If you’re looking for a family vehicle with seating for more than five, chances are you’re in the market for either a minivan or an SUV. The latter segment is currently growing and dominating the automotive industry. Even if you’re looking exclusively at SUVs with a 3rd row, there are plenty to choose from across the mainstream and luxury segments. Here are our picks for the best SUVs with 3 rows for 2020.
With its rugged good looks and commanding presence, the 2020 Kia Telluride wants your attention if you’re in the market for an SUV with a 3rd row. The Telluride backs up its appearance, too. It’s got a well-appointed interior that punches above its weight, plenty of safety features, and a healthy 291-hp 3.8-liter V-6, making it one of the best 3-row SUVs for 2020.
The 2019 Chevrolet Traverse is on the larger end of the spectrum in its class. What that gets you is a spacious, well-packaged interior and a 3rd row that’s actually usable for adults unlike most of its competitors.
Want a 3-row SUV that looks snazzy without breaking the bank? The 2020 Hyundai Palisade fits the bill. In its most expensive iteration, the Palisade checks in under $50,000 yet comes with Nappa Leather upholstery, heated and ventilated first and second rows, a digital gauge cluster, and power-folding 3rd-row seats that you can activate from the infotainment system. Just like its sibling, the Kia Telluride, the Palisade is in many ways a premium 3-row SUV minus the premium price tag. But which one is right for you? To help you decide, here’s a handy breakdown of each SUV’s features.
Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and 2019 GMC Yukon/Yukon XL
General Motors offers two full-size SUVs with a 3rd row, the Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon/Yukon XL. Both models are now on their way out, with a new generation arriving in the near future that could adopt an independent rear suspension setup for the first time.
Although it’s now one of the older entries in the 3-row SUV segment, the 2019 Honda Pilot is still a compelling option. With its generous interior space, and myriad of storage cubbies, the Pilot is one of the best 3-row SUVs for 2020, especially if you’re in search of something family-friendly.
Although it’s not the best in its class, the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas has one of the most usable 3rd rows. It comes standard with seating for seven but if you’re fine with one less seat, you can also opt for second-row captain’s chairs instead of a bench.
Available in two flavors, the 2019 Ford Expedition gives you capability and space. Among full-size SUVs with a 3rd row, the long-wheelbase Expedition Max allows you to carry more cargo even with all seats occupied. Platinum models also come with features usually found on luxury-badged vehicles like massaging front seats.
One of the few SUVs available with a V-8 engine, the 2019 Dodge Durango is the ideal 3-row SUV if you want to get the kids to school in a flash. Opt for the 475-hp Durango SRT if you want the most power and don’t have a problem with your 3-row SUV only seating six.
Need all-weather traction in an SUV with 3 rows? Consider the Subaru Ascent, which comes standard with all-wheel drive. The 260-hp 2.4-liter turbo-four provides plenty of oomph even in a big crossover and it can tow as much as 5,000 pounds when equipped properly. The EyeSight driver assistance suite comes standard on all Subaru Ascent trims and it received a Top Safety Pick + rating from the IIHS, making it one of the best SUVs with a 3rd row for 2020 when it comes to safety.
If you care about driving and want an SUV with 3 rows, the 2019 Mazda CX-9 has your name on it. With seating for up to seven, a lively chassis (for an SUV), and a 250-hp 2.5-liter turbo-four under the hood, the CX-9 has moves that belie its size.
Although a new generation is arriving at the end of the year, the current-generation Toyota Highlander remains relevant because it was the first hybrid SUV with a 3rd row option. Featuring three electric motors, including one mounted on the rear axle, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid gives you all-wheel drive standard, 306 hp combined, and superior fuel economy versus its gas-only sibling.
A staple of the midsize luxury SUV segment, the 2019 Acura MDX is a well-rounded performer with seating for up to seven and sporty handling for its size. Need more power than the standard 3.5-liter V-6? The MDX Hybrid has 321 hp combined and an electrified iteration of Acura‘s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system.
As the latest entrant in the midsize luxury SUV segment, the 2020 Lincoln Aviator brings a truly American take with its cool interior themes. You can also opt for a plug-in hybrid variant, which adds more power and the ability to drive solely using the electric motor for 18 miles according to Lincoln.
Although late to the game, the BMW X7 arrives ready for a fight. Its spacious, well-built interior can be customized to your heart’s content with everything from glass controls to two-tone Nappa leather upholstery. Want a luxurious family road missile? The X7 also comes in the 523-hp M50i variant, making it one of only a handful of SUVs with a 3rd row that blends practicality and performance.
A former MotorTrend SUV of the Year winner, the 2020 Volvo XC90 is among the most unique SUVs with 3 rows. The beautifully crafted and totally Swedish interior design allows the XC90 to stand out from the crowd with its natural wood finishes and handcrafted crystal electronic gear selector if you opt for the T8 plug-in hybrid. A recent refresh has added second-row captain’s chairs, but overall the formula remains the same, which should make the Volvo XC90 among the best SUVs for 2020 despite its age.
If you need an SUV with 3 rows and an overload of tech features, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class should be on your shopping list. Offered with two mild hybrid powertrains, the 2020 GLS-Class has cutting-edge active driver assist features that can nudge you back into your lane when you’re drifting and an onboard personal assistant via the new MBUX system.
With its clean, tasteful design, the refreshed Audi Q7 gets a fresh look without resorting to excessive lines and creases. Like the exterior, the Q7’s interior is simple yet elegant, giving this 3-row SUV a modern cabin that won’t overwhelm your senses the moment you look at the dash.
Well known for its off-road capability and opulence, the Land Rover Range Rover has aged gracefully, still looking as good as it did when the current-generation vehicle arrived for the 2013 model year. Some of its latest updates include electrified powertrains including mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants. Like its smaller siblings, the Range Rover is one of a number of luxury SUVs with an available 3rd row, provided you check the box on the options list.
Despite its age, the Cadillac Escalade still has presence and will turn heads everywhere. In addition to the standard variant, the Escalade is one of only a number of luxury SUVs with a 3rd row that’s available in a long-wheelbase variant, giving it more interior space than some of its competitors.
As one of the vehicles that helped revive Lincoln, the Navigator is one of the most important models for the brand. Authentically American and properly luxurious, the 2019 Lincoln Navigator has an unmistakable presence. With its beautifully crafted interior, punchy powertrain, and plush ride, the Lincoln Navigator remains one of the best 3-row SUVs for 2020.