Best luxury midsize SUVs with 3rd row are few and far between. Of course, you need to know upfront that third-row passengers will generally find it quite cramped into the way-back space, which is really more suitable for children. But here we’re looking at overall capabilities, comfort and style – the kind of things you expect in a luxury SUV.
Here, then, are our top picks for Best Luxury Midsize SUVs with 3rd Row.
- – With its third-row seat optional, Land Rover LR4 (which replaces the LR3 for 2010) crawls over rocks with ease and has a more powerful V8 engine, plus new interior features. Car and Driver notes, “There are new seats for first and second row passengers, but not for those forced to ride in the optional third row.” In its First Drive report, Edmunds comments “it seems clear that the LR4 has become a better value than before, as well as a better product.” Motor Trend has this to say: “Inside it’s all ambient lighting, soft-touch surfaces, and available premium leather with available stitching of Range Rover quality.” MotherProof adds “LR4 will even let you adjust your seat bolsters for added support.” Other major plusses include simplified cabin controls, better on-road handling, and fuel economy.
- Lexus GX – The Lexus GX seats seven passengers in three rows, but only the first two rows in total first-class comfort. The standard (for 2010) third-row seat is cramped. Automobile says “Access to the third row is a tight scrunch on the right side only…legroom is limited, the view forward is restricted, and the escape is frustrated by a hard-to-actuate release lever.” There’s only 4.2 cubic feet of space behind the last row, although a power-folding feature is standard. Popular Mechanics adds, “While the rear seats are great at folding, they’re rather thinly padded and flat…bleacher seating with modest legroom.” Truck Trend comments, “In the third row, despite the fact that you’re sitting over the rear axle (which keeps your knees high), legroom has gotten a lot better.” Other plusses: impressive off-road capabilities and numerous high-tech features and safety options.
- – Third-row seating is also standard for 2010 in the car-like Volvo XC90, which U.S. News and World Report calls “a family-friendly SUV [seating seven] with a comfortable interior and an excellent safety record.” Consumer Guide notes “cargo space is limited behind the 3rd row, but all rear seats fold easily to create a flat load deck and class-competitive volume.” Edmunds hails XC90 as a “competent luxury crossover SUV” and adds “legroom is better than in many competitors, although at the expense of second-row legroom.” Other pros include supportive front seats, upscale interior, smooth ride, and perfect crash test scores.