Third Row SUVs for Every Budget and Space Need

Third-row SUVs are an ideal vehicle for car buyers looking for enough space for a large family or those who need cargo space for recreational or business equipment. These vehicles have a rugged aesthetic for buyers who don’t necessarily want a standard family car.

Third-row SUVs are perfect for fitting extra passengers—most will seat at least seven—but not all of them are full-sized SUVs. Car buyers can find third-row SUVs for every budget and space need; third rows are offered in mid-size and full-size SUVs.

Looking for the perfect third-row SUV? Here are the options by size and price.

Smaller Third-Row SUVs

Looking for a small SUV with maximum seating capacity? The smallest SUVs that feature third-rows might be more midsize than small. Many compact or small SUVs typically only feature a second row plus cargo space.

CarBuzz ranked the top smallest SUVs that feature third-row seating. While smaller SUVs might not have as much space between rows as larger options, they could be easier on the budget. Here are the top five smallest SUVs featuring third-row seating from CarBuzz with additional data on price, seating capacity and safety rating (from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety):

Kia Sorento

Base Price: $29,490 (2022 model)

Capacity: Space for 7

Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick

Hyundai Palisade

Base Price: $33,150 (2022 SE model)

Capacity: Space for up to 8

Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick+

Kia Telluride

Base Price: $32,790

Capacity: Space for up to 8

Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick

Genesis GV80 V6 AWD

Base Price: $59,650 (2021 model)

Capacity: Space for 7

Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick+

Volvo XC90

Base Price: $49,900 (2022 model)

Capacity: Space for 7

Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick+

SUVs Offering the Most Room In the Third Row

Midsize SUVs might be easier on the budget than their larger counterparts, but for buyers who need as much space as possible, a full-size SUV might be the best option. U.S. News & World Report ranked the SUVs (2021 models) with the best third-row seats. Here are the top five picks from U.S. News based on leg room for the third-row with additional data on price and safety ratings (two are actually midsize models!):

Ford Expedition

Third Row Space: 40.9 inches.

Base Price: $50,595 (2021 model)

Safety Rating: N/A

Chevy Suburban
  • Chevy Suburban

Third-Row Space: 36.7 inches

Base Price: $52,300 (2021 model)

Safety Rating: N/A

GMC Yukon
  • GMC Yukon

Third-Row Space: 34.9 inches

Base Price: $50,595

Safety Rating: N/A

Volkswagen Atlas
  • Volkswagen Atlas (Midsize SUV)

Third-Row Space: 33.7 inches

Base Price: $31,545

Safety Rating: Review Report

Chevy Traverse
  • Chevy Traverse (Midsize SUV)

Third-Row Space: 33.5 inches

Base Price: $29,800

Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick

Finding the Best and Most Affordable Third-Row SUV

Buyers on the hunt for a new 2021 or 2022 SUV featuring the third-row of seating might opt for the Chevy Traverse or the Kia Sorento, as these two models are the least expensive of all the above choices. But these models are not the least expensive third-row SUV; the Volkswagen Tiguan is the least expensive 2021 model with an MSRP of $25,245.  

Those with a very tight budget, though, also can shop used or pre-owned SUVs to find a deal that fits into their budget while providing the space they need. When looking for used or pre-owned models, buyers can research different models for their safety ratings via IIHS. The site offers an easy search query system to find the ratings for almost all vehicles; however, data on larger SUVs could be limited.

If buyers aren’t sure if they are getting a good deal from the dealership, they also can use Kelley Blue Book (KBB) to find out the prices of a model in their area. KBB offers an easy query system to find prices of models. Just type in the year, make, model and location, and KBB will pull up all the vehicles in the area. This lets buyers compare prices across dealerships.

Researching Options Online

Cox Automotive’s Car Buyer Journey Study (Pandemic Edition) reported that buyers spent more than seven hours researching and shopping for a car online. This was actually about two hours less than buyers spent on the same tasks in 2019.

However, for many buyers, the research begins online. Many begin their search via third-party sites (like KBB), and more than three-quarters of shoppers went to at least two sites. The study noted that dealership websites were more likely to be the final online destination for buyers; 33 percent of those participating in the study said that they visited dealership sites last.

Buyers may look online for safety ratings, price and other details related to their potential purchase. Some buyers might know exactly the type of vehicle they want and may zoom through their research phase, looking perhaps only at the best prices in the area.

Other buyers, though, might have no idea about the type of car they want to purchase. These shoppers could do a bit more research online. They may feel that they are beginning their search from scratch.

While buyers could visit sites like Edmunds, IIHS and KBB for information about vehicles, these sites don’t necessarily help buyers visualize the vehicle beyond simple two dimensional photos. Even dealership sites may offer limited photographs of new models. Some could offer slideshows or a selection of photos, but what about buyers who want more visual data?

Augmented Reality for Immersive Research

Augmented Reality for Immersive Research

RelayCars provides buyers with the tools to research any vehicle up close via 3D and augmented reality visuals. RelayCars offers thousands of models for buyers to explore.

Augmented reality can be a key tool during the car research phase. While photos show details of the vehicle, they aren’t designed to allow for exploration. Augmented reality  has been used by many stores and companies for try-on experiences that give consumers a way to see products before purchasing.

With augmented reality, consumers can virtually swipe paint onto their walls or try on different cosmetics. Stores also let shoppers preview furniture in their homes. Just drop a coffee table into the space to see if it fits.

RelayCars is the try-on experience for cars. While the site lets shoppers preview vehicles on the screen via interactive 3D graphics, RelayCars also offers an augmented reality experience.

Visitors to RelayCars can choose a model that they want to explore and view in augmented reality, and, using their smartphone or tablet camera, they can capture the space where they want to place the vehicle. The car (or SUV) can be dropped in any space. View an immersive vehicle in the driveway or see how it looks in the garage.

Why is augmented reality so different from standard imagery? Augmented reality typically depicts the product as it would be in person. The table from a furniture store isn’t just a tiny model, it’s shown in normal size via the augmented reality preview.

When shopping for cars, augmented reality can let shoppers better understand the design of the vehicle. In addition, some platforms even let the user look inside the vehicle.

The vehicle can appear wherever the user wants to explore it. Once the augmented reality vehicle is placed into the environment, the user can actually walk around the model.

RelayCars lets users preview as many vehicles as they want in augmented reality. There is no limit to how many vehicles consumers can research. The site acts as a research tool to help buyers better understand their options and explore them.

After they’ve used the augmented reality tool via RelayCars, they also can view the car on-screen in 3D. The images of the vehicle can be rotated to see the car from any angle. In addition, RelayCars also offers a 3D panorama tour for each model. This lets users explore the interior of the car.

Every vehicle in RelayCars’ showroom also can be viewed in different paint hues. However, the options depend on the color choices for each vehicle.

Using RelayCars to Find the Best Third-Row SUV

For buyers looking for the best SUV with third-row seating, RelayCars can be used to explore the interior space. The 3D panorama viewing option gives users the feeling that they are sitting in the front seat of the SUV and looking around the vehicle. Use the mouse or just a fingertip to navigate around the SUV.

Augmented reality also lets buyers see how the SUV would look in their garage or driveway. They also can immerse themselves in exploration to better understand the SUV’s design and walk around the vehicle.

Buyers can explore different SUV models via RelayCars to find the best SUV for their space needs. Then they might visit dealership websites to find the best price or deals in the area. RelayCars adds an immersive visual element to the car shopping experience to allow for consumers to create a virtual (or augmented reality) showroom in their home.

When buyers find the best SUV at the best price, they can save the rest of the details for the dealership visit. RelayCars helps buyers research vehicles from home and creates a unique preview experience that lets them explore all their vehicle options!