So often when I get a time with a car, I typically focus on how it rides, drives and performs, but with SUV s, cargo room is a huge deal for many buyers. Sure, you need to haul Johnny’s and Suzie’s soccer and softball equipment from A to B, but what about when things need to get a little dirtier than usual? So many crossovers fall flat when hauling anything other than groceries or sports equipment, but is the Sorento an exception to this rule?
Absolutely yes! Kia advertises its Sorento as having 72.5 cubic feet of cargo room — only about 8 cubic feet less than the much longer Explorer — with all three rows of seats folded, and I put this to the test. I happened to have a bit of a landscaping project to finish off this week, and I needed to pick up a ton of mulch, so I decided to see just how many bags I could easily stuff into the back of this midsize crossover.
In my first trip, I folded the third row of seats left the second row up, and still managed to cram 15 two-cubic-foot bags of mulch without much issue. But that was nowhere near enough for my project, so I took out my son’s booster seat and folded the second row of seats, exposing a rather cavernous hull with a relatively flat loading surface. Off to Lowes I went after pre-ordering 30 — yes thirty — two-cubic-foot bags of mulch.
After some careful planning, I was able to stack the mulch bags in piles of five before they got too close to the sunroof, and I was able to create a total of six stacks of five. Even with 30 bags of mulch in the rear, I still had a good eight inches between the last row of mulch and the rear hatch, so there was no "I hope the rear glass doesn’t shatter" moment.
So if you’re looking for an SUV that can haul seven passengers day in and day out, while still having the ability to carry cargo when needed, the Sorento is more than capable.
Click past the jump to read more about how easy it is to access this huge amount of cargo room.
Some automakers make accessing maximum cargo room a pain, but Kia did its best to make things nice and easy with the 2015 Sorento. First thing is to slide the front seats up a few inches to make plenty of room for the rear seatbacks to flip forward. Then a quick pull up on the handle on each side of the second-row seats and down they fold. the second-row seatbacks angle upward slightly when they are folded flat, but the angle doesn’t negatively affect loading up cargo.
For the third-row seats, simply pull the tether on the rear of each seat, and the headrest automatically flips closed and you can tumble the seatback down. Unlike the second row the third row folds almost perfectly flat. The convenience of the folding headrests is really valuable here, as so many automakers now require you to remove and store the third-row headrests in little cubbies in the cargo area. This not only is extra work, but so often these cubbies never actually fit both headrests and result in you mumbling about how stupid the engineers are as you find a safe place for the headrests in your garage.
A last word of advice for those planning to go to the ceiling with their cargo. Make sure to open the panoramic sunroof cover to avoid damaging it or getting it dirty.