Large three-row vehicles offer the flexibility to transport the whole family and then some. When not in use, the third row folds neatly away in most minivans and SUVs, creating generous rear storage space. And for times when long items need to be transported along with people, the second- and third-row seats can be folded flat on one side of the vehicle, allowing passengers to sit on the other side.

Not all third rows are easy to access, nor fit for adult passengers, as our testing has shown. To help in choosing the right three-row model for your needs, we highlight below those models that shined in our tests, complete with related highlights from our road test.

The vehicles are ranked by their third-row score, based on an assessment of seat comfort, access, and whether it is suitable accommodations for adults.

Note: This is not the overall score, which is a composite of the road test score, owner satisfaction, reliability, and safety. For those buyers who only use the third-row seat occasionally, it is important to look how vehicles perform overall. In some cases, there are better models that are recommended. In fact, some on the Worst list are great vehicles—just not ideal for third-row passengers.

And we also list the vehicles that are the worst for third-row usage.

Click the model names to access the complete road test, along with pricing, reliability data, and much more.  


Chrysler Pacifica

Chrysler Pacifica

The third-row bench seat is relatively wide; adults can fit three-abreast for short trips. Foot room is decent, thanks to the well-designed second-row seats leaving plenty of space beneath them. All but the tallest adults will have plenty of head room. Leg and knee room is adequate. Unlike many other third-row vehicles, the second-row seats don't slide back-and-forth to provide more space for the third row. Comfort is similar to the second row in that the seats are relatively flat and hard, with a somewhat low cushion that doesn't provide much thigh support for adults. 

See our complete Chrysler Pacifica road test.


Kia Sedona

Kia Sedona

The narrow third-row seat has room for adults, but fitting three across won't be fun. The seat itself is rather hard, with a low bottom cushion that reduces thigh support for grown-ups. In the spirit of compromise, sliding the second-row seats forward improves leg room for those banished to the third row. Kids won't likely complain about the seat itself, but they might have a hard time seeing out of the side windows, thanks to the rise in the windowsill.

See our complete Kia Sedona road test.


Dodge Grand Caravan

Dodge Grand Caravan

The third row has enough space for adults but the seats are also very low and leg room is tight. The bottom cushion is tilted up severely to provide some thigh support. These seats not only fold away completely if desired but you can open the tailgate and flip the seatback forward so two people can sit facing the rear for, say, a picnic or tailgate party. Access to the first two rows is very easy through huge and low openings, but as per usual, getting into the third row takes some dexterity.

See our complete Dodge Grand Caravan road test.


Chevrolet Suburban

Chevrolet Suburban

Third-row seat comfort is much improved in this generation of the Suburban. Previous versions had a seat that sat almost flat on the floor, depriving adults of thigh support. Now a raised seat bottom provides better thigh support for grown-ups stuck in the third row. The compromise for that is a high load floor that reduces interior cargo volume when the seat is folded for hauling stuff. The third row has just enough leg room. Adults will fit, but it's not a particularly comfortable place to relax. Unlike many other three-row SUVs, you can't slide the second-row seat forward to make more space.

See our complete Chevrolet Suburban road test.


GMC Yukon XL

GMC Yukon XL

Third-row seat comfort is much improved in the latest Yukon XL, as with the Chevrolet Suburban. A raised seat bottom provides better thigh support for grown-ups stuck in the third row than in the previous generation. The compromise for that a high load floor that reduces interior cargo volume when the seat is folded for hauling stuff. The third row has just enough leg room, and adults can sit back there. Unlike many other three-row SUVs, you can't slide the second-row seat forward to make more space.

See our complete GMC Yukon XL road test.


Toyota Sienna

Toyota Sienna

The third-row seats are livable by adults, with adequate headroom and sufficient knee room. The seatbacks have reclining adjustments. But toe space is limited, and the outer armrests are nothing more than hard plastic. The middle third-row seat is passable, too, with reasonably squishy cushions.

See our complete Toyota Sienna road test.


Honda Odyssey

Honda Odyssey

Third-row access is a bit of a let down for a minivan. The second-row seat flips and moves forward easily, but it only provides a decent path to the rear if you remove the middle seat and slide the outboard seat inwards. The flat, basic third-row seats sit quite low to the floor. Still, there is decent room for a back seat.

See our complete Honda Odyssey road test.


Chevrolet Traverse

Chevrolet Traverse

The second row is very roomy and the captains chairs provide lateral support and facilitate good posture. They can also slide fore-aft and recline. The third-row seat is expectedly low and tight, but it is tolerable, especially if the second row is slid forward a notch.

See our complete Chevrolet Traverse road test.


Buick Enclave

Buick Enclave

It's very easy to get in the Enclave. Both the front and rear openings are huge and the narrow, flat door sill is no impediment. A wide foot path also helps those getting into the back. Third-row access is relatively easy but, oddly, only the passenger-side second-row seat flips up out of the way to clear a path to the rear. Small children can jump in and walk between the two captain's chairs.

See our complete Buick Enclave road test.



Vehicles With the Worst Third Rows

Below are the models with the worst accommodations for adults in the third row. Many are quite excellent vehicles and the third rows may be well-suited to children, but for buyers looking for maximum versatility for the whole family should scramble into that rear-most seat before buying. 

  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Land Rover Ranger Rover Sport
  • Kia Sorento
  • Lexus GX
  • Volvo XC90
  • Dodge Journey
  • BMW X5
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Audi Q7
  • Land Rover Discovery