Best Hybrid SUVs With 3rd-Row Seating for 2022
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Looking for a fuel-efficient three-row SUV that allows you to bring the entire gang along for that long road trip? A compact SUV just won’t cut it, and a midsize SUV with second-row seating might not be large enough either.
Thankfully, there are several hybrid SUVs with 3rd-row seating to choose from, from high-end luxury SUVs to more economical AWD vehicles. If you’re ready to schedule a test drive but aren’t yet sure which one is right for you, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll offer a brief background on hybrid vehicles and provide a list of 2022 model year hybrid SUVs with 3rd-row seating.
Hybrid vs. Plug-In Hybrid
If you’re ready to graduate from non-hybrid, fully gas-powered vehicles, we’ll give you a quick lay of the land for how hybrid models work. Most of the hybrid SUVs with 3rd-row seating featured in this article are conventional hybrid vehicles, meaning they combine both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor.
You may be asking, “Do I need to charge a hybrid powertrain?” The answer is: No. The electricity in conventional hybrid vehicles is created through regenerative braking and the vehicle’s internal combustion engine and then stored in onboard batteries.
This is different than plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, such as the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring, which combine a gas-powered internal combustion engine with a battery back that is recharged by plugging into an external power source.
2022 Hybrid SUVs With 3rd-Row Seating
Looking for an SUV that’s as efficient as it is large? These 2022 hybrid SUVs with 3rd-row seating each fit six to eight passengers comfortably and are packed with the tech features, cargo capacity, and combined MPG you want for that cross-country road trip you’ve been planning.
These vehicles are ranked from highest to lowest in starting price.
1. Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring
Seating capacity: 7
Sloping lines and elegant chrome work on the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring plug-in hybrid are particularly striking, as is the luxury-enthused interior. The Grand Touring combines a V6 engine with an electric motor that combines for 494 horsepower, making the vehicle as quick as it is stylish.
But despite its peppiness, particularly for such a large vehicle, the ’22 Lincoln Grand Touring Hybrid is all about comfort first. The SUV has a variety of high-end luxury options including leather upholstery, a premium stereo system with over two dozen speakers, and massaging driver and front passenger seats.
Best for: Entertaining corporate clients or traveling in a fabulously comfortable vehicle in your later years. If hauling kids to soccer games and running errands is your day-to-day norm, you might want to pass on the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring, which is far too posh for use as a family driver.
2. Lexus RXL Hybrid
Seating capacity: 7
The Lexus RXL Hybrid combines a gas-powered V6 with two electric motors for 308 horsepower. Those seeking a combination of drivability and interior comforts will appreciate the RXL’s sporty luxury. A comfortable, stable, and quiet ride is the RXL’s calling card among critics and drivers, meaning it’s as sturdy for long road trips as it is for bouncing around town.
An available rear-seat DVD/CD player complements a 12-speaker sound system that’s perfect for keeping a carload of kids entertained on long rides. The car’s 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system keeps the driver in tune with real-time weather and traffic conditions.
Best for: Practicality and interior comfort, whether you’ve got the family in tow, are taking clients to a day of golf, or looking for a high-quality SUV to shuttle the grandkids around when they’re in town. If you have a true love of performance, the Lexus RXL’s slow acceleration might deter you. It has a 0-to-60 mph time of 6.7 seconds, which is slow even for a full-size SUV.
3. Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid
Seating capacity: 7
The 2022 Ford Explorer hybrid pairs a 3.3-liter V-6 engine with an electric motor. With 318 horsepower, it’s certainly peppy for its size. A hybrid engine is available in the Limited and Platinum trims. Critics and drivers have praised the vehicle’s ability to accelerate on the highway. The vehicle’s stiff suspension also makes it a comfortable ride when you decide to take it off the pavement, although it can hardly be considered an electric off-road warrior.
The vehicle’s interior features leather upholstery, heated and ventilated driver and front passenger seats, heated second-row captain’s chairs, and a power-folding third row. Drivers in colder climes will also appreciate the SUV’s heated steering, which comes standard on all trims.
Best for: Families with young children who haul a lot of gear, thanks to this hybrid SUV’s easily cleaned interior plastics and, of course, generous cargo space. While it’s not quite as refined stylistically as other luxury-scale SUVs on this list, its reasonable price point makes it compelling to those who want a no-frills, large ride that will help them save on gas.
4. Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE
Seating capacity: 8
Toyota drivers are incredibly loyal, thanks in large part to the brand’s reputation for durability and reliability. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE packs all the standard features contemporary drivers are looking for — like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration — with an ample cargo area and efficient gas mileage that make it a tremendous value among hybrid SUVs with 3rd-row seating.
The vehicle is available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations, both of which offer third-row seating. One criticism put forth by critics is the fact that the vehicle’s third row is somewhat cramped compared to its class siblings.
Best for: A minivan upgrade. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid’s large passenger room and cargo versatility make it a modern-day take on the minivan. It’s a large crossover SUV that’s great as a commuter and family vehicle that can also withstand off-road trips across rural roads and to lakeside campsites. And given Toyota’s reputation for longevity, it’s a family vehicle that’s likely going to be around for a while.
5. Kia Sorento Hybrid
Seating capacity: 6
The latest Kia Sorento is the only hybrid SUV with 3rd-row seating on this list that has a max seating capacity of six passengers as opposed to seven. That said, its affordable entry-level price point makes it a great large hybrid SUV option for shoppers on a budget, particularly since it’s chock-full of all the bells and whistles a brand new 2022 vehicle should have.
With state-of-the-art safety features like rear blind spot collision avoidance and cross-traffic collision avoidance, you can drive with the confidence of knowing the car is looking out for trouble while you navigate. And while you’re busy getting the family ready on winter mornings, you can utilize the car’s remote starting feature with cabin climate control to make sure your SUV is warmed up and ready to go when everyone else is.
Best for: Saving a bit of money while still getting a long list of amenities and a smooth, fuel-efficient ride. If you don’t need more than six seats, the second-row captain’s chairs make for a comfortable journey and easy entry into the third row. The interior looks cool and modern without the sticker shock of the higher-end hybrids on this list.
Looking for an Affordable Hybrid SUV With 3rd Row Seating?
Finding the best hybrid SUV with 3rd-row seating that’s right for you depends on what you’re willing to spend on a new vehicle and how you intend to use it. Family drivers tend to prioritize both initial cost and EPA fuel efficiency ratings, while commuters tend to prioritize acceleration and cargo space, especially if they carpool or travel often for business.
Thinking about a test drive? Check out our car comparison tool to search for the best three-row hybrid SUVs near you and explore specs, safety features, and options for these four vehicles and more.
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