Best 3-Row SUVs in Consumer Reports' Tests

These high-scoring models have the roomiest rear accommodations

A family sitting inside a 3-row SUV

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 can bring compromises, with challenging access that requires youthful agility and also limited space, often making the seat best suited for short-distance travel and impromptu carpooling.

“There are very few midsized SUVs with a legitimate third-row seat,” says Gabe Shenhar, Consumer Reports' associate director of auto testing. “That said, our data show there are definite standout combinations.”

Shenhar advises shoppers to make a realistic assessment about how often that third row will be used. If it's to be rarely filled, and even then by children, it would be best to prioritize other aspects of the vehicle, like how it drives.

Understanding that many families want a third row, we dug into our extensive test results and Road Test scores to find the SUVs with the best Overall Scores that also have the best third row seating

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To come up with our Overall Score, we drive every vehicle we assess thousands of miles as we put them through a battery of tests at our track in Colchester, Conn. To compute the Overall Score, we factor in the road test and our reliability and owner satisfaction survey results. We also give higher marks for safer vehicles.

To help you find the best three-row SUVs, 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 in rank order. All featured SUVs are CR recommended. 

If you're a CR member, this article and the list below are already available to you. If not a member, click below to join and access this list and all of our exclusive ratings and reviews for each vehicle we buy and test. Membership also gives you full access to exclusive ratings for any of the other products our experts evaluate in several categories, including electronics and appliances.

The backseat of a Ford 3-row SUV

Best Midsized 3-Row SUV

SUVs Tested
Access Ratings