There’s no question that the best 2013 SUVs with 3rd row seating have a tall bill to fill. On the one hand, they have to be comfortable, roomy, well-equipped and offer more-than-expected features. Depending on the size of your family, you may well opt for a fully capable mid-size SUV with three rows of seating, or ante up the money for a large or full-size SUV that can easily carry eight or more people, plus cargo, and still haul a boat or a trailer.

With such a wide range of needs – and the SUVs available to satisfy them – here are five considerations for the best 2013 SUVs with 3rd row seating. Three of them, the 2013 GMC Acadia, Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee, are also Top Safety Picks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

2013 Chevrolet Tahoe Short of going for the longer and heavier Suburban (or its GMC sibling, the GMC Yukon XL), you can’t get much more for the money in terms of





passenger, cargo and towing capability than the 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe full-size SUV. With seating for up to nine passengers in three rows, the Tahoe can tow up to 8,500 pounds in two-wheel drive (up to 8,200 pounds in four-wheel drive). High seating position, excellent outward visibility, and quiet, comfortable cabin make the Tahoe a great choice for family use. Available in LS, LT and LTZ trims, as well as a Tahoe Hybrid, starting prices range from $39,080 to $59,295.

2013 GMC Acadia – Another excellent choice for a versatile SUV with three rows of seating is the 2013 GMC Acadia full-size crossover SUV. With seating for up to eight passengers, including an adult-friendly third-row seat, massive cargo capacity and optional all-wheel drive, the GMC Acadia is that perfect combination of versatility and





premium attributes. Second-row seats slide fore and aft to provide more third-row space. As for storage, with the third row in place, there’s 24 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold down the second- and third-row seats, and the result is 116 cubic feet of space to stow cargo. The 2013 GMC Acadia is available in SLE, SLT and Denali, with starting prices ranging from $34,050 (SLE, 2WD) to $47,945 (Denali AWD).

2013 Ford Explorer – Although it’s more of a crossover than a pure SUV since its recent redesign, the midsize 2013 Ford Explorer still retains some of its SUV characteristics – enough to satisfy families who want to have a seven-passenger SUV with three rows of seats that can go off-road and handle on-road duties well. Power-





folding seats and power tailgate make storing cargo easy, even if the access to the third row is tight. With inflatable rear seat belts, rearview camera, and blind-spot detectors, the Explorer is an extremely safe family vehicle. The 2013 Ford Explorer is available in base, XLT, and Limited, in front- and four-wheel drive, and Sport (4WD only) priced from $29,135 (base FWD) to $40,720 (Sport).

2013 Mazda CX-9Engaging to drive, the 2013 Mazda CX-9 is also one of the most satisfying three-row seven-passenger crossover SUVs that’s available for under $34,000. The 2013 CX-9 has several active safety systems available, including forward obstruction warning, lane departure warning, and high beam control. Exterior









styling is clean and understated, while the interior offers up high-quality materials impeccably assembled. Available in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims, the 2013 Mazda CX-9 is priced from $29,785 (Sport FWD) to $36,375 (Grand Touring AWD).

2013 Nissan Pathfinder No longer a truck-based rock crawler, the fully-redesigned 2013 Nissan Pathfinder has metamorphosed into a stylish, roomy and comfortable three-row crossover that handles well on the road. The second-row seat slides and reclines and its tilt-and-slide feature is handy for easy access to the third row, even when





child seats are in place. Maximum cargo space is 79.8 cubic feet, about that of the Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer, but quite a bit less than the large three-row GMC Acadia. Offered in four trim levels: S, SV, SL and Platinum, starting prices for the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder range from $28,650 to $39,500.

In case you were looking for used SUV’s with 3rd row seating, read this article — Top 3 Best SUVs with 3rd Row Seating

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