Top 3-Row SUVs for 2021

Kia Telluride

SUVs are one of the hottest vehicle styles. You’ll see a ton of them on the road as you drive by. In this guide, we’ll tell you which 3-row SUVs are worth your money. By the end, you should know exactly which option is perfect for you.

What is a 3-Row SUV?

Just like the name suggests, this line of SUVs has three rows altogether. In other words, a row in the front will seat the driver and passenger. There is a row behind them that will seat two or three people, then a bench row behind that one that seats three.

Most options have four doors which mean there’s some climbing involved for those who want to get into the back row.

Who is a 3-Row SUV Right For?

Most customers of a 3-row SUV are people looking to haul their families around. If you have more than 2 kids, a compact car will feel like a tight squeeze.

Alternatively, if you’re the go-to driver for group outings or large get-togethers, a 3-row SUV will take away some of the headaches. A true 3-row option will seat 8 people altogether.

Keep in mind, these aren’t minivans. Minivans are a driver’s nightmare. They don’t have the responsiveness or drivability that a driver is looking for. 3-row SUVs pack in a lot of sport, luxury, and comfort so the driver can have some fun even when no one else is in the car.

Top 3-Row SUVs for 2021

Without further ado, let’s get started. We hand-picked this list and we’re confident that there’s an option for everyone who’s looking. Some of these SUVs have been around for decades, and some are brand new. Take a look at each option and find out which is the right pick for your family.

Kia Telluride

Kia Telluride 2
Kia Telluride

The Kia Telluride looks incredible. In the looks department, it can go toe-to-toe with any luxury SUV on the market. Don’t let the looks fool you, this SUV has three rows and the interior is where all the magic is.

Inside you’ll find luxury features across the board. You might be surprised that the price tag is as low as it is, but that’s just Kia’s claim to fame.

The car drives well and feels pretty sporty if we’re being honest. However, this car was built to bring the kiddos around town safely at the end of the day.

Key features:

  • Spacious design
  • Luxury styling
  • Drives likes a sport SUV
  • Surprisingly powerful

MSRP: $33,160

Hyundai Palisade

Hyundai Palisade
Hyundai Palisade

The Palisade is Hyundai’s grand entrance to the 3-row SUV scene. We’d like to say that they did so beautifully because this car is great.

It has more than two tons of towing power which means you take the family on that boating trip you always dreamed of.

The engine is powerful and the car feels great to drive. We’re not crazy about the rims or some of the exterior choices, but who are we to judge.

Key features:

  • Plenty of space
  • Comfortably seats 8
  • Massive towing capacity

MSRP: $33,700

Mazda CX-9

Mazda CX-9
Mazda CX-9

The Mazda CX-9 looks like they took their Mazda3 and over-pumped it with air. That might sound horrible, but it’s a compliment – this SUV has the styling and body that’s reminiscent of a much smaller vehicle.

Surprisingly enough, it even feels like a smaller vehicle when you drive it around. You’ll forget that you have six people sitting behind you as this SUV floats across the highway.

It has plenty of space and tons of luxury inside. It uses a turbocharged four-cylinder option for their engine which is a little odd, but it adds a sporty feel without the added weight.

Key features:

  • Lots of tech in the car
  • Looks great
  • Drives really well

MSRP: $35,000

Kia Sorento

2019 Kia Sorento
Kia Sorento

The Kia Sorento is a classic example of a 3-row SUV. They’ve been very involved in this category and have been among the leaders for a majority of its life.

The styling definitely sets this SUV immediately apart from the rest of the pack. You’ll get Range Rover vibes without shelling out Range Rover money. In fact, the Sorento is the least expensive option on this list.

They cut out some of the needless techs in the car and replaced it with invaluable safety features. They want your passengers to arrive safely no matter what obstacles get in the way.

Key features:

  • Plenty of safety features
  • More room than their previous models
  • Comes in an optional hybrid drivetrain
  • Inexpensive option

MSRP: $30,500

Toyota Highlander

Toyota Highlander
Toyota Highlander

The Highlander is actually the best-selling SUV in this category. When you see the options and features available, you’ll quickly understand why.

This is another SUV that comes with a hybrid option, but it hides a V6 under its hood as a stock option. There is lots of room and plenty to love about this SUV.

From the outside, the Highlander is a really attractive option. Once inside, you’ll see where luxury meets sport with comfort throughout.

Key features:

  • Luxurious and comfortable
  • Easy to drive and handles really well
  • Safe option with plenty of tech

MSRP: $36,000

Ford Explorer

2020 Ford Explorer
Ford Explorer

If you remember back to the 90s, you’ll remember how the Explorer was the pioneer when it came to SUVs. You can even make the argument that Ford is one of the big reasons why SUVs became as popular as they did.

This is another one of the three top-selling options in this class. The unique part about the Explorer is that it comes standard with three rows of seating, an option that isn’t found everywhere else.

You can choose between four different powertrains which means you can pick and choose which driving experience you’re looking for. At the top of the line, you’re sitting on more than 400 hp which comes with 5,600 pounds of towing.

Key features:

  • A tenured model with rich history
  • Looks great from the outside
  • Plenty of space in the interior
  • Fits 7 people with no issues

MSRP: $33,500

Honda Pilot

Honda Pilot
Honda Pilot

When you see the Honda symbol, there are a few things you know about the vehicle already. It’s safe, dependable, has the tech you need, and a price tag that will surprise you. Well, the Pilot is here to continue that tradition.

This 8-seater boasts one of the smoothest rides that you’ll find in a 3-row SUV. That means little Timmy can be lulled to sleep as you fly home from the party.

Another beautiful thing about the Pilot? They allow you to haul the kids around without the vehicle looking or feeling like a Mom-mobile. You can get 20-inch blacked-out wheels, gorgeous chrome accent trim, and paddle shifters. Why? Who knows, but we love it.

Key features:

  • Great aesthetics
  • Feels and drives like a high-performance car
  • Really smooth
  • Plenty of tech upgrades under the hood
  • Interior is spacious and comfortable

MSRP: $33,700

Dodge Durango

Dodge Durango
Dodge Durango

Dodge put together a sporty, tough SUV when they designed the Durango. This car was alongside the Explorer in 1998 when it debuted this three-row SUV.

The Durango has two sub-models that are dramatically different. The one is their standard SUV, it’s a comfortable way to bring the family around. It feels sporty, looks great, and has some dialed-in responsiveness.

The other option is their Durango SRT Hellcat. For a lot more money, they cram 710 horsepower into a crazed animal of an SUV. It can tow up to 8,700 pounds and makes an insane noise when you stomp the pedal. The Hellcat is for people who need to have some fun after the kids are dropped off.

Key features:

  • Really comfortable
  • Luxurious inside with plenty of space
  • Handles and drives well

MSRP: $33,300

Volkswagen Atlas

Volkswagen Atlas Cross-Sport
Volkswagen Atlas

The 2021 Atlas just walked away with an exterior facelift. We really enjoy the new look and it does a great job of presenting the car. It’s functional, a little sporty, and luxurious.

Open the doors and you’ll see more of the same. The interior is really clean and has all the luxury you need.

The bonus for the Atlas is how much tech is included. The windshield wipers automatically turn on when they sense water, WiFi beams from your SUV, and the lighting is made up of LEDs. It makes driving a more comfortable experience for everyone involved.

The towing capacity is an eager 5,000 pounds. You can even find an upgraded 4WD drivetrain in case you need to go over the river and through the woods to your grandmother’s house.

Key features:

  • Peppy drive performance
  • Sporty look and luxurious styling
  • Tons of tech and upgrades that you’ll love

MSRP: $32,600

Subaru Ascent

2020 Subaru Ascent
Subaru Ascent

Subarus are known for introducing a driver to true adventure. If you want to take the whole family along for the ride, then the Ascent is a clear choice.

Under the hood, you’ll find a 260-hp CVT flat-four. What does that mean? Responsiveness, fuel efficiency, and a peppy ride.

In the center console is a large touchscreen that has the necessary plug-ins for your smartphone. You can have WiFi come right from your SUV along with plenty of sensors to keep you safe. At the end of the day, Subaru is there to deliver a safe, comfortable, and adventurous ride.

Key features:

  • Tons of space
  • Comfortable leather seats
  • Wooden accents for a luxurious feel
  • Car is responsive and leads to a great driving experience

MSRP: $33,300

Acura MDX

Acura MDX
Acura MDX

If you want a true luxury 3-row SUV, there’s no option better than the Acura MDX. That’s probably why it’s the top-selling option in the luxury SUV department.

The MDX just came off of its 20th production year, and the little details show its growth over the decades.

The second row of seats will slide out of the way with one touch, and there is plenty of room and comfort in the back-most row. No more calling “shotgun” in this ride, any seat is a winner.

You’ll find a level of performance, comfort, luxury, and tech that isn’t available in the other SUVs in this lineup. Of course, these premium features come at a premium price. If you’re looking for an unrivaled driving experience in a 3-row SUV, here it is.

Key features:

  • Ultra-luxurious and comfortable
  • Interior and exterior look stunning
  • Lots of tech upgrades and added goodies

MSRP: $45,500

Conclusion

Finding the right 3-row SUV can make or break your family’s trips. Whether you’re going around the block or a few states over, any option on this list will make sure you do so comfortably and in style.

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Ernest Martynyuk

An automotive enthusiast who's been tinkering with vehicles since I was 15-years old. Repairing automotive electronics has been my main job for over a decade now and have a passion for everything technical regarding cars.

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