"It's also important to note the Sorento has basically the same exterior dimensions as two-row midsize crossovers like the Honda Passport and Hyundai Santa Fe — in that way, the third row can basically be thought of as a bonus feature for occasional use."
This is what I wrote in our Kia Sorento review, and I stand by it. As such, the amount of cargo capacity left over behind the third row is of less consequence as you're inherently less likely to need that third row for traveling long distances with a full load of people than you'd be with a Kia Telluride or other larger three-row vehicle. Still, it's good to know how much will fit back there, so let's break out the luggage.
According to the specs, this amounts to 12.6 cubic feet of space. That's exactly the same as the Cadillac XT6, but better than the Mitsubishi Outlander — the two worst-performing three-row vehicles in Luggage Test history.
There is some underfloor storage, but not enough to fit any of the bags in my garage (including the assortment of bonus bags) nor of the variety that could expand space as in the Telluride, Mazda CX-9 and Honda Pilot.
As with every luggage test, I use two midsize roller suitcases that would need to be checked in at the airport (26 inches long, 16 wide, 11 deep), two roll-aboard suitcases that just barely fit in the overhead (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller roll-aboard that fits easily (23L x 15W x 10D). I also include my wife's fancy overnight bag just to spruce things up a bit (21L x 12W x 12D).
However, the Outlander was able to accommodate the fancy bag atop those bags. The Sorento could not because of the angle of the tailgate, and therefore, it is worse in the confines of a luggage test. Now, is it worse than a XT6? Considering the Cadillac has more under-floor storage, I'd say yes actually.
So, whatever the opposite metaphor of "leader in the clubhouse" is, that's the Sorento.
But, just to provide some extra info here, I literally opened things up to test how much I could fit inside if you lowered one of the seats. I haven't really done this since the earliest luggage tests (including the CX-9), but thought it was appropriate here. Considering this Sorento has second-row captain's chairs, it does stand to reason that using at least one side of the third-row has a decent chance of being utilized on a longer trip.
So this would be the four biggest bags, with (right) and without (left) the fancy bag stacked up against the ceiling. With this configuration, there is indeed enough space for one bag per person aboard.
Is that person in the third row happy? Ah, well, there is a chance that a sharp right turn will fling some bags at them, and again, they'd better not have long legs. But hey, they have a USB port back there and the aforementioned second-row captain's chairs do open up a pass-through space where you can stretch out at least one leg. So hey, at least there are options!
And finally, here's the cargo area with the third-row down. This space measures 38.4 cubic feet.
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