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With the high prices of gas, it can be extremely difficult to find a three-row SUV that offers the seating you need and decent fuel mileage. Many of these large SUVs are built on truck frames and use the same powertrains. This means you’re stuck with truck-like fuel mileage numbers in most of these vehicles. Thankfully, two three-row SUVs deliver more than 30 mpg combined without the need to plug them in.

Which two three-row SUVs offer the best fuel economy?

You won’t have to plug in, but you will go hybrid to get the fuel economy numbers desired. The two models we’re talking about are the 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid.

U. S. News and World Report tells us the Highlander delivers 36 city/35 hwy mpg while the Sorento returns 39 city/36 hwy mpg, to give you a pair of three-row SUVs that have impressive fuel mileage results.

What does the Toyota Highlander Hybrid offer?

This Black2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid offers excellent fuel economy numbers
2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota

The powertrain for the 2022 Highlander SUV is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine plus one electric motor in FWD models. This setup returns 243 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque along with 3,500 pounds of towing to go with the quoted fuel economy.

The Highlander Hybrid is available in AWD with a second electric motor, which does reduce fuel mileage numbers to 35/35 mpg.

Inside, the Highlander gives you three rows of seats and an expandable cargo area that maxes out at 84.3 cubic feet.

Four trims are offered for the Highlander Hybrid three-row SUV, LE, XLE, Limited, and Platinum, each of which benefits from the Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ package of safety features. As you move through the trims, the price and equipment levels increase with the Platinum model reaching luxury territory with:

  • Panoramic moonroof
  • 12.3-inch infotainment screen
  • 360-degree camera system
  • Color head-up display
  • Adaptive front lighting system
  • Heated second-row captain’s chairs
  • Memory driver’s seat


  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Pleasant interior
  • Many standard features
  • Great resale value
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick+


  • Cramped third row
  • Noisy engine when accelerating hard
  • High starting price – $38,855

What does the Kia Sorento Hybrid offer?

This 2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid offers impressive fuel economy results.
2022 Kia Sorento Hybrid | Kia

Power for the Kia Sorento Hybrid comes from a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine plus an electric motor. This system is good for 227 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.

When required, the Sorento Hybrid is a three-row SUV that can tow up to 2,000 pounds. FWD models give you the fuel economy quoted, while AWD versions return 36/33 mpg.

The cabin area inside the Sorento brings you 40.7 inches of legroom for the second row, which is a generous number. You’ll find 12.6 cubic feet of room behind the third row, 38.5 cubic feet when the rearmost row folds down, and 75.5 cubes with both rear rows tucked away.

Kia offers a pair of trims for this three-row SUV, S, and EX. There are more trims across the Sorento lineup, but not for the hybrid models. Both trims benefit from an excellent safety package and plenty of wonderful features. Choosing the EX trim delivers features you desire, including:

  • LED fog lights
  • Wireless phone charging
  • Hands-free tailgate
  • Cyclist detection
  • Junction assistance
  • Highway driving assist
  • Navigation-based smart cruise control
  • Front parking sensors

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  • Great fuel economy
  • Second-row captain’s chairs are standard
  • Many included safety features


  • Low towing number

Could one of these three-row SUVs be right for you?

If you’re looking for a more spacious three-row SUV and desire 30 mpg during your ride, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the right choice. On the other hand, the Kia Sorento Hybrid maxes out fuel economy numbers, and it’s a little smaller. Either way, you’ll have the best fuel mileage you can find in a three-row SUV that you don’t have to plug in when you choose one of these two vehicles.