Consumers in search of the best diesel SUVs with 3rd row have some very good choices available today. And the good news is that more automakers are keeping close watch on consumer acceptance of these clean-burning diesel models before they, too, bring diesels to market that they have available already in Europe. For now, though, take a look at these recommended picks for Best Diesel SUVs with 3rd Row:

  • Audi Q7 TDIWith revised front and rear fascias for 2010, the Audi Q7 large 7-passenger luxury SUV offers consumers clean diesel power in its 225-hp 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 Q7 TDI (introduced in 2009), paired with a 6-speed transmission with manual shift control and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive. Longer by a foot than its cousins, the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne, the Audi Q7 TDI is the only one of its mates to offer a third-row seat. Despite meager space in the 50/50-split 3rd-row bench, Consumer Guide says, “Overall, Q7 earns our recommended nod for mechanical finesse, terrific all-weather road manners, and the fuel-frugal diesel option.”
  • BMW X5 XDrive 35dWell-crafted German engineering, ergonomically-pleasing and attractively styled, the 2010 midsize luxury BMW X5 XDrive 35d provides strong diesel power (265-hp in a turbodiesel inline-6 with 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control) and a third row seat for consumers who are looking for that little extra room. With sporty handling, standard all-wheel drive, upscale and well-equipped cabin, and available 7-passenger seating, BMW X5 hits all the right notes, albeit a bit pricier than the competition. Mother Proof says of the 2009 BMW X5, “I loved the look of the X5 diesel. In fact, it’s fair to say that I think that BMW makes attractive cars across the board. They have a rich, sporty look about them and the X5 diesel is no exception.
  • Mercedes-Benz GL350 BluetecBuilt in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the Mercedes-Benz GL350 Bluetec is a full-size 7-passenger luxury crossover SUV that’s powered by a 210-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 engine that features 50-state legal diesel technology, mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive. Other draws include quiet interior, many luxury features, comfortable seating, excellent craftsmanship and better handling than many of the truck-based competition. Edmunds comments that the 2010 Mercedes-Benz GL Class is “classy and refined…one of the most spacious luxury crossovers on the market, as its third row is big enough to seat two average-sized adults in comfort – something the Audi Q7 can’t claim.”

Take out any or all of these Best Diesel SUVs with 3rd Row for a test drive. You are sure to find a winner among them. But, as always, do your homework and shop for the best deal.

See list of all diesel SUVs.  See also list of all diesel trucks.