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The SUV segment is one of the most popular segments on the market right now, and there are SUVs of all shapes and sizes to choose from. Some SUVs, for example, can even come with three rows of seats, and this allows those SUVs to carry up to eight people comfortably. Here’s a look at the best third-row SUV to buy right now.

The 2023 Kia Telluride is the best third-row SUV on the market right now

As Kelley Blue Book wrote, the best third-row SUV on the market right now is the Kia Telluride. It provides a strong balance of features with few, if any, flaws. The Telluride is a relatively new SUV from Kia and has only made improvements since its introduction in 2020. 

The Telluride starts at about $39,500 and comes with three rows of seats as standard. Kia still only offers one engine option on the SUV, and it’s a 3.8-liter V6 that gets 291 hp. It’s a capable enough engine that provides enough power for most drivers. It also gets 23 mpg combined, which is decent for the segment. 

Additionally, the Telluride has a great interior for the price. Not only is it spacious and comfortable, but it’s also loaded with features. For the 2023 model year, Kia improved the SUV’s infotainment system by upgrading its touchscreen to a 12.3-inch one. It also has a suite of smart safety features, which will help keep the SUV’s eight passengers safe. 

The 2023 Genesis GV80 is in second place in the third-row SUV segment

The second-best third-row SUV also comes from a South Korean automaker, and it’s the Genesis GV80. Just like the Telluride, the GV80 is in the midsize SUV segment, but since Genesis is a luxury automaker, the GV80 is more expensive and has more luxury features. The GV80 starts at about $55,000, but the base version doesn’t come with third-row seats. 

Shoppers must upgrade to the Advanced+ trim, which starts at about $70,000, to equip the Genesis SUV with third-row seats. That said, while the GV80 is a good SUV overall, the optional third row is “tight” and should be reserved for children. The Advanced+ trim does come with a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that gets 375 hp, and it pairs nicely with the SUV’s decadent and luxurious cabin.

SUVs have been on the rise in recent years

The 2023 Kia Telluride, which is one of the best third-row SUV.
2023 Kia Telluride | Kia Media

The SUV segment has been around for a while but only recently exploded in popularity. A couple of factors may explain why SUVs have become so popular, and some of the most essential explanations have to do with what customers are thinking. Since SUVs are larger than sedans, they have a natural safety advantage. 

Plus, since automakers put smart safety features on SUVs and sedans, SUVs generally have a safety advantage. That can persuade some shoppers to buy an SUV instead of a sedan. The size difference between SUVs and sedans also means drivers may be tempted by the extra cargo or passenger space that SUVs provide. 

There are also some economic considerations. Due to their size difference, SUVs tend to be less efficient than sedans. When gas prices are high, sedans become more practical, but when gas prices are low, car shoppers may simply ignore the efficiency difference. For these reasons and more, SUVs have skyrocketed in sales, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.