When compact is too small, and full-size is too big, why not consider midsize SUVs with third row seating? Besides being more fuel efficient, they’re easier to park, have lots of amenities, and automakers have brought many new models to the market – resulting in many choices for savvy consumers.

Style, of course, counts as well. And, let’s not forget safety and reliability. Our crop of top Midsize SUVs with Third Row Seating follows:

Kia BorregoA new model for 2009, the midsize Kia Borrego can seat seven passengers, boasts a quiet ride, high 7,500-pound towing capacity (for V-8 models), V-6 or V-8 power, and rear- or four-wheel drive. Edmunds says, “For those who need the utility and towing capacity of a body-on-frame SUV, the 2009 Kia Borrego offers solid performance, respectable fuel economy and more luxurious appointments than many of its competitors.” But there’s no power liftgate, acceleration lags and handling can be sloppy. U.S. News and World Report remarks Borrego “stands out from the crossover SUV pack by offering true off-road performance,” offering spacious three-row seating for eight. Automobile comments, “We loaded our tester with several full-sized adults, and even those in the third row found a reasonable amount of headroom and legroom.”

    Ford FlexWith its funky styling, Flex, introduced by Ford in 2009, is the automaker’s largest crossover SUV yet – with a third-row seat that can fit two adults in comfort. U.S. News and World Report calls “the young, retro-styled Flex a great alternative for families who want minivan features but not minivan style.” Autoblog opines, “Adults will occupy the third row without protest and still remain on speaking terms with the others.” Car and Driver lauds storage room, saying, “A deep, wide 20-cubic foot rear reservoir is ready to swallow lots of stuff when it’s not swallowing folded seats.” Negatives include too many hard-touch plastics and not as much space as a minivan, and price, if you pick all the options and top-of-the-line models.

      Honda PilotRedesigned in 2009, Honda Pilot is a midsize crossover SUV that can seat eight with more spacious third-row seating. Car and Driver comments, “As far as third rows go, it’s a good one, but people much over six feet still won’t want to do much time back there.” Consumer Guide says, “Pilot is as car-like as any vehicle in this class…this Best Buy’s combination of performance, utility and passenger accommodations make it worthy of a high place on your shopping list.” U.S. News and World Report notes, “Pilot still comes with a few glitches, including some plastic interior materials and noticeable torque steer.”

        But these aren’t the only midsize SUVs with third row seating available. Also check out the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Hyundai Santa Fe, Lincoln MKT, Nissan Pathfinder, and Saturn Outlook.

        In addition to these SUVs, see other SUVs and cars with third row seating

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