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If you're looking for plenty of cargo and seating space, a 3 row SUV may be your best option.

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows | CarMax
Whether you need a vehicle to accommodate a growing family or simply want a roomier interior for transporting cargo, a 3 row SUV offers both flexibility and functionality. Specifically, 3 row SUVs tend to have seating for up to seven passengers, in addition to fold-down seating options that provide additional cargo space.  Need help narrowing down your options and choosing the one that's right for you?

Check out 20 of our top 3 row SUVs to help you get started!

  1. Hyundai Santa Fe
  2. Infiniti JX35
  3. Chevrolet Suburban 1500
  4. Ford Flex
  5. Mazda CX-9
  6. GMC Yukon
  7. Ford Expedition
  8. Chevrolet Tahoe
  9. Acura MDX
  10. Dodge Durango
  11. Infiniti QX60
  12. GMC Acadia
  13. Nissan Armada
  14. Buick Enclave
  15. Honda Pilot
  16. Toyota Highlander
  17. Kia Sorento
  18. Chevrolet Traverse
  19. Nissan Pathfinder
  20. Ford Explorer




20

Hyundai Santa Fe

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Hyundai Santa Fe | CarMax
With a sharp, sporty appearance and comfortable seating for seven passengers, the Hyundai Santa Fe s a great starting point for your research. Inside the Santa Fe, you'll enjoy roomy first and second rows with plenty of space to stretch out; the second row of seats even reclines for added comfort, while the third row is ideal for kids and smaller adults. You'll also find a generous 80 cubic feet of cargo space when you fold down the second and third rows (or 41 cubic feet with just the third row folded). 
20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Hyundai Santa Fe | CarMax

19

Infiniti JX35

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Infiniti JX35 | CarMax
The Infiniti JX35 is a relatively new model (only available as a 2013 model) that’s known for its sleek, curvy design that gives it more visual appeal than many other 7 passenger SUV options on the market today. The second row of seats is designed to smoothly tilt and slide, making it easy to reach the third row of seats. This is also one of few SUVs on the market that offers a full six feet of head clearance — even for passengers in the third row! — making this an ideal option for taller passengers. Cargo space is also abundant, with nearly 77 cubic feet available (when all rear seat rows are folded down).
20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Infiniti JX35 | CarMax

18

Chevrolet Suburban 1500

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Chevrolet Suburban | CarMax
With an initial debut way back in 1936, the Chevrolet Suburban is actually one of the longest-running vehicle models ever sold in the US! Recent model year releases of this vehicle come in three trim options: the basic LS, the LT, and the LTZ. Drivers enjoy that all trim levels come equipped with a powerful V8 engine, making it an ideal option for drivers who don't want to sacrifice engine power for seating space. And while there’s ample seating available in all three rows, it’s worth noting that the base model gives you the most spacious cabin. The upper trims give you a powered third-row seat, and the Z71 package is attractive for outdoorsy types who want the tweaked suspension and tires for additional off-road capability.
20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Chevrolet Suburban | CarMax

17

Ford Flex

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Ford Flex | CarMax
If you’re looking for a 7 passenger SUV with a style that truly stands out, check out the Ford Flex. Its boxier, wagon-like design appeals to many customers. It’s spacious on the inside, and it’s kinda funky and retro on the outside! The Flex is available in three trim options that include all-wheel drive. Access to the third row of seats is also easy, as the second row folds at the touch of a button. A turbocharged engine option is also available for those who want a little extra power. One of our sales consultants at our Lancaster, PA location says the Flex offers his customers the interior space they’re looking for. “They have some of the best storage available for their size,” he says. “And they seem to sit lower than most SUVs, which can be a benefit to folks who have a harder time getting in and out of a tall SUV, but who want those SUV dimensions.
20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Ford Flex | CarMax

16

Mazda CX-9

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Mazda CX-9 | CarMax

Looking for a sportier 3 row SUV? The Mazda CX-9 is a popular choice, especially when you consider the fact that all of its trim levels are equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Even though many other 3 row SUVs come with a 6-cylinder, the Mazda CX-9 doesn’t lack power and acceleration, and many drivers have praised its handling as well. While it doesn't offer as much in the way of spacious seating and cargo storage space, the CX-9 still seats up to seven people, and many drivers will accept the minor trade-off for the mix of engine power and efficiency and overall performance.

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Mazda CX-9 | CarMax

15

GMC Yukon

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: GMC Yukon | CarMax
The GMC Yukon has been a trusted 3 row SUV option for almost 20 years. Its overall body style hasn't changed much over the years, but it has been fine-tuned with today's drivers in mind. A number of trim options are available, including 5.3L V8 and 6.2L V8 options. Those looking for maximum seating space will be wise to consider this vehicle, as it can seat up to nine passengers with the right configurations! The second and third row seats can be folded down for cargo space, but buyers should be aware that the third row of seats weighs about 50 pounds and can take a bit of effort to fold down. Some families might want to seek out a Yukon with the powered 3rd row seat option.
20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: GMC Yukon | CarMax

14

Ford Expedition

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Ford Expedition | CarMax
Like the GMC Yukon, the Ford Expedition is another longstanding 3 row SUV. However, it has seen major overhauls in its body styling and interior over the years. Recent Ford Expedition models boast a powerful V8 engine. Passengers and drivers also like the Expedition’s extra-long side doors, which make sliding into the third row of seats easier than in most other 3 row SUVs on the market. And, even with the powered third row of seats in the upright position, the Expedition offers some of the best cargo space in its class.
20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Ford Expedition | CarMax



13

Chevrolet Tahoe

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Chevrolet Tahoe | CarMax
The Chevrolet Tahoe is another 7 passenger SUV that’s been in production for decades, making it a tried-and-true option for many buyers. This spacious vehicle can seat up to nine passengers and comes with enough power to haul nearly 9,000 pounds, making this a desirable option for families who are looking to tow a trailer or camper. The third row seat on this vehicle folds completely flat, allowing for lots of added cargo storage. Some Tahoe models also have a third-row seat with a 50/50 split available. The Tahoe is also available with an off-road-ready Z71 suspension package.
20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Chevrolet Tahoe | CarMax

12

Acura MDX

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Acura MDX | CarMax
Looking for a sporty, luxury SUV without the luxury price tag? Consider the Acura MDX. This 3 row SUV is known for its impressive handling and comfortable ride, but it still has plenty of power and utility for storing and hauling cargo. This 7-passenger SUV is a jack of many trades. Many drivers and passengers enjoy the third row of seats, which is plenty roomy for children and smaller adults. It also can be easily slid forward (just push a button) for extra cargo space. And with a maximum cargo capacity of more than 90 cubic feet, this SUV is great for all of your family’s storage needs.
20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Acura MDX | CarMax

11

Dodge Durango

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Dodge Durango | CarMax
Interestingly, the three-row Dodge Durango barely makes it into the full-size SUV category, which makes it a great option if you need seating for seven passengers but don't want a huge SUV. In newer Durangos, there are actually trim options available with just two rows of seats. If you opt for the 3 row version, you'll enjoy a 50/50-split third row that folds easily to give you that extra cargo space. The Durango provides pretty solid fuel economy for a V8 SUV — up to 22 miles per gallon. This makes it a good choice for drivers looking to maximize power and miles per gallon. Our sales consultant in Lancaster, PA puts the Durango R/T at the top of this list of the best 3 row SUVs for its superior towing capacity (7,400 pounds!) — thanks to its very torquey, 360 hp, 5.7L Hemi® V8.
20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Dodge Durango | CarMax

10

Infiniti QX60

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Infiniti QX60 | CarMax
The Infiniti QX60 is a popular luxury SUV option for those who need ample seating but don't want to sacrifice a luxurious ride. The QX60 delivers maximum comfort and a smooth ride, and passengers will appreciate how easy it is to get in and out of this vehicle. In fact, the QX60 offers one of the easiest third rows for passengers to access, because the second row is really easy to slide and fold. Buyers should be aware, however, that there’s only one trim option available for this vehicle, though there are a number of add-on features available, including a push-of-a-button, powered third-row seat option.
20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Infiniti QX60 | CarMax

09

GMC Acadia

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: GMC Acadia | CarMax

The GMC Acadia is a popular option among buyers who want seating for up to eight people. These folks will want to secure a used Acadia from a few years ago, since the 2017 Acadia saw a downsizing in passenger seating and cargo space. Pre-2017 Acadias feature ample leg room, even for third-row passengers. Furthermore, owners love the sleek design (especially when compared to its larger GMC Yukon brother) as well as its competitive pricing and V6 engine.

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: GMC Acadia | CarMax

08

Nissan Armada

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Nissan Armada | CarMax
The Nissan Armada is a big, four-wheel drive SUV with big dimensions all around. The 2014 Nissan Armada’s 5.7L V8 gives you almost 320 horsepower, and the latest models crank out 390 horsepower and more than 390 ft lbs of torque — that’s plenty for hauling up to eight passengers and all their gear, plus a smaller trailer or even a boat. While the second row of seats can come in captain’s chairs or bench layout (both fold completely flat), the Armada’s third row folds flat too. Late-model Platinum-edition Armadas have power everything, including a powered third row seat that folds flat at the touch of a button — there are buttons in two places in the cabin, so you have access in both the passenger area and just inside the liftgate. Oh, that liftgate? It’s powered too.
20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Nissan Armada | CarMax

07

Buick Enclave

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Buick Enclave | CarMax

Buick may not be the first manufacturer that comes to mind when you think ‘3-row SUV,’ but the Buick Enclave really shines in this category. Passengers will appreciate that even the third row seats in this vehicle were designed with adults in mind. And with the second row bench in place, this vehicle actually seats up to eight passengers. With both rows of seats folded down, you'll enjoy a generous 115 feet of cubic cargo space, and the V6 engine offers a smooth, quiet ride. The Enclave is a medium-sized SUV designed for larger families.

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Buick Enclave | CarMax

06

Honda Pilot

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Honda Pilot | CarMax
Honda is a brand known for its family-friendly vehicles, and the Honda Pilot is no exception. With several different trim options (including the LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Elite), there’s someone for everyone in this line. With the Elite model, second-row passengers can cruise in comfortable captain’s chairs, though other trim options feature bench seating that increases capacity to eight passengers. The third row of seats is ideal for children and smaller adults. The Honda Pilot also gets high rankings when it comes to overall ride and handling, plus its AWD option, which makes this SUV worthy of serious consideration.
20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Honda Pilot | CarMax

05

Toyota Highlander

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Toyota Highlander | CarMax
The Toyota Highlander is one of the most versatile 3 row SUVs on the market, especially when you consider its unique 40/20/40 split-second-row feature that comes with a removable center seat. This makes it possible to create easy third-row access without the need to climb through or around seats. Furthermore, many passengers enjoy that in more recent models, the second row of seats also reclines for added comfort. When passenger comfort and space are your priorities, this vehicle belongs on your list.
20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Toyota Highlander | CarMax

04

Kia Sorento

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Kia Sorento | CarMax
A little smaller than the Kia Sedona, the Kia Sorento is a great choice for smaller families who need some extra room but aren't quite ready for a full-sized SUV. This crossover SUV features seating for up to seven, in addition to plenty of cargo space, with a sleek design and better fuel economy than most larger SUVs on the market. Depending on which trim option you're interested in, you can choose a standard four-cylinder engine or a powerful V6 with all-wheel drive.
20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Kia Sorento | CarMax

03

Chevrolet Traverse

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Chevrolet Traverse | CarMax
Looking for the best of both worlds? The Chevrolet Traverse lets you enjoy the cargo and seating space of a minivan and the stylish design of a full-sized SUV. This versatile SUV hasn't been on the market as long as some of the others on this list, but it certainly has made a name for itself since its debut in 2009. With plenty of space (even in the third row for adults) and impressive towing capacity compared to many other 3 row SUVs, this vehicle comes in a variety of trims and is similar in design to both the Enclave and the Acadia.
20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Chevrolet Traverse | CarMax

02

Nissan Pathfinder

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Nissan Pathfinder | CarMax

Buyers on a budget can get a lot for their money with the Nissan Pathfinder. The affordable price tag includes a reputation that spans decades, 6,000 pounds of towing capacity, and ample headroom for third-row passengers. More recent Pathfinder models are a big more snug in that third row, but also offer a better fuel economy. Our sales consultant says he thinks the Pathfinder is a great mix of options for an affordable price. “It’s a solid option for families who want to stick to a budget,” he says. “and it can take them wherever they want to go, with optional 4WD/AWD, depending on the model year.”

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows: Nissan Pathfinder | CarMax

01

Ford Explorer

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows:Ford Explorer | CarMax

Our top pick goes to the Ford Explorer, which has been in production since the early 1990s and has earned a great reputation with larger families ever since. In addition to impressive fuel economy and handling for a vehicle of its size, the Explorer provides ample seating with easily-foldable second- and third-row seats to make room for all sorts of cargo. Numerous trim options are available, including powered 3rd row seating, so you can be sure to find one that suits your specific needs and budget.

20 Best SUVs With 3rd Rows:Ford Explorer | CarMax 

 

Any of these 3 row SUV options could make a great choice for your next family vehicle purchase. Ultimately, however, your ideal option will depend on your budget, style, and desired features. From the reliable Toyota Highlander or sporty Mazda CX-9 to the budget-friendly Nissan Pathfinder and every option in between, our top 20 picks are a great starting point for your next vehicle purchase. Now all that’s left to do is narrow down your choices and go test drive some of these vehicles for yourself!

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