It can be difficult to choose the right option when it comes to third-row SUVs. There are many things to consider, including cargo size, maintenance, and overall price. Car and Driver have ranked all 2022 best midsize third-row SUVs from best to worst. Here are the three best midsize third-row SUVs according to Car and Driver and their most endearing qualities.
1. Kia Telluride
The Kia Telluride stands at the top of the list with a standard 3.8-liter V6 engine rated at 291 hp and a $34,015 starting price. Also included is an eight-speed automatic transmission with optional AWD.
At 21 cu-ft, the cargo space behind the third-row seats is the second largest after the Chevy Traverse’s 23 cu-ft. The 46 cu-ft space behind the second-row seats is also fairly impressive, although quite a few competitors match it.
One of the main reasons the Telluride stands out is its handling. Big bulky cars aren’t well known for their composure on the road. However, Car and Driver notes that it drives better than it should, with the interior and exterior feeling posh and high-end.
The fact that the smallest screen is 10.3 inches and you get tons of standard features with even the basic trim allows buyers to feel they’re getting a little more value for their money. Lastly, the Kia SUV can tow a whopping 5,000 lbs and even comes with a 10-year warranty.
2. Hyundai Palisade
The Hyundai Palisade coming in a close second shouldn’t be surprising, given it’s built on a similar platform as the Telluride. It also uses the same power train and suspension. Styling is where the two differ slightly. The Palisade can’t match the Telluride’s interior and exterior aesthetics, but it does a great job of trying to catch up.
It’s worth noting the Pallisade’s starting price is slightly lower than the Telluride’s at $33,860, and the only thing you’d be missing is 3 cu-ft of space behind the third-row seats.
The quality of interior materials is particularly impressive and not what you typically get at this price range. It also follows in the Telluride’s footsteps, offering features like a premium headliner and ventilated second-row seats for cheap.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee L
The Grand Cherokee L is the only American-made third-row SUV in Car and Driver’s top five rankings, sitting between the Palisade and the Kia Sorento. Its powertrain setup includes either a 3.6-liter V6 or a 5.7-liter V8. The former can produce 293 hp, according to Edmunds, while the V8 can produce 357 hp.
These engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and buyers can pick between RWD and 4WD.
Among its perks is a smoother ride courtesy of an extended wheelbase, 15 inches longer than the previous model’s. Furthermore, both engine options feel powerful, with the sound also notable.
The SUV comes with 10.3 inches of ground clearance which is plenty for adventuring or going off-road. This is in addition to a 7,200 lbs towing capacity available with the V8, the highest in the class.
Also, where third-row SUV manufacturers often struggle with providing legroom and headroom for adults in the third row, it’s different for the Grand Cherokee L. Even taller individuals can sit comfortably.
With a $40,570 MSRP, the Jeep may be a bit pricey for some, but it offers the features and performance to justify the cost.