SUV With the Most Rear Legroom: Top 10

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee

Maybe it’s a few sprouting teenagers or some unusually lanky friends. The need for an extra dollop of rear legroom can come in many forms.


Nothing is worse than not only being subjected to the rear seat, but then also having to fold your knees up into your chest. To help make life as comfortable as possible for taller passengers, some manufacturers build in a little extra space between the front and rear seats. This is measured as rear legroom and is a godsend if one is all legs and little torso.


A vehicle doesn’t have to be overly large just to offer more rear legroom (although it usually helps). Vehicles of various sizes can offer backseat passengers a little additional room to stretch out in. To prove this point, we are taking a look at the burgeoning crossover and SUV market. We’ve highlighted ten key sub-segments and found the class-leading rear legroom champion for each one.



City Crossover: Kia Soul – 38.8 in.

Kia‘s funky box on wheels is the so-called city crossover that offers the most rear-seat legroom. The segment features just a few other front-wheel drive high-riding hatchbacks, like the Hyundai Venue and Nissan Kicks. But only the Chevrolet Trax comes close with 38.7-inches of legroom for passengers in the rear seats.


Subcompact SUV: Chevrolet Trailblazer – 39.4 in.

This class features a stigma that they are cramped; especially for passengers in the back. But the subcompact Chevrolet Trailblazer has over 39 inches of legroom available for rear seat passengers. That’s enough to just barely squeak ahead of the Honda HR-V, besting it by a mere tenth of an inch. Trailing behind these two diminutive crossovers, but still offering a decent amount of rear-seat space, is the third place Jeep Compass.


Compact SUV: Hyundai Tucson / Kia Sportage – 41.3 in.

The Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage is big, like really, really big. Although their 182.3 inch overall length isn’t outside the compact crossover realm, Hyundai/Kia have performed some packaging magic with the new Tucson/Sportage siblings. Not only do they have the class leading largest cargo capacity, it also offers the most rear seat legroom. The recently introduced Honda CR-V comes close, but is still a third of an inch off.



Midsize SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe / Kia Sorento – 41.7 in.

Hyundai and Kia seem determined to ensure rear seat passengers are always comfortable, as the mid-size SUVs to offer the most rear seat legroom are again from the Korean brands. This time, it’s the Santa Fe and Sorento taking top honors. They might not be the first vehicles one thinks of when it comes to a spacious backseat compartment, but they has nearly an inch of extra legroom compared to the next largest mid-sizers, the Mercedes-Benz GLE and the Ford Edge.


Wagon Crossover: Subaru Outback – 39.5 in.

The so-called wagon crossover is a small niche segment, but one full of devote customers. Essentially station wagons with more rugged exteriors and extra ride height, the segment has shrunk in recent years, with the Subaru Outback surpassing the Audi A6 allroad, Volvo V90 Cross Country, and Mercedes-Benz E 450 All Terrain in terms of rear-seat legroom. It might not be as posh as those offerings, but when it comes to hauling passengers and cargo, it’s tops in the segment.


Three-Row SUV: Kia Telluride – 42.4 in.

The Kia Telluride isn’t the largest three-row crossover, but it’s still quite sizeable. A fact made apparent by its generous rear seat legroom that’s well over 42 inches in length. Not far behind is Honda's recently updated Pilot, followed by the Telluride's corporate cousin, the Hyundai Palisade.


Full-Size SUV: Range Rover Long Wheelbase – 48.0 in.

For the absolute most legroom possibly on offer in a SUV, look no further than Land Rover‘s flagship model, the limo-like Range Rover. When equipped with the long-wheelbase, rear legroom measures in at a stretched out 48 inches in total. That’s nearly five inches more than the next most accommodating full-size SUV, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS. But this makes sense as the most important person in a Range Rover is not the driver, it’s the rear seat passenger being chauffeured.


Off-Road SUV: Mercedes-Benz G-Class – 39.5 in.

If heading deep off-road with a SUV full of passengers is a requirement, than nothing will be more spacious for those rear-seat riders than the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. If Mercedes-Benz’s iconic box-on-wheels is a bit out of the price range, the Land Rover Defender 110 offers just a bit less legroom, followed by the Jeep Wrangler 4-Door.


SUV Coupe: Aston Martin DBX – 40.9 in.

Coupe-like SUVs are all the rage these days, but most sacrifice rear-seat legroom in the name of style. Two larger SUV coupes buck this trend; the Aston Martin DBX and the Audi Q8. Both offer rear seat occupants over 40 inches of legroom, but it is the Aston Martin that takes top honors. Of course, the Aston Martin isn’t exactly within the budget of a lot of consumers, but if money is no object, this is one stylish and spacious super SUV.



Electric SUV: Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV – 41.3 in.

Mercedes-Benz has been adding a lot of electric vehicles to the brand's lineup recently. It appears rear seat legroom may be a top priority for these new EVs. The full-size EQS SUV offers 41.3-inches of rear legroom with the mid-size EQE SUV listed at having 40.6-inches. Those are the two largest amounts for any current electric SUV with the Tesla Model Y coming in a close third.

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Recent Updates

December 19th - reworded introduction, reworded some titles, updated format, updated Kia Soul text, updated Kia Telluride text, updated Hyundai Tucson text, added Kia Sportage, updated Hyundai Santa Fe text. added Kia Sorento, removed Tesla Model Y, added Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV

Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

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  • Don Don on Dec 19, 2023

    Why Settle when you can have a Porsche

  • WinstonSmith84 WinstonSmith84 on Dec 20, 2023

    What have Subaru Outback sales been like since the model changeover? I've only seen a couple of the controversially styled new ones, and I live somewhere that the earlier models proliferated fairly quickly.

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