Reader Question: Secure Storage in an SUV?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

AO asks: I have been considering purchasing an SUV. One significant concern I have is that there is no truly secure storage compartment (somewhat comparable to a trunk) to lock up things of value inside to prevent theft if someone just breaks out the glass. I have seen some “security” products online but they are either very small boxes (with a cable attached) that don’t really look very secure (to me) or some rather massive insert that takes up almost all the cargo space in the rear.  Am I missing any good products that would likely solve this concern for me?

My reply: This is, arguably, one of the main weaknesses of the SUV/crossover layout vs. sedans, which have lockable trunks. The downside, of course, is these trunks are much smaller in terms of overall capacity – but your point remains.

So, what to do?

One thing, which I do, is stick smaller valuables (e.g., laptops and women’s purses) underneath the second row seats. This gets them out of sight – which is probably the most meaningful real-world theft-deterrent as most “smash and grab” thefts are crimes of opportunity. A thief walks past, looks inside, sees something he wants…

This is also why tinting windows is a good idea, too. It will also help keep the vehicle cooler.

Since you are in the market for a vehicle, you might want to look for one that has a storage area underneath the floor of the cargo deck in the rear. Some of these are lockable but the main draw is your stuff will be out of sight.

The Honda Ridgeline – which is marketed as a truck but is really a Pilot (four doors) with a bed – has a lockable storage area underneath the bed floor. There are also pick-ups with factory lock boxes along the bed well as well. You might be interested in considering a truck for this reason.

Hope this helps!

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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