Best 3-Row SUVs From Consumer Reports' Tests

These high-scoring models have the roomiest rear accommodations

Family in an SUV Photo: Getty Images

Three-row vehicles can be extremely functional. They can transport seven or eight people or readily convert into cargo haulers. Fold the seats in different ways and you can puzzle together an array of passenger and cargo combinations.

But a third row also brings compromises, with challenging access that requires youthful agility. Add in the limited cargo space when the third row is raised, and these seats are best suited for short-distance travel and impromptu carpooling.

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While there are very few midsized SUVs with a legitimate third-row seat, our test data show there are some standouts.

Shoppers should make a realistic assessment about how often they’ll use the third row. If it’s to be rarely filled, and even then by children, it’s best to prioritize other aspects of the vehicle, such as how it drives.

Understanding that many families want the flexibility to carry seven or eight passengers, we dug into our extensive test results and road-test scores to find the SUVs with the best third-row seating.

We spotlight models below in four popular classes—midsized, luxury midsized, large, and luxury large—with standout Overall Scores, factoring in access, comfort, and seating capacity. Within each class we also list the next best alternatives. All of these are recommended models, meaning they scored well in our road tests, have good reliability, have key active safety features, and performed well in crash tests. 

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