We have a Suburban and we have a XL Wire crate and a L Veri Kennel in the back and a L Veri Kennel in the middle row. This allow use to put stuff in front the crates in the back and behind the crate in the middle. I have also seen people put 2 L wire crates with side doors in the middle. This only leave a little room for stuff in the very back.
I recently went through this hunt-Scratched all GM products for reasons similar to what someone else already stated. Couldn't find an SUV in my prooce range that had mileage over 20, and almost ended up with an Odyssey Van. Then a friend suggested looking at the Ford Ecoboost engine...
I have a 2013 Explorer w the Ecoboost engine.
1. It is enough power for me, but if you really want "hole shot" or pick-up, then don't get the ecoboost engine. I like the economy, and haven't felt the need for more quick acceleration response. My husband is not a fan-he has a lead foot.
2. Safety features are outstanding. Blind spot detectors, intelligent cruise control, even cross vehicle traffic indicators when backing up. The car is made for someone like me who is not confident driving a larger vehicle.
3. The third row seat will probably never see the light of day-it remains folded, and I have a Weather-Tech mat that fits perfectly over the carpet.
I got the bench seats, to make a more flat cargo area when folded, but there is a small gap between the folded bench seats and the rear cargo section. It is not a major problem, as I can use my old cargo mat to cover it if necessary. There is not enough room between the wheel wells for 2 large crates, but there is room for three crates plus cargo if all the seats are folded, and you're willing to turn a crate sideways. I could also use the roof racks for cargo.
Just got back from a long road trip- had 3 Labs comfortably in the back cargo area (not in crate) the rest of everything was in the second row seating area (folded down). Averaged about 24mpg-overall I'm very happy with it...
----city driving mileage is not as good as I expected - 19-22, depending on how much stopping we are doing...lately it seems like the lights are longer, and the stops are far more frequent...sigh.