What is the Best 3-Row SUV Under $30,000?

There aren’t that many new three-row SUVs under $30,000. But, if you have a big family and a small budget, don’t worry. The three SUVs on the market today that have three rows aren’t penalty boxes on wheels. In fact, Volkswagen, Kia and Mitsubishi pack a lot of value into these sub-$30,000 three-row SUVs.

The VW Tiguan is a stylish 3-row SUV under $30,000

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

The VW Tiguan S brings the styling and much of the interior capability of the Atlas to a smaller price point. It starts at $27,885 and comes standard with seven seats, and as a bonus the second-row slides and reclines. The third row even splits 50/50. Sure, inside it’s a bit basic, but the cloth seats have a high-quality feel and the front seats are heated. It also earns high marks for safety.

The S has manual air conditioning, while the more expensive trims of the Tiguan offer more goodies, like heated steering wheels and leather trim. However, even the base Tiguan has a 6.5-inch touchscreen with smartphone integration, several drivers aids like forward collision alert and even VW’s 8-inch Digital Cockpit. The Tiguan comes with VW’s ubiquitous 184-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

Kia Sorento packs in a lot of value in a 3-row SUV under $30,000

The Kia Sorento starts at $29,590, so you may be hard-pressed to find one at your local dealer without options that comes in at under $30,000. But, if you do, you’ll find that the LX version of it (which only comes in four colors), comes packed with a lot for the price. Of course it has three rows, for seven passengers, standard as well as a 191-horsepower 2.5-liter four cylinder engine.

Every manufacturer now offers driver’s assistance tech, and Kia calls its suite Drive Wise, which adds lane keep assist, and auto emergency braking and more. The Sorento also has an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (which the VW doesn’t offer in S trim), and several USB chargers and remote keyless entry. The S model, which is $32,390, doesn’t offer much more than the LX, but the heated seats and SynTex seating materials do make it feel more luxurious.

The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander offers AWD for less than $30,000

2023 Mitsubishi Outlander
2023 Mitsubishi Outlander | Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi is trying to make a comeback in the U.S. market, and the new Outlander is leading that charge with this Kia competitor. The new Outlander starts at $26,995, but even with all-wheel drive, the base ES version starts at $28,795. For that you get stylish black fabric seats in all three rows, 20-inch wheels, and driver safety software. It also comes with a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Even the most expensive Outlander costs less than the average SUV, according to Jalopnik.

If you step up to two-wheel drive SE package, you get heated mirrors and sets, a leather-wrapped steering wheelp, parking sensors, and a 9.0-inch touchscreen with navigation.  And, let’s face it, the way-back in a seven-seat SUV can be a lonely place. In the 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander, the back seat gets its own heater to keep the little ones warm on longer trips.

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