If you plan on using a vehicle’s third row a lot, let us at least make the suggestion that a minivan would be a smarter bet than anything you’re going to see on this list of best three-row SUVs. Their third rows are bigger, more comfortable and easier to get to. The kids will definitely be happier. Here are our two top choices.

OK, now that that’s out of the way, we totally get why minivans are totally depressing and that if the kids want to be happier, they can buy their own darn vehicle. You’re buying, you’re driving, you’re being seen in it and you’d rather have a three-row SUV. Fair enough. Luckily, there are more choices than ever and they’re really good. The best do a particularly good job of being family friendly without looking like a drab transportation appliance, although really, you can’t go wrong with any of the mainstream three-row SUVs. Now, some of the luxury choices are a bit suspect, including those that are otherwise very appealing but have cramped third-row seats (the Genesis GV80 comes to mind). We’re focusing on three-row SUVs here, so having a usable third row is a must.

Note that we define crossovers as SUVs since most buyers use the terms interchangeably, but acknowledge that “crossover” is literally a vehicle with a car-like unibody structure as opposed to the truck-like, body-on-frame construction that traditionally has defined “SUV.” In other words, we consider all crossovers SUVs, but not all SUVs are crossovers (specifically those in the full-size segment and some in the flagship luxury segment).

Best Three-Row Crossover SUVs of 2024

2024 Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot was completely redesigned for 2023. It maintains its predecessor’s family friendly packaging and overall focus, but it has injected a welcome sense of style (especially in the TrailSport pictured above) that makes it stand out much better from the big crossover crowd. The Pilot’s restrained adornment and classic proportions are refreshing compared to the increasingly busy Kia TellurideHyundai Palisade and Subaru Ascent. Let’s talk about practicality, though, which is ultimately the Pilot’s best attribute. While every other three-row SUV makes owners choose between a second-row bench seat or captain’s chairs (and therefore six-, seven- or eight-passenger capacity depending on vehicle), the Pilot’s removable second-row middle seat means that every Pilot can be a seven- or eight-passenger vehicle. That middle seat even fits under the cargo floor in all trims but the TrailSport (its full-size all-terrain spare tire takes up too much space). There’s also plenty of thoughtful, family-friendly storage throughout and a well-rounded driving experience true to the Honda norm.

2024 Hyundai Palisade

The Hyundai Palisade is mechanically related to the Kia Telluride, and choosing between this pair of masterfully executed family haulers could basically come down to a coin flip. Or, more realistically, which you think looks better. For its part, the Palisade has a more luxurious vibe, which is most obvious in its Limited and Calligraphy trim levels that could easily compete with actual luxury-brand SUVs. The main reason for this is the stylish, well-made cabin that not only looks great, but boasts useful storage, user-friendly infotainment tech and more space than nearly every competitor — bigger kids and even adults will be perfectly comfortable in the third row, and you can fit more stuff behind the raised third row. Hyundai’s driver assistance and safety tech is also among the best-executed in the industry. If there’s a major hole in its game, it’s the lack of a hybrid powertrain or a more powerful version.


The Kia Sorento basically has the exterior dimensions of a two-row midsize SUV, but manages to sandwich in a third row for those who could foresee needing one on occasion, but not frequently enough to warrant driving around a bigger, thirstier and pricier vehicle like Kia’s Telluride. It’s basically for those who don’t necessarily think that bigger is better. And for its part, the Kia Sorento is appealing for myriad other reasons. Interior materials quality is elevated, the designs are handsome and technology is excellent. The same well-executed driver assistance and safety features that so impress in the Palisade and Telluride are also available in the Sorento. Perhaps most significantly, however, is that the Sorento is one of the very few three-row SUVs offered as a hybrid. Its 37 mpg blows away the V6-powered competition, and there’s an exceptional plug-in hybrid choice (pictured above right). It is important to note, however, that 2024 is an odd year for the Sorento. The gas-only versions get revised exterior and interior design, and new infotainment tech. The hybrids get those updates for 2025, meaning the 2024 versions carry over from last year. The Sorento is recommended regardless of these updates.

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