« Start new Comparison

Which SUVs with Third Row Seating are the Best?

September 3rd, 2011

When it comes to Midsize SUV and Crossover third row seats, consumers are faced with 3 choices: those with no third row, like the Jeep Grand Cherokee, those with an optional third row, like the Toyota 4Runner, and those with the third row standard, like the Chevrolet Traverse.  A number of models that used to have optional third row seats have since made them standard, like the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander.

For many Midsize SUV and crossover owners, third row seat comfort and roominess is not at the top of their “must have” list, as the third row seat is used only sporadically, if at all.  Typically, these owners have the third row folded flat most or all of the time.  However, for others with larger families, and for those who frequently ferry their children’s friends to school or team sporting events, the third row can be critical.  For these buyers, a third row seat that is easy to get in and out of and roomy enough to keep passengers happy often makes or breaks the deal.

So, which Midsize SUV third row seats are best for these buyers?   To find out, True Consumer Reviews assembled over 100 Midsize SUV and crossover owners to carefully evaluate 18 of the best-selling Midsize SUVs and crossovers in America.  We had them rate each model on 108 attributes, including 10 detailed third row seat comfort and roominess measures.  What they found was a wide range of roominess and comfort, with many models having third row seats seen as unsuitable for use except occasionally by small children.  Here are the Midsize SUV and crossover third row seats real owners like you found to have the best accommodations.

The Chevrolet Traverse rated at the top of the class, with its GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave siblings close behind.  These three GM vehicles were also the easiest to get in and out of.  The Dodge Durango tied with Traverse for top overall third row comfort and roominess honors, and boasts the highest rating for seat comfort and support.

Which were the worst?  The Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota 4Runner, Dodge Journey, and Toyota Highlander all rated below average, with low overall scores on the dislike side of our 5-point scale.  None were seen by segment owners as good choices for those who need to carry larger children or adults in the third row.

You can explore all the details of each SUV’s strengths and weaknesses, for third row seating and other attributes.  Simply select the Midsize SUV segment and pick your favorite models or most important attribute.  You’ll get a clear comparison across models.  Then, simply click on the rating symbols of interest to get more details.