So you need three rows of seats, but you’re not ready to take the minivan plunge. No worries — there are so many SUVs with three rows of seats that you have a lot of variety to choose from for a roomy, practical family vehicle with the rugged attitude and unmatched versatility of an SUV. Even with a modest budget of $5,000, you can get a nice 3-row SUV without straining your budget.
Here are seven good used 3-row SUVs you can find on Autotrader for less than $5,000 in 2020.
2002-2007 Buick Rendezvous
The Buick Rendezvous was Buick‘s first SUV, and it’s the often forgotten cousin of the Pontiac Aztek. The Rendezvous was a more premium alternative to the abundantly quirky Aztek, and it offered standard 3-row seating, a generous list of standard features and a more agreeable aesthetic than its Pontiac counterpart. All-wheel drive is available for extra traction when the roads get nasty, but don’t expect to do a lot of adventurous off-roading in a Rendezvous. This Buick is a nice blend of SUV and minivan, with such family-friendly features as an available DVD player. Find a Buick Rendezvous for sale
2000-2006 Chevrolet Suburban
The Chevrolet Suburban is the longest-running model in the automotive world, and its ninth generation from the 2000s is the one to get at this price point. The Suburban is the archetypal full-size SUV, combining trucklike capability with a family-friendly interior that includes three rows of seats. If you like the Suburban but want something a little different, consider the GMC Yukon XL or the luxurious Cadillac Escalade ESV, which are mechanically identical to the Suburban but have their own distinct personalities. Find a Chevrolet Suburban for sale
2009-2015 Dodge Journey
The newest 3-row SUV you can get for under $5,000 is the Dodge Journey, which came out in 2009 and is still in its first generation in 2020. It’s hard to recommend buying a brand-new Journey in 2020, as it can’t keep up with its modern competitors, but it makes a strong case on the used market. The Journey is a reasonably roomy midsize crossover that returns good fuel economy from its base engine, but we recommend upgrading to the stronger V6 engine, which became available in 2011 — especially if you’ll be hauling a lot of passengers regularly. Find a Dodge Journey for sale
2006-2010 Ford Explorer
The fourth-generation Ford Explorer from the late 2000s was the last one that used the old-school, trucklike body-on-frame architecture before making the big switch to a unibody, front-wheel-drive design in 2011. This was also the final generation of the Explorer that was available with a V8 engine similar to the ones used in the Mustang GT and the F150 at the time. This Explorer had impressive towing and hauling power, strong off-road capabilities when equipped with 4-wheel drive and a pretty spacious third row, making it good for families. Find a Ford Explorer for sale
2005-2012 Nissan Pathfinder
Much like the Ford Explorer, this generation of the Nissan Pathfinder was the last one that used a rugged body-on-frame build before becoming a more carlike crossover. Also like the Explorer of the same vintage, this is the last Pathfinder with an available V8 engine, which gave it excellent towing capabilities that could match some bigger full-size SUVs. This Pathfinder lives up to its legacy when it comes to off-road performance when equipped with 4-wheel drive, and its third row of seats makes it an off-roader for the whole family. Find a Nissan Pathfinder for sale
2007-2014 Subaru Tribeca
The Subaru Tribeca was a bit of an oddity in midsize 3-row SUVs when it first came out, but it’s become a pretty good value on the used market if you’re looking for a family crossover with some character. We like its standard AWD, and it has good handling for an SUV this size. It also has strong safety scores, which help make it the good family vehicle that it is. The Tribeca is a bit rare, but if you can find one, we can say with some confidence that you’ll be the only one on your block who has one of these quirky crossovers. Find a Subaru Tribeca for sale
2001-2007 Toyota Highlander
The Toyota Highlander is one of the original 3-row family crossovers, and it’s a strong value on the used market. The optional third row in this generation of the Highlander is a little cramped and should only be used by children, but those extra seats are nice to have in a pinch. That said, the first two rows are very spacious and comfortable. The Highlander has many of the virtues you would expect from a Toyota, like rock-solid safety and reliability ratings and respectable gas mileage. We recommend upgrading to the optional V6 engine, which delivers a satisfying blend of performance and fuel economy, if you can find one in this price range. Find a Toyota Highlander for sale