Best midsize AWD SUVs with 3rd row doesn’t mean consumers need to scrimp on performance, style, comfort and convenience. Check out these three contenders for Best Midsize AWD SUVs with 3rd Row:

  • Ford FlexFunky and unique styling, 7-passenger seating and a spacious third row, Ford Flex for 2010 has the added attraction of the optional 355-hp 3.5-liter twin turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine and standard AWD in SEL and Limited models. This gives consumers the power of a V8 with the fuel economy of a V6. Expect to pay for the extra power, though. SEL with EcoBoost has an MSRP of $40,490, while Limited carries a $43,260 price tag (compared with the starting MSRP for base FWD model of $28,950. says, “Though its passing power falls a bit short of a V-6 Toyota Highlander or Chevy Traverse, the Flex’s base 262-horsepower V-6 should prove capable enough for most buyers. The 355-hp EcoBoost is more than just capable: Even with the added weight of standard all-wheel drive, it handily steams past both competitors.”
  • Chevrolet TraverseThe 2010 Chevrolet Traverse midsize crossover SUV features 8-passenger seating in three rows, AWD models (LS, 1LT and optional in 2LT), innovative Smart Slide 2nd-row seating that allows easy entry/exit to the spacious and comfortable 3rd row, and a 281-hp 3.6-liter V6 engine. Chevy’s website says Traverse has more maximum cargo room (116.4 cubic feet), more space behind the third row (24.4 cubic feet), and more standard horsepower (281 hp) than Ford Flex, Honda Pilot or Toyota Highlander (2009 model). Traverse also comes with a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty – again beating the competition. Excellent safety scores and the ability to tow up to 5,200 pounds are other plusses. Edmunds remarks, “like its siblings [Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Saturn Outlook], the Traverse boasts greater amounts of passenger and cargo space than a traditional large SUV while also delivering a more pleasant, carlike driving experience and superior fuel economy.”

  • Subaru Tribeca 3.6R PremiumStandard Symmetrical AWD is a big plus in the Subaru Tribeca 3.6R Premium, along with standard 3rd row and 7-passenger seating. The single powertrain is a 256-hp 3.6-liter 6-cylinder engine teamed with a 5-speed automatic transmission. While reviewers praise the standard AWD and passenger and cargo room in this crossover SUV, as well as the base starting MSRP of $30,495, fuel economy is a bit better in some competitors and 3rd-row 50/50 bench is suitable for kid-sized passengers.  Consumer Guide comments: “Handling response is more minivan than high-body midsize wagon. Tight turns require slowing down, but cornering lean is moderate for this vehicle’s height and weight… Subaru’s crossover SUV is pleasant to drive and includes many standard features.”

Other considerations for Best Midsize AWD SUVs with 3rd Row include BMW X5, Lincoln MKT (based on Ford Flex), and Volvo XC90 3.2.

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