When looking for a used SUV with third-row seats, there's the best and then there's the rest. Of course, what constitutes the best is in the mind of the beholder and very much dependent on the buyers personal wants and needs. Taking everything into consideration, however, there are a few generalities that hold true across a number of car sites, notably Edmunds.com, consumerguide.com, motherproof.com, and safety and crash test data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
According to the site carseat.org, recommendations for choosing a used SUV include looking for models with side curtain airbags in all rows, those that deploy when rollover detected, standard electronic stability control, and head restraints and 3-point lap/shoulder restraints for all occupants. Edmunds editors also suggest the SUVs must be IIHS Top Safety Picks and have NHTSA 5-star crash test and 4-star rollover ratings.
Here are the top 3 best used SUVs with third-row seats that are definitely worth a look:
Buick Enclave (2008-2009) Consumer Guide gives the Buick Enclave, GMs first 8-passenger crossover SUV, its Best Buy badge, saying its cargo volume is the largest among premium midsize SUVs (even though its a fullsize SUV).
Audi Q7 (2007-2009) - The Q7 is Audis first SUV loosely based on parent company Volkswagen's Touareg, but larger and seats seven.
Volvo XC90 (2007-2009) Edmunds editors say of the 7-passenger midsize XC90, from the Swedish automaker Volvo, that its safety and kid-friendliness are just as important as luxury amenities and driving performance.
There are other worthy considerations for used SUVs with third-row seats, but keep in mind safety and crash test results along with luxury amenities, cargo space, easy access and performance. Fullsize and midsize models offer the most roominess in third-row seats, as compared to compact SUVs or crossovers. Worth a look are the 2009 Chevrolet Traverse fullsize SUV, IIHS Top Safety Pick and 5-star crash and 4-star rollover rating from NHTSA, the 2002-2007 Chevrolet Tahoe, one of Edmunds 2009 Used Car Best Bets, and the Cadillac Escalade luxury fullsize SUV, also a Consumer Guide best buy pick.
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