Shopping for a three-row SUV often means balancing seating needs with convenience. If you really need minivan-sized people space, a second-row bench seat maximizes capacity for up to eight (or even nine, in a handful of cases) in these big SUVs. But other families value the comfort and convenience of second-row captain’s chairs, and they’re happy to give up the second-row middle seat.
The positives are many. Captain’s chairs are usually more comfortable for adults and even can offer a little extra leg space between them for anyone stuck in the third row. Many examples offer quick access through the center aisle for kids to reach the third-row seats without moving a second-row chair — though you should beware that some upscale SUVs block that aisle with a second-row center console. Separate buckets can keep siblings from annoying each other (and you). Some captain’s chairs also have tilt-and-slide access to the third row with an unoccupied forward-facing child seat installed; only a few second-row bench seats allow that.
If seat count still matters, note that not all third rows accommodate three passengers. Some are just too small for three except in a pinch (literally), even if they have three seat belts. Others, such as the Volkswagen Atlas, have a third row outfitted for just two passengers. That’s more realistic, but if you get the captain’s chairs, the Atlas seating total falls to six — as is the case for some others. On the flipside, some three-row vehicles offer a removable middle seat for the second row that, when installed, can turn the captain’s chairs into a bench to get one spot back.
More From Cars.com:
- Which 2018 Three-Row SUVs Offer Captain’s Chairs?
- Which 2017 Three-Row SUVs Offer Captain’s Chairs?
- Which 2016 Three-Row SUVs Offer Second-Row Captain’s Chairs?
- Which 2014, 2015 Three-Row SUVs Offer Captain’s Chairs?
- Which 2013 Three-Row SUVs Offer Second-Row Captain’s Chairs?
If captain’s chairs are on your wish list for a three-row SUV, below are the 2020 models that offer them. We just name root nameplates below; note that some models may also offer captain’s chairs in their hybrid variants. Also note that some models below exclusively offer captain’s chairs, while availability in others might vary by trim level or option. And if you’re shopping for a used SUV, check out the links above for captain’s chairs in earlier model years.
2020 Three-Row SUVs That Offer Captain’s Chairs
- Acura MDX
- BMW X7
- Buick Enclave
- Cadillac Escalade, Escalade ESV
- Cadillac XT6
- Chevrolet Suburban
- Chevrolet Tahoe
- Chevrolet Traverse
- Dodge Durango
- Ford Expedition, Expedition Max
- Ford Explorer
- GMC Acadia
- GMC Yukon, Yukon XL
- Honda Pilot
- Hyundai Palisade
- Infiniti QX80
- Kia Telluride
- Lexus GX 460
- Lexus RX L
- Lincoln Aviator
- Lincoln Navigator, Navigator L
- Mazda CX-9
- Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class
- Nissan Armada
- Subaru Ascent
- Tesla Model X
- Toyota Highlander
- Toyota Sequoia
- Volkswagen Atlas
- Volvo XC90
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