• Buying Guides

Cheapest 3 Row SUVs for 2022 & 2023

By Michael O'Connor | November 24, 2022

In a world where economy cars and hybrids are more popular than ever, finding a high-quality SUV for a reasonable price is getting more and more difficult. However, if you have a large, busy family with a lot of cargo and a need for utility and comfort, a three-row SUV will almost always be your best bet.

Fortunately, there are still plenty of automakers making SUVs with enough passenger space for all kinds of families and individuals with a lot of equipment and people to carry.

No matter what your driving needs are, finding a 3-row SUV with good cargo space isn’t easy if you are on a budget. Knowing what the cheapest SUVs with a third-row are and what they have to offer can help you decide which one may suit you best.

By narrowing down your search and staying within your price range, you can drive away happily without saddling yourself with a massive car payment.


2023 Kia Telluride

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The Kia Telluride is one of the most popular vehicles in the automaker’s lineup and it is no surprise that the 2023 model is set to keep that popularity going. With a low MSRP of just $35,000, it is an affordable vehicle with third-row seats and enough safety features to keep you and your family comfortable and secure on the road. All trim levels of the 2023 Telluride come with a 291-horsepower naturally-aspirated V6 engine with front-wheel-drive in the base models but an all-wheel-drive version is also available. Its 8 inches of ground clearance and 5,500-pound towing capacity also make it a great choice for all kinds of applications.

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Inside, the 2023 Telluride has enough space and seating for eight passengers and the build quality is surprisingly upscale for the price point. If you want to include the optional captain’s chairs, you lose one passenger seat but also open up a lot of room in the cabin. A 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and also has built-in Wi-Fi.

Browse 2023 Kia Telluride listings here.


2023 Hyundai Palisade

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Hyundai has long been known as an automaker that takes longevity and value seriously with incredibly long factory warranties and reliable vehicles. The 2023 Palisade is a great example of what can be done when usability and style are combined to create a quality all-around vehicle. Its 3.8-liter V6 engine puts out 291 horsepower for enough power while also getting decent fuel economy. It has an EPA-estimated fuel efficiency rating of 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. While this isn’t nearly as efficient as some hybrids or smaller vehicles, it is incredibly economical for a three-row SUV.

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The base-level Palisade comes with a second-row bench seat but some of the higher trims can include captain’s chairs for a little more leg and elbow room for passengers. The 2023 Palisade comes with a large 12.0-inch touchscreen infotainment screen with tech features like complete smartphone connectivity. It also features standard safety features such as adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking, and more.

Browse 2023 Hyundai Palisade listings here.


2023 Nissan Pathfinder

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When looking for a family hauler, it can be easy to overlook the style and comfort you need on top of the passenger capacity. The 2023 Nissan Pathfinder has the best of both worlds and brings all these elements together to create a roomy and stylish SUV. It features a 3.5-liter V6 putting out 284 horsepower through a continuously variable automatic transmission. While it doesn’t have the off-road capabilities of a Jeep Grand Cherokee L, it has more than enough power for almost any kind of driver.

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Inside, the Pathfinder doesn’t look like a luxury SUV but the build quality is better than you might expect from a vehicle with a starting price of just $36,000. The interior is utilitarian and user-friendly and features an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 12.3-inch digital gauge display. On top of the ample cargo and passenger space, the 2023 Pathfinder also features a variety of standard features like automated emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring.

Browse 2023 Nissan Pathfinder listings here.


2022 Ford Explorer

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When it comes to midsize SUVs, the Ford Explorer is one of the most popular options on the market. Its low price tag starting at $37,000 is affordable enough for most families who need enough space for all kinds of activities and vacations. The base model comes with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine putting out 300 horsepower, which should be more than enough for any kind of driving needs. The 2022 Explorer comes with a RWD configuration but this can be upgraded to AWD for a little bit more stability and overall drivability.

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The interior of the 2022 Explorer isn’t the most lavish cabin on the market but it has enough features and passenger space for almost any application and family situation. Plus, the second-row seat is incredibly easy to move with the help of a newly designed push-button latching mechanism. The tech includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and lane-keeping assist as well as a rear cross-traffic alert.

Browse 2022 Ford Explorer listings here.


2022 Honda Pilot

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Honda is well-known as an automaker that prioritizes value and reliability and the 2022 Honda Pilot is keeping in that tradition. The Pilot runs on the same platform as the Honda Odyssey but without the trappings of the minivan. With a 3.5-liter V6 putting out 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, the Pilot has enough power in the drivetrain for any kind of application and the FWD base trim has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway, which is impressive for a gas-powered three-row SUV.

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Just like the rest of the Pilot, the interior is practical and designed to be as user-friendly as possible. Aside from the standard base model features, you can also add things like an in-cabin PA system and second-row captain’s chairs. Tech includes a 5.0-inch touchscreen infotainment screen but that can be upgraded to 8.0 inches if you would like a little more digital real estate and want Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Browse 2022 Honda Pilot listings here.


2023 Toyota Highlander

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Just like Honda, Toyota has a solid reputation for delivering dependable, reliable, and practical vehicles. The Highlander has long been a favorite among SUV drivers and continues to dine out on its legacy of drivability along with its low starting price. The 2023 Highlander features a drivetrain with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine putting out 265 horsepower through an eight-speed automatic transmission. You can also choose a hybrid version with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder and two independent electric motors putting out 243 horsepower.

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The passenger space in the 2023 Highlander is incredibly generous and features enough room in the three rows of seats for eight passengers or seven with the optional captain’s chairs. The materials used for the interior have greatly improved since the last Highlander generation, so it has a much more upscale feel than Toyota fans might be used to, making it one of the best SUVs on the market. It also comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and standard safety features like automated emergency braking and several driver assistance features.

Browse 2023 Toyota Highlander listings here.


2022 Chevrolet Traverse

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If you are in the market for a family vehicle but want something a little more upscale than a minivan, the 2022 Chevy Traverse is a great alternative. With sleek styling and a bevy of features, it has the practicality you want from an SUV and plenty of space due to being closer to a full-size rather than the midsize category it sits in. The powertrain is a 3.6-liter V6 putting out 310 horsepower and its off-road capabilities make it useful in things like snow and mud or any other road conditions you might find yourself in on a family vacation.

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The Traverse’s low $35,000 starting price is not reflected in the styling, especially in the interior. The materials are high-quality and the cargo space is massive, making it a perfect option for vacationers and families. The touchscreen infotainment system is mounted high up in the cabin for easy accessibility and the 2022 Traverse comes with many safety features like lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist.

Browse 2022 Chevrolet Traverse listings here.


2022 Kia Sorento

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For those who want the passenger capacity of a three-row SUV but the drivability of a crossover or compact SUV, the Kia Sorento is a great option. With a variety of powertrain options and a starting price of just $30,885, it is a budget-friendly SUV with a lot to offer. The base engine is a 2.5-liter inline-four putting out 191 horsepower, but this can be upgraded to a 2.5-liter four-cylinder putting out 281 horsepower. It also comes in a hybrid or plug-in hybrid version if you want better fuel economy for commuting or vacationing.

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The layout of the Sorento’s interior is incredibly handsome and practical and with the option to stow away the third row, you can maximize its cargo capacity. It also features an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and can also be outfitted with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. The safety features include standard forward-collision warning and lane-keeping assist.

Browse 2022 Kia Sorento listings here.


2023 Mitsubishi Outlander

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If you are looking for unique styling with your budget-friendly SUV, look no further than the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander. With a stylistically-endearing front end and a wealth of practical features, the 2023 Outlander is a great option for those who want to stand out from the crowd. The Outlander features a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine putting out 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, which may not be enough for serious off-roading but it translates to excellent fuel economy at 24 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. Plus, this model year is also available as a plug-in hybrid for even more fuel savings.

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Inside the 2023 Outlander, you would never guess that the sticker price is only $28,000. With high-quality materials and an excellent design, the view from the front seats is incredibly modern. It also comes with an 8.0- or 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system and has an optional 10-speaker Bose stereo system as well as wireless device charging if you are willing to pay a little extra. There are very few standard safety features but everything is available including automated emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring.

Browse 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander listings here.


2022 Volkswagen Tiguan

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With a starting price of just $27,785, the Volkswagen Tiguan is one of the best cars you can buy if you are looking for value as well as passenger capacity. With distinctly European styling and plenty of features, it is a great option if you are looking to stretch your dollar with your SUV purchase. The 2022 Tiguan comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine putting out 184 horsepower through a front-wheel drive but if you want an AWD option, Volkswagen’s 4Motion system is available. On top of the relatively peppy engine, the handling is quick and responsive, making the 2022 Tiguan a great choice for those who are used to driving smaller cars around town.

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Inside, the Tiguan is exactly what you would expect from Volkswagen, with a simple, spartan interior and functional features. With enough seating for seven passengers, it is a great daily driver for families and comes with enough legroom to be comfortable for extended periods. It also comes with a touchscreen infotainment system and a digital gauge cluster that can either be 8.0 or 10.3 inches. Although it comes standard with automated emergency braking and forward collision warning, it also has many other safety features available as optional extras.

Browse 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan listings here.


2023 Subaru Ascent

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While Subaru is mostly known for their smaller SUVs and crossovers, their largest offering, the Ascent is a fantastic option that combines the features Subaru fans expect with the cargo and passenger space you are looking for. The engine is a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder putting out 260 horsepower through Subaru’s signature all-wheel-drive and continuously variable automatic transmission. The steering and handling are tight and responsive and feel much more carlike than you might think. Plus, the starting price of $35,120 is low enough to make it an attractive option for most drivers.

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The interior of the 2023 Ascent is well-designed and versatile and the driving position is up high for maximum visibility. It has space for eight passengers and plenty of cargo room as well, so you won’t find yourself having to sacrifice luggage on a long trip. It also features a large 11.6-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a variety of standard safety features such as forward collision warning and lane-keeping assist.

Browse 2023 Subaru Ascent listings here.


Final Thoughts

When the time comes to decide on a new three-row SUV for your family, you may feel that your options are limited by your budget. By understanding what is available for 2022 and 2023 for a lower sticker price, you can narrow down your choices and pick something that will serve you well for many years. There are plenty of wallet-friendly SUVs and crossovers available that have enough space for everyone while still including some convenient features and practical drivability.