Which SUV's offer 3rd row seating?

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
We're in the market for either a minivan or, preferably, an SUV with the 3rd row seating option. We're looking to buy used, and around $8-10K, so probably model year 2000 or so. So far we've come up with Chevy Suburban or Tahoe, Dodge Durango, and the gigantic Fords (Excursion & Expedition). Does anyone have any recommendations/suggestions?
 

twokidstwodogs

New member
Just out of curiosity, why do you prefer an SUV? Do you need 4WD, or do you haul trailers? I ask, because minivans generally give you much better bang for your buck. They are usually safer, easier to drive, and get better gas mileage.
 

UlrikeDG

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
I don't know when they came out, but there are also the Honda Pilot and Toyota Sequoia. Also, many of the more moderately sized SUVs now have a 3rd row (which may not have been the case back in 2000): the Toyota Highlander & 4Runner and the Ford Explorer come to mind.

We found the safety and convenience of a minivan outweighed the "sportiness" of the SUV. Accessing the 3rd row in an SUV really is not a piece of cake. Even my mom can get into the back row of our minivan.
 

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
No! No minivan! :p I promised myself I would never ever drive one but I'm getting closer and closer to getting one. My mom has one for work and every time I drive it I see how easily we could fit both kids + extra people instead of having to take 2 cars! We don't really *need* a 4wd, because DH already has his manly 4x4 Jeep, so really it would just be a baby taxi. *sigh* I see a minivan in our future!
 

sugarwoman

New member
My sister has a 2000 Tahoe and my mom has a Mercedes ML500. They both have third row seats in them. I agree with the above posters that the third row seats are hard to access and seem flimsy to me. Also because of the third row, the cargo area in the back is very small. My sister has to put one half of her third row seat down in order to bring home her groceries.

On the other hand, my Odyssey is much more user friendly. I can fill up at Costco and fit everything in the back. No problem. Also, I love being able to access the back row seats by simply walking thru the van. No climbing over seats. Not to mention the lower gas expense and tires!
 

UlrikeDG

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
I agree with that assessment, as well. While my Pilot had seating for 8, the back row was so narrow (front to back) that it was not comfortable for anyone over age 12. And, I too had to put down the back row to fit my groceries. I can fit all my groceries with room to spare in the back of my Ody, without putting the seats down.

Also, I never understood why driving a Suburban is so much "cooler" than driving a Sienna. As far as I can tell, the primary driver of both vehicles is "soccer moms". What's so cool about that?
 

KaysKidz

Senior Community Member
I have a 2000 Suburban with 3rd row seating and I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it. I have TONS of cargo room w/the 3rd row in use. That's actually what won be over the Expedition. Now, the newer ones have more cargo room...but not in your price range.

I have no problems accessing the 3rd row...I have 3 carseats back there for my daycare kiddos.

It drives so nice too! Especially when you consider it's size and weight. I went from a '97 to the '00 and was really impressed with the changes Chevy had made. Can only imagine what the new ones are like! But alas, I don't have $45k to spend on a new car, nor do I want to imagine the payments!
 

Tara

New member
There goes Kay making me drool over her 'burban again ;)

We had one, loved it! But, it was dying and an Expedition fell into our laps. Like the Exp well enough, but ooooh the 'burb was better. Love that cargo room back there!! And its just that hint smaller than an Excursion. Though, I wouldn't fight getting one of those myself, I can see how the Exc would seem more tank like even compared to the 'burb.

I say keep your eyes open for a Suburban...if you do go with an SUV ;) I'd have a hard time going to a minivan myself. No longer need the 4wd, but I like the look, the feel...just SAYING it LOL, but no, we no longer *need* it here in the city...but, well, we didn't buy it while in the city...we needed it when we bought it...

and now I'm rambling....
 

jen_nah

CPST Instructor
I agree with that assessment, as well. While my Pilot had seating for 8, the back row was so narrow (front to back) that it was not comfortable for anyone over age 12. And, I too had to put down the back row to fit my groceries. I can fit all my groceries with room to spare in the back of my Ody, without putting the seats down.

Also, I never understood why driving a Suburban is so much "cooler" than driving a Sienna. As far as I can tell, the primary driver of both vehicles is "soccer moms". What's so cool about that?

Because minivan's you give up your COOL card. LOL!!! No really I personally just don't like them. Their is nothing styling wise about them that attracts me to them. At least with my Tahoe it served multiple purposes that a minivan can not. I am able to be soccer mom during the week. And come weekend I am able to tow if I needed too can't do that with a minivan.
 

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
Because minivan's you give up your COOL card. LOL!!! No really I personally just don't like them. Their is nothing styling wise about them that attracts me to them. At least with my Tahoe it served multiple purposes that a minivan can not. I am able to be soccer mom during the week. And come weekend I am able to tow if I needed too can't do that with a minivan.
Exactly!!
 

FuzzyDolly

New member
No! No minivan! :p I promised myself I would never ever drive one but I'm getting closer and closer to getting one. My mom has one for work and every time I drive it I see how easily we could fit both kids + extra people instead of having to take 2 cars! We don't really *need* a 4wd, because DH already has his manly 4x4 Jeep, so really it would just be a baby taxi. *sigh* I see a minivan in our future!
If you're into Jeeps, what about trying to find a Commander? (I understand the Jeep thing ;) )
 

waterbaby

New member
What about a cross-over SUVs... don't the new Nissan Pathfinders have a third row? And the Mazda 5? Maybe it's a Mazda 7? We'll be in the market for a new car in a year or two, so right now I'm not so versed in the world of cars.
 

UlrikeDG

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
I still don't understand what's so cool about being a mom driving a Suburban.

Then again, I never had a cool card, so maybe that's why I don't care.
 

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
Oh I don't think a Surburban is cool :cool: . I just hate minivans! But now that we have 2 kids and plan on having more, our trusty ol' Jeeps just aren't practical anymore. Minivans have great accessibility, better gas mileage, etc. But I don't like the way they look.
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Every year I wonder why ONE of the manufacturers doesn't take a "manly" SUV style body and stick sliding doors and flexible interior seating on it. All the practicality of a minivan without the stygma of the boring styling. Dodge, for example, has put styling features from its large trucks on its SUVs and some other models, why not put it on the Grand Caravan, too?
 

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
Isn't there a Chevy that looks like an SUV but as sliding doors? The Uplander or something? My ILs rented one once and it was very non-mini-van-ish but we all fit comfortably in it. And then once we rented a huge Nissan behemoth SUV to drive to Disneyland, and that was the most uncomfortable, expensive 8 hours ever.
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Yeah I guess it is a little bit, but nothing that would attract an SUV buyer for that reason. I can't think of one minivan that isn't bland and boring. I don't mind driving one because of all the other benefits, but style certainly didn't come along with everything else.
 

sixboys

New member
I have driven both a Toyota Sienna and a Ford Excursion, and I've liked them both for different reasons.

In the Sienna, I had an easier time getting myself in and out of the back row, which was helpful for buckling in the babies sitting back there. It was easier to maneuver through small parking lots and got decent but not great gas mileage. It had a dismal cargo area and the dogs could not fit in the vehicle with us, and certainly not with a stroller in there.

In my Excursion, I love having the carseats I want vs. the carseats I could get to fit. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cargo room! I can fit seven children and two dogs in that baby without anyone feeling the slightest bit cramped. I also like the four wheel drive factor, as we can take it deer hunting and not worry about getting stuck in the field or worry about maneuvering through unplowed streets in the snow. And, although we paid more for it, we LOVE LOVE LOVE our diesel engine!
 

becca011906

Senior Community Member
I love love love my SUV it's a land rover discovery with 3 rows of ffing seating and with LR you have to check b/c often the 3rd row is side facing there for not safe for kids. i really love the SUV a lot but we are highly considering and even starting to test drive other options, like vans, and crossovers. we just can't keep paying almost $4 a gallon for gas and only get 10-11 MPG in town to 15-18MPG on high way. it takes ONLY premium gas... i wish wish wish prices would drop but i don't see it happening we are in one of the states with the highest gas prices right now... regualr is about $3.50 a gallong leaving primum around $3.70 :(
 

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