Carens vs Alcazar vs Safari: How much boot-space does your 3-row car offer?
Three-row SUVs and MPVs are gaining a lot of attention in the Indian car market and there's good reason for the popularity of such vehicles. Seating in three rows offers an owner plenty of options to accommodate larger families with luggage on long highway journeys. While most of the offerings at present also offer a number of other benefits like a feature-packed cabin, convenient and capable drive options, and relatively easy entry and exit into the vehicle itself, the cargo space is also one much-touted highlight that manufactures rave about.
But the fact of the matter is that in a three-row vehicle with all the seats up, the cargo space at the back is rather minimal. More often than not, one would only be able to pack in a carry-on suitcase and a small backpack at best. For anything additional, the last-row seat(s) would have to be folded down.
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Take the case of the newly-launched Kia Carens. It is touted as a three-row recreational vehicle and does benefit from a spacious and well-appointed cabin. With all three rows of seating up though, the cargo space at the back is at 216 litres. That's significantly less than even the 341 litres of boot space on offer on the much smaller WagonR. It is only when the third-row seats are folded that massive amounts of space is freed up.
The boot space with all seats up in the Alcazar is even lesser. The Hyundai vehicle offers 180 litres of space for luggage if the vehicle has passengers in all its rows.
Over at the Tata Motors' camp, the Safari may look like a stylish and dominant SUV but has under 100 litres of boot space if all seats are kept up. This could also be because there is slightly more leg room for the third-row passengers than in some of its rival models but it does come at the cost of luggage space.
Even some larger SUVs like Toyota Fortuner, MG Gloster and the recently-launched Jeep Meridian ought not to boast about cargo space and three-row seating in the same vein.
Do note though that the options of customized seat folding in some of these models mentioned may help strike a balance between packing in luggage and yet carrying multiple people in the vehicle at the same time. But it would be incorrect for customers with large families and a need for frequent long trips to assume that six to seven people with as many bags can be accommodated inside any of these vehicles without the need for an overhead carrier being felt.