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It’s summer right now, and what that means for a lot of people is that it’s time to go on a road trip with families and friends in an SUV. As many SUV owners may know, having that many people in an SUV means that all the seats are occupied, which also means that the cargo area behind the rear seat is the only space left for luggage and supplies.

So, here’s a look at affordable, three-row, midsize SUVs that have the most cargo space behind the third row.

5. 2023 Ford Explorer: 18.2 cu-ft

With a starting price tag of just under $37,000, the Ford Explorer isn’t the cheapest midsize SUV on the market, but it certainly provides owners with a lot of space for families and cargo. The Explorer can seat seven in its standard configuration, and its 18.2 cu-ft of cargo space is solid enough for a road trip.

It comes standard with a 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder engine that makes 300 hp, and it gets about 24 mpg combined.

4. 2023 Honda Pilot: 18.6 cu-ft

The Honda Pilot, meanwhile, also costs around $37,000, though it’s a few hundred dollars more expensive than the Explorer. However, that price tag pays for a midsize SUV that’s more spacious than the Ford overall. The Honda’s three rows of seats allow owners to seat up to eight people. The Pilot’s 18.6 cu-ft of cargo capacity behind the third row is slightly more than the Ford’s too. 

That said, the Japanese automaker gave this SUV a 3.5-liter V6 which makes 285 hp. It only allows the Pilot to get a fuel economy of about 22 mpg combined.

3. 2023 Volkswagen Atlas: 20.6 cu-ft

The Volkswagen Atlas starts at almost $38,000, but it does give owners significantly more cargo capacity than the Pilot or the Explorer does. It has a 2.4 cu-ft advantage over the Explorer, for example. However, the Atlas only seats seven, which is fewer seats than the Honda.

On top of that, VW gave the Atlas a weak engine. It starts with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder that gets 235 hp, and it gets 23 mpg combined. That being said, VW upgraded the Atlas’ standard engine for the 2024 model year.

2. 2023 Kia Telluride: 21 cu-ft

The award-winning Kia Telluride simply does it all when it comes to passenger and cargo capacity for the price. The midsize SUV starts at about $36,000, and for that price, owners get eight seats as standard. Additionally, its 21 cu-ft of space behind the third row provides drivers with ample room for luggage. 

The Kia SUV’s only engine option, a 3.8-liter V6, is solid as well. It gets 291 hp and allows the midsize SUV to get 23 mpg combined.

1. 2023 Chevy Traverse: 23 cu-ft

The most spacious, affordable, three-row midsize SUV, however, is the Chevy Traverse, and it did well in most areas. It starts at about $34,500, and that makes it the cheapest option on this list. Despite that relatively affordable price tag, Chevy gave the Traverse eight seats as standard, which is about as good as it gets for most three-row SUVs.

The 23 cu-ft of space that it has behind the third row is a step above what the Telluride and Atlas offers, and far more than what other midsize SUVs offer. Plus, Chevy didn’t give the SUV a weak engine either. It starts with a 3.6-liter V6 which makes 310 hp. Despite being so powerful, the SUV still gets 21 mpg combined.


Most Common Chevrolet Traverse Problems That Stop It From Being the Best Midsize SUV