Toyota 3 Row SUVs: Which One Is The Best?

by Conner Mckay

Toyota is the biggest automobile manufacturer in the world. Based in Japan, the company has a reputation for making some of the most reliable vehicles on the road. Currently, SUVs make up close to 50% of all new cars sold. Going with this trend, Toyota offers a number of spacious 3 row SUVs. But, which of these Toyota 3 row SUVs is the best? If you were looking for the answer, you have come to the right place.

Owning an SUV with 3 rows of seating comes in handy on many occasions. First and foremost, it can help you to carry more people when compared to other types of SUVs. Not only that, the third row can be removed when needed to accommodate more cargo.


However, having an understanding of the different SUVs on the market is important. This knowledge will come in handy when you are making your next purchase decision. So, let’s start our discussion by taking a look at the different types of SUVs out for sale today.

SUV Types

In the current market, we can find different sub-categories of SUVs. Each of these versions caters to a specific user group. Some of the most popular SUV body styles are,

  • Crossovers
  • Compact SUVs
  • Mid-Size SUVs
  • Full-Size SUVs

Let’s take a closer look at each of these SUV versions.

1. Crossovers

Crossovers are the smallest type of SUVs money can buy. Typically, they are the most affordable as well. Crossovers are not SUVs in the traditional sense. Although they have a high seating position and a rugged appearance, these vehicles are based on the platforms of hatchbacks and sedans. Because of this, they have little to no off-road capabilities.

However, when compared with traditional, body-on-frame SUVs, crossovers are highly fuel-efficient. They come in different sizes as well. The smallest type of crossovers is the subcompact crossovers.

Best-selling vehicles like the Toyota RAV4 belong to the compact crossover class, which are slightly larger than the subcompacts. Finally, we have the mid-size and full-size crossovers, which are the two largest types.

However, three-row seating is a rare feature to find in crossovers. The only Toyota crossover to come with 3 row seating is the aforementioned RAV4.

2. Compact SUVs

Next up are compact SUVs. These have more offroad capability than crossovers and have a tougher appearance as well. Moreover, compact SUVs have more interior space as well. Compact SUVs can be had for an affordable price, and are a perfect choice who need a family transporter with some decent capability.

3. Mid-Size SUVs

Mid-size SUVs are arguably the most popular type of vehicle on the planet today. Since the start of the decade, these capable vehicles have replaced sedans as the de facto family haulers. The mid-size SUV sector is one of the most competitive segments in the automotive world as well. As a result, you can find many great choices at various price points.

These SUVs come packed with the latest technology, along with comfortable and luxurious interiors. Almost all major vehicle manufacturers in the world have a presence in the mid-size SUV segment. Some of the most popular mid-size SUVs include the likes of the BMW X5, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, and Chevrolet Blazer.

Toyota also has a presence in the mid-size SUV segment. The Toyota 4Runner is the go-to mid-size SUV for people who want a tough, capable, and durable mid-size SUV.

4. Full-Size SUVs

Full-size SUVs are some of the biggest passenger vehicles you can get. These have essentially replaced the large luxury sedans of the past. These are the most luxurious, spacious, and capable SUVs on Earth.

Most full-size SUVs come with all-wheel drive systems that enable them to trek through any environment. Not only that, these vehicles have the biggest interiors as well. Typically, full-size SUVs come with three rows of seating that enable them to carry up to 7 passengers.

Toyota 3 Row SUVs

The Range Rover, Ford Expedition (make sure you also know the best year for Ford Expedition), BMW X7, Mercedes GLS, Chevrolet Suburban, and the Tesla Model X are some of the most popular full-size SUVs you can purchase. The Land Cruiser is Toyotas’ 3 row SUV that competes in this segment, and it is among the most popular ones as well.

Now, let’s shift our attention toward Toyota 3 row SUVs. Toyota has a number of vehicles with three-row seating in their lineup. In the next section, we will tell you all about them.

Toyota SUV With 3rd Row

In their current lineup, Toyota has 4 SUV models with a three-row seating capability. They are,

  • Toyota Highlander
  • Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Toyota Sequoia
  • Toyota 4Runner

Toyota 3 Row SUVs #1 – Highlander

The first of the Toyota 3 row SUVs we are going to discuss is the Highlander. Starting at around $35000, it is the most affordable 3 row SUV currently offered by the manufacturer. Not only that, the Highlander is one of the most popular SUVs in this segment as well.

With its 3rd-row bench seat, this SUV can seat up to eight people. However, the seating configuration slightly changes according to the trim level of the SUV. Although the third row remains the same, the L and LE trims get a second-row bench seat. On the other hand, the more expensive XLE and Limited trim levels get captains’ chairs in the second seating row.

With a maximum cargo space of 84.3 cubic feet, the Highlander has more than enough space for the average family. It comes with a 3.5-liter engine producing 295 horsepower, which is more than adequate for the daily commute. The Highlander is capable of towing loads up to 5000 lb as well.

The interior of the Highlander is packed full of features too. All of the seats are wrapped in comfortable leather. The rear Blue-ray entertainment system is sure to be a hit among children.

Not only that, there is an option to equip the roof of the Highlander with a panoramic moonroof. 5 USB ports spread throughout the interior, heated seats as well as a 12.3-inch center display are some other technological features found within this popular Toyota 3 row SUV.

The standard Highlander with the gasoline-powered six-cylinder has an EPA estimated rating of 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg in highway driving. However, there is a more fuel-efficient hybrid model of this SUV as well. It has an estimated rating of 36 mpg city and 35 mpg on the highway.

Toyota 3 Row SUVs #2 – 4Runner

We know that there are some off-road aficionados among our readers. Well, if you are one of these people, next up is one of the Toyota 3 row SUVs made just for you. The Toyota 4Runner became a legendary off-roader as soon as it made its debut back in 1985. Now, this capable SUV comes to you with an optional third row of seating.

The third row of the 4Runner has a 50/50 split, which means that it can be folded down easily for more cargo space. In total, this capable Toyota has a total cargo capacity of 88.8 cubic feet. But, when they are not folded, the seats can be reclined for maximum comfort.

The Toyota 4Runner 3 row SUV comes in a number of trim levels. Out of them, the SR5 is the most affordable. You can purchase one of these for around $38,000. The TRD Pro is the top-of-the-line trim level of the 4Runner. It has a number of off-road oriented features, and as a result, it is the most capable in the range.

Inside, the 4Runner packs a lot of appealing features. The second row can be folded with the push of a button, allowing easy access to the third row. The powered rear glass makes loading cargo easier than ever. An optional audio system made by JBL paired with the center screen with Android Auto is sure to impress every audiophile.

If you are a person who tows a lot, the 4Runner has you covered. It has a towing capacity rated at 5000 lbs. However, the 4Runner is far from the most fuel-efficient Toyota on the road. It is powered by a six-cylinder engine that gets a mere 16 mpg in the city and 19 on the highway.

Toyota 3 Row SUVs #3 – Sequoia

When it comes to Toyota 3 row SUVs, the Sequoia lies at the top. It is one of the most expensive SUVs offered by the manufacturer, starting at around $50,000. But, for that price, you are getting one of the most feature-packed 3 row SUVs on the planet.

With its standard seating configuration, the Sequoia can seat eight people. However, if you opt for the second-row captains’ chairs, the seating capacity goes down to seven. This is one of the most stylish vehicles in this segment, and it has a luxurious interior to match. The optional entertainment center will surely be popular among children.

The Sequoia is one of the most powerful 3 row SUVs as well. It is powered by a 5.7 liter V8 that makes 381 horsepower. The only transmission option on offer is a six-speed automatic. The EPA rates the Sequoia to get 13 mpg around the city and 17 mpg out on the highway. The unimpressive fuel economy is partly due to the large size of this SUV.

The Sequoia is one of the best choices if you are on the market for a reliable 3 row SUV. Apart from the features we mentioned above, This reliable family transporter comes with a large moonroof as standard. The automatic rear liftgate and the heated leather seats will surely be appreciated as well.

Toyota 3 Row SUVs #4 – Land Cruiser

Without a doubt, the Land Cruiser is the most iconic out of all Toyota 3 row SUVs. This behemoth has an illustrious history that runs back over 60 years. Not only that, the Land Cruiser is now regarded by automotive enthusiasts as an iconic vehicle in the history of the automobile.

The Land Cruiser is beloved for its subtle styling. However, don’t be fooled. This is one of, if not the most capable SUV ever made. It is safe to say that Land Cruisers have traveled through almost every terrain on planet earth.

toyota 3 row suvs

With its 3 rows of seating, this SUV can easily accommodate eight passengers. The second row of seats is divided into a 40/20/40 split. This allows them to be easily folded down if more cargo space is needed. The total cargo capacity of the Land Cruiser adds up to 82.8 cubic feet.

As one of Toyota’s flagship vehicles, the Land Cruiser comes loaded with the newest technological advancements. Four-zone climate control and a rear seat entertainment system are some of the highlights. Moreover, as this is a capable off-roader, there are some off-road-oriented features as well. The multi-terrain monitor is one such feature.

However, the Land Cruiser is not a cheap vehicle. The starting price is around $85,000. But, with plenty of optional extras, the price can easily creep up to over $100,000. Nonetheless, if you want a luxurious and reliable 3 row SUV to go beyond the beaten path, there is nothing that can come close to the Land Cruiser.

Toyota has another vehicle with 3 row seating as well. However, it is not an SUV.  Are you curious to find out what that is? Well, read along to find out!

Toyota 3 Row SUVs – Toyota With 3rd Row

The only other vehicle in Toyota’s lineup which offers third-row seating is the Sienna minivan. This spacious vehicle first came out in 1998. Since then, it has become one of the go-to vehicles for large American families.

Eight people can comfortably sit in the interior of this minivan. Not only that, the Sienna is the only vehicle of its kind to come with an all-wheel-drive option. This makes it the most capable minivan on sale today.

The Sienna comes equipped with a number of features that will come in handy during day-to-day life. The first of these is the power liftgate. With this feature, you can easily open the rear liftgate without even getting out of the vehicle. Furthermore, the three-zone climate control makes sure that the interior is always a nice place to be in.

A 16.4-inch center display comes as an optional feature in the Toyota Sienna. This feature will surely keep the passengers entertained on those long journeys. At the end of the day, if you are interested in purchasing a 3 row vehicle that is not an SUV, the Sienna is worthy of your consideration.

Toyota 3 Row SUVs – Toyota RAV4 3rd Row

The Toyota RAV4 is one of the bestselling SUVs ever made. In some model years, the RAV4 came with an optional third row of seating. However, due to its smaller size, the third row is not available on the current RAV4.

Toyota RAV4s from 2005 up to the 2012 model year came as a 3 row SUV. On top of that, they also had powerful V6 engines under the hood. Moreover, safety options like stability control and traction control also came as standard.


However, Toyota removed the third-row seating option after 2012. Now, the Highlander and 4Runner are the smallest Toyota 3 row SUVs that you can buy.

So far, we have looked at all of the Toyota 3 row SUVs on sale today. In the next section, we will tell you about some of the best 3 row SUVs made by other vehicle manufacturers.

Best 3 Row SUVs

In the current day and age, you can find many 3 row SUVs for sale. But, it can be difficult to differentiate the good ones from the bad. Here, we have listed some of the best 3 row SUVs that deserve your attention.

5. Chevrolet Traverse

Coming in at over 17 feet long, the Traverse is one of the largest 3 row SUVs on the market today. As a result, it has one of the most spacious interiors as well. It comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 310 horsepower. The engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.

The Chevy Traverse is one of the most feature-packed SUVs on the market as well. It comes with onboard Wi-Fi and Apple CarPlay as standard. The Chevrolet Traverse has a base price of $34,895.

4. Subaru Ascent

Next, let’s shift our attention toward an SUV from another Japanese manufacturer. The Ascent is the biggest SUV offered by Subaru. It is larger than both the Outback and the Forester, which are the other two Subaru SUV offerings.

The Ascent is powered by a signature flat-four engine that has a maximum output of 260 horsepower. Furthermore, all-wheel-drive, automated braking, as well as forward-collision warning, come as standard options.

3. Jeep Grand Cherokee L

The newest addition on our list is the Jeep Grand Cherokee L, which made its international debut in 2021. With this new generation, the Grand Cherokee grew in size. It is now 15 inches longer than the model it replaces.

toyota 3 row suvs

This 3 row SUV comes with 46 cubic feet of storage behind the second row. A number of engine choices are on offer, where a 5.7 liter V8 is the most powerful. Moreover, all Grand Cherokee L models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

2. Mazda CX-9

The Mazda CX-9 is one of the sportiest 3 row SUVs around. With a 250-horsepower turbocharged engine under the hood, the CX-9 blurs the line between fun and luxury. Starting at just above $35,000, it is one of the most affordable vehicles in its class as well.

Although it is affordable, the CX-9 has some great features on offer. Out of them, the 10.3-inch screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay takes the center stage. Moreover, the 14 cubic feet of storage behind the third row adds to the practicality of this fun SUV.

1. Kia Telluride

The Korean car industry has gone through a renaissance during the past few years. The Kia Telluride is the perfect example of this. With a starting price of  $34015, the Telluride is one of the cheapest 3 row SUVs on sale. However, it is one of the best as well.

The Kia Telluride comes with a 291 horsepower, 3.8-liter V6 engine that is capable of towing up to 5000 pounds. 46 cubic feet of storage behind the second row and 21 cubic feet behind the third make it one of the most practical as well.

SUVs with Third-Row Seating Facts:

  1. These SUVs can fit your whole family plus cargo for a comfortable ride.
  2. All these SUVs come with active safety technology for driving with confidence.
  3. Multiple trims are available for each model for customization.
  4. Second-row captain’s chairs are available for ultimate comfort during travel.
  5. Available hybrid SUVs can help reduce fuel costs.
  6. TRD off-road trims are available for off-road adventures.
  7. Rear-seat Blu-ray Disc entertainment systems and smartphone-compatible multimedia apps are available to keep everyone happy.
  8. Toyota Highlander features soft-touch interior accents, multiple USB ports, and hands-free connectivity.
  9. Toyota Sequoia features a rugged 6-speed transmission, a powerful V8 engine, and robust suspension.
  10. Toyota 4Runner has an impressive towing capacity, fold-flat second row, and power rear glass for all your adventures.

Conclusion For Toyota 3 Row SUVs

3 row SUVs are the best choice if you want a mix of capability and practicality. As the world’s largest automaker, Toyota offers a total of 5 vehicles with 3 row seating. 4 of them are SUVs, while the other is a minivan.

For the people interested in getting a 3 row SUV to use in the city, the Highlander and the Sequoia are the best options. However, for off-road enthusiasts, the 4Runer and the Land Cruiser are SUVs worth considering.

FAQs On Toyota 3 Row SUVs

Here are some popular FAQs:

Toyota Highlander How Many Seats

The Toyota Highlander has 3 rows of seats. In total, it can seat up to eight people. However, if you choose to have captains’ chairs in the second row, the seating capacity goes down to seven.

What SUVs Have 3rd Row Seating

There are several Toyota 3 row SUVs. They are the Highlander, Sequoia, 4Runner, and the Land Cruiser. Out of these SUVs, the Land Cruiser is the most expensive. It has a starting price of around $85,000. In contrast, the Highlander is the cheapest option, with a starting price just below $35,000.

RAV4 How Many Seats

The latest Toyota RAV4 only has two rows of seats. This means that only five people can travel in this SUV at a time. However, older versions of the RAV4 came with the third row of seating. These Rav4s could carry up to eight passengers.

Does The Toyota 4Runner Have A Third Row

The Toyota 4Runner comes with the option of having a third row of seats. With the third row, the seating capacity of the 4Runner increases to eight.

Which Toyota Highlander Has Captain Seats

The Toyota Highlander XLE and the Limited come with captains’ chairs in the second row. These are the two most expensive trim levels of this SUV. However, lower trim levels of this SUV come with a bench seat on the second and third rows.

What SUVs Have Captain Seats

Many 3 row SUVs have captain seats in the second row. Some examples include the Cadillac Escalade, Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, and GMC Yukon. Toyota 3 row SUVs like the Highlander, 4Runner, and Sequoia also come with captain seats. However, this is an optional extra on these Toyotas. On some luxury SUVs, the captain seats have many functions like massaging and reclining features.

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