I immediately removed my 3rd row seat. It takes up space in my basement now. I cut a piece of 1/2" plywood to fit the cargo area. It covers the holes in the carpet where the seat legs bolted to the floor. I used a Weather Tech full size rubber mat to cover the area.
It provides substantially more cargo space and I don't have to strain myself lifting items so high anymore.
Rather angry I had to pay a lot for a leather bench I will never use. They should have left it as an option.
Any chance you can post a pic of the plywood / weather tech mat in that area?