SUVs with 3 Rows and Class-Leading Fuel Economy
In the automotive world, size and fuel economy often have an inverse relationship. The roomiest vehicles sometimes deal a punishing blow at the gas pump.
However, there can be notable ranges in fuel economy within each vehicle class. Thanks to advancements like hybrid technology, some spacious vehicles do a much better job than others regarding fuel efficiency.
Three-row SUVs are popular with buyers seeking spacious transportation. We can help if you’re looking for picks in this class that take it easy at the gas pump. We’ve compiled a list of 15 of the most fuel-efficient three-row SUVs on the market.
We’ve presented our picks in ascending order based on fuel economy as ranked by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Remember that we frequently update scores in our reviews as new insights and information come in. For that reason, the scores in this slideshow may differ from those shown elsewhere on our site.
Next:2023 Toyota Sequoia
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
2023 Toyota Sequoia
Mileage: 21/24 mpg city/highway | U.S. News Overall Score: 7.2/10
Full-size SUVs like the Toyota Sequoia are hard to beat if roominess is your priority. Toyota has redesigned this model for 2023, bringing in changes that make this model more competitive than ever. Sequoia offers spacious first- and second-row seats, however, the third row is a bit tight and it doesn’t offer as much cargo space as some competitors.
The overhaul introduces a new powertrain: a hybrid setup that matches a turbocharged V6 with an electric motor and a 1.87-kWh battery pack. It produces 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque, providing crisp acceleration for this large hauler. Also, the powertrain allows this Toyota to tow up to 9,520 pounds, so it has the goods to haul boats and trailers on weekend excursions.
More on the 2023 Toyota Sequoia
Next:2023 Volkswagen Atlas
Volkswagen of America, Inc.
2023 Volkswagen Atlas
Mileage: 21/25 mpg city/highway | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.0/10
Volkswagen’s Atlas is a midsize SUV with ample passenger space in the first two rows. Though the third row is smaller, it fits shorter adults comfortably.
The base engine – a turbocharged four-cylinder – is the most fuel-efficient, yielding the mileage listed in this slideshow. It produces 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.
This Volkswagen’s cargo capacity is among the largest in the midsize SUV class. You get 20.6 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third row and 55.5 cubic feet behind the second. The cargo capacity is 96.8 cubic feet with both rear rows folded.
More on the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas
Next:2023 GMC Yukon
2023 GMC Yukon
Mileage: 21/27 mpg city/highway | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.1/10
GMC’s Yukon is a large SUV that emphasizes comfort. It treats passengers to a cushioned ride, and things get even better in this area if you choose the available adaptive air suspension.
The cabin has plenty of space for passengers to stretch out, with adult-friendly accommodations in all three rows. The Yukon seats eight in its standard configuration, but you can get a nine-passenger capacity if you opt for a bench seat in the first row.
The Yukon has three engines available; select the turbodiesel option to get the best fuel economy. That diesel engine produces 277 horsepower and a massive 460 pound-feet of torque.
More on the 2023 GMC Yukon
Next:2023 Chevrolet Suburban
2023 Chevrolet Suburban
Mileage: 21/27 mpg city/highway | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.2/10
This Chevy is at the front of the pack regarding cargo capacity, offering 144.7 cubic feet of room with the second and third rows folded. And it provides ample room for passengers, comfortably fitting adults in all three rows. Eight-passenger seating is standard, and you can configure this SUV to comfortably accommodate seven or nine people, though that may not be nearly as comfortable.
Choose the available diesel engine to get the fuel economy shown in this slideshow.
More on the 2023 Chevrolet Suburban
Next:2023 Nissan Pathfinder
Nissan North America, Inc.
2023 Nissan Pathfinder
Mileage: 21/27 mpg city/highway | U.S. News Overall Score: 7.9/10
The Pathfinder is a midsize SUV that seats seven or eight people, depending on the configuration. The third row is roomy by this class’s standards and can fit adults; however, it’s still much tighter than the first two rows.
This SUV’s base engine is a 3.5-liter V6 with 284 horsepower and 259 pound-feet of torque. S and SV models with four-wheel drive configurations are best for fuel efficiency, returning the mileage shown in this slideshow; mileage dips slightly with SL, Platinum and Rock Creek trims. The Pathfinder tows up to 6,000 pounds when properly equipped.
More on the 2023 Nissan Pathfinder
Next:2023 Ford Explorer
2023 Ford Explorer
Mileage: 21/28 mpg city/highway | U.S. News Overall Score: 7.7/10
The Explorer has been on the market for a while and helped generate early interest in the SUV segment. This midsize SUV gives buyers a choice of two excellent engines, but you’ll need to choose the base powertrain to get the mileage listed in this slideshow. The base engine is a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder with 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, delivering strong acceleration.
This Ford has a strong predicted reliability score and tows up to 5,600 pounds. You can configure the Explorer to seat six or seven people. The first two rows are roomy, but the third row is tight, with an awkward seating position.
More on the 2023 Ford Explorer
Next:2023 Chevrolet Tahoe
2023 Chevrolet Tahoe
Mileage: 21/28 mpg city/highway | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.2/10
The Tahoe places high in our large SUV rankings. It has a cavernous cabin with room to stretch out in all three rows, and eight-passenger seating is standard. Optional second-row captain’s chairs reduce capacity to seven, and an available front-row bench seat allows this SUV to seat nine people.
Two V8 gas engines are available, but the turbodiesel inline-six is the most fuel-efficient, returning the mileage presented in this slideshow. The diesel engine generates 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Its high torque rating makes this powertrain excellent for climbing steep gradients.
More on the 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe
Next:2023 Toyota Highlander
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
2023 Toyota Highlander
Mileage: 22/29 mpg city/highway | U.S. News Overall Score: 7.9/10
The Highlander is a midsize SUV with lots of standard features. Base models have valuable amenities like an 8-inch touch screen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot and tri-zone automatic climate control. And all models have driver aids like adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, lane-keep assist and traffic-sign recognition.
The upscale cabin offers roomy and comfortable seating in the first two rows, though, the third row is slightly cramped. Toyota gives this model a new standard engine for 2023: a turbo-four that replaces the previous V6. It produces 265 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, helping this SUV move quickly off the line. The Highlander tows up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.
More on the 2023 Toyota Highlander
Next:2023 GMC Acadia
2023 GMC Acadia
Mileage: 22/29 mpg city/highway | U.S. News Overall Score: 7.6/10
The Acadia is a well-rounded choice if you’re looking for a three-row midsize SUV. It provides a base four-cylinder engine and an available V6; the four-cylinder is more fuel-efficient, delivering the mileage mentioned in this slideshow. The base engine’s skills aren’t limited to solid fuel efficiency; it’s potent enough to perform capably in most driving situations.
Its third row is narrow, but the Acadia’s first two rows provide a spacious haven for passengers. This SUV seats seven people in its standard configuration; available second-row captain’s chairs drop the capacity to six.
More on the 2023 GMC Acadia
Next:2023 Volkswagen Tiguan
Volkswagen of America, Inc.
2023 Volkswagen Tiguan
Mileage: 23/30 mpg city/highway | U.S. News Overall Score: 7.8/10
There aren’t too many compact SUVs with three rows of seats, but the Tiguan is one of this elite pack. A two-row model with five-passenger seating is on the menu; three-row versions seat seven. The first two rows are sized for comfortable commuting, but the third row is best left for kids.
The Tiguan delivers impressive cargo room for a small SUV. With three-row models, you get 12 cubic feet behind the third row and 33 cubic feet behind the second. The cargo room is 65.3 cubic feet behind the first row.
All models have a turbocharged four-cylinder with 184 horsepower.
More on the 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan
Next:2023 Kia Sorento
2023 Kia Sorento
Mileage: 24/29 mpg city/highway | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.1/10
The Sorento sits in the top half of our midsize SUV rankings. Its upscale interior will leave you thinking this SUV is more expensive than it is; the cabin’s styling and construction are impressive. The first two rows have well-cushioned seats and ample passenger room, but the third row is a tight fit.
Two engines are available, and the base powertrain is the one to pick for optimal fuel economy, returning the mileage listed above. This engine produces 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Keep in mind, though, that while this engine is excellent in the city, it loses steam on the highway.
More on the 2023 Kia Sorento
Next:2023 Mitsubishi Outlander
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
2023 Mitsubishi Outlander
Mileage: 24/31 mpg city/highway | U.S. News Overall Score: 7.7/10
Like the Tiguan, the Outlander is one of those rare compact SUVs with three-row seating. The first row has lots of room for stretching out, and the second row is decently sized. However, this SUV’s rearmost row is tiny, suitable only for children.
The cabin looks stylish, with a modern design and premium touches. All models have a 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 181 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. The engine is capable during city driving but struggles to get up to speed on the highway. This SUV tows up to 2,000 pounds.
More on the 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander
Next:2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid
2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid
Mileage: 27/28 mpg city/highway | U.S. News Overall Score: 7.5/10
Its gas-electric powertrain helps the Explorer Hybrid get much better mileage in city driving than its popular gas-only counterpart. All models have a 3.3-liter V6 and an electric motor, producing 318 horsepower and 322 pound-feet of torque. This SUV’s hybrid powertrain provides confident acceleration, whether cruising in the city or merging on the highway.
The Explorer Hybrid has an impressive predicted reliability score and tows up to 5,000 pounds. Its smooth ride quality makes it an excellent choice for commuting. You can configure this Ford to seat six or seven passengers.
More on the 2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid
Next:2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Mileage: 36/35 mpg city/highway | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.1/10
The Highlander Hybrid is in the top half of our hybrid SUV rankings and won our 2023 Best Hybrid SUV for Families award. Its upmarket cabin has a tasteful design and solid build quality. This SUV offers seven- and eight-passenger layouts; the first two rows are comfortable for adults, but the third row is sized for kids.
All models have a four-cylinder engine with two electric motors, and this powertrain generates 243 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. Acceleration is lively in the city, but patience is required when gaining speed on the highway. The Highlander Hybrid has a tow rating of 3,500 pounds.
More on the 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Next:2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid
2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid
Mileage: 39/35 mpg city/highway | U.S. News Overall Score: 8.0/10
The Sorento Hybrid is available as a standard hybrid or plug-in hybrid. The standard hybrid returns the mileage shown in this slideshow, providing energetic acceleration in city and highway driving. The ride quality is gentle, even over harsh roads. All models seat six people, with a two-passenger third row and standard second-row captain’s chairs.
This Kia has an appealing selection of standard equipment. The list includes navigation, a 10.25-inch touch screen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless device charging and satellite radio. And all models have driver-assistance features like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist and traffic-sign recognition.
More on the 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid
Next:More Shopping Tools From U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report
More Shopping Tools From U.S. News & World Report
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Next:Most Fuel-Efficient 3-Row SUVs
U.S. News & World Report
Most Fuel-Efficient 3-Row SUVs
- 2023 Toyota Sequoia: 21 mpg city/24 mpg highway
- 2023 Volkswagen Atlas: 21 mpg city/25 mpg highway
- 2023 GMC Yukon: 21 mpg city/27 mpg highway
- 2023 Chevrolet Suburban: 21 mpg city/27 mpg highway
- 2023 Nissan Pathfinder: 21 mpg city/27 mpg highway
- 2023 Ford Explorer: 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway
- 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe: 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway
- 2023 Toyota Highlander: 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway
- 2023 GMC Acadia: 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway
- 2023 Volkswagen Tiguan: 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway
- 2023 Kia Sorento: 24 mpg city/29 mpg highway
- 2023 Mitsubishi Outlander: 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway
- 2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid: 27 mpg city/28 mpg highway
- 2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid: 36 mpg city/35 mpg highway
- 2023 Kia Sorento Hybrid: 39 mpg city/35 mpg highway