/Autotrader: The most affordable 3-row SUVs

Autotrader: The most affordable 3-row SUVs

Drivers looking for practical family transportation with plenty of seating for everyone are probably looking at three-row crossover SUVs. Sure, you could spring for a minivan, but if you’re just not ready to take the minivan plunge, these SUVs have similar levels of family-friendliness and practicality, sometimes at more affordable prices.

Here are the eight most affordable new 3-row SUVs you can get for 2020.

Volkswagen Atlas — $31,545

The Volkswagen Atlas is a relatively new contender among midsize 3-row crossovers, having just come out in 2018. The Atlas impresses with roomy seating in all three rows (this has the roomiest third row of any crossover on this list) plus a generously sized cargo bay to boot.

Some have accused the Atlas of having underpowered engine options, but it’s good on gas, which makes it a good choice for drivers who value fuel economy over performance. This Volkswagen 

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 delivers carlike handling that might make you think you’re driving a smaller car than you are. 

Also see: Looking for a minivan? Here are 5 great ones for under $40k

Dodge Durango — $30,495

The Dodge Durango is a muscular choice among midsize 3-row family SUVs. Not only does it have a mean aesthetic, but it also comes standard with a strong V6 engine, which is upgradable with two different V8 options.


The Dodge Durango. It’s got muscle.

Most drivers will find no fault in the standard V6, which strikes a nice balance between performance and efficiency. The interior of the Durango has plenty of room, and it has one of the best infotainment systems in the business. 

GMC Acadia — $29,800

The GMC Acadia is a nice midsize crossover that got a face-lift for 2020, adding more standard features and updating its rugged yet premium aesthetic. Every Acadia has three rows of seats, with the exception of the new off-road-oriented AT4 trim, which only has seating for five.

The Acadia got slightly smaller when the current generation was introduced, leaving the legroom a little tight in the third row, but it’s fine for young kids or if you’re just using it occasionally. 

Chevrolet Traverse — $29,800

The Chevrolet Traverse has the exact same starting MSRP as the GMC Acadia because the two are very similar. However, the Traverse is a bigger SUV with more room in the third row, which makes it a more family-friendly minivan alternative.


The Chevy Traverse

The Traverse comes in a close second place behind the Atlas for most third-row legroom of any SUV on this list. If you’re looking for an affordable family hauler and you’re planning on using those third-row seats often, your passengers will really appreciate the space in this Chevy.

Kia Sorento — $26,690

The Kia Sorento is a practical and affordable midsize crossover with standard 3-row seating in every trim. However, since it’s on the smaller size for the midsize SUV segment, there isn’t a ton of cargo space behind the third row.

Also see: The 10 best new car models of 2020

Among the Sorento’s many virtues are a premium cabin with an excellent infotainment system, a smooth and comfortable ride, and an excellent value with one of the lowest starting prices of any midsize 3-row crossover. Its base engine is good on gas, but upgrading to the brawny available V6 gives this Kia a surprising amount of muscle. 

Volkswagen Tiguan — $24,945


The VW Tiguan

The Volkswagen Tiguan is a compact crossover with three rows of seats, but there’s a catch. Three-row seating is standard on front-wheel-drive models, but if you upgrade to all-wheel drive, the third row becomes a $595 option. The extra cost for more seats plus the extra cost to add AWD means that a Tiguan equipped with both can get quite a bit pricier than a FWD Tiguan where the third row comes at no extra charge. That complicated caveat aside, the Tiguan is a solid choice in 3-row SUVs with a generous list of standard features and a strong reliability rating. 

Mitsubishi Outlander — $24,895

The Mitsubishi

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  Outlander is overdue for a redesign, but its affordable base price makes it an attractive option for bargain hunters looking for a 3-row crossover. It got a modest update for 2020 with the addition of the stylish new SP trim and some newly available features.

Also see: 8 affordable new cars priced well below $20k

There’s a plug-in hybrid version of the Outlander available, but unfortunately it doesn’t have a third row of seats to make room for the battery. The non-hybrid version of the Outlander still boasts good fuel economy plus a surprisingly strong towing rating for a compact SUV. Like the Tiguan, the third row is a bit tight since the Outlander has compact dimensions rather than midsize. 

Dodge Journey — $23,495

The Dodge Journey is the most affordable 3-row crossover on the market, but if we’re being completely honest, it’s a tough SUV to recommend buying new in 2020. The Journey is simply outdated, having been around since 2009 without ever getting a major redesign. That means you can get a very affordable used model that won’t be that different from a new one.

Be sure to read: The best times to buy a new car

With that said, if you like the idea of being the first owner of a new midsize SUV with three rows of seats and a manufacturer’s warranty, then you’ll appreciate the value proposition of the Journey. 

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