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Are you tired of congested and uncomfortable rides in your family SUV? Look no further than the third-row SUV, the ultimate solution for families who need extra seating without sacrificing comfort or style.

With room for up to eight passengers, these vehicles offer spacious interiors, luxurious features, and impressive capabilities. Whether you’re heading out on a road trip or running errands around town, a third-row SUV can provide the versatility and comfort you need to make every journey a breeze. Let’s dive in and explore more about them and some top contenders.

Here is why families are choosing third-row SUVs over other options

A row of 2023 Kia Tellurides, the third-row SUV that's best for you parked outdoors.
2023 Kia Telluride | Kia Media

According to MotorTrend, one of the main advantages of a third-row SUV is its ability to transport more people comfortably. With the third-row seat, you can comfortably fit up to 7 or 8 passengers, depending on the model. As a result, if you need to transport a sizable group of people, you will only need to use one vehicle.

Another advantage of a third-row SUV is the extra cargo space. When the third-row seat is not in use, you can fold it down to create more storage room. This is especially useful when transporting large items, such as furniture, sports equipment, or camping gear. Depending on your needs, it also allows you to easily switch between passenger and cargo configurations.

Third-row SUVs also offer a higher seating position, providing better visibility and a more commanding view of the road. This can help improve safety, especially when driving on busy highways or congested urban areas. Additionally, many third-row SUVs come with all-wheel or four-wheel drives, providing better traction and stability in adverse weather conditions.

What you also need to know before you buy a third-row SUV

While third-row SUVs offer plenty of space and versatility for larger families, they also have drawbacks. One of the biggest concerns is their fuel economy. Due to their larger size and weight, third-row SUVs typically consume more gas than smaller vehicles. This means more frequent trips to the gas station and higher fuel costs over time. Some third-row SUVs might have a short driving range or need premium fuel, further raising costs.

Third-row SUVs tend to have a higher center of gravity than smaller cars. This can affect their handling and stability, especially during sudden maneuvers or high-speed turns. Additionally, parking a larger SUV can be more difficult, particularly in confined spaces or congested city streets.

Another potential con is the higher price tag compared to smaller or more basic vehicles, which may not fit everyone’s budget. Although owning a third-row SUV has many advantages, it’s crucial to balance these with any potential disadvantages to make an informed choice.

Comparing the 2023 Kia Telluride and the 2023 Subaru Ascent as the top contenders

A variety of third-row SUV models are available, each with a distinct set of advantages and disadvantages. The 2023 Kia Telluride, which recently ranked number one in its class according to MotorTrend, boasts a spacious interior and a powerful 3.8-liter V6 engine that delivers 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. It also offers a respectable fuel economy of 20/26 mpg.

The 2023 Subaru Ascent comes in at a close second, with a 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four engine that delivers 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. It also boasts a fuel economy of 20/26 mpg. Other notable third-row SUVs include the 2023 Honda Pilot, which offers a smooth ride and plenty of tech features, and the 2023 Toyota Highlander, which boasts a roomy cabin and excellent safety ratings.

Ultimately, your best third-row SUV will depend on your needs and preferences. Whether you value speed, power, or interior room, there is a third-row SUV on the market that fits your needs.


Best Third Row SUVs for an Adventurous Family