Cargo

Just looking at the rear cargo area of the Liberty, it sure doesn't look big. The Dodge Nitro seems more cavernous even though the two are nearly identical when you compare the numbers. The Liberty has 64.2 cubic feet of storage with the rear seats folded, 31.5 cubic feet with them in place. I guess looks really are deceiving; I did some light moving work with the Liberty and was able to fit a 27-inch Sony TV — the old-school tube kind — and a sizable TV stand in the back along with a number of bags and still had room to spare. The stand didn't even block rear visibility that much, despite the Liberty's relatively high load floor.

The rear seats fold flat with a simple pull of a strap, which is nice, but the tall, well-cushioned head restraints easily get stuck on the backs of the front seats as the backrest is lowered. Unless you drive closer to the wheel than I do (I'm 5-10), you'll have to adjust the front seats to fold the rear ones.

The cargo area also features a hidden storage compartment that's completely waterproof and about 4 inches deep. Theoretically you could put ice packs and soda cans in it for an outing, but even though it does have a drain, the mess might put people off that. Instead, it might be a good place for essentials like jumper cables and other necessities.

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