We all need a little extra space at times, and a third row often does the trick. But giant full-size SUVs like a Tahoe or Expedition are just too much for what most of us need. Plus, I’m a bear to park. So for many of us, it fits our needs, and for 2023 these are three recommended by Edmunds reviewers.
What is a small three-row SUV?
The smallest three rows offer plenty of utility, and all of these SUVs start at under $30,000. While the rear seats in this class don’t offer much room, they’re all great for casual use or for kids. All offer driver assistance aids, plenty of power and, of course, luggage space when the third row is tucked away. It makes sense that , a review site, would name these three the best for 2023.
Sorento packs a lot of value and style into this segment. It’s easy to dismiss a three-row SUV as a mommy-mobile, but this one has an aggressive front end and street-ready styling that gives it a bit of believability that others don’t have. For 2023, Kia has added more to driver assistance systems, such as blind-spot warnings and rear cross-traffic collision avoidance. Like others on this small list of three-row SUVs, it leaves adults off the road.
Though it starts at $29,990, the S and EX trims offer more than most want. The EX adds bigger screens, wireless charging, and automatic wipers for $32,490.
No. 2: Mitsubishi Outlander
The Mitsubishi Outlander has been redesigned in 2022 and Mitsubishi hopes it will be a sales success. Much has been made of the fantastic plug-in hybrid version, which has 38 miles of electric range. But the non-hybird version is a huge step forward for Mitsubishi. On a recent trip to , MotorBiscuit found the Outlander to be a capable, enjoyable-to-drive SUV that’s finally big enough and powerful enough for American streets.
While the Outlander has a third row, it’s really for casual two-person use and not recommended for normal-sized adults. The Outlander also has clever all-wheel drive, which allows the SUV to handle more like a rear-wheel drive SUV, which (trust us) is fun in the mud. The Outlander starts at $27,595, but the updated SE trim for $30,645 offers the things most of us want, like heated seats, multi-camera views and a bigger screen.
No. 3: Volkswagen Tiguan
The slots between the smaller Taos and the larger Atlas, and for many, it’s the perfect size. Its third row is great for casual use, and when folded down, the large loadspace helps hold a generous amount of luggage. VW adds a touch of modern European design that others on this list don’t have, especially in the sporty R-Line trim. Like the others, it also offers driving aids, a big screen and more. IQ.Drive offers even more to make driving easier.
The Tiguan starts at $26,950, and even base models have heated seats, blind-spot monitoring, and keyless entry. Upgrading to the $30,580 SE version adds app connectivity, dual-zone climate control, and leatherette seats.