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SUVs offer an ideal balance of practicality, functionality, fun, and adventure. And whether you've got a growing family or are simply in need of a larger SUV for the additional cargo space, a 3-row SUV can be a great option for your next vehicle purchase. After all, 3-row SUVs offer spacious seating for seven (and sometimes nine!) passengers, generous cargo space, and some innovative features that'll make your time behind the wheel even more enjoyable. Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.
If you need to narrow down options for the best 3-row SUV, you've come to the right place. Here's a summary of our 10 best 3-row SUVs of 2018 based on CarMax sales data from September 27, 2017 through March 27, 2018.
When it comes to sheer size, towing capacity, and passenger space, the 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe really blows it out of the water. This 3-row SUV can seat up to nine people, making it a great choice for those with larger families. The 2017 Tahoe also has impressive towing capacity, with the ability to haul up to 8,600 pounds when properly equipped.1 Available in three trim levels, there are also plenty of ways to customize this Tahoe. Some notable standard features include grille shutters for reduced wind resistance, keyless entry/ignition, and rear parking sensors. On the other hand, this SUV is one of the largest on the market, so it may not be the ideal choice for those looking for a more compact vehicle to handle and maneuver.
If you're in the market for something a little more upscale, the 2017 Buick Enclave may be worth a look. This practical yet well adorned 3-row SUV can seat up to eight passengers comfortably and boasts generous amounts of cargo space with and without the seats folded down. Even with all seating in use, you'll still enjoy more than 23 cubic feet of storage space behind the third row alone. The 2017 Enclave is also available in three trim levels, with the base Convenience trim including features like rear parking sensors, tri-zone climate control for comfort throughout the cabin, and even a leather-wrapped steering wheel for the driver.
The 2017 Toyota Highlander is a 3-row SUV that's great for families not just due to its size, but its ample features and comfort. Depending on which of the six trims you select, you'll enjoy seating for seven to eight passengers, though many will want to upgrade to at least the LE Plus trim that comes with a more powerful V6 engine, a power liftgate, smartphone integration, and a large eight-inch touchscreen display. On the interior, you'll enjoy plenty of space as well as comfortable seats. Combine all of this with a practical size for easy handling and steering, and you've got a great 3-row SUV option for most families.
The GMC Acadia saw a total redesign in 2017, making it a fierce competitor in the full-size SUV market. The 2017 Acadia is actually smaller in size when compared to previous model years, though you probably wouldn't know it from being inside the surprisingly spacious cabin. Its smaller size also makes for a lighter vehicle, which makes for easier handling and maneuverability. Available in four trim levels, the 2017 Acadia has nice standard features like large 17-inch wheels, a middle bench seat, and keyless ignition/entry. Drivers and passengers alike will also enjoy a seven-inch touchscreen display, rearview camera, and available 4G Wi-Fi connectivity (which, when activated with a data plan and compatible devices, will come in handy for passengers on longer road trips!).
The 2017 Kia Sorento is a worthy contender in the 3-row SUV market, particularly for those who are focused on finding a budget-friendly vehicle that will suit their space and cargo storage demands. Specifically, the 2017 Sorento is available in five different trim levels, as well as three engine options (including the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder). Those looking for an affordable, basic SUV without all the bells and whistles will do well with the base L trim, though even the next tier up will treat you to some premium features that may be worth the additional cost, such as a rearview camera and fast-charging USB ports. No matter which trim you choose, you'll enjoy nearly 74 cubic feet of available storage with the second and third rows folded up.
When you need maximum passenger and cargo space but don't want to sacrifice innovative features in the process, the 2017 Chevrolet Traverse is definitely worth checking out. This 3-row SUV comes in various configurations for comfortable seating for seven to eight full-sized passengers. And while it is available in just three trim levels, each trim has variants that can be customized to suit your needs. One of the top reasons buyers choose the 2017 Traverse is its wide range of standard features, which include everything from an available in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot to a rearview camera, sporty rear spoiler, and a large 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Combine this with its abundant cabin storage and you've got yourself a winner.
Interestingly enough, the Nissan Pathfinder is one of the oldest SUVs in production on the market—though it wasn't until recent years that it became available as a 3-row SUV with seating for up to seven passengers. Today, the 2017 Pathfinder is a top choice for those looking for a powerful engine, impressive towing capacity (up to 6,000 pounds, when properly equipped), and a quiet ride.1 Available in four trim levels, standard features on the Pathfinder include large 18-inch wheels for a smooth ride in any road conditions, a huge eight-inch touchscreen, and a rearview camera. The 2017 Pathfinder also shines in its ample cargo space, boasting nearly 80 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded down.
The 2017 Dodge Journey is a hands-down contender for a best 3-row SUV if you're looking for a vehicle that's as sporty and sleek as it is practical and spacious. In upgraded trims, drivers will enjoy the 3.6-liter V6 engine that delivers some serious power behind the wheel. Meanwhile, the sleek design and quality interior materials make this feel more like a luxury SUV than anything else. With second- and third-row seats folded, it also boasts a decent 68 cubic feet of storage—along with plenty of cleverly tucked away storage compartments that will surely come in handy.
Topping our list of the best 3-row SUVs of 2018 is the Ford Explorer, a true powerhouse that caters to just about any type of driver. Available in five trim levels on the 2017 model, the Explorer can be dressed up or down to suit your needs and budget. Its base trim includes features like an impressive 3.5-liter V6 and a voice-activated infotainment system, whereas the upgraded Platinum trim boasts features that'll make it feel more like a luxury SUV, such as a panoramic sunroof, heated seats, and passenger entertainment system for those long road trips.
With spacious seating for up to seven passengers and standard features galore, any of these 3-row SUVs could be a great contender for your next used vehicle purchase. Need to do some additional research? Check out these related articles:
1Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
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