Which Cars Have Third-Row Seats?

202404 3 row seat art scaled jpg Third row seats | Cars.com illustration by Paul Dolan

Three-row SUVs are the new family bus, now by far eclipsing the dwindling ranks of minivans and wagons as the hauler of choice for families and carpools Automakers have responded with ever more three-row vehicles, with powertrains ranging from gasoline-only to hybrids to electric vehicles.

Related: Which 3-Row SUVs Offer Captain’s Chairs?

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Sadly, these extra seats are stretching family budgets tighter. The days of a base trim with a third row that you can buy for less than $30,000 are pretty much history — while the ranks above $50,000 have grown.

Here are the model-year 2024 vehicles that offer third-row seats standard or optional. Most are mid- and full-size SUVs with seating for up to eight, while a handful can be configured even for nine.

2024 Vehicles With Third-Row Seating

  • Acura: MDX
  • Audi: Q7
  • BMW: X7
  • Buick: Enclave
  • Cadillac: Escalade, Escalade ESV, XT6
  • Chevrolet: Suburban, Tahoe, Traverse, Traverse Limited
  • Chrysler: Pacifica, Pacifica Hybrid
  • Dodge: Durango
  • Ford: Expedition, Expedition Max, Explorer
  • Genesis: GV80
  • GMC: Acadia, Yukon, Yukon XL
  • Honda: Odyssey, Pilot
  • Hyundai: Palisade, Santa Fe, Santa Fe Hybrid
  • Infiniti: QX60, QX80
  • Jeep: Grand Cherokee L, Grand Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer L, Wagoneer, Wagoneer L
  • Kia: Carnival, EV9, Sorento, Telluride
  • Land Rover: Defender, Discovery, Range Rover
  • Lexus: GX 550, LX 600, TX 350
  • Lincoln: Aviator, Navigator, Navigator L
  • Mazda: CX-90, CX-90 Plug-In Hybrid
  • Mercedes-Benz: EQB, EQS SUV, GLB, GLE, GLS
  • Mitsubishi: Outlander, Outlander PHEV
  • Nissan: Armada, Pathfinder
  • Rivian: R1S
  • Subaru: Ascent
  • Tesla: Model X, Model Y
  • Toyota: 4Runner, Grand Highlander, Grand Highlander Hybrid, Highlander, Highlander Hybrid, Sequoia, Sienna
  • VinFast: VF 9
  • Volkswagen: Atlas, Tiguan
  • Volvo: XC90, XC90 Recharge

What to Look For

Third rows vary a lot in space, comfort, access and features. Some are surprisingly cramped and suitable only for occasional use on short trips, while some are big enough for adults and others have more second-row slide capability to compromise on third-row space. The first thing shoppers should consider is what the third row will be used for. Will it be used regularly for adults or kids? Or will it just be used for extra stuff? Here are some things for shoppers to look for when testing out cars with third-row seats.

Number of Third-Row Seats

Some third rows have two seating positions, while some seat three (i.e., have two sets of seat belts or three). If two will do, a bench seat will seem roomier because each position is wider and there is no center set of seatbelts in the way; on the other hand, you lose one seat in maximum safe capacity.

Access to the Third Row

If graceful access to the third row really matters, consider a minivan. But among SUVs, some make it a lot easier than others. Check out the size of the opening to the third row, particularly the obstacles for getting your feet through, as well as the ease of getting the second row out of the way for entry. Some vehicles have a one-button, one-hand system to move the second-row seat forward and out of the way. Others have complicated mechanisms with levers or tumbling seats that not only are cumbersome but also require a two-hand effort that could be awkward if you are holding a child, for example.

At the price of a second-row seating position, some vehicles have second-row captain’s chairs, which can let kids (or flexible adults) squeeze through to the wayback with the seats in place. However, some higher trim levels, and some premium SUVs, add a second-row center console that blocks the gap.

Child-Safety Seat Capability

If you plan to install child-safety seats in the third row, you’ll want to check out which three-row vehicles equip the back row with Latch and tether anchors, as well as how the seat design accommodates a child seat with stability. For expert advice and evaluation of specific vehicles, check out Cars.com’s Car Seat Checks. If multiple child seats are important, take a look at Cars.com’s list of vehicles that can fit three car seats across in the second row.

Cargo Room Behind Third Row

Cargo space behind the third row varies a lot, from ample to next to none. Whether for a family trip or just carpooling for a sports team, you won’t want to have to pick between seats for people and room for their stuff. And while you’re back there, check how easy it is to fold down the third row for more cargo space, whether it is split so you can fold only a portion of it and if the resulting cargo floor is flat.

Third-Row Amenities

When it comes to features, some third rows are business class, while others are cheap and stingy. For occasional use, you might not care, but for long road trips, you might want some bells and whistles. Among things to note are climate control vents, seat recline, lighting, and USB or other power ports.

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Former D.C. Bureau Chief Fred Meier, who lives every day with Washington gridlock, has an un-American love of small wagons and hatchbacks. Email Fred Meier

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