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The SUV has become hugely popular in the US automotive industry. While traditional truck-based SUVs were once bulky and impractical for daily use, crossover SUVs emerged in the early 2000s, offering a more manageable size and a car-based platform. Today, SUVs come in various sizes, including subcompact, compact, midsize, three-row midsize, and full-size. Among these, the midsize three-row crossover SUV segment is particularly crowded. Here are two underrated three-row SUVs worth considering.

The 2023 Subaru Ascent might be a steal of a deal

If you are looking for a bargain three-row SUV, look no further than the 2023 Subaru Ascent. The Ascent starts at $33,895, kind of a steal in the three-row SUV segment. However, this low price isn’t just a coincidence, the Ascent is fairly bare bones in its base model form.

Where the Ascent truly shines is in its size. The Ascent is the largest vehicle in the Subaru lineup with seating for up to eight passengers. It also features up to 17.8 cu-ft of space behind the third row.

Again, features are fairly slim on the base model Ascent, but all-wheel drive is standard alongside an 11.6-inch touch screen, keyless entry, tri-zone climate control, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Andriod Auto.

The Ascent seems to be falling under the radar due to its size, ironically. The biggest feature of the Ascent truly is its sheer size, and many Subaru loyalists are attracted to smaller vehicles in the lineup. If you are looking for a large three-row Subaru at a competitive price, the low-key Ascent may be perfect for you.

The 2023 Mazda CX-9 might not be long for this world

The Mazda CX-9 is a fantastic three-row SUV that has been improved for the 2023 model year. For this model year, the Touring model is the new base model, which means the CX-9 comes equipped with more standard features than before.

Some of these features include leather seats, keyless start, heated seats, a sunroof, all-wheel drive, and seating for seven passengers. This CX-9 comes at a low price as well, starting at just $38,750.

The CX-9 has fallen under the radar a bit, most likely due to its history. This SUV is actually on its way out of the market. According to, the Mazda CX-90 will eventually take over as the successor to the CX-9. This may lead some CX-9 models to lie dormant on dealer lots, which may turn into a deal for future consumers.

Which of these low-key SUVs is the best?

Both the 2023 Subaru Ascent and 2023 Mazda CX-9 offer great value as a three-row SUV. The Subaru Ascent has a lower starting MSRP and offers seating for up to eight passengers, but the vehicle is very basic and utilitarian. The Mazda CX-9 on the other hand offers a great amount of luxury at a low cost, although seating is just available for up to seven passengers.

Regardless of which SUV you choose, both of these vehicles offer a great amount of value for the price, despite their low sales!


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