A Closer Look at the Redesigned 2023 Kia Sportage’s Luggage Capacity
The 2023 Kia Sportage has undergone a complete redesign, and one of the standout features is its impressive cargo space. According to specifications, the Sportage offers best-in-class cargo space of 39.6 cubic feet* behind its back seat, surpassing its mechanically related competitor, the Hyundai Tucson.
It’s worth noting that there are different versions of the Sportage, each with slight variations in cargo space. For instance, the Sportage Hybrid offers 39.5 cubic feet behind its raised second row, a mere 0.1 cubic-foot difference. On the other hand, the Sportage Plug-in Hybrid provides only 34.5 cubic feet and lacks the dual-level floor found in other versions. It also doesn’t come with a spare tire.
In this luggage test, we had the opportunity to examine the Sportage Hybrid, which is highly regarded.
As you can see from the image above, the cargo area is as spacious as advertised. It offers ample length and width, along with a decent amount of height beyond the back seat line.
To enhance practicality, the Sportage can be equipped with a cargo cover, although it wasn’t included in this particular test car. Similar to the Hyundai Tucson and Toyota RAV4, you can conveniently store the cargo cover inside the Sportage. Look for the small indentation designed to keep it securely in place.
Furthermore, the Sportage offers the flexibility of a high-floor option. By utilizing the low floor setting, you can maximize the cargo space, taking full advantage of the 39.6/39.5 cubic feet. Alternatively, the high-floor setting provides a flat load floor when the back seat is folded down. Even in this configuration, the Sportage still offers a respectable 34.5 cubic feet, which surpasses the cargo capacity of many compact SUVs.
It’s important to acknowledge a slight mishap during this test. Typically, we test vehicles using the lower floor position since it provides maximum space behind the back seat. However, in this instance, we accidentally stacked the bags on the high floor. Despite this oversight, it didn’t affect the outcome of the test.
Even with this slight deviation, all the bags fit effortlessly into the Sportage. It aced the test without any issues.
In every luggage test, we aim to replicate real-world scenarios. For this test, we used two midsize roller suitcases that require checking in at the airport, two roll-aboard suitcases that just barely fit in the overhead compartment, and one smaller roll-aboard suitcase that easily fits. Additionally, we added my wife’s fancy overnight bag to add a touch of style.
Comparing the Sportage to its competitors, it’s noticeably longer, with the Hyundai Tucson being the closest in size (using the lower floor setting for accuracy).
From the photos provided, it appears that the Sportage is not as large as the CR-V, but it seems to be on par with the Tucson. Determining an exact match is challenging. It’s worth noting that the Forester’s cargo area might not be as tall as its competitors, but with some strategic arranging, it can accommodate the same items with comparable space left over.
Regarding the RAV4, unfortunately, we did not capture an image of the vehicle with all the standard bags inside and without the cargo cover. However, we did take a photo displaying a 38-quart Coleman cooler and a blue duffle bag. Rest assured, those exact items fit perfectly in all the vehicles mentioned above, with the Tucson offering the most additional space.
As for the Sportage, regrettably, we cannot provide an image of the remaining space. The cooler and the blue bag are currently hidden somewhere in my cluttered garage, resembling the warehouse scene from “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Based on the photo showcasing the remaining space, it’s safe to assume that the Sportage would comfortably accommodate those items.
It’s worth noting that the CR-V Hybrid and Tucson Hybrid do not include a spare tire. In contrast, both the Sportage Hybrid and RAV4 Hybrid come equipped with a spare tire. This is a significant advantage, in my opinion. Additionally, it’s important to mention that the Sportage Plug-in Hybrid lacks a spare tire due to the additional batteries it carries.
Taking all these factors into account, I am confident in declaring the Kia Sportage as the segment’s best offering. Although its cargo capacity may seem comparable to the Tucson, the presence of a hybrid system and a spare tire tips the scales in favor of the Sportage. The Honda CR-V is also getting a redesign for 2023, but it appears to be on par with its outgoing version shown above. To be continued…
With its spacious cargo area and practical features, the Kia Sportage is an excellent choice for those looking for a compact SUV with ample luggage capacity.
*Disclaimer: All measurements are based on available data. Please consult official specifications for precise details.