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Anyone with a Three Row SUV Seating More than 5??

Hi, Im having my third child and he is not going to fit in our 5 seater sedan. I know the honda pilot has an option of three rows, does anyone know of or own any others? I'd really appreciate the help, obviously safety and gas mileage are also a consideration but first we have to have somewhere for our kids to sit!!!

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I have a Honda Odessy 2001. It was a great price used, seats 7, has good gas mileage, and is well reported on Consumer Reports.

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I own a toyota sequoia! LOVE IT I have 3 children. It seats 8 we were able to put a regular car seat and 2 booster seats across the middle. It's snug but works!

The Nissan Pathfinder and Armada have a third row as well. We have a Nissan Pathfinder we're actually trying to get rid of. It's a 2006.

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I am happy to say me too! Well I have a 5 year old girl and 2 year old girl and our newest is 4mnth boy. I was elated to find out that the Toyota 4 runners now come with a 3rd row. But they are also wide enough now that all 3 can fit in the first row. We have the baby in the middle, the 2 year old in her car seat and the 5 year old is in a booster now. I love it. It is the smallest thing that seats so many. I love it. Not to mention Toyotas run forever and just have a genrally great track record.

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I have a Honda Odessy 2001. It was a great price used, seats 7, has good gas mileage, and is well reported on Consumer Reports.

1 mom found this helpful

we have a 2001 isuzu trooper originally it did not come with the third row but we found a website that will ship you a transportation certifibly safe third row seat for most any make model of car. it comes standard with 2 seat beats but you can get 3. the only thing is it is highly recommended (well it was for us) that we install it facing backwards because in case of a rear end accident. anyways we love it and so do the kids. it cost us 650$ total for the seat and shipping. there for a while we did get stopped a few times when comming on base cause they thought that kids were just in the back lol. but like i said the kids love it they think its really neat to see where we've been lol i've even ridden back there to see what the deal was and it is kind of different and fun.
hope this helps

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Hello A.
I actually expanded my family and also needed room for 8. With these high gas prices I found an excellent car that met all my needs. I bought the Saturn Outlook which is a 6 cylinder, better on gas than the Pilot (8 cyl). The Outlook also has a third row which fits 3 adults comfortably. My cousin has a pilot and her third row is significantly smaller. Also there is the GMC Acadia (the faternal twin of the Outlook) The only difference I saw was the price the Acadia is about $2000 more with the same options... It's a choice of preferance- even though both the Saturn & GMC are made by GM.. Both have great warranties...Happy shopping !!!

Hi. My husband and I are looking for the same...an SUV with three rows. We have gone on many test drives. The one we like most is the Nissan Pathfinder. We have driven and looked at LOTS of them and settled on this. You should go take a look.


We have a 2006 Pilot and loving it! We have a 7 year old, a 3 year old and a 9-month old. We go on 8 hour long drives during the holidays with our dog at the back, and we are snug as a bug on a rug. The neat thing about the Honda is that there ate a lot of creautre comforts designed in their vehicles, like 8 cup holders and at least 5 power outlets.

Good luck in your SUV hunting.

We have six kids and drive a Chevy Suburban which seats all 8 of us at one time. We have looked at all of the others and the Suburban has more leg room (it will seat 8 adults relatively comfortably) and more storage room for all of their stuff. It does not get great mileage but the ability to get everyone in one car outweighs that for us.

We have a Buick Rondezvous and love it. It has the fold down third row seating but three also fit in the middle row if you need lots of storage in the back. I like it because it is smaller than most SUV, it's like the Pontiac Torrent in looks and we bought our 2004 last year for only around $10k, so about half of what Hondas cost. My husband was a car dealer so he know quite a bit about cars.

Hey A. I have a Tahoe and LOVE it! When we got pregnant we needed a bigger car and being a younger mom I refuse to drive a minivan (no offence). I can seat 9 if all rows are in (7-8 comfortably). I love the fact that I can take out the back row or put it in pieces (right now we have one of the back seats in so we sill can fit a stroller, baby swing over night bed and other baby essentials in the back but our nephew can still ride back their since its his favorite seat).

I love the look and power of my truck and though I have a soccer mom truck I don’t feel like I sacrificed anything (my youth) by buying it. Gas is ok, I get about 18ish freeway miles per gallon but it is a V-8, we would like to trade it in for the new Tahoe hybrid though for that reason.

Happy car shopping and congrats on the new arrival!

A., I believe the huge SUVs are the ones with a lot of seating. And, if you envision having your kids and playdates and all sorts of stuff to haul around for/with... I really recommend a minivan. I know, I know. I call my "The Mothership". I drive Honda Odyssey and absolutely love it. It seats 7 comfortably and you have a TON of room in the back. And, the feature of opening doors with remote comes in very handy.
Hope it helps.
M. M.

We have a Toyota Sequoia and love it! This is our 3rd and I hate driving anything else. We got it before we had kids because my husband was in the Marine Corps and he was communting with some other Marines down to San Diego. He had 5 Marines plus gear in that SUV and they all said they were comfortable. The 3rd row is just like sitting in a regular seat (plenty of head and leg room). Also comes with front and rear side curtain air bags. We only have 2 kids so we only use the 2nd row now, so double check that the side airbags go all the way to 3rd row especially if you are going to be using it regularly. Gas mileage is bad around 16-17 MPG, and supposedly the 2008 model will get 5+ MPG better mileage. Can't say enough good things about the Sequoia, let me know if you have any other questions.

there is a chrysler suv that sits 6 or 7 that is very cute and looks like an suv not a van, your a hair stylist where do you live?

I own a toyota sequoia! LOVE IT I have 3 children. It seats 8 we were able to put a regular car seat and 2 booster seats across the middle. It's snug but works!

I have a Volvo XC90 that has a third row and I love it. It is such a wonderful and safe car. The new Toyota Highlander also comes with a third row and a great stow away seat in the second row so kids can walk through (kind of like a mini van.) There are lots of other cars with a third row... the Toyota 4Runner and the Acura MDX.

before you decide on an SUV don't discount a mini-van. I know the stigma that word has. My husband refused to consider it until he sat in a Honda Odessy. We have the Touring addition with all the bells. It's a great car and drives better than an SUV. There are some really nice models out there that will sit 5 and have additional room for the many trips to costco. I have 3 friends with Pilots. i've driven them and they run like a machine. The third row doesn't give much space for storing things in the back.

I have a Pilot and we love it. I got it the first year they came out and it has been flawless. Comfortable, easy to get in and out of etc... I only have one child so don't often use the 3rd row, but its great to have, especially since it is 1/3-2/3 so if you one need 1 of the back seats up you stillhave most of your trunk/back area for carrying things like strollers. I highly reccommend. Good luck!

We have a Mercury Mountaineer and love it...

Hi A.,

I don't have an SUV, but I have a Toyota Sienna (mini van) and I LOVE it! It seats 8 total & comes with so many perks- you should really check it out online. When I had my first baby, I wanted an SUV, but when I realized how many more perks I could get with a mini van, and how much better the gas mileage I could get, I went for the convenience. My favorite things about the Toyota Sienna are the automatic sliding doors, the back seat roll down windows, and the "front and center" middle seat, which allows me to reach my crying baby from the drivers seat & stick a pacifier in his mouth, or hand him a toy.

C. : )

Hi A.,

My husband and I bought a GMC Denali XL, it has 3 rows and still plenty of storage in the back for trips. We have a family of 7 and we all fit very comfortable.

I have 4 kids, and needed to "fit" everyone in so we bought a Toyota Sequoia when our 4th was born April of 07. We love it! There is space to fit everyone comfortably (even my 6ft husband),and still trunk space leftover.
On the topic of the Honda Pilot, my mom has one and can take all of the kids along for the ride perfectly.
Hope extra info is helpful(-: S.

Hi A.,

I love, love, love my Honday Odyssey. It makes getting children in and out of the car, and therefore life, so much easier. Not only does it have 3 roomy rows, seating 8, but with all the seats up you still have a big roomy trunk. Put the last row down and you have a pick up truck in the back of the car. I recomend it to all my friends with kids. A lot of people think they are just too fuddy dudy though, which I understand. They're also a bit of hassle to park because of the size. I live in West Hollywood and I've gotten used to the parking issues. The gas mileage is good for a car of it's size.

If you are thinking of buying a new car I highly recommend searching out the best deal on line before you buy. You can save yourself a bundle. If you like Hondas I would check out the dealership in Monrovia. They are really nice and it's worth the drive. The town of Monrovia is really cute and there are lots of nice kid friendly places for lunch on the main street. There's also and Expo and a Walmart out there. The Honda dealership in Santa Monica is not my favorite. They're kinda pushy and didn't offer me nearly the deal that they did at the dealership in Monrovia.

Have fun car shopping!

Hi A.,
I know station wagons are not really "in" any more, but I use to own a Buick Station wagon when my kids were young (15 years ago), and it sat 3 in the front, 3 in the middle seat and 2 facing the opposite direction in the back. Also the middle and back seats folded down to sleep two adults and two small children after we had an earthquake here in CA and were too afraid to go back into our house. I loved that car, I always felt that my family was safe in it and there was always plenty of room to bring their friends along with us.
L. R.

I have a GMC Yukon Denali and it has a 3rd row, and I love it! (But, it is a gas guzzler!) Other cars I know-Toyota Sequoia, Ford Expedition (I think)and Chrysler Escalade. My friend loves her Honda Pilot.

I love my Chrysler Pacifica - seats 6. It has 3 row seating and all 4 seats in two back rows fold down individually. I always thought we'd end up with a minivan of sorts, but the Pacifica was more affordable than the high end minivans and SUVs we looked at. I find the buckets seats more versatile than the bench row seats, but it's really all about what you prefer. My older son 4 sits in the very back and my 18 month old sits on the right passenger side - leaves us plenty of room for a stroller and other stuff. If you have any adult passengers, 2 fit comfortable in the full size seats in the middle row. The back seats might work for average size adults, may not be so comfortable for an adult 5'8 or taller.

Hope this information helps.

The Suzuki XL-7 has seating for 7. Economical on gas too. small enough that it runs more like a car. I have had mine for 4 years now and not major work at all ever needed other than oil changes and tires.

I purchased the Chevy Tahoe with the third row seating. It is the most comfortable suv to drive and the only one I found that actually has storage room behind the thrid seat and foot room for the people in the third seat. My teenager always sits in the furthest back. Also, the gas mileage isn't terribly bad ( comparable to a minivan), and it still felt like driving a car. I went from a Nissan Sentra to this car and I love it. The Suburban is about 18" bigger but it completely feels like you are driving a big truck. My friends have recently purchased the Tahoe also after riding with me. Apparantly the Yukon is the exact same car, made in the same plant at the same time, just has a different label and a higher price tag. My suggestion to you would be to just go out and test drive everything and see what works for you. Good Luck ~D.

They also just came out with a Buick Enclave for 2008.

HI A.....We recently purchased a Tahoe that has a 3rd row and I LOVE it!! It has great power and is very comfortable. I love the fact that the 3rd row comes out and you have a ton of room in the back for all your kids gear. If you don't want something that big we also considered the GMC Acadia and the Toyota Highlander. They both have 3rd row seats. We decided on the Tahoe because of the cargo space the Tahoe has. With kids you seem to have a lot of stuff to travel with. I think all are great cars. Good luck!

My mom has a toyota highlander which has 3rd row seating and I love it. I borrow it from her all the time. I don't know how old or big your children are, but the last row is nice for my five year old daughter and 8yr old niece. I does fit me and my husband (124 5'1 & 200 6ft) but it slightly squishy. Big car seats not such a hot idea in the back. It takes a lot of gas though. But the handling is beautiful and it has a wonderful turning radius. I really enjoy driving it. (when my mother lets me)

I also like the Honda pilot, the roominess feels the same as the toyota. Thats on my wish list. The Honda Odysse is supposed to be a very good mini-van if your into that.

I did some research lately.... I chose the jeep commander. it has a fold away third row and is very fun to drive. there are many options - I chose 4 wheel drive because it handles so much better (in my opinion) than the 2 wheel.
you can also look at the dodge durango for a third row or the mazda zx9 (?). have fun shopping!

I drive an Escalade ESV. We have 3 kids and everyone is super comfortable. There's even extra room in the back behind the last seats for tons of shopping and my daughter's jogger/stroller. Even if we were to have another baby, we'd all still fit perfectly.
Congratulations on your new baby!

What about getting new carseats. Check out the Radian 80 by Safeguard. They are sleek and you can most likely get three across and they are forward and rear facing. Cheaper than getting a new car unless you need it.
I have a Toyota Sequoia, too many blind spots. I love it when we drive it, nice smooth ride. But I would not get another.
Good luck.

I have the Rav4 with the third row. I didn't want a large SUV, so I thought this was a great option. I love it, BUT the third row really is only for kids or short adults. It can seat 6.

The Toyota Highlander and Subaru Tribeca also have a third row seat option.

I have a GMC Yukon - three rows seats 8 - LOVE IT - would buy again!!!

The Volvo XC90 has a third row that folds down. Very easy and safe!

I would also recommend checking out the Acura MDX, it is well made, safe and very comfortable and looks nice in the bargin. I also have 3 kids, teenagers and we all fit including in most cases a couple of extra kids.

Wow, there are a lot of responses here! When we had our second son 2.5 yrs ago we decided to go bigger. I initally thought SUV but realized the only way to access the 3rd row was to move one of the seats forward which means it would be hard to sit 3 people across the 1st row. Plus, the trunk wasn't that big in most cases. I thought I was way too young & hip to get a minivan & I've now changed my mind! We bought a Honda Odyssey (I never spell it right!) almost 2 yrs ago & I LOVE this van. The electric sliding doors make it so easy to get the boys out & in especially when I was holding an infant seat in one hand. It's very simple to move the 3rd row flat & the 2 'captains' chairs move easily as well. I had a zippy little Subaru before my van & was worried that the Honda would be a dog but it has really good pick up off the line & ecelerating on hills & the freeway. Was also concerned about it being top heavy but think the 'A' line shape of the van makes it very stable. Lotsa storage & cup holders: 13 to be exact. Plus, we got the DVD entertainment system which works great on our 8 hour drives to & from my folks in San Diego. I was set to get the Toyota Sienna cuz you can get it in AWD but after driving it, quickly changed my mind. It was stiff, the seats were harder to move around & all the little extras I got at no charge on my Honda (like the extra 'booster' seat for a small butt to make the front row seat 3) were all more money. I seriously suggest you look into the Honda. They're great, reliable cars. Hope this helps & good luck!

We have the 05 Honda Pilot and LOVE it. It comfortably sits 3 in the back seat, plus it has the split 3rd row which comes in handy when you have a dog AND luggage or an extra passenger.
Good Luck on your car search!

Hi I just had my third child and we purchased a Toyota Sequoia. It is perfect for 3 kids and some friends as well. IT has 3 rows and optional 2, room for a stroller etc. Good luck!!

We just got a Saturn Outlook before our twins arrived and LOVE it! They are affordable, great looking and get great gas mileage for the size of the car. It is basically the same car as the GMC Acadia, which we also liked but preferred the Saturn pricing and lease options. Definitely worth checking out!

We also test drove the Mazda CX-9 (I believe that was it) and we really liked it as well. A lot of amenities that come standard but it had a little less room than the Saturn. And the Saturn gets a little better mileage.

Good luck!

I have a Nissan Armada and it seats 8. It is such a roomy and comfy car. WE have a dvd player with wireless headphones which makes traveling great. You pay more for gas only because you have a bigger tank. I think it is very gas efficient!

Hello. My husband and I are looking for the same type of vehicle. Twice now we have rented "Crossover" type cars to travel in and have been very pleased with these vehicles. First one was a GMC Acadia and the second one was a Buick Enclave. They are both the same body style and type of car, seating 7. Nice ride and so-so gas mileage. Pretty roomy inside and LOTS of bells and whistles. Overall, they were good cars and we will probably be purchasing one of them. Also, the Saturn Outlook has the same body style and type of car but we haven't driven that one yet. Hope this helps.

We have a Dodge Durango which holds all 5 in my family. There isn't a lot of storage space behind the third row, but it does fit all the kids comfortably. It also has a luggage rack ontop if you needed extra storage space for a long trip. We have been pretty happy with our Durango.

I have three kids too and the suburban is the only way to go. I know its a gas hog, but as far as safety, you can't beat it. Five years ago we were in a really serious accident with all the kids and the inlaws in our other suburban. It was nearly totaled. We all walked away with NOT A SCRATCH! We got another one and couldn't feel safer.

We have an Escalade that comfortably seats 7 (3 rows). They also have another model that seats 8. (We like the 7 seater because the 2nd row has captain seats making it easy to get to the 3rd row).

Friends of ours have an Acura (smaller in size but 3 comfortable rows and they love it).

We also looked at the Ford Expedition. It's a great buy. As big as an Escalade or a Lincoln Navigator but much more affordable/better price point.

We also know friends who have the Toyota Sienna with the automatic sliding side doors and they are very happy. It is more like a family van than an SUV but very comfortable inside.

LOVE my Honda Pilot. Third row seats kids comfortably. Adults can sit there for short rides, but not recommended for longer rides, it can get kind of cramped. We also looked at the Toyota Highlander, but the back seat is VERY small. Good luck!

I bought a Hyundai Vera Cruz, and it seats 7. I love it, lots of cargo space for stroller and groceries, lots of room in back seat, and you can fit your 3 in the second row, easily. LOVE IT! (not WONDERFUl on gas, but average for SUV)

Hi A.,

I would go with Honda or Toyota. Toyota has the 4-Runner, sequoia and I think the highlander comes with 3rd row option as well.

If you prefer american the Chevy Tahoe or the Dodge Durango would work.

If you want better gas milage you could look at mini-vans.

Hi A.,
It was not to long ago that I was faced with your same situation. I had two babies 15 months apart and was expecting my third shortly. I had the Honda Pilot and absolutely LOVED it-my favorite by far. But with two bulky Britax car seats placed by the windows in the second row, made it impossible to push forward the second row seat to make it to the 3rd row of seats. I don't know about you, but I wasn't excited about crawling in through the back to place a new baby in the 3rd row. So, we traded in our beloved Pilot for the '06 Honda Odessey. I have to admit it toook some time to get used to becoming a "minivan mom" at the age of 26, but now I wouldn't trade it. I love the extra room, that it's lower to the ground so it's easier to get the carseats or kids in/out, has the highest crash-test ratings, and airbags seriously around the entire vehicle. The Odessey is also not a gas guzzler either, in fact when you are cruising it goes from a 6 cylinder down to a 3, so you actually save quite a bit on gas.
I hope that this helps from one mom to another. Please don't hesitate to contact me back if you want some more info on the vehicle selection, I could go on and on about all the cool stuff that the Odessy comes with. Good luck!!

A. Nichols
Work At Home United

the new toyota rav4 has an optional 3rd row seat to make a total of 7 seats. the mazda 5 seats 6 total and has all the features of a minivan, but in a much more compact size. check 'em out :).

We are expecting our third child in February and went car shopping (and buying) back in July. We finally decided on a Toyota Highlander. Now granted it only seats five, but the back is so roomy for us, we can fit 2 car seats easily and my 12 year old still has comfortable room to sit. I know the 2008 model is coming out with a third row seating option. And paid a little more up front and bought a hybrid.. and boy the gas mileage is great! 32 miles to the gallon in the city, 27 on the hwy for an suv to help lug all our stuff around town.

Good Luck.

The Saturn Outlook is an 8 passenger SUV that gets approximately 26 mpg highway and 19 mpg city. I have test driven it and love it. I can't wait to get mine. I have a friend who bought it a few months ago and she loves it. In terms of safety it was well rated and has standard side curtain airbags among other features. In addition the third row is roomy enough that a fairly large adult can sit comfortably. Getting in and out of that third row is also very easy. I did test the Honda Pilot and must say it is not as roomy and I didn't like it anywhere near as well.
I hope that helps - good luck car shopping.

I have an Acura MDX and really love it! It is basically the same model as the Pilot, but a nicer version. The third row seating works well.

I have a Subaru B9 Tribeca, with the optional 3rd row, but I would NOT recommend it. The additional seating is practically non-existant.

Mazda's CX9 has a great sized third row and it's up at the top of my wish list for our next car.

I have a 2005 toyota highlander with a 3rd row. I don't use it all the time but it comes in handy when I need it. The 3rd row is only good for small children and you lose the storage space when you use it. I think the newer highlander may have more space and easier access to it. All in all it works for me. Good luck.

My friend has a Nissan Armada that seats 8 and it's very nice. We have a suburban that also seats 8, and it has a ton of cargo room in the back.

Hi A.,

We have a Chevy Tahoe with a 3rd row. However, it doesn't have much storage in the back with the third row in use. The Surburban is a good choice. However, both eat up a lot of gas. My sister has three kids and had a minivan. I'm not big on minivans, which is why we have a SUV, but I gotta tell you, they seem to be more practical. I hear the Honda Odyssey is a really good choice.

I'm having our second child and we wanted a vehicle that would fit more than 5 and didn't want to remove the car seats everytime someone needed to sit in the third row. We got a GMC Acadia that seats 7 it has 2 captain chairs for the second row and bench seating for the third row we love it. Good luck.
A. D.

Hi, my girlfriend has a suburban, it seats 8. I never wanted to drive a van but we ended up getting one anyway and it turned out to be the best idea. It is a Dodge Grand Caravan and it is great. It is very comfortable, reasonable gas mileage, safe and it seats 7. I feel the van is much more comfortable than the Suburban. Hope this helps.

We have a Nissan Pathfinder which seats 7. The third row is pretty small so best for short people/kids. But it drives really well and when the third row of seats is not being used, has great cargo space.
R. Collett

we have a ford excursion. it's got two bench seats in the back, i have 5 kids all in car seats and it't the only thing that was big enough for us (i have 3 car seats across the back and two in the middle seat). it's a diesel so we use biodiesel for which we can get $1/gallon back on our taxes (it's the only thing that made me feel good about such a huge vehicle). there's plenty of room in the back for double stroller, etc. i am very grateful to have it and feel that my kids are very safe in it.

The latest Volvo SUV can accomodate 7-8 people. I put 10 and myself in this SUV.. Thought it's a gas gussler it's great to drive around pick up and drop off and big family outing. And Volvo body is built like a tank for protection.

Hi A.,
I currently have an '04 Dodge Durango that seats 7 but I'm pregnant with twins (and we have a 13 year old) and we're thinking of looking for something else. Saturn has a new SUV that's called the Outlook; seats 7 or 8 and is very cute! The Mazda CX9 seats 9 and is very nice looking with great reviews.

Good luck!

I have the Volvo XC90 which has 3 rows and seats 7. I absolutely love it! It can fit 7 people and still have room for my stroller and other stuff. The center seat in the 2nd row has a built in booster seat which I have not used yet but should be convenient in the future.

We currently have three children and will eventually have four (we hope) so we're currently looking to replace our 2-door Jeep Wrangler with something that has a third row and will seat six. We've looked at a few options. Chevy Suburban but it's expensive to buy and insure/register. We've looked at the Saturn SUV crossover and also there's a Ford crossover wagon (Freestyle I think it's called - the mom I do daycare for has three kids and this is what she drives). I think we've settled on the Jeep Commander. It's around $30K for basic (we don't need the OnStar or DVD system etc). What we like is that it's got a AC outlet in the third row so when the kids are using our portable DVD player, we can plug it in the back and still charge a cell phone in the front. The one thing I don't like about it is the stadium seating - I could barely see over my son's booster when he was back there on our test drive but it would be primarily my hubbies to/from work vehicle and for when I'm out sans kids. We just want something we can fit in if we need to in case my main vehicle (a 15 passenger van - also a good option -- not great on fuel mileage but very versatile, lots of room for carpooling or driving for school field trips and it actually is in the same price range as a SUV or mini-van) is in for repair. Right now, if the big van is being repaired or can't be driven I'm stuck at home.

Don't know if that helps - we're MOPAR nuts so while we've looked at other options we've done a lot of focusing on the Dodge/Jeep vehicles.

Mazada has a three row 7 seater.

B. in San Diego

I have a 7-seater, 3 row Volvo XC90 and very satisfied with it. Spacious baggage compartment too. I looked at the Honda Pilot before I bought the XC90, aside from comfort and safety features (which I'm certain is comparable) the baggage area for Volvo is definitely a plus. However, I would someday soon try to get a Hybrid. Don't know if Toyota Highlander hybrid has 3 rows.

Try the Mazda 5 - it has three rows of seats, seats 6 small people and has sliding doors but is not an SUV or a minivan. You might call it a microvan! Its built on the Mazda 3 chassis. I got the version with a nav system built in and got an after market ipod hookup and all for way less than a minivan. Its not as powerful as an SUV or minivan but plenty for what I need and I feel like I gave the planet (and my bank account) a bit of a break...

Good luck,


Hi, I'm going through the same thing right now. I'm having my second child, but usually have to carry a couple people with us when we go out. I've noticed that a lot of the SUV's with the "third row option" tend to have a third row that is just sitting in the trunk basically. You loose all trunk space, and for me that's a big thing, especially when you have to carry around those double strollers. If you're looking for some that are on the cheaper end and better gas, I would check out the Saturn Outlook and the Nissan Pathfinder. Both have the third rows with ample trunk space. And the seats aren't small at all. Hope that helps out.

Ok, here goes. I swore I would never drive or own a mini van. I am a truck/suv girl coming from a horse background. My husband introduced me to the Honda Odyssey (mini van) and I fought against it and looked at every SUV out there. The Odyssey has more features and benefits than anything out there. Plus the gas mileage is great and it handles like a little sports car (my opinion). It is also top rated on safety. We have gone on several long trips and it is quite comfortable for us. I am married with three boys ages 17, 4, and 17 months. And our dog fits in there too!

I have a Honda Pilot and I LOVE it! We have 2 teen agers and a 10 month old and everyone fits very well, even with all the baby stuff we have to take everywhere (stroller, diaper bag, etc, etc.) We can get eight people in the Pilot.

We have a 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid with third row seating, It fits myself, my husband, my one, three and six year old boys and my oldest can even bring a friend along. We love it!

Toyota Sequoia seats 7 and is overall the best car we have ever purchased! It gets great gas mileage and has had 0 repair issues and we have had it for 7 years.

Good Luck!

I have the Mitsubishi Montero XLS. Super stylish. I wasn't quite ready for the mini van. :)

We had our third baby this spring and we purchased a toyota rav4 right before he was born. It comes with an optional third row seat and can seat up to 7. We have put as much as 4 adults and two kids in it as well as two car seats. It rides like a car, has four wheel drive, can tow our little fishing boat and can easily fit into a San Francisco parallel parking spot! We purhased from W.C. toyota and we were PLEASANTLY surprised by the experience.

hi. I went thru the same thing and test drove every SUV on the market 2 years ago. I found the Acura MDX to be the best option b/c I could fit 3 car seats into the middle row, so I wouldn't have to deal w/ buckling in a child into the back row and there was still the back row for 2 more passengers if needed. I think the Honda Pilot is a great 2nd option & cheaper, but not sure if the middle seat can fit 3 car seats (or if you even want that). I actually took 3 car seats with me to the dealership and tried it out. Some dealerships will also let you test drive a car for a few hours - but you might have to push for that. I really like driving the MDX as well. THe Volvo also has a nice feature in it's 7-seater SUV. They have a built in booster in the middle of the 2nd row (for a child 4 and older), so you only need to put in 2 car seats. It's also more of a luxury car w/ some nice features.
Although I prefer driving a SUV, a van would be a more comfortable and an easier to get in & out of option. My in-laws have a Honda Oddysey (sp?) and it's a great car.

Hey! I am a mom with a brand new Honda Pilot for sale! It's beautiful and in perfect condition. I have it on creagslist... would you like me to send you some pictures?


Minivans get much better gas milleage than a large SUV will!!! They are also easier to get the kids into the third row. An SUV you'd have to fold down or move up a 2nd row seat to have access to the third row. Minivans have bucket seats in the second row so that there is an aisle to walk back to the third row.

Also, my understanding is that SUVs have much higher rollover risks than minvans do. I doubt that has changed since we were car shopping (my minivan is a 2004).

My husband REALLY resisted getting a minivan, thinking it was too uncool. Now he says he doesn't know what he was thinking.

I'd suggest test driving both minivans and SUVs so you understand the tradeoffs.

Hi A. - I have five kids and a dog; and we fit comfortably in our 2007 Honda Odyssey.

I drive a Saturn station wagon with 3 kids. You can get the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 carseats which are very skinny and fit three across in the car.

I have a Mazda CX9 and it seats 7 and has been rated as the top SUV. It's really comfortable, solid and looks great! My girls are teenagers and are involved in sports.

Highly recommend this car - the CX7 seats 5 but maneuvers like a sports car; also very nice.
Good luck,

Hi A.,

We went through this last year. I test drove A LOT of SUVs. My favorite was the Toyota Highlander w/the third row and came in a Hybrid. However, what we decided to get (much to my initial rejection!) was a Honday Odyssey. It just turned out to make the most sense. We could comfortably fit up to 8 (!) and there was room for all the stuff! The mileage was good stacked up against all other SUVs, but the bonus was the automatic side doors. And while owning a van originally wasn't the picture I had for myself, I liked what the car salesman said, "repeat after me ma'am, I'm sexy no matter what car I drive!"

Best of luck to you,
J. Hibbits
District Manager & Independent Arbonne Consultant
...enhancing the lives of women and their families

The Nissan Pathfinder and Armada have a third row as well. We have a Nissan Pathfinder we're actually trying to get rid of. It's a 2006.

I just bought a Chrysler Pacifica, and I couldnt be happier with it. I used to have an SUV, an Armada, but it was just TOO big and bulky.. Plus the mileage was ridiculous. For my pacifica it costs only slightly more than a big sedan. Plus I can comfortably seat 7 people in it, and have tons of room. I am so happy with my choice. It's a hybrid between a minivan and a sedan, so I think you should check it out! It's got 3 rows... I've also herd rave reviews about the Pilot and almost got one, but opted for the Pacifica because of how sleek it looks. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!!

Hi A.,
Which ever vehicle you choose, make sure you can fit all three car seats. Not all vehicles will seat three car seats across and trying to get into the back seat to latch a car seat is a pain. I work at the local CHP office and install car seats regularly. Every car and every car seat is different. Take the car seats with you while you're car shopping. You're going to spend a lot of money, you deserve to be happy. My email is ____@____.com if you have any questions. S.

Toyota Highlander has a three row option.

Hi A., I have a GMC Yukon, along with 5 kids, seats everyone comfortable. You can also take along a few friends, it seats a total of 9.

Good Luck

I don't know what your budget is but we have 5 kids and have a Lincoln Navigator.
I did alot of research on safety and reliability and they are GREAT !
It's very wide and heavy which makes it a safe car and drives GREAT! We got ours used (2yrs old) on Ebay.
They have great deals because these are cars that go to auction (we got both our cars from there)!
You can get captains chairs in the second row or a bench seat.
The third row fits 3, so the car seats either 7 or 8.

Good luck!!


My husband and I bought the Ford Freestyle which is a crossover between an SUV and a car. It's great on gas mileage and seats 7 comfortably. The only problem we had was that getting the carseat for our now 5 month old daughter is kind of tough. I originally preferred the Honda Odyssey and I wish I would've bought that instead. My sister got it when it first originally came out and now she got an new car - a 2007 Honda Odyssey. Needless to say, Honda's a great on gas and the seats being right next to the door makes it easy to get the baby seat in.

Before you head out and buy a new car - have you thought about getting different car seats? We've got Sunshine Kids Radian 65 seats that fit 3 across our sedan backseat (or two across with a booster seat). It's certainly a lot cheaper than a new car!

Other than that - some of the models with third row seating include the LandRover LR3, the Acura MDX, the Volvo XC90, the Chevy Tahoe, the Dodge Durango, GMC Yukon, and the Ford Tuarus X. We rented a Ford Taurus X on vacation and it was a pretty decent car - I liked that it had a decent amount of distance between the back and the third row seat (I've been in a few where you feel like you'd be goner in a rear-end crash if you were sitting in what is essentially the trunk). Anyway -- good luck to you with No. 3!

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