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Get more luggage space without buying a new car





29 November 2019


Sometimes even the most ruthless and dogmatic approach to travelling light seems pointless: the car earmarked for the trip inevitably ends up being too small for what needs to be packed into it for the family’s annual jaunt to the seaside, the bushveld, or the mountains.

The solution, of course, is not to buy a larger car, but to buy a Thule luggage box.

Sales stats show a steady shift to B-segment SUVs and the supermini hatchbacks which almost inevitably donate underpinnings to their lankier siblings. The gene pool is generally a common one, so, despite the added height, luggage volume is similar, especially when comparing the standard dimension – that is, without seats folded.

A quick whip around various manufacturer websites suggests luggage volume of around 350 litres for these classes – in other words, assuming every nook and cranny can be utilised. Which it obviously can’t be unless you’re carrying the contents of your fish tank…

The Thule Touring M shown here is rated at 400 litres and can therefore more than double the luggage capacity of the average Polo, Fiesta, T-Cross or Ecosport, turning it into a formidable hold-all for those days of the year when one needs to bring all those “essentials” taken for granted when at home.

The pictures require little in the way of explanation other than to point out that the box was still some way from totally full. So even if you were required to while away buy a second oscillating fan or a fresh pair of cycling shoes for a fast-growing teenager, there’d still be space for the new acquisitions once the holiday is over. Without them having to be stashed on the parcel shelf (an ill-conceived noun for a place to keep potential missiles) for the homeward leg…

Other advantages of luggage boxes include:

  • Minimal impact on fuel consumption.
  • Easy to stow when not in use.
  • No unusual challenges when parking/reversing.
  • Insignificant impact on vehicle dynamics.
  • No licensing required.
  • Virtually maintenance-free.
  • Lockable (locks onto the roof racks which in turn are locked onto the vehicle’s roof).