Which 2016 Three-Row SUVs Offer Second-Row Captain's Chairs?

2020 Hyundai Palisade second row captain's seats 2020 Hyundai Palisade | photo by Christian Lantry

CARS.COM — When life demands a larger vehicle to fit more passengers or cargo, but a minivan is not your style, the three-row SUV offers an appealing compromise between form and function.

For many shoppers, second-row captain’s chairs are the preferred setup in place of a second-row bench seat. Despite losing one seating position, captain’s chairs have a lot of benefits, such as easier third-row access and more-comfortable seats. Also, thanks to the added space between the seats, Managing Editor Jennifer Newman notes that you don’t have to worry about the kids behind you playing the “I’m-not-touching-you” game.

Related: Which 2013 Three-Row SUVs Offer Second-Row Captain’s Chairs?

Related: Which 2014, 2015 Three-Row SUVs Offer Captain’s Chairs?

Related: Which 2017 Three-Row SUVs Offer Captain’s Chairs?

Related: Which 2018 Three-Row SUVs Offer Captain’s Chairs?

For parents with young children, this setup also is more convenient when it comes to car seats. In most three-row SUVs with a second-row bench, that row cannot fold forward to allow passengers into the third row when a car seat is installed. There are a few exceptions, including the Infiniti QX60 and Nissan Pathfinder; they have second-row benches that can slide forward with a forward-facing child-safety seat. But you will still be out of luck if you have a rear-facing seat. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children should be in a rear-facing seat until age 2.

The good news is that there are plenty of three-row SUVs, ranging from midsize to full-size, that offer captain’s chairs. For 2016, there are two new additions to our list: the Honda Pilot and Toyota Sequoia. Whether your captain of choice is Kirk, Sparrow or Crunch, here’s the full list of 2016 three-row SUVs that will have shoppers saying, “Aye.”

2016 Buick Enclave

2016 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV

2016 Chevrolet Suburban

2016 Chevrolet Tahoe

2016 Chevrolet Traverse

2016 Dodge Durango

2016 Ford Expedition, Expedition EL

2016 Ford Explorer

2016 Ford Flex

2016 GMC Acadia

2016 GMC Yukon, Yukon XL

2016 Honda Pilot*

2016 Hyundai Santa Fe

2016 Infiniti QX80

2016 Lincoln MKT

2016 Lincoln Navigator, Navigator L

2016 Tesla Model X*

2016 Toyota Highlander, Highlander Hybrid

2016 Toyota Sequoia*

*New additions to this list for 2016

Shopping for a used three-row SUV? Check out our lists for 2013 and 2014/2015.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Brian Wong
Former L.A. Bureau Chief Brian Wong is a California native with a soft spot for convertibles and free parking. Email Brian Wong

Latest expert reviews