Finding the Best Third-Row SUVs in 2017

Whether you have a big family or simply want more room on your road trips, SUVs with third-row seating are often worth the money. There are dozens of 2017 third-row seating vehicles to choose from, but finding the best one for your budget is often a difficult task.

When picking the best SUV with third-row seating, there are several things to consider. First, what matters to you most? Do you need a maximum number of seats, or would you rather find a more fuel-efficient, third-row seating SUV?

Another thing to consider is brand loyalty. Several car buyers have established a particular brand that they return to time and time again. How important is brand loyalty when searching for vehicles with third-row seating?

vehicles with third row seating

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Third-Row SUVs

Or maybe none of that matters when compared to safety. After all, vehicles with third-row seating might be carrying up to eight people. Perhaps the best third-row SUV is simply the one that is safest.

Deciding which third-row SUV to purchase will ultimately be up to you. Only you can answer which component is most important to you and your family.

That being said, we know that weighing various vehicles with third-row seating can be a daunting process. For your benefit, we have compiled the six best third-row seating vehicles that will be offered in 2017.

Additionally, we will be answering several of the most commonly answered questions, including the following:

  • Which SUVs with a third row come with the most seats?
  • Is it possible to find an SUV with third-row seating and good gas mileage?
  • Is there an SUV with third-row seating that is right for my family?

Our goal is to answer enough of your questions about cars with third-row seating that you feel comfortable to go out and make a purchase. As we always emphasize, the best SUV with third-row seating will depend on what you want and the size of your family. Therefore, we hope this article provides some guidance in your search.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of Top 6 Best Third-Row SUVs

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the third-row seating vehicles below to go directly to the detailed review section for that brand):

best third row SUV

Image source: Free Images

Top 6 Best Third-Row SUVs | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Vehicles with Third-Row Seating

City MPG

Highway MPG

Acura MDX



Chevy Traverse



Ford Flex



Honda Pilot



Hyundai Santa Fe



Toyota Highlander



Vehicles with Third-Row Seating

MSRP (Price)

Number of Seats

Acura MDX



Chevy Traverse



Ford Flex



Honda Pilot



Hyundai Santa Fe



Toyota Highlander



Table: Top 6 Best Third-Row Seating Vehicles | Above list is sorted alphabetically

Source: U.S.News Rankings and company websites

Detailed Overview of What to Look for in the Best Third-Row SUVs

Before you choose the best SUV with third-row seating for your family’s needs, it will be imperative that you learn a little more about the features that separate some from others.

As you search for the best third-row seating vehicles, you will notice that many seem similar until you start asking the right questions.  Therefore, when you look for the best SUV with third-row seating, you should make note of several of the following features:

  • MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price)
  • Number of seats
  • City and highway fuel efficiency
  • Safety ratings
  • Space (in cubic feet)
  • Entertainment options

The best SUV with third-row seating will offer a combination of strong fuel efficiency, MSRP, safety ratings, and space. While it is often tempting to choose the best SUV with third-row seating based on upfront costs, you will notice that many of the costs will not hit you until the purchase has been made.

For instance, fuel efficiency plays a major role in determining which vehicles with third-row seating are worth the money. Since SUVs with third-row seating are bigger than most other cars on the road, their fuel efficiency will not be competitive with smaller vehicles. There is a wide range of fuel efficiency among third-row seating vehicles.

One of the major differences between choosing an SUV with third-row seating and a more standard vehicle is that price is not always a top priority. Sure, we all want to get the best deal on a new third-row SUV, but with so many people traveling in a single vehicle, the space and safety features often outweigh the costs.

If you are able to narrow down your options after reading this article, it may be helpful to read personal reviews about the safety and space of these third-row seating SUVs. Getting a sense of how previous drivers faired in similar SUVs with a third row may be enough to steer you away from one and toward another.

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Detailed Overview of What Separates Some Third-Row Seating Vehicles from Others

If you are wondering what ultimately determines which third-row seating vehicles are best for you, consider the following points:

  • Cubic Feet: None of your passengers want to feel like they’re on a cramped airplane when they go for a drive in your third-row seating SUV. Make sure that all rows provide enough leg room for the various ages you might have in the vehicle. If the third row is only meant for young children, consider the size of your family. Additionally, the best vehicles with third row seating will allow you to transform your unoccupied rows into space for your luggage.
  • Fuel Efficiency: Remember that the best third-row seating SUV will be unable to travel as many miles per gallon as a smaller vehicle. Nevertheless, you should look for highway fuel efficiency in the mid to upper twenties. Finding an SUV with third-row seating and good gas mileage is often tricky, but not impossible.
  • Entertainment Options: The best SUV with third-row seating will often have various entertainment options, including TV screens and a wireless internet connection. Consider whether you want your passengers to have these options, or if they will cause too many distractions for your driver. Ultimately, the best SUV with third-row seating will give you or the driver control over how the passengers behave.

Overall, knowing which features to focus on will help you choose the best third-row SUV for you and your family. While we have not mentioned appearance at this point, all of the third-row SUVs that we are featuring have an excellent external facade for any and all audiences.

AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

At this point, you might be asking yourself: what methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the best third row SUVs, credit cards, financial products, firms, services, and products that are ranked on its Various top rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.

Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Vehicles with Third-Row Seating

Below, you will find a detailed review of each of the best third-row seating SUVs. We will focus on some of the most important factors that make these third-row seating vehicles some of the best you will find in 2017.

Acura MDX Review

The 2017 Acura MDX  is one of the best vehicles with third-row seating for a number of reasons. For one, it is a perfect example of an SUV with third-row seating and good gas mileage. On the highway, this SUV with third-row seating gets 27 miles per gallon.

This ties the top highway fuel efficiency from the cars with third-row seating on our list. Additionally, it comes with a lot of extra features, including an eight-inch touch screen, a moonroof, and a push-button start.

If you are looking for the best third-row seating SUV that will save you money at the pump, this may be the car for you. At the same time, however, keep in mind that this is the most expensive third-row seating SUV on our list.

The seating can be slightly cramped, but when you fold the seats down, this third-row SUV offers plenty of cargo space for traveling with luggage. We consider this the best SUV with third-row seating if you will not often use the third row for passengers.

Chevy Traverse Review

Another one of the best SUVs with a third row is the Chevy Traverse, which offers some of the most space for passengers and cargo. With seating for eight, everyone will enjoy the ride, regardless of which row they are in.

third row seating vehicles

Image Source: Chevrolet

Vehicles with third row seating often come with a few standard features, and the Chevy Traverse is equipped with all of them and more. For instance, it has a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, a 6.5-inch touch screen infotainment system, and a USB port.

Thanks to its space, this is one of the safest vehicles with third-row seating. Therefore, if safety is your number one priority, this may be the best third-row SUV for you and your family.

With that being said, this third-row SUV struggles with fuel efficiency. On the highway, it will struggle to reach 22 miles per gallon, depending on how many passengers you have in the vehicle. Ultimately, this third-row seating SUV may cost you the most at the pump.

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Ford Flex Review

The Ford Flex is another example of the best third-row seating vehicles that does not get excellent fuel efficiency. Hovering around 23 miles per gallon on the highway, this third-row SUV makes up for its mileage by offering a lot of excellent features.

One of the reasons we consider this the best SUV with third-row seating is because of its large cargo space. With the seats up, the Ford Flex offers 20 cubic feet, and with them down, it has 83.2 cubic feet, giving passengers plenty of space, plus space for their luggage.

If you have a big family and plan on taking many road trips with your third-row seating SUV, this may be the best SUV with third-row seating for you. No one will feel cramped, and you can rest assured that the ride will be smooth.

Honda Pilot Review

Another one of the best third-row seating vehicles available today is the Honda Pilot. Thankfully, this is a perfect example of an SUV with third-row seating and good gas mileage, coming in at 27 miles per gallon on the highway.

As a result of its new suspension system, this third-row SUV offers a very comfortable ride. Additionally, we consider it one of the best third-row SUVs because the third row can handle adults. Many of these cars with third-row seating can only comfortably fit children in the back row.

In many ways, the Honda Pilot is the best third-row SUV for families because of its space. The dual sunroofs make the cabin feel open, and you can fit people of all sizes inside for your road trips.

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Hyundai Santa Fe Review

The Hyundai Santa Fe does not get as high of a fuel efficiency rating as some of our top vehicles with third-row seating, but it does not come in last either. Thanks to its 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, this third-row seating SUV is meant to last.

With a 290 horsepower 3.3 liter V6 engine, you can be sure that this is one of the most powerful third-row seating vehicles around. No matter how many passengers or suitcases you have inside, the Hyundai Santa Fe is meant to get to its destination quickly.

The seating is especially spacious, but you should keep in mind that the cargo space is average compared to some of the other top vehicles with third-row seating. Coming in at 71.5 cubic feet, you will have plenty of room for your things, although not as much as the Ford Flex.

Nevertheless, Hyundai stands by their third-row seating vehicles, and as you can see in the comparison table, this is the cheapest model we are covering, coming in at just over $25,000.

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Toyota Highlander Review

The final vehicle on our list of best third-row SUVs is the Toyota Highlander.

In many ways, we consider the Highlander to be the best SUV with third-row seating for those who want peace and quiet while driving. The quiet and spacious interior keeps everyone at peace on a long trip.

best SUV with third row seating

Image Source: Toyota

Similar to the Hyundai Santa Fe, this SUV with third-row seating has a powerful V6 engine.

While its cargo space and fuel efficiency are average for vehicles with third-row seating, the price and brand make up for it. As we mentioned earlier, brand loyalty often plays a role in which third-row SUV people buy, and Toyota is consistently one of the top brands available.

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Conclusion—Top 6 Best Third Row SUVs

While there are many vehicles with third row seating to choose from, the best all vary in fuel efficiency, safety, and space. Depending on your budget, the best third-row SUVs could have all of the features you want and more.

The most important thing to ask yourself before deciding which of the third-row seating vehicles is right for you is this: what matters most to me?

To answer this question, consider your family. What is going to make them happiest? Where do you plan on taking them in your third-row SUV?

There are a lot of options to weigh, but we hope that our list of six best third-row SUVs will give you a head start. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or take the vehicle for a test run while visiting a dealership. While some of its features may sound good on paper, you’ll have to drive the vehicle to see how you truly feel.

Ultimately, choosing among the best vehicles with third-row seating should be a fun experience. As long as it’s within budget, reward yourself with the car of your dreams.

AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

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