Catering to the more affluent consumers who want additional passenger capability and first-class everything, automakers offer luxury SUVs with third row seating. Naturally, consumers expect a lot in a luxury SUV, and these three deliver.

We’ve selected these top picks for their overall marketplace appeal, third row seating, amenities, styling, performance and that intrinsic quotient known as personal taste. See if they appeal to you.

  • Cadillac EscaladeU.S. News and World Report ranks Cadillac Escalade number one in luxury large SUVs, commenting on “blingtastic styling,” “good performance for its size,” and “luxurious cabin and old-school SUV capabilities.” With seating for up to eight, Escalade, also available in hybrid configuration, extended length Escalade ESV, and EXT, delivers on all fronts, though third-row seating is a bit cramped – something common to most SUVs. Third-row seats require manual removal, a sore spot for some. Still, with second-row folded and third-row removed, Escalade has 108.9 cubic feet of storage space. CNET.com says of the 2007 Escalade, “the interior…is enormous, with all three rows providing enough space for adult passengers to ride in comfort.”
  • Mercedes-Benz GL-Class U.S. News and World Report says the Mercedes-Benz GL Class crossover luxury SUV, which can comfortably tote seven, “is for drivers who have a lot of passengers but aren’t willing to sacrifice a luxury driving experience to carry them all.” Motor Trend editors comment that “the all-important third-row…offers a commodious 34.0 inches of legroom, nearly nine more than the Caddy [Cadillac Escalade].” Edmunds says the “GL is one of the most spacious luxury crossovers on the market, as its third row is spacious enough to seat two average-sized adults in comfort, something the Audi Q7 can’t claim.”  And, Edmund’s editors continue, “while it doesn’t have as much cargo capacity as the Cadillac Escalade…its power fold-flat third-row seat makes transforming it from a family hauler to a stuff hauler that much easier.”
  • Lexus LX 570With seating for up to eight, the Lexus LX 570 luxury SUV, redesigned in 2008, gets high marks for attention to passenger comfort. Kelley Blue Book hails the 2009 LX 570’s “best-in-class second- and third-row legroom, thanks to a four-inch increase in interior length over the previous-generation LX-470.” There’s also 30 inches of headroom in all three rows. The power-sliding second and semi-powered third row provide 83.1 cubic feet of storage space, although with the seats folded upward, it cuts into cargo-bay width. Edmunds calls the Lexus LX 570 “an impressive luxury SUV with a long list of standard features.”

Want more choices for luxury SUVs with third row seating? Consider the Acura MDX, Audi Q7, BMW X5, Lexus GX, Infiniti QX56, and Lincoln Navigator.

See list of all luxury SUVs

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