There are myriad reasons to buy an SUV. The space, the ride height, the off-road ability – the list of attributes will be different from one person to the next.
But one factor that sits on just about everyone’s shopping list is practicality.
Being able to load up and use every cubic inch of space is definitely a selling point. After all, if people didn’t care about space, then everyone would be driving sports cars.
Families in particular need as much space as possible. And when the families have children with a range of ages, then sometimes even keeping a bit of distance between them is a good thing.
Hence, one aspect on many people’s minds is the third row of seating.
While plenty of MPV’s offer this capability, the world’s penchant for SUVs means more and more vehicles are being equipped with seats six and seven.
And while a seven seater is a help, there’s a lot of difference between them. Some vehicles, like the Mitsubishi Pajero, have the third row as a bench seat, with the whole thing folding away into the boot.
Others, like the Toyota Prado, or the Land Rover Discovery, have a split third row, allowing one seat to be put up, and the other one to lie flat.
This creates a six-seat vehicle with extra load space – very handy in some instances, especially when you need to put a pram in the car.
So, what is the best SUV with third row seating? Well, we’ve compiled a list, depending on the size of the SUV. We say this, because clearly the larger the car, the better the third row comfort. And the price usually goes along with that.
So, without further ado, we present the best SUVs with third row seating.
With no compact or small SUVs fitted with seven seats, it comes down to the mid-size category.
We have two vehicles we would recommend. One is the Land Rover Discovery Sport (Read our Disco Sport review here).
Its reliability is questionable, but its clever use of packaging has added the third row without impinging on the boot space too much. However, the seats are only suitable for adults if you’re doing short trips, but kids will be fine.
The other is the Honda CR-V (Read our CR-V review). Again, its third row is a bit tight for adults but its larger boot makes kids feel comfortable and its smaller size overall means it’s easy to park.
And of course, because it’s a Honda, it will be very dependable.
When jumping up to the large SUV category, your options become much easier. With several big machines to choose from, it comes down to your priorities – do you want to buy the car for your passengers, or for you?
If it’s passenger comfort you’re worried about, then you can’t do any better than the Land Rover Discovery (Click here for the review).
It’s still the only SUV which will fit full-size adults side by side in complete comfort. Its space, quality and ease of access make it the best choice for anyone who wants a plush, seven-seat SUV. But as we noted in our review, it’s not a car you want to keep outside of the warranty period.
Next on our list would be the Toyota LandCruiser. With bullet-proof reliability, it’s a car you can take into the desert and have complete confidence you’ll return; not something you can say about the Disco.
However, the LandCruiser is a big car. Like really, really big. Thus, it’s not the easiest to park, and unless you get the diesel, it’s a thirsty machine as well.
If it’s a car for you and you want to be able to throw people in the back every now and then, one of the most beautiful SUVs to drive and enjoy is the Audi Q7 (Read our SQ7 review).
With one of the best rides in the segment (but only when optioned with the air suspension), the Q7 is a wonderful machine that is built to perfection and is comfortable for all concerned.
Sure, it’s not the cheapest machine out there, and adults will need to be flexible to stay in the back for long periods, but for a car that makes you feel good, you can do no better.
Tell us whether you agree with our summation in the comments below.