Worst Three-Row Vehicles of 2017: Consumer Reports

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Not all three-row vehicles are comfortable.

Consumer Reports has released its list of the worst three-row vehicles available this year, based on seat comfort and ease of access to the third-row seat. That means other considerations weren’t factored in, such as test performance and reliability.

SEE ALSO: Midsize Three-Row Crossover Comparison Test

But if you’re in the market for a three-row vehicle and seat comfort along with ease of access are priorities, you may want to avoid these vehicles.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Priced from $66,645 including destination, the Range Rover Sport from Land Rover can be purchased with either a 3.0-liter V6 engine with 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque or a 3.0-liter diesel engine with 254 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. The standard gasoline engine returns 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway for a 19-mpg combined rating, while the diesel is rated at 22-mpg city and 28-mpg highway for a 25-mpg combined rating.

Kia Sorento

With seating for up to seven, the Kia Sorento is an affordable option starting from $26,495. There’s also a plethora of engines to choose from, with the standard model offering a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 185 hp. There’s also a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 240 hp and at the top of the range is a 3.3-liter V6 with 290 hp. Fuel economy ranges depending on the powerplant, but the base engine returns 21 mpg in the and 28 mpg on the highway for 24-mpg combined.

Volvo XC90

There’s a lot to like about the Volvo XC90, but it’s not exactly the easiest to get into or the most comfortable for the third-row passengers, according to Consumer Reports. The luxury SUV starts from $53,245 if you plan on seating seven, which means opting for the T6 AWD model. That does net a 316-hp and 295 lb-ft of torque gasoline engine that returns up to 25 mpg on the highway.

Dodge Journey

It may be plenty affordable with a $22,240 starting price, but the Dodge Journey isn’t ideal to actually go on a journey in for third-row passengers. There is, however, the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine under the hood with 283 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, although it comes standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 173 hp and 166 lb-ft of torque. Folding the rear seats gets you up to 67.6 cubic feet of cargo space.


It’s one of the most popular luxury SUVs on the market, but Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend it when it comes to ease of access and comfort for third-row passengers. The standard model is the BMW X5 sDrive35i powered by a 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbocharged engine with 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. Priced from $56,495, the BMW X5 has a wide range of options and powertrains available that could push that ticket price well over $70,000.

Hyundai Santa Fe

The seven-seater Hyundai Santa Fe starts from $31,695 with a maximum of 80 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the front seats. Under the hood is a 3.3-liter V6 providing 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe returns a respectable 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.

Audi Q7

Another luxury SUV on the list, the Audi Q7 starts from $49,950 and that includes a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. Maximum cargo volume is 71.6 cubic feet, but you’ll have to sacrifice the seating for seven. The other engine option is a 3.0-liter supercharged six-cylinder engine with 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque and that demands a $6,500 premium.

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 AutoGuide.com 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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Join the conversation
  • K.C. K.C. on Mar 27, 2017

    1. I didn't know they had a 3rd row and I don't care: The Range Rover Sport & X5 are not known for three rows and since they're small, cramped and rare, nobody misses them. 2. Between the jump seats: The Journey & Sorento are both midsizers with a pair of tiny jump seats strictly for Chuck E. Cheese birthday parties. But you didn't pay large three-row crossover money either. 3. There should be more junk in the trunk: The XC90, Santa Fe, & Q5 are all big enough that you'd expect a usable 3rd row especially since they're standard, but low mounted seat cushions that put your knees by your ears whilst headbutting the roof is probably not the position buyers expected on their way to yoga.

  • Don j. Don j. on Mar 27, 2017

    you know c/r had to get a Chrysler product in there...typical of consuckers report...