shorter than the Honda CR-V. It’s more like a big subcompact like the new Honda HR-V.

Interior space is less significant on the CX-5 and CR-V. Back-seat legroom is crushed, and what’s more, cargo space is limited. Now, there is a difference in luggage space depending on the model. The turbocharged GT has 27 cubic feet of cargo space, while the R/T hybrid has 22.9 cubic feet of cargo space. I think the difference comes from the inclusion of underfloor storage. The GT’s number would actually be lower than all the compact SUVs I tested, while the R/T’s number puts it in the middle of the small pack.

This test will only cover the R/T since this is the test car I owned. Let’s see how much actual stuff it fits and how it compares to other small SUVs.

Just by looking at this, it should be clear that the Hornet’s cargo area is a beautiful hatchback, right down to the hard luggage cover.

Speaking of that cover, here it is. Keeping in mind that there is no possibility of storing this inside the car to make room for extra bags, I tested it with and without the cover.

As with every bag test, I use two medium-sized wheeled suitcases that need to be checked in at the airport (26″ long, 16″ wide, and 11″ deep), and two rolling suitcases that barely fit at the top (24″ long x 15″ wide) x 10″ deep), and one smaller board fits easily (23″l x 15″w x 10″d). I’m also including my wife’s deluxe overnight bag just to spruce things up a bit (21″L x 12″W x 12″D).

the first. This is: the two medium pouches and one of the two large pouches on his stomach. There’s not a lot of height to work with, including enough height to stack something on top of the big blue bag. I suppose you could take the cover off and try to fit it over the whole thing, but I didn’t do that in these tests, so I didn’t do it here.

Okay, let’s lift the lid.

The top left (or just the top for those on mobile), is literally the best I can do. The luxury suitcase isn’t compact and shouldn’t fly forward in the cabin (two criteria for the accepted Tetris baggage test), but it does block rear visibility because it reaches the ceiling. As such, this is not the official result.

Instead, it’s the second image (top right/top bottom). These are the four largest bags with some room left over for something smaller than a luxury bag (for example, a soft-sided pillow).

Quite simply, this is not a good result. Every compact SUV can fit all of these bags, while most can fit additional items like a cooler or Pack ‘n Play. That’s also a worse result than all the small SUVs I’ve tested except the very small Hyundai Venue. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Hornet’s mechanically connected cousin, the Jeep Compass, can similarly carry just those four bags without loading all the way to the ceiling (a luggage test of the Compass has not yet been published).

Again, this result is for the Hornet R/T hybrid. I’m not sure how much of a difference a GT would make. If it really is a matter of underfloor storage, that’s what the R/T has to deal with.

As you can see, there is some Storage, which is certainly not useless. But I want to talk about another element.

The word itself is genius. I’ve never seen this feature before. See that little circular piece in the picture above? When the floor passes over the inclined portion, it presses against the load wall like a button. When the floor goes over it, the button pops out allowing the floor to rest on the flat top. Just a little push allows the floor to override and lower the studs.

This is very clever and better than the built-in hook that Mercedes provides for its load floors. Given the amount of space under the floor here in the R/T, it’s not Which Useful, but the concept is nonetheless commendable.

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