There had been a rising trend among owners of SUVs with two-row seats to slowly acquire the present SUV models with 3-row seats. These customers’ wishes had not been remiss from the eyes of manufacturers. They could have anticipated such consumer moves and had been ready to fill in the demand.
It could also be an offshoot of SUV owners having acquired families through the years. They had wanted their families to enjoy such trendy vehicles in moving around without sacrificing the look, the power and the bragging rights in having these vehicles, this time around riding with their growing families.
With competition and constant innovations of their products, manufacturers are once again presenting consumers this year a long list of 3rd row SUVs (and models). Here are the 10 best SUVs with third row seating. Some are tied with one another in some ranking.
1. Honda Pilot (MSRP: $30,145 – $46,570)
For the record, the redesigned Honda Pilot is number one out of 10 mid-sized SUVs, making it the best 3rd row SUV. If that wasn’t enough, Honda Pilot tops all others in the rankings in mid-sized SUVs, crossover SUVs and SUVs with 3 rows.
In addition, it is the winner for best 3-row SUV for the money and the best 3-row SUV for families for this year.
Among the 3-row crossovers, critics had been one in declaring it at an outstanding choice. The reasons given were its car-like ride and the big cabin space using high-end materials.
Test drivers think that Honda Pilot’s V6 engine is powerful. Coupled with that is the base model having a 6-speed transmission while the 9-speed automatic comes in higher trims. Reviewers say the 9-speed transmission accelerates stronger while the 6-speed is quicker shifting.
2. Toyota Highlander (MSRP: $29,990 – $44,490)
The Toyota Highlander is one ideal family SUV based on its smooth ride, respectable performance and appealing interiors. As such, it ranks among the very best in the market as per critics.
As of now, the Toyota Highlander is ranked no.1 out of 10 midsized SUVs. It had been classified as an ideal family SUV because it performs a smoother ride, charming interior and he performance is not bad at all.
Its other top-notch qualities include a strong optional V6, a composed handling and overall ride, with enough small-item storage topped by superb cabin materials. The V6 engine and the 4-cylinder engine are both standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The Highlander seats up to 8, and has a standard 2.7 liter four-cylinder engine, and drives front wheel. It has 4 models (LE, LE Plus, XLE and Limited) and is responsive during cornering and has a precise steering.
3. Toyota Highlander Hybrid (MSRP: $47,870 – $50,485)
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid has excellent fuel economy, notwithstanding it has tree rows. The complaint is centered on its high price.
Other than this, the Hybrid has user-friendly controls at the dashboard, top-notch space, good ratings in both reliability and in safety, including its features that are geared for the family.
The Hybrid rides smoothly (and quietly) on most road surfaces plus the handling is composed. If you’re not familiar with regenerative braking systems, you might feel a little grabby using them.
It also has an upscale feel in its interiors because of its top-notch materials and appealing design. The Highlander Hybrid comes in two trims: Limited and Limited Platinum.
4. Hyundai Santa Fe (MSRP: $24,950 – $36,250)
At the moment, the Hyundai Santa Fe is the cheapest 3rd row SUV. (Both the 2-row Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and the 3-row Santa Fe are some of the most solid all-around SUVs sporting competitive prices, long warranties and reliability that are above-average.
This is over and above such appealing user-friendly infotainment controls, its quiet high-quality cabins and the lively turbocharged and V6 options.
The Santa Fe’s technology features are easy to use because of its simple well-laid out controls. It has a better sound control and sound insulation than the other more sophisticated brands. The above–average sound insulation works in tandem the interior quality of the SUV. The result is a quieter experience while the car is running and in motion.
The 3-row Santa Fe can seat up to 7 passengers and comes in SE and Limited trims. It has a 3.3 liter V6 with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional.
5. Buick Enclave (MSRP: $39,065 – $49,515)
The Buick Enclave has an interior made of high-end materials, its ride is smooth and the interior is roomy as what test drivers had discovered. The comfortable ride is also quiet.
The Enclave’s available features include a rear-seat entertainment system, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, navigation, lane departure warning, forward collision alert, a blind side zone alert and a rear-cross traffic alert.
The Enclave offers three equipment groups: Premium, Convenience and Leather. It can seat up to 8 people and has a standard 3.6 liter V6 engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. (All wheel drive is available.)
6. Chevrolet Tahoe (MSRP: $47,000 – $64,740)
The Chevrolet Tahoe is one of the best large SUVs, although its cargo space is not that great. However, the V8 engine is potent and sure of its handling.
The critics rate Chevrolet Tahoe and one of the nicest in its class with its high-end materials and its modern styling. The first and the second rows are comfortable although the 3rd row is best for children.
The Tahoe sits up to 9 people and comes in 3 trims — LS, LT and LTZ. Its 5.3 liter V8 engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard while the 4-wheel drive is optional. It was redesigned and there was only minor update for this year.
7. GMC Yukon (MSRP: $48,315 – $71,025)
The GMC Yukon has powerful choices for engines; the handling is composed, although it has less cargo space than most.
The SUV has a straightforward infotainment system, has muscular engines on top of being composed when in motion. It has a very good combination of interior space, safety and reliability rating.
The GMC Yukon also possesses a very good mix of the best in interior space, in safety and in reliability. They are available with features that are geared for the family, making it our best large SUV for families.
The V8 engine powers the GMC Yukon that delivers plenty of power. The Denali models with larger engines have even more powerful muscle. The rear-wheel drive is standard (the 4-wheel drive is optional.)
8. Chevrolet Traverse (MSRP: $31,205 – $44,145)
One advantage with the Chevrolet Traverse is that it handles like a car but provides a spacious cabin, and an abundant cargo space.
All in all, it has a stable and smooth handling, possesses a hushed attractive interior and an outstanding cargo space.
The Traverse seats up to 8 people and has a standard 3.6 liter V6 engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission and a front-wheel drive. It is available in LS, 1LT, 2LT and LTZ. The Traverse was refreshed in 2013 but is largely unchanged since then.
It comes with the standard Bluetooth, a USB port, a satellite radio, touch screen system and rearview camera. There is also a 10-speaker Bose audio system, rear-seat entertainment and tri-zone automatic climate control.
9. Dodge Durango (MSRP: $30,495 – $44,495)
The Dodge Durango has good handling, powerful towing capacity and an infotainment system with touch screen.
Its other qualities include composed handling, user-friendly infotainment system, powerful optional V8 and a good towing capacity in its class. It also has an eye-catching nice interiors, highlighted with premium materials.
Its standard features include the tri-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a USB port and the Uconnect infotainment system equipped with a 5-inch touch screen. There is also a rearview camera, a Beats audio box, adaptive cruise control blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, a dual screen rear-seat Blu-ray entertainment system.
10. Kia Sorento (MSRP: $25,100 – $43,300)
The Kia Sorento ranks in the middle of all the mid-sized SUVs. One of its biggest draw is its low base price although there are options and upgrades that can make it stand out.
The Sorrento’s attractive styling and generous supply of soft-touch materials make the cabin feel (and look) like it belongs to a luxury SUV. The first and second row can seat up to five occupants. The two at the 3rd row can accommodate only small members of the family.
The 2nd row seats have ample spaces for long legged occupants. They can slide forward to accommodate those in the 3rd row.