Autotrader: The best 3-row SUVs for less than $40k in 2021


A 3-row SUV is a great option for families looking for a lot of space and a lot of seats. These minivan alternatives are practical, safe, and can be had with all-wheel drive, which is nice to have when the roads get nasty or for some mild off-roading.

Let’s take a look at the 10 best new 3-row SUVs you can get for under $40,000.

1. 2021 Chevrolet Traverse

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is an excellent option for families looking for a 3-row crossover with a third row they can actually use. The Traverse has minivan-like space for both passengers and cargo. Since it has a pretty affordable starting price, you can get a well-equipped Traverse under the $40,000 mark. 

2. 2021 Dodge Durango
The 2021 Dodge Durango


For a more muscular option in 3-row crossovers, consider the 2021 Dodge Durango. It’s been called a Charger with seven seats, which is pretty accurate. Its macho look is backed up by a standard V6 that nicely blends performance with fuel economy. If you have some more room in your budget, there are multiple V8 engine options available. 

3. 2021 Honda Pilot

The 2021 Honda Pilot is a practical choice in midsize 3-row SUVs. It has a spacious, family-friendly interior, plus the safety and reliability you would expect from a Honda
It picked up some nice new standard features for the 2021 model year such as dual-zone automatic climate control and a 9-speed automatic transmission. 

4. 2021 Hyundai Palisade
The 2021 Hyundai Palisade


The 2021 Hyundai

Palisade is one of the top players in the midsize 3-row crossover segment. Its exterior design is “love-it-or-hate-it,” but the interior is pretty universally “love-it.” It has a more upscale cabin than you might expect at this price point, with supportive seats, quality materials, and plenty of space. This SUV does just about everything well. 

Also read: See how the 2021 Bronco Sport compares with the 2021 Toyota RAV4

5. 2021 Kia Sorento

Coming off a fresh redesign, the 2021 Kia

Sorento is better than ever. Admittedly, the third row is a little tight, but the new Sorento is stylish, high-tech, and has a fantastic interior with lots of room in the first two rows. There’s also an efficient hybrid option with class-leading fuel economy and a starting price well under $40,000. 

6. 2021 Kia Telluride
The 2021 Kia Telluride


Mechanically similar to the Hyundai Palisade, the 2021 Kia Telluride has a bit more of a rugged attitude. It retains all of the virtues of its Hyundai cousin like a great V-6 engine, a roomy, high-quality interior, and sizing that is just right for many families. The Telluride is a must-test-drive SUV for anyone shopping in this segment. 

7. 2021 Mazda CX-9
The Mazda CX-9



SUVs offer a rewarding driving experience and a premium look and feel, all with a reasonable price tag. The 3-row 2021 Mazda CX-9 fits that description perfectly. The 2021 model year got an overdue update to the infotainment system that makes it more compelling on top of its agile handling, efficient engine, and elegant cabin. 

More SUVs: 10 compact SUVs with the best gas mileage

8. 2021 Subaru Ascent
The Subaru Ascent


One of the more rugged choices in this segment is the 2021 Subaru Ascent. This midsize, 3-row Subaru

comes standard with all-wheel drive in every trim and the off-road chops to back up the legacy of the brand. On top of standard AWD, the list of standard features is pretty generous, which makes the Ascent a great value for anyone looking for a family SUV with AWD. 

9. 2021 Toyota Highlander

The 2021 Toyota

Highlander has long been a favorite for families who need a practical rig but won’t make the minivan leap. It remains an excellent choice for families thanks to stellar safety ratings and features, plus a nice list of standard tech. For families looking to save some money on fuel, consider the frugal Highlander Hybrid. 

Related: The most popular SUVs on the market

10. 2021 Volkswagen Atlas
The VW Atlas


The 2021 Volkswagen

Atlas has one of the roomiest third rows in this class, plus a big cargo area to boot. It also benefits from an intuitive infotainment system, a composed ride, and better handling than you might expect from an SUV this size. A ton of standard features and a low starting price make it a strong value. 

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