Imagine how epic your road trips could be if you didn’t have to worry about finding and checking in to accommodation each night, not to mention the things you could do with all the money you’d save!
Sleeping in your car is a great way to do this, and it can inject a huge amount of flexibility into your vacation without the hassle of having to set up and dismantle a tent.
To do it comfortably though, you’ll need a car that’s up to the job — i.e. one that has seats that you can fold into a bed.
Keep reading as we look at 10 popular cars that can do just that, so you can get thinking about packing a bag and getting yourself out on the open road.
1. Volkswagen Atlas
The VW Atlas is a huge car — in fact, it’s the largest Volkswagen to date — and with second-and third-row seats that fold down flat, you’ll have plenty of room to stretch out in the 96.8 cubic feet of space it provides.
While the available space is great, it seems as though there is a tradeoff with driveability, with MotorTrend’s review highlighting the Atlas’ lack of power compared to its rivals as well as an unrefined transmission.
The good news is that the fold-down option is included in all available Atlas trim levels (SE, SE with Tech, SEL, SELR-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line), so you’ll be free to choose the one with as many or as few features as you like, while still ensuring that you have full access to the car’s cavernous interior.
2. Kia Telluride
The highly-rated Telluride has won numerous awards since its release, from taking the top spot in U.S. News’ Best Midsize SUV of 2022 to being MotorTrend’s 2020 SUV of the Year.
MotorTrend’s review of the Telluride mentioned the car’s excellent value for money, especially when considering its driveability and the many features it offers feel worlds away from being “budget”.
With all the rear seats folded down, this roomy Kia offers 87 cubic feet of space and is a huge hit with consumers.
Each of the Telluride trims offers the same amount of interior space, but the LX and the TX come with seating for up to eight passengers, whereas the S and the SX have seating for seven, with second-row captain’s chairs.
All of the trims’ second-row seats slide and fold at the touch of a button, making it even easier for you to get cozy when you decide it’s bedtime.
3. Mazda CX-9
Another midsize SUV that U.S. News ranks highly is the Mazda CX-9.
Pros of the Mazda CX-9 include its great handling and wide range of features, as well as its good fuel economy.
However, while the rear seats do fold flat in the CX-9, with 71.2 cubic feet in total there is less room available than in other SUVs in this class, which could be something to bear in mind if you’re planning on making a bed in the back.
The second-and third-row seats do fold down easily though, and this is consistent across the Sport, Touring, Carbon Edition, and Grand Touring trims.
4. Chevrolet Suburban
We couldn’t make a list of popular cars that it’s possible to sleep in without including the Chevy Suburban.
This vehicle blows most of its competitors out of the water with an enormous 144.7 cubic feet of space when all the seats are folded down, affording plenty of space for sleeping.
It is a car bordering on a minivan, so the Suburban is not the cheapest option on this list, but despite its size, it handles well, and is powered by very capable engines across the various trim options.
Various tech added to the more recent Suburban models increases driving ease and comfort even further, from power-adjustable front seats to three-zone climate control.
The latest Suburbans also benefit from added safety features as standard, such as forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, and there is always the option to add more by purchasing the Driver Alert Package.
The LS trim offers the option of increasing the car’s seating capacity from eight to nine, but the LT, the High Country, and the premium trims receive a seating upgrade, with power-folding second-and third-row seats.
The other trims all come with manual-folding seats, but there is the option to add power-folding seats to the Z71, RST, and LT trims. The LS is the only trim level where it isn’t possible to opt in to this.
5. Honda Pilot
Another popular three-row midsize SUV with seats that fold down flat is the Honda Pilot, of which a roomy interior is a standout feature.
With all the seats down, the Pilot offers more space than many cars in its class, with up to 109.2 cubic feet of room.
This extra space does come at a cost, however, as the Pilot’s starting price is higher than almost all other similar SUVs.
All the Honda Pilot trim levels — the Sport, EX-L, Special Edition, TrailSport, Touring, and Elite — offer one-touch seat folding in the second row, as well as manual folding of the third-row seats to give you that flatbed for getting a good night’s rest.
6. Jeep Grand Cherokee
Worth including in this list despite only being a two-row SUV, the Jeep Grand Cherokee is notable for its superior levels of comfort.
This lack of a third row does mean that the Grand Cherokee doesn’t stack up well against its three-rowed rivals when it comes to space in the back — with the rear seats folded down you’ll get up to 7 0.8 cubic feet — although there is a larger version, the Grand Cherokee L, which features three rows and 84.6 cubic feet of space once all the seats are folded down.
The tinted windows of the Cherokee are also great for privacy, which for us at least is a big tick in its favor.
The Cherokee Latitude, Freedom, Latitude Plus, and Altitude trim all include manual seat folding as standard, so you’ll be able to make your bed and lie in it no matter which option you go for.
7. Hyundai Palisade
The stylish Hyundai Palisade got joint top place in U.S. News’ list of Best Midsize SUVs of 2022 thanks in no small part to its comfort and luxury features, with the ample room it offers given as a plus point.
Up to 86.4 cubic feet is what you’re looking at with the second and third rows folded down, and you can do so at the touch of a button with the power-folding design of the seats.
With a typical mpg for a car of this class, it’s easy to see why the Palisade is so popular with critics and consumers.
The Palisade Limited and Calligraphy trims automatically include power-folding third-row seats, and it is an option to add it to the SEL trim. However, this handy feature unfortunately isn’t available in the SE trim.
Each of the trims does offer the option to fold the second-and third-row seats down flat though, so ultimately the choice comes down to convenience.
8. Chevrolet Traverse
A huge interior, a good engine, and a comfortable drive all combine to make the Chevrolet Traverse worthy of its name and a solid choice for a trip out on the open road.
Its mpg falls around the middle of the figures from other midsize SUVs, but the 98.2 cubic feet of space in the back is anything but average.
Out of the many trim levels available for the Traverse, the LS LT Cloth, RS, LT Leather, and Premier come with manual seat-folding, without the option to add power-folding. Only the High Country includes power-folding seats a s standard.
9. Hyundai Santa Fe
There’s fantastic value to be had with the Hyundai Santa Fe, which is loaded with smart features at a very reasonable price.
And while there’s a lot of space to be found inside the car for a two-row SUV, it’s somewhat smaller than some of its three-row cousins. If you’re looking to make a bed in your Santa Fe, once you have the rear seats folded down you’ll have 72.1 cubic feet of space to work with.
The SE trim level doesn’t feature power-folding seats — you’ll have to make do with manual instead. However, it is an optional extra in the SEL version and comes as standard in the XRT, Limited, and Calligraphy trims.
10. Dodge Durango
A powerful option for those who want their bed on wheels to really fly down the highway is the Dodge Durango.
With three rows of seating, the Durango has a cargo capacity of up to 85.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.
However, if you’re looking to spend the night in a Durango, pay attention to which trim you opt for. The SXT and SXT Plus only seat up to five passengers, but still offer the option to fold the rear seats down, whereas the GT and GT Plus trims can seat up to seven people.
The Citadel, SRT, and the SRT Hellcat all seat up to six, and these, along with the seven-seat GT and GT Plus, all have rear seats that fold flat.
Final Thoughts — 10 Popular Cars With Seats That Fold Into a Bed
There are lots of cars that offer the option of folding the rear seats down to create more room, but there’s no guarantee that simply by having this feature you would be able to make a comfortable bed in the back.
Here, we have searched for the cars that will likely make the best beds due to the amount of space available and the seats’ ability to fold down flat.
That’s not to say, however, that these cars automatically become beds once the seats are folded down — you will have to bring your own sleeping essentials to help you get a good night’s rest.