The best crossover SUVs with third row seating are those that appeal to your particular tastes and driving needs. How many passengers do you need to carry, and how much cargo? If third-row seats don’t need to be used often, you can get by with a midsize crossover SUV (although some are more roomy back there than others). Forget compact crossovers unless you only plan to transport children in the third row. Large crossover SUVs may be on your shopping list for the best of both worlds.
Our top picks for Crossover SUVs with Third Row Seating
- – The first large crossover SUV from Chevrolet, the Traverse, which was introduced in 2009, replaced the discontinued Uplander minivan. It seats up to eight in a spacious and luxurious cabin. U.S. News and World Report comments, “A major plus is that the third-row seat is especially roomy for this class,” and there’s “ample cargo space even with all seats in use.” Road & Track opines, “And unlike some shorter 7- or 8-seat crossover vehicles, the Traverse boasts enough space behind the folding rear seat for a week’s groceries.” While “it isn’t the quickest, the most agile or the most refined,” says Edmunds, “it is the roomiest [among midsize and large crossovers]… We would argue further that it has the best overall ride quality.”
- – An all-new midsize crossover SUV, the 2010 Lincoln MKT seats up to seven in three rows, features a choice of two V-6 engines offering V-8-like power, and is available in front- or all-wheel drive. U.S. News and World Report says its “sedan-like performance, spacious three-row interior and long features list…it’s also the first SUV to feature Ford’s new Eco-Boost powertrain, which increases both power and fuel efficiency.” Negatives include inadequate headroom and cramped third row. Edmunds comments, “We will say that the MKT’s third row folds away deep into the cargo floor, minivanlike, which provides a nice, low load floor with the seats folded and a deep cargo well behind the third row when it’s erect.”
- – The car-based large crossover SUV Mazda CX-9 has, according to U.S. News and World Report, “plenty of room and a little zoom.” Inside the CX-9’s cabin is seating for seven in three rows. Kelley Blue Book comments, “Unlike many three-row CUVs [crossover utility vehicles], there is ample adult-size room in all seating positions and 17.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row.” Consumer Guide gives CX-9 a Best Buy nod “because it does many things well,” and as a “stylish, refined entry that adeptly balances solid driving dynamics with generous passenger and cargo room,” although “ride is a bit stiff and the navigation system isn’t the easiest to use.”
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