What Is the Cheapest Three-Row SUV?

If you’re like most people, you want a three-row SUV. SUVs with seating for seven or eight come in all shapes and sizes. Most are midsize or full-size models, which is why they’re so popular for families. Fitting passengers and cargo inside is integral for many drivers. However, some people just want as many seats as possible without spending too much money. If that’s you, you’ll want to look at the cheapest three-row SUV, the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan.

The 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan is the cheapest three-row SUV

Front angle view of Pure White 2023 VW Tiguan crossover SUV
Pure White 2022 VW Tiguan | Volkswagen

Unlike most SUVs with three rows, the Tiguan is a small crossover SUV. If you’re used to seeing a midsize- or full-size- three-row model, that’s because they’re much more common. Smaller models like Volkswagen’s offering don’t often come with seating for seven or eight. Moreover, the scaled-down size is a significant reason why the Tiguan is available as the cheapest three-row SUV.

According to Edmunds, the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan S starts at $27,785. The S, SE, and SE R-Line Black trims come with a standard third-row seat. This gives the Tiguan the capability to hold seven passengers at a time. There is one other trim level in the lineup that doesn’t get the third row of seats, but we’ll get to that in a moment. In addition to the Tiguan S, the SE is affordable, starting at $31,415, and the SE R-Line Black leaps up to $34,245.

Standard equipment for the Tiguan

A blue 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan driving down a snowy road. It's the cheapest three-row SUV.
2022 Volkswagen Tiguan | Volkswagen

Using basic logic, you probably think a cheaper SUV is less well-equipped. However, Volkswagen’s small SUV comes surprisingly packed with features. For example, LED headlights, heated windshield washer jet nozzles, keyless entry, push-button start, heated front seats, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Bluetooth, six speakers, and VW Car-Net connected services with Wi-Fi access.

Furthermore, we love that some standard safety items are included with every Tiguan. Starting with forward collision mitigation and blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. Opting for the IQ.Drive & S Convenience package, drivers gain rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, adaptive cruise control, a lane-keeping system, blind-spot intervention, and emergency assist.

Cons of buying a three-row 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

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Like with most vehicles, there are some downsides to buying the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan. Unlike many midsize or full-size three-row SUVs, the Tiguan is very small. As a result, buying one with three rows limits space inside. Behind the third row, cargo space is limited to 12 cubic feet, which isn’t very much. However, the third row can fold down, offering roughly average cargo space for a vehicle in its class. Of course, it’s possible to keep the third row packed away at all times until you need seating for seven.

In addition, there’s another massive downside to buying the Tiguan as a three-row SUV. Front-wheel drive is standard, and purchasing all-wheel drive eliminates the third row of seats. Unfortunately, buyers who require AWD and seating for seven will need to find another model. That’s why third-row seating is unavailable for the SEL R-Line trim because AWD is standard for that model.

The cheapest three-row SUV might surprise you

In conclusion, the cheapest three-row SUV is the 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan. Although it’s a compact SUV, the model is packed with seats for up to seven passengers. In addition, the low price makes the family-hauling value very high. Surprisingly, it’s also well-equipped for a vehicle of its price. Unfortunately, the downsides are that buying all-wheel drive eliminates the third row, and the last row of seats limits cargo space tremendously.

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