Best Three-Row Vehicles of 2017: Consumer Reports

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

If you’re in the market for a three-row vehicle, you’ll likely want to start your research from this list.

Consumer Reports has revealed its list of the best three-row vehicles available this year, judged on seat comfort and ease of access to the third-row seat. It’s worth noting the models were selected based on the seating, without factoring other key considerations like test performance and reliability.

SEE ALSO: Midsize Three-Row Crossover Comparison Test

While larger SUVs provide both better access and more cargo space, you’ll want to look towards a minivan if you want to have a better third-row seat for children as well as adults.

Here are the best three-row vehicles:

Ford Expedition EL

The 2017 Ford Expedition XLT Extended Length (EL) starts from $51,030 including destination and comes powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine with 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Passenger volume comes in at 168.3 cubic feet and offers seating up to eight.

Chrysler Pacifica

The all-new Chrysler Pacifica minivan is competitively priced from $29,590 and under the hood is the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The American automaker has also introduced a hybrid variant with a starting price of $43,090.

Kia Sedona

Starting from $27,850 the Kia Sedona offers a competitive package in the minivan segment with a 3.3-liter V6 engine providing 276 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. It returns 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway for a 20-mpg combined rating while boasting 142 cubic feet of cargo volume total.

Honda Odyssey

The popular Honda Odyssey has remained one of the most reliable minivans on the market and has just received a substantial overhaul for the 2018 model year. The latest-generation Odyssey features innovative Magic Slide second-row seats for easier access to the third row. Pricing for the 2018 model has not been announced but we should expect to hear an announcement soon as it heads to dealerships this spring.

Toyota Sienna

Like the Honda Odyssey, the Toyota Sienna has been a solid option in the minivan segment for years. The Japanese automaker calls it the “Swagger Wagon” and it starts from $30,710. Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 296 hp and 263 lb-ft of torque, while returning 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway for a 22-mpg combined rating. Total cargo volume comes in at 150 cubic feet.

Lincoln Navigator

This luxury SUV from Lincoln doesn’t come cheap, starting from $64,710. What you do get however is a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 engine with 380 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy ranges with the most fuel-efficient configuration coming from the standard Navigator model with two-wheel drive, returning 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway for a 21-mpg combined rating.

Chevrolet Suburban

Starting from $51,210 the Chevrolet Suburban features a 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine providing 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. Maximum cargo space comes in at 121.7 cubic feet, while the two-wheel-drive model offers best-in-class highway fuel economy of 23 mpg. The Suburban also has a 8,300-lb max towing capacity.

GMC Yukon XL

This full-size SUV has a sticker price of $52,525 and can accommodate up to nine passengers. It’s 20.4 inches longer than the standard GMC Yukon so owners have more cargo and legroom for third-row passengers. Like the Chevrolet Suburban, power comes from a 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V8 engine with 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque while returning 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway in two-wheel-drive trim.

Mercedes-Benz GLS

The most expensive and luxurious model on the list is the Mercedes-Benz GLS, starting from $69,625. That gets you a 3.0-liter V6 biturbo engine cranking out 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, but like other Mercedes models, there’s plenty more performance if you’re willing to pay. The GLS550 has a 4.7-liter V8 biturbo under the hood with 449 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque while at the top of the range is the AMG GLS63 with 577 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque from a 5.5-liter AMG V8 biturbo. This seven-seater has a cargo capacity of 93.8 cubic feet and returns 17 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway in base model trim.

Buick Enclave

The Buick Enclave starts from $39,990 and is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 288 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. It offers seating for up to eight and 115.2 cubic feet of cargo volume while returning 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.

Chevrolet Traverse

There’s an all-new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse heading to dealerships soon, boasting Smart Slide second-row seating that has been enhanced to let passengers slide and tilt the passenger-side seat for access to the third row even if there’s a child seat in place. Engine options include a 3.6-liter V6 or 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a nine-speed automatic geared for fuel efficiency. The new model won’t head to dealerships until summer 2017 so if you’re eager, the 2017 Chevrolet Traverse is available now starting from $29,595.

Nissan Quest

The seven-seat minivan from Nissan starts from $27,520 and comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 260 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque. Paired to an Xtronic CVT, the Quest returns 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway while offering 108.4 cubic feet of cargo capacity with all seats folded down.

Dodge Grand Caravan

Sooner or later the Dodge Grand Caravan will quietly fade away to the new Chrysler Pacifica, but for now, it’s still alive. Priced from $24,590 it’s an affordable option for those looking for plenty of cargo space – 143 cubic feet to be exact. There’s a familiar 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine powering the minivan, with 283 hop and 260 lb-ft of torque while returning up to 25 mpg on the highway.

Toyota Sequoia

It’s the most outdated model on the list, having not been refreshed for quite some time now, but the Toyota Sequoia carries on with a $46,755 starting price. Under the hood a 5.7-liter V8 engine is paired to a six-speed automatic, providing 381 hp and 401 lb-ft of torque with rear-wheel drive standard. Along with optional four-wheel drive, buyers can opt for a Flex Fuel engine for more versatility with E85. Fuel economy comes in at 15 mpg combined for the two-wheel drive model, returning 13 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the highway.

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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2 of 9 comments
  • Wayne Hughes Wayne Hughes on Mar 26, 2017

    What about the Honda Pilot it has more second row room than our GL and yes I know this is focused on 3rd row however the third row in our Pilot is almost as good as the GL.

  • Voiceofstl Voiceofstl on Apr 29, 2017

    Dodge caravan..Get the Base or mid level van and you will get a easy 200,000 miles out of it. The biggest bang for the buck.