If you have more than four in your family, or in your extended family, taking everyone even out across town can get complicated—unless you have a third-row seats.
Getting real capability for six or seven no longer means that you have to settle for a boring van or basic SUV. Today's market offers plenty of excellent third-row-seat choices spanning from value-priced to luxuriously laden—and even sporty, in a few cases—you're far less likely to feel like you had to settle.
Considering Overall Rating numbers from our companion review site The Car Connection, we picked out the six highest-scoring vehicles that also have third-row seats.
Be sure to check The Car Connection for the full reviews, which include a lot more detail on the ins and outs of each, covering categories including styling, performance, comfort, safety, features, and even a green rating. High Gear Media editors at our companion review site The Car Connection haven't only taken these vehicles for drives; in nearly all cases, they've folded down the seats and actually tried out the second and third rows.
Click through the next few pages to see the top-rated third-row SUVs:
2010 Ford Flex
2010 Ford FlexEnlarge Photo
Overall Rating: 8.7
From The Third Row: Cavernous, comfortable, and enough space for adults.
Bottom Line: A singular look, along with top-shelf turbo power and features, earns the 2011 Ford Flex our top score among utility vehicles.
If you're the type who's looking for a vehicle with third-row seating, but you can't stomach another minivan, or even another faux-rugged utility vehicle, the Flex should be at the top of your shopping list.
For one, it has a foxy, boxy style like no other—far more charismatic than GM's crossover clones—with rich interior trims and finishes that shame all but pricier Land Rovers in some respects.
The boxiness pays off inside, where the wide, cozy bucket seats in the first and second rows are cosseting—especially the second-row seats with their flip-up footrests. Testers admit that the Flex forgoes some third-row comfort for those amazing second-row thrones, but two adults will still be comfortable enough back there for a long jaunt across town.
In addition, the 2011 Ford Flex rides better than most taller crossovers, and while it could hardly be called sporty—even with the EcoBoost engine upgrade, it has a more stable, planted feel in corners than you'd probably guess.