5 Three-Row SUVs That Are Perfect For The Whole Family
Society has programmed us to always want more than we have, so it’s no surprise that the largest sport utility vehicles with seven or eight seats are so tempting and earn such high praise, as seen in review of the Chevy Traverse. But sometimes, when we open our hands to grab more, what we already have slips from our grasp. This is often the case with these ambitious cars; squeezing in a third row too means sacrificing passenger and cargo space, which is traditionally the most desirable aspect of the SUV and crossover body style.
Nevertheless, there are a few manufacturers that manage to get this difficult recipe right. So, if you want it all – space, power, comfort, and technology – look no further. This list includes some of the best mid- and full-size SUVs capable of cramming in the kids, grandma and grandpa, and the family dog, with room for the kitchen sink in the trunk.
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Perhaps the biggest name in the game, the Telluride is a marvel of engineering. Right off the bat, its styling is bold and turns heads. For those that still aren’t impressed, the Nightfall Package gives it that extra edginess that will have all the other parents are the school drop-off point grinding their teeth with envy.
A hefty V6 engine is housed under the hood, developing 291 horsepower for your choice of the front or all four wheels. Sadly, this is one area where the Kia could use a little revision. It doesn’t actually feel underpowered, but it can’t stand up to the turbocharged power plants that so many competitors are offering.
Lastly, there is the commodious cabin. As with all three-row offerings, you won’t want the tallest passengers in the back seat, but there is more than enough room for the kids. And even with all the seats in place, the trunk still has space for a whopping 21 cubic feet of cargo. Many rivals don’t offer that with only five seats. Though not listed here, the Hyundai Palisade is essentially the same vehicle, with very minor differences that place it just below the Telluride in terms of overall appeal.
Available in both gasoline and hybrid configurations, the Highlander has access to between 243 hp and 295 hp in favor of the V6 on the gas-fed variant. Though it may not sell as well as the compact RAV4, it is equally well-designed. Redesigned for 2020, it has far better looks than before, and a lot more standard tech, too.
Features include Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. comprising collision avoidance and mitigation, pedestrian/cyclist detection, and lane keep assist, You also get a comprehensive and easy-to-use infotainment suite. All this alongside a spacious cabin 16-cubic-foot trunk makes it a clear winner.
As is often the case, fuel economy suffers in these large, hefty family haulers. The hybrid model was specifically designed to address this and shows a marked improvement in mileage figures. With the standard FWD, it returns 36 miles per gallon combined, while the AWD sees a drop of 1 mpg.
Coming back home to the USA, Ford has something to offer in this particular segment. The Expedition is offered in a standard or extended-length model known as the Max. For maximum space, you will want the Max, though it asked for an extra $4k MSRP, give or take. On top of its middling fuel economy, this makes it one of the more expensive purchases on the market.
Nevertheless, you get a pretty good deal for how much you’re spending. This includes a potent, twin-turbo V6 engine, available four-wheel-drive, and some astounding towing capabilities when properly equipped. Naturally, it looks pretty darn rugged and dependable, too. It’s exactly what we’d expect from an all-American brand.
Inside, it may not be the most lavishly appointed vehicle, but it doesn’t lack for space. But while the Max may be a bit longer, all that extra space goes to the trunk, meaning that you have a ludicrously large cargo hold capable of stowing 34.3 cubic feet.
Another Japanese entrant in this contest, the Pilot is a popular choice Stateside. In comparison to those above, it is not quite as large, but it’s still spacious and practical. Nevertheless, you probably wouldn’t want to take an extended road trip without frequent stops to stretch your legs. On the plus side, its slightly smaller dimensions and lower weight do help it maintain decent gas mileage figures.
Inside, this affordable SUV doesn’t try to be more than it is – a people hauler. The styling is basic, and the materials used are hardy and comfortable, though far from fancy. The third-row of seats is definitely best suited for small children, though. You also may want to bring along the tablets if they’re going to be spending a lot of time in the car, since the infotainment system on the base model is rather basic.
One of the oldest names in the SUV game, the Tahoe is an American classic, sporting a boisterous V8 engine that throws out 420 hp, paired with a ten-speed automatic transmission. This helps it get around town in a hurry, despite its size, and haul heavy trailers without breaking a sweat, fuel economy be damned.
Thanks to recent revisions in its design, there is more space inside than ever before, making all three rows quite liveable. If you are willing to invest in one of the upper trim levels, you get access to up to five displays, including infotainment, driver information, and a head-up display. Naturally, these expensive models include all the safety tech you could ever need to keep your family secure.