The wheel – it’s probably the greatest invention ever. In fact, it’s in such a league of its own no one has ever tried to reinvent it.
Sure, it can be modified, but the fundamental design still remains the same.
And ever since the invention of the wheel, mobility has become easier.
From horse-drawn carriages to steam engines to commercial jumbo jets, the wheel has played a prominent part in getting people from one point to another. Bringing it closer to home, a family trip to the movies, or a road trip to an amusement park is made easier if you have a good set of wheels.
And not just any car by the way (especially if you have a larger family), you need a car with ample room to give you maximum comfort. If you are looking for such a car, you’re in luck as I will be showing you the best vehicles with 3rd-row seating – the best family vehicles.
We’ll look at everything from multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) to sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and everything in between.
At the end of the day, I’d like to believe you’ll find the perfect car for your family. A vehicle that will take you on memorable journeys – in style and comfort.
So let’s get to it, shall we?
Vehicles with 3rd Row Seating – Before You Buy
When it comes to vehicles with 3rd-row seating there are a few factors you need to consider before you drive one out of the showroom.
Ease of Access
For your young children, getting to the 3rd row in your vehicle might be an adventure on its own.
But for the elder ones, and adult companions you may have to confine to the 3rd row, accessing those seats may be a gymnastic feat.
This is why when you are looking for a vehicle with 3rd row seating, consider ease of access.
Another factor to consider when looking at vehicles with 3rd row seats is leg room. Especially if you have older kids or plan on seating some of your friends in the back row, you will definitely have to factor in legroom before purchasing your new vehicle.
The 3rd row has, over the past years, been notoriously known for being a cousin to a torture chamber due to it being so uncomfortable.
That is all changing with the more modern designs that are coming up.
But be sure to check the comfort levels of that 3rd row just in case. Make sure the seats are raised and have adequate thigh support.
Now that you know what to watch out for in the 3rd row seats, let’s get to the fun part – checking out the best vehicles with 3rd row seating.
8 of the Best Vehicles with 3rd Row Seating – Let the Journey Begin
Let’s hit the showroom and take a look at the best vehicles on the market with 3rd row seating.
Buying a car can be a very daunting task, especially in this day and age when options are so vast and cars come with different technologies that are hard to understand. This is why we have compiled this list of vehicles you need to consider if you have a larger family. Vehicles that will make every journey comfortable, pleasant, and memorable.
1. Kia Sedona
This Korean carmaker has been on American roads for decades now and has been supplying safe, economic, and durable cars through its over 755 dealerships across America.
The Kia Sedona is one such car, and, one beautiful, practical, economic, and safe car too.
But our main point of concern here is the 3rd row seats.
The Kia Sedona has narrow 3rd row seats that have enough room to seat 2 adults comfortably. Sure, you can squeeze in a third but comfort will be severely compromised.
As with most vehicles with 3rd row seating, the Kia Sedona has a rather hard seat that features a low bottom cushion. For grown-ups, this means thigh support is reduced. The advantage of the Kia Sedona is that the second-row seats can easily be moved forward to increase legroom, making the 3rd row seats more bearable.
Your kids, however, won’t find the 3rd row uncomfortable. Their only gripe might be the fact that the rear window sill is raised, thus it will make it difficult for them to look out the window.
Overall, the Kia Sedona is one of the best vehicles with 3rd row seating, especially in its price range.
It earns itself 4 stars out of 5.
2. Dodge Grand Caravan
The Dodge Grand Caravan is an iconic family hauler that has been around since 1983 when it created the minivan niche.
Although its popularity is waning due to stiff competition from other car makers, one thing is certain – you can never go wrong with a Dodge Grand Caravan.
When it comes to seating, the Grand Caravan can comfortably seat 7 or 8 passengers depending on the size of the occupants relegated to the third row of the vehicle. There’s enough room for adults in the third row but you will find them a bit hard and low. The upside is that the bottom cushion is tilted up in such a way that it offers some decent thigh support.
And for those times you go on a grand picnic, the seats will offer you the convenience of being able to flip and face the rear. This allows 2 people to sit on them facing out the tailgate.
As for ease of access, like most minivans, getting to the 3rd row requires nimbleness.
One thing that the Dodge Grand Caravan has in its favor is that it is well built in every aspect. But because the 3rd row seats are not as good as they could be, it gets a 4-star rating.
3. Chrysler Pacifica
If you are a fan of the Dodge Grand Caravan but looking to upgrade to a more spacious minivan, perhaps you should consider its big brother – the Chrysler Pacifica.
The Chrysler Pacifica is the replacement of the famous (and much loved) Chrysler Town and Country minivan. It comes with a stylish design both inside and out, a superb infotainment system, and impressive fuel consumption.
But those features aren’t really what set the Chrysler Pacifica apart from other minivans.
One of the best features of this soon-to-be iconic minivan is the fact that the second and 3rd row can easily be made to disappear into the floor and transform it into a cargo carrier. And when you do want it to be a people carrier, the Chrysler Pacifica has plenty of room for that, yes, even in the third row.
Ease of access is also greatly improved.
With other features like a brilliant sunroof and onboard vacuum cleaner, the Chrysler Pacifica definitely deserves a 5-star rating.
4. Toyota Sienna
The Toyota Sienna has been called the Camry of the minivans, and rightly so.
Just like its world sibling, the famous Camry, the Toyota Sienna is a reliable, roomy, and economical (both to buy and run) vehicle.
And for a family vehicle, it definitely brings a lot to the table apart from its 296-hp 3.5-liter V-6 engine coupled to a smooth 8-speed gearbox. For instance, you’ll be glad to know that it comes with all-wheel drive (the only one in this class to have it), and industry-leading infotainment system, and an intercom to make it easier to communicate with passengers all the way back in the third row.
Speaking of the third row, the Sienna comes with ample room to seat adults in the back row, giving it a seating capacity of 7/8 passengers. The 3rd row is quite comfortable and has adequate legroom to make short journeys pleasant for adults and more than pleasant for children.
Although the second and third rows don’t fold into the floor like the Chrysler Pacifica, the Toyota Sienna still has plenty of cargo space for those days you need to haul cargo instead of people.
The Toyota Sienna is definitely a 5-star minivan, making it one of the best vehicles with 3rd row seating.
5. Honda Odyssey
It’s impossible to mention the best vehicles with 3rd row seating without mentioning the Honda Odyssey.
Ranked as one of America’s most favorite minivans, it’s no wonder why. The Honda Odyssey is everything a family would need in a vehicle, especially when it comes to safety, comfort, and price.
Some of the features that can be found on a Honda Odyssey include brake and lane assist, a WiFi hotspot, configurable second-row seats, and a 3rd row seat monitor. Especially if you have young children, the 3rd row monitor is a very good feature to have.
As for the 3rd row seats themselves, access is a bit restricted for larger children and adults, but once you get in, these enough legroom and thigh support to afford a comfortable journey for longer distances – even for adults.
Upgraded in 2018 to compete with the Chrysler Odyssey, the Honda Odyssey is really doing an excellent job of pulling away from the pack and fighting for dominance with the best in the category. This family-friendly minivan is definitely one of the best vehicles with 3rd row seating, earning it a perfect rating of 5 stars.
If a minivan seems like a vehicle for soccer moms and you’re looking to get something more modern and sporty, consider the following crossovers and SUVs.
They’ll definitely suit your image and taste.
6. Ford Explorer
The Ford Explorer has been one of Americas most loved SUVs for a long time now. In fact, it’s the SUV that started the whole SUV craze, and it’s still managing to hold its own in this segment.
When it comes to looks, the Explorer looks every part a luxury SUV thanks to borrowing some aesthetics from its former stablemate the upscale Range Rover.
One reason the Ford Explorer is a fan favorite is that it handles exceptionally well off-road. But how do passengers in the 3rd row fare on such excursions?
Quite well, actually, as the 3rd row has been reigning supreme over many other brands with 3rd row seat configurations.
The Ford Explorer features very comfortable 3rd row seats that have an excellent seat height, adequate leg room, and more than enough headroom for taller passengers. If you are looking for a mid-range vehicle with 3rd row seating, the Ford Explorer is a good bet.
This iconic vehicle gets a well-deserved 5-star rating.
7. Chevrolet Tahoe
The Chevrolet Tahoe is quite a unique car in that it can comfortably seat up to 9 passengers. This makes it a very good option if you have a larger family (and pockets to match).
To prove that it is a family car, Chevrolet kitted the Tahoe with 7 USB ports and 6 power outlets – perfect for the perfect family in this highly digitized world. The Tahoe also boasts one of the most luxurious interiors in its class as it features high-quality materials and excellent build quality – all in the name of comfort.
Unfortunately, the 3rd row is not as spacious as it could have been due to the truck roots. For children, however, the 3rd row seats are not a problem. But for adult passengers, the ride can be a bit uncomfortable, turning what could have been an excellent vehicle with 3rd row seating into a good one.
Hopefully, Chevrolet will work on this Achilles’ heel in the next generation. But for now, because of that, Tahoe gets a 4-star rating.
8. Honda Pilot
If you want minivan type space but don’t like the looks of a minivan, the Honda Pilot will definitely give you what you’re looking for.
The Honda Pilot has a high seating position, loads of space, and an efficient yet powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine.
With a reconfigurable interior that provides multiple options for passenger and cargo hauling the Honda Odyssey is a very versatile vehicle. And when you need to carry passengers, seating in the 3rd row is surprisingly comfortable for a car in its price range. The legroom is decent and so is the seat cushion.
The best part is that even when the 3rd row seats are up, the Honda Pilot still has a lot of room for storing cargo, making it one of the best vehicles with 3rd row seating.
A car of this caliber definitely deserves a 5-star rating.
Vehicles with 3rd Row Seating – Let’s Hit the Road
Vehicles with 3rd row seating are galore, but finding a suitable one for your family can be a mammoth task. But armed with this list, making a solid decision has become easy.
And if you’re still struggling to make a decision from this least, perhaps a recommendation would help. If budget permits, I’d suggest the Chrysler Pacifica. If you’re not into minivans, then the Honda Pilot would be your best bet.
So go ahead, pick the one that tickles your fancy and let’s hit the road. Memories are waiting to be made.