Families looking for attractively styled, fuel-efficient, comfortable, versatile and safe three-row SUVs have a number of compelling choices among the 2017 models. Some are all-new, completely redesigned or receiving some laudable updates. A couple are 2016 models, with their 2017 versions expected to be equally competitive.
2017 Audi Q7 – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the all-new 2017 Audi Q7 large, three-row SUV with its top safety designation, Top Safety Pick + (TSP+). After sitting it out for one year, the Q7 returned in 2017 with a roomier and higher quality interior, numerous advanced safety features, strong performance and admirable styling. The seven-passenger Q7 is available in Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trims. Pricing for the 2017 Audi Q7 starts at $54,800.
2017 Chevrolet Tahoe – If you need to haul or tow and carry up to nine passengers in a three-row SUV, nothing beats the capability of the full-size 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe. The large Chevy Tahoe also earned the five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). New features include low-speed automatic braking that combines with existing forward collision warning system. Starting price for the 2016 Chevy Tahoe (2017 price not available) is $47,000.
2017 Buick Enclave – The trio of GM crossover SUVs with three rows includes the 2017 Buick Enclave,and . The Enclave and Traverse have already garnered the NHTSA five-star overall safety rating, while the Acadia has not yet been rated. With seating for up to eight, the Enclave is a class-leader in terms of cargo space, with 23.3 cubic feet with all three rows in use and 115.2 cubic feet with second- and third-row seats folded. Available in Convenience, Leather and Premium trims, the 2017 Buick Enclave starting prices range from $39,065 to $49,625.
2017 Ford Explorer – NHTSA gave the 2017 Ford Explorer seven-passenger three-row SUV an overall five-star safety rating. Edmunds found the 2016 Ford Explorer Sport an excellent choice for midsize three-row SUV with its turbo V6 engine offering best-in-class acceleration, quiet, high-quality interior, lots of features and superior cargo space behind the third row. Overall cargo capacity is 81.7 cubic feet. The 2017 Ford Explorer is available in five models: Explorer, XLT, Limited, Sport and Platinum. Starting prices range from $31,660-$53,235.
2016 Honda Pilot – The completely redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot eight-passenger, three-row SUV earned both a NHTSA five-star overall safety rating and an IIHS TSP+ safety designation (when equipped with optional front crash protection). Improved cabin features, revised powertrains, slimmed down weight, good performance and fuel economy, as well as excellent cargo space of 83.9 cubic feet are highlights of the Pilot. Powered by a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine, the Pilot achieves an EPA-estimated 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway fuel economy and delivers a comfortable, quiet and poised ride. Available in five trims (LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and Elite), the 2016 Honda Pilot starting prices range from $30,345-$46,770.
2017 Hyundai Santa Fe – Both the refreshed 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe three-row SUV and its smaller version, the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport earned the IIHS’ top accolade of TSP+ (when equipped with optional front crash protection). Power comes from a 290-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 engine. Along with a long list of standard features, the 2017 Santa Fe is backed by a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, one of the best in the industry. Available in SE, Limited, SE Ultimate and Limited Ultimate, starting prices range from $30,800-$39,400.
2017 Kia Sorento – With both NHTSA five-star overall safety rating and IIHS TSP+ safety designation (when equipped with optional front crash protection), the 2017 Kia Sorento three-row SUV comes highly regarded for family use. After last year’s full redesign, this year’s seven-passenger Sorento adds more advanced safety features (including adaptive headlights and automatic emergency braking). Available in seven trims, the 2017 Sorento starting prices range from $25,400 to $43,900.
2017 Mitsubishi Outlander – The all-wheel drive model of the 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander three-row SUV sports a NHTSA five-star overall safety rating. Seating up to seven passengers, the Outlander is available in four trims, ES, SE, SEL and GT3.0 S-AWC. Available safety features on upper trim models (standard on GT) include rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot warning/lane change assist. Lane departure warning is an option. Standard engine is a 166-horsepower 2.4-liter MIVEC four-cylinder engine with continuously variable transmission. The GT3.0 S-AWC boasts a 224-horsepower 3.0-liter MIVEC V6 engine coupled with Sportronic six-speed automatic transmission. Starting prices range from $23,495-$31,695.
2017 Nissan Armada – With its refresh, the 2017 Nissan Armada large three-row, eight-passenger SUV gives families looking for a roomy, comfortable, affordable vehicle another compelling choice to consider. The full-size SUV is available in three models: SV, SL and Platinum. Starting prices range from $44,400-$57,090.
2017 Nissan Pathfinder – While the 2016 Nissan Pathfinder made Kelley Blue Book’s list of best three-row SUVs, the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder boasts a NHTSA five-star overall safety rating. Hallmarks of the seven-passenger Pathfinder families will like are its attractive cabin and numerous cool features. It also can tow 6,000 pounds. Available in S, SV, SL and Platinum models, the 2017 Nissan Pathfinder starting prices range from $29,990-$41,870.
2017 Toyota Highlander – With eight-passenger maximum seating, the 2017 Toyota Highlander three-row SUV offers bold styling, a quiet ride, strong performing V6 engine, good fuel economy (20-22 mpg combined), lots of comfort and convenience features, above-average towing and an 83.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity. The 2016 Highlander earned the IIHS TSP+ safety designation (when equipped with optional front crash protection) as well as the NHTSA five-star overall safety rating. Pricing on the 2017 Highlander hasn’t been released, but the 2016 model lineup’s starting prices ranged from $30,490-$40,915 and $47,870 for Highlander Hybrid Limited.