Best 3-Row SUVs of 2020

When seating for five just isn’t enough and you don’t want to roll around in a minivan, the 3-row SUV is a great option to consider. Having three rows allows for more passengers in comparison to a five-seater. While an SUV with 3rd-row seating is an attractive proposition for the US market, there are some drawbacks to this configuration.

A three-row SUV that has an affordable price is the first choice of many families, and since some are available with diesel engine options and a 4x4 drivetrain, they serve as utilitarian transporters as well. New vehicles in this segment that have been launched between 2019 and 2020 sit even higher in the rankings as many are fuel-efficient and deliver an impressive mpg rating, and 2021 iterations promise to be even better. Top models get decent mileage out of a full tank, but most in this category won’t be overly kind to your fuel budget unless you opt for a diesel powertrain. If you can make do with less economy in terms of fuel, the value for money that is offered by a hauler like this will outweigh its thirsty habits. 

What to Consider Before Buying

Pros

  • Space: While the seven-seater version is usually based on the smaller model at first, the former has slightly larger dimensions to accommodate more passengers. Having room available for two extra occupants is beneficial for larger groups of people, and when the last row isn’t being utilized for passengers, the ability to fold them down allows for significantly more cargo space.
  • Capability: This type of car usually has excellent capabilities. They have strong engine lineups, great towing abilities and some have a standard 4x4 drivetrain, but this is optional on most. This means that it’s not only a great choice for families, but also for those who regularly venture off the beaten track.
  • Utility: Thanks to its greater stature, they offer excellent cargo-carrying capacities. This doesn’t just come in handy on long trips for luggage, but also when all of the benches are folded down, easily accommodating bigger items.

Cons

  • Third-row can be often be cramped
  • The additional seating cuts down on trunk space
  • More expensive than smaller crossovers
  • Larger and usually more difficult to maneuver

Top 3 Row SUVs

It is no surprise that a Cadillac holds first place among the best three-row SUVs - it’s one of America’s favorites. That being said, not one automaker holds on to more than one spot in the top five. Here are the best 3-row SUVs for 2020 on our roster:

  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Kia Telluride
  • Mercedes-Benz AMG GLB 35
  • Volvo XC90 Hybrid
  • BMW X7

FAQs

What SUV with 3 rows is most popular in the USA, currently?

The Cadillac Escalade and Kia Telluride compete very closely for this title, but the better one ultimately depends on personal preference. The Telluride is more affordable.

Who will benefit from purchasing an SUV with 3rd-row seating?

A larger family definitely benefits from more space, and even those looking for added utility are likely to find this an attractive proposition. There’s ample comfort and convenience for loading the children, their things, and the family pet.

How does a 3rd-row impact safety ratings?

It depends entirely on the individual vehicle, some that haven’t come with an extra row until recently may have fewer safety features for the last row. For the most part, SUVs with third-row seats should provide additional airbags and protection elements, so be sure to check for that.
BuzzScore
Design
Performance
MPG
Interior
Infotainment
Reliability
Safety
Value
#1
2021 Cadillac Escalade
9.1
BuzzScore
9
Design
8
Performance
7
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#2
2021 Kia Telluride
9
BuzzScore
10
Design
7
Performance
7
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
10
Value
#3
2021 Genesis GV80
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
8
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#4
2020 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLB 35
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
10
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
7
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#5
2020 Volvo XC90 Hybrid
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
9
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
7
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#6
2020 BMW X7
#6
BMW X7
9
BuzzScore
8
Design
9
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
8
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#7
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class SUV
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
7
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#8
2020 Lincoln Navigator
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
10
Value
#9
2020 Lincoln Navigator L
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
10
Value
#10
2021 BMW ALPINA XB7
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
10
Performance
7
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
8
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#11
2020 Hyundai Palisade
8.9
BuzzScore
9
Design
7
Performance
7
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
10
Value
#12
2020 Volvo XC90
8.9
BuzzScore
9
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
7
Reliability
10
Safety
10
Value
#13
2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
8.8
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
10
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#14
2020 Lincoln Aviator
8.8
BuzzScore
10
Design
9
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#15
2020 Lincoln Aviator Hybrid
8.8
BuzzScore
10
Design
9
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#16
2020 Toyota Highlander
8.6
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
10
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#17
2020 Kia Sorento
8.5
BuzzScore
7
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
9
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
9
Value
#18
2020 Ford Expedition
8.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
7
Value
#19
2020 Ford Expedition Max
8.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
10
Safety
7
Value
#20
2021 GMC Yukon XL
8.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
8
Performance
7
MPG
9
Interior
10
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value