Best 6-seater SUVs of 2020

For larger groups, traditional sedans just don’t cut the mustard, and such shoppers will likely consider an SUV with 6 seats, if not something more sizeable still. Most of these have a 2-2-2 seating configuration, but that alone doesn’t mean they’re suited to your needs; some have a cramped third row that is only really useful for children, while others sacrifice trunk space, instead. Our in-depth reviews examine the best 6-seater SUVs in the USA, providing you with information on seating comfort and versatility to help you make the best choice. We’ll also tell you how each car’s storage volume stacks up against the competition and how easy the rear seats are to fold away.

A good crossover is about more than passenger room, though, so our rankings also take into account performance, mileage, build quality, and return on investment. Everything you need to know is delivered in an easily digestible format, eliminating the need to spend hours researching and visiting dealerships.

What to look for in a six-seater SUV

Having enough room may be the defining characteristic of such machines, but that isn’t all it takes to make them viable for growing families. There are a number of key points you should consider when purchasing the ideal hauler:

  • Space: Naturally, you’ll need to ensure that you could really fit six people inside. But it goes a little bit further, too. While not always the case, it’s not uncommon for the third-row to lack head- and legroom. It doesn’t hurt to peruse bulkier options if you have teens or expect to be transporting adults on a regular basis.
  • Cargo capacity: Squeezing a third row of seats into any frame is likely to infringe on the place where you store your stuff, and midsize crossovers often have to compromise in this area. With all the seats in place, it’s not uncommon for six-seaters to have trunks that are on par with average sedans. If you have to haul both passengers and their luggage, you should take this into consideration.
  • Value for money: These automobiles are targeted at buyers who want the most bang for their buck. While these bigger automobiles don’t necessarily offer the best fuel economy, engineers go out of their way to optimize efficiency over performance. That same mentality usually extends to frivolous amenities, with only the more expensive models offering luxury comforts and conveniences.

Best 6-passenger SUVs

With these points in mind, let’s check out some of our top-rated contenders within the segment for 2019 and 2020 to give you an idea of what makes a great SUV that can seat six:

  • Volvo XC90 - With both a gasoline and a hybrid model on offer, Volvo seems to have mastered the form. The XC90 may not be one of the largest, but it’s a 6-person SUV nonetheless, although the third row is best reserved for children. It certainly doesn’t hurt that every surface is appointed with soft leatherette or genuine leather. As you’d expect, the trunk is cavernous, too. Finally, it gets a decent amount of standard tech as well as driver-assistance features. Sadly, all these extras push the cost up quite a bit with the regular XC90 starting just below $50k, while the hybrid’s cheapest configuration will set you back at least $67,000.
  • Lincoln Aviator - Similarly priced to its Swedish rival, the Aviator is a good US alternative. First- and second-row occupants are once again spoiled with spacious captain’s chairs, while the back row remains the domain of smaller, younger individuals. This machine actually beats the Swede when it comes to cargo volume.
  • GMC Acadia - A less expensive alternative to those already mentioned, the Acadia starts below $30k for a new model. But, for this price, you actually get a near-luxury item that fairs well on the best 6-passenger SUV roster. However, the first two rows are as spacious, even if the third row is no worse for the class. Where it falls horribly short is the small trunk. With a decent consignment of features and competitive fuel economy, though, it still holds its own against rivals.

Advantages and Disadvantages of owning a six-seater SUV

Pros

  • Accommodations for six (or more) passengers
  • Safety is usually well provided for
  • Many luxury brands to choose from
  • Focus area for hybridization
  • Maximum storage space is generally quite impressive

Cons

  • “Space for six” doesn’t necessarily mean spacious
  • Reasonably-priced iterations are rare
  • Area behind the rear seats is seldom impressive

FAQs

Which vehicles are able to seat six?

There are more six-seaters out there than you might think. And, of course, those that can accommodate seven or eight, too. From this list, some stand-out mentions include the Lexus RX, Ford Explorer, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Dodge Durango in addition to those mentioned higher up.

What’s the most affordable six-seater SUV?

For those keen to buy a 6-passenger crossover, there are a few budget-friendly options. Within this category, the GMC Acadia or Hyundai Santa Fe are probably the cheapest options. The former starts at $29,800, with the latter going for $1,150 more. However, if you’re not opposed to purchasing a used motor, you’ll find some older variants for quite a bit less.

We strongly suggest that you peruse our detailed reviews for anything that catches your eye. We give all the information you could require on current and highest-rated variants, while teasing some of those upcoming for 2021.

BuzzScore
Design
Performance
MPG
Interior
Infotainment
Reliability
Safety
Value
#1
2020 Volvo XC90 Hybrid
9
BuzzScore
9
Design
9
Performance
9
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
7
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#2
2020 Volvo XC90
8.9
BuzzScore
9
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
10
Interior
10
Infotainment
7
Reliability
10
Safety
10
Value
#3
2020 Lincoln Aviator
8.8
BuzzScore
10
Design
9
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#4
2020 Lincoln Aviator Hybrid
8.8
BuzzScore
10
Design
9
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
8
Infotainment
9
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#5
2020 Lexus RX Hybrid
8.4
BuzzScore
7
Design
7
Performance
9
MPG
8
Interior
8
Infotainment
10
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#6
2020 GMC Acadia
8.3
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
9
Interior
8
Infotainment
8
Reliability
9
Safety
9
Value
#7
2020 Ford Explorer
8.3
BuzzScore
7
Design
9
Performance
7
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
8
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#8
2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid
8.3
BuzzScore
7
Design
8
Performance
8
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
8
Reliability
10
Safety
8
Value
#9
2020 Mazda CX-9
8.1
BuzzScore
9
Design
8
Performance
8
MPG
8
Interior
7
Infotainment
8
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#10
2020 Land Rover Defender
8.1
BuzzScore
10
Design
8
Performance
6
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
8
Reliability
8
Safety
8
Value
#11
2019 Hyundai Santa Fe XL
7.5
BuzzScore
9
Design
7
Performance
5
MPG
7
Interior
8
Infotainment
7
Reliability
9
Safety
8
Value
#12
2020 Dodge Durango SRT
7.5
BuzzScore
8
Design
10
Performance
3
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
7
Reliability
7
Safety
8
Value
#13
2020 Dodge Durango
7.4
BuzzScore
7
Design
7
Performance
6
MPG
8
Interior
9
Infotainment
7
Reliability
7
Safety
8
Value
#14
2020 Acura MDX
#14
Acura MDX
7.3
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
7
MPG
7
Interior
6
Infotainment
7
Reliability
9
Safety
7
Value
#15
2020 Acura MDX Sport Hybrid
7.3
BuzzScore
8
Design
7
Performance
8
MPG
6
Interior
6
Infotainment
7
Reliability
9
Safety
7
Value