Crossover & Midsize

The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Is an Underdog on the List of Best Small Three-Row SUVs

On the Edmunds rankings for best small three-row SUVs, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander takes third place. It’s rated just below the popular Kia Sorento and the Volkswagen Tiguan crossover SUV. Some think that the Outlander is a bit of an unsung hero. Apparently, Edmunds critics also agree that this underdog is one of the best SUVs with third-row seating.

A photo of the 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan SUV outdoors.
Volkswagen Tiguan | Volkswagen

If you are looking for the best SUV with three-rows for your family, you’re met with a number of options. For those that want something smaller, these smaller crossover utility vehicles all made the top three for 2020 and 2021. Lists like this one from Edmunds can help families narrow down their options.

What is the best small three-row SUV?

According to Edmunds, the best small three-row SUV of 2020 and 2021 is the Kia Sorento. The 2020 Kia Sorento already earned the top spot. The newly redesigned 2021 model year for the Sorento is setting the bar even higher.

2021 Kia Sorento X-Line interior with all seats folded down
2021 Kia Sorento X-Line | Kia

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The 2020 Kia Sorento took some notes from other models in the lineup like the K5 and the Telluride––especially when it comes to exciting stylistic improvements. It’s now an even better crossover utility vehicle than before. The all-new 2021 Kia Sorento now offers more powertrain options, including a hybrid model.

While it’s not perfect, the Sorento consistently earns high praise for being one of the best three-row SUV options out there. With a wide range of trim options, the Sorento offers a number of safety and tech features even on the base model. It’s certainly one to test out if you’re shopping. But it isn’t the only good crossover utility vehicle with three-rows.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid SUV driving around a bend
2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid | Kia

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is No. 2 on the list of the best small three-row SUVs. This is a model with a little class and a lot of utility for its size. While the third row is intended primarily for children, Edmunds still notes that the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan “provides impressive space.”

A sideview of the Tiguan's interior shows all three rows
Volkswagen Tiguan’s interior | Volkswagen

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The Volkswagen Tiguan also earns praise for its long list of tech features and user-friendly interface. While it’s no extreme performance crossover, even with a turbocharged engine, the Tiguan is still a great choice for many families. It’s certainly one to check out if your family is on the hunt for a good small SUV with third-row seating.

Is the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander a good car?

The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander is one of the top three small SUVs with third-row seating according to Edmunds. Named No. 3, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander is an unexpected underdog on the list. This model hasn’t ranked super high on many lists. It doesn’t exactly enjoy many positive critics’ reviews either. However, if you want a family crossover utility vehicle with three rows, this one might be a model you’ll want to check out.

A Mitsubishi Outlander on display at an auto show
A Mitsubishi Outlander on display | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

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Starting just under $25 grand, the Outlander is also the cheapest in the top three. Among the best small three-row SUVs, the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander might be in the top three, but it still doesn’t receive much in the way of high praise. Edmunds critics claim that it feels cheap. In terms of finding a good three-row crossover, it seems we typically get what we pay for.

The small SUV underdog

That said, if you look at the owner reviews they are mostly positive. Many owners feel the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander gets lower marks from critics than it deserves. In fact, buyers of the 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander are commonly repeat buyers of this model. Perhaps this underdog shouldn’t be so overlooked.

A black 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander SUV on display
The 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander on display | Photo via Mitsubishi