Car Reviews

These are the Best Three-Row SUVs by Price, Fuel Efficiency and Safety

By TheCarzingTeam June 27, 2022 | Car Reviews

Car Reviews

Millennials are looking for key three things when shopping for a new car: price, fuel efficiency and safety. Those who need a larger vehicle for a family, for work or just for the extra cargo space might gravitate towards sports utility vehicles (SUVs) with a third row.

Third-row SUVs come in very different price points, and fuel efficiency can be all over the board. In addition, many SUVs are standouts for their safety ratings. Here are the best three-row SUVs by price, fuel efficiency and safety.

Most Budget-Friendly Third-Row SUVs

  • Kia Sorento ($30,665)
  • GMC Acadia ($30,995)
  • Volkswagen Atlas ($32,565)
  • Honda Pilot ($32,645)
  • Subaru Ascent ($33,420)

Most Fuel Efficient Three-Row SUV

  • Tesla Model Y (Estimated Range of 333 miles)
  • Tesla Model X (Estimated Range of 333 miles)
  • Toyota Highlander Hybrid (Estimated range of 615 miles)
  • Volvo XC90 Recharge (Estimated Range of 520 miles)
  • Kia Sorento Hybrid (Estimated range of 460 miles)

Safest Three-Row SUV

  • 2022 Hyundai Palisade
  • 2022 Mazda CX-9
  • 2022 Subaru Ascent
  • 2022 Acura MDX
  • 2022 Cadillac XT-6
  • 2022 Genesis GV-80
  • 2022 Mercedes-Benz GLE (with front crash prevention)
  • 2022 Tesla Model Y
  • 2022 Volvo XC-90
  • 2022 Volvo XC-90 Recharge

The Price of Three Row SUVs

SUVs that feature a third row can fit seven or eight passengers—depending on the seat layout. However, buyers who want a new SUV that offers third-row seating should expect to pay more for that extra space.

The five most budget-friendly models with a third row are all more than $30,000. The prices shown reflect the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the base trim of the model. Adding any extra features will push the price tag higher.

Those who are on a tighter budget could choose to search for a used or pre-owned third-row SUV. Depending on the age, mileage and condition, the prices for older models can vary but they typically will be more affordable than the newest model year.

When shopping for used SUVs, buyers may have to consider their needs. Those who plan to put a lot of miles on the SUV might choose to focus on models that have fewer miles on the odometer. However, if the buyer needs low mileage and a low price, they might need to choose an older third-row SUV.

Best Three-Row SUV

Most Fuel Efficient Third-Row SUVs

The most energy efficient vehicles typically will be electric models. However, not all electric models offer incredible range, so when compiling the most energy or fuel efficient models, hybrids also topped the list.

The site Compare provides information on electric vehicles and hybrids. With hybrid models, the site denotes the efficiency of vehicles by their range. This also is how the site references the efficiency of hybrids. Other sites denote the energy-efficiency or fuel efficiency of hybrid models with their MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) data.  

Hybrid SUVs will be more efficient than the standard SUV. Third-row SUVs are often the largest models and the large size and weight of these SUVs may correlate to lower fuel efficiency; for this reason, car buyers who are focused on maximizing fuel efficiency might gravitate towards a hybrid.

SUV buyers might want the most efficient vehicle on the market no matter how much those models cost. For third-row SUVs, Tesla’s Model X and Model Y both have an estimated range of 333 miles. While some hybrid models show longer ranges, they are still dependent on the pump, making them less efficient. The Tesla Model X is priced at $114,990, but the Model Y costs $62,990.

Best Three-Row SUV

The Safest Three-Row SUVs

The list for the safest third-row SUVs is quite extensive. All the models listed were given a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; this is the best safety rating possible.

Since all the models have the same excellent safety rating, they are all contenders for being the safest third-row SUV. Buyers may compare the list of safest third-row SUVs to the lists naming the least expensive models and the most fuel-efficient models to find options that are safe, budget-friendly and fuel efficient.

What Third-Row SUV Can Fit Eight?

Some buyers might focus on a different feature of a third-row SUV. Which SUV has the seating capacity for up to eight passengers?

Not many third-row SUVs can fit eight; most models can only seat up to seven. However, the following SUV models have space for eight:

  • Kia Telluride
  • Lincoln Navigator
  • Ford Expedition

Does a Third-Row SUV Check All the Boxes?

Is there a single SUV model that somehow manages to check all the boxes: safety, price and fuel efficiency? The Kia Telluride comes pretty close. While it’s not among the top five most affordable, it’s still fairly budget-friendly with a MSRP of $33,090.

In addition, the Telluride was given a Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS. The difference between Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ is the headlights; those that earn the + rating offer the best headlights as a standard feature.

The Telluride is average for fuel efficiency. It gets 20 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. However, space is where the Telluride might bump out its competition. The Telluride offers seating for up to eight passengers.

What is the Most Expensive Three-Row SUV?

For those not on a budget, luxury might be the focus. What is the most expensive three-row SUV? The SUV that is near the top of the list is the Range Rover Sport. It offers space for seven. Buyers can request a price quote, but the base price for the Range Rover Sport is $100,500.

The fuel efficiency for the Range Rover is decent relative to its larger size—it gets 19 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway. Those who drive it probably aren’t too focused on MPG data, though. The Range Rover is luxury, and it can go anywhere. The vehicle is built to explore and hit the off road paths.

The Bentley Bentayga also can be equipped with a third row. Expect to pay more than $160,000 for a Bentayga—especially if the buyer wants the third row. Car and Driver reported that Aston Martin also could be working on a third-row SUV.  

Use Carzing to Find the Best Three-Row SUV

Car buyers looking for an SUV equipped with a third row of seating can use Carzing to find all their options. Search by body type and select SUV. Buyers can filter their choices by specifying additional criteria, too. They also can refine their search to new or used models.

Buyers who know the exact SUV that they want can simplify their hunt by searching by make/model. Carzing will show all the available options nearby. Sort the results by price, mileage, or year to see the most relevant vehicles at the top of the search.

Carzing also lets buyers get pre-qualified for financing. Find the loan options that offer the lowest interest rate and most affordable monthly payment. Buyers also can enter the value of a potential trade-in and Carzing will apply the trade-in to the financing options. Carzing also helps buyers understand the down payment obligations for each loan option.

When buyers find their ideal SUV and the best financing for their budget, they can visit a participating car dealership to complete the credit application, take a test drive and finalize the deal. Carzing simplifies the search for a new or used car and helps buyers take control of their financing choices, too.

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