Which 3-Row SUV Gets the Best Mileage?

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge Mileage Results

Squeezing fuel economy out of the three-row SUVs tested for Cars.com's $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge is no easy task for automakers. Large people-and-cargo haulers capable of carrying eight and towing up to 5,000 pounds or more aren't really conducive for saving gas.

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge
Index | ResultsWhat the Judges Said

Efforts to raise fuel-economy numbers mean there are a variety of fuel-saving technologies in the seven SUVs we tested. Our mileage drive put these features — including efficient transmissions, cylinder deactivation, Eco modes, sleek aerodynamics and weight savings — to the test.

By Joe Bruzek | April 6, 2014 | Comments (3)

What's the Best 3-Row SUV for $40,000?

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge

Family-friendly SUVs are still a big business: There are plenty of kids to cart around, groceries and sports equipment for kids of all ages to carry.

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge
Index | What the Judges Said | Mileage Drive

We focused this Challenge on three-row SUVs that cost less than $40,000, including a destination charge, and achieved at least 19 mpg in EPA combined city/highway fuel-economy ratings. We picked the price based on Cars.com's listings for SUVs that came with the features we know are popular with families. After four days of testing by experts from Cars.com, USA Today, "MotorWeek" and a real-life, in-market family, here's how the results broke down:

By David Thomas | April 6, 2014 | Comments (18)

$40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge: What the Judges Said

Chris Woodyard and Joe Bruzek

Here are our judges for this Challenge:

  • Joe Bruzek, Road Test Editor, Cars.com
  • Jennifer Geiger, Assistant Managing Editor, Cars.com
  • Kelsey Mays, Consumer Affairs Editor, Cars.com
  • Chris Woodyard, L.A. Bureau Chief, USA Today
  • Brian Robinson, Producer, "MotorWeek"
  • LadyAnn and Ed Sabalburo, a Southern California couple with a young daughter and a second child on the way; they own an Acura MDX currently and are thinking about moving up to a bigger SUV.

We set a maximum price of $40,000, including a destination charge, and a minimum EPA combined city/highway mileage rating of 19 mpg. There were eight SUVs that met our criteria:

By Patrick Olsen | April 6, 2014 | Comments (7)

2014 Chevrolet Traverse Photo Gallery

2014ChevroletTraverse

The 2014 Chevrolet Traverse finished seventh in our $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge. "It handles like a truck, and parking lots are not its friend," said one of our judges. Check out our gallery below to inspect the Traverse's styling, interior and family-friendliness.

By David Thomas | April 6, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 355 GM Sedans, Crossovers

2014BuickVerano

Vehicles Affected: About 355 Buick Regal, LaCrosse and Verano sedans and Enclave crossovers; Chevrolet Malibu and Cruze sedans and Traverse crossovers; and GMC Acadia crossovers — all 2014 models equipped with automatic transmissions.

The Problem: The transmission shift cable adjuster may disengage from the transmission shift lever, which could prevent the driver from shifting gear positions, and the indicated shift position may not represent the actual gear position. If disengagement occurs while the vehicle is in motion, when the driver goes to stop and park the vehicle, the driver may be able to shift the lever to the "Park" position, but the vehicle transmission may not be in the correct gear position; if this occurs, the vehicle could roll away, increasing the risk of injury to occupants and bystanders.

The Fix: GM will notify owners starting late this month, and dealers will inspect and replace any affected transmission shift cable adjusters for free.

What Owners Should Do: Chevrolet owners can call 800-222-1020, Buick owners 800-521-7300 and GMC owners 800-462-8782, or owners can call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

More Recalls

Manufacturer photo

By Matt Schmitz | March 21, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 1.18 Million GM SUVs

13Traverse-016

Vehicles Affected: Approximately 1.18 million versions of the 2008-2013 Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia SUVs as well as model-year 2009-2013 versions of the Chevrolet Traverse SUV and 2008-2010 models of the Saturn Outlook SUV.

The Problem: A problem with the wiring harness of the SUVs' seat-mounted side airbags could cause the service airbag warning light to illuminate. GM cautions that ignoring this light could eventually result in the non-deployment of the airbags and seatbelt pretensioners in a crash.

The Fix: Dealers will remove the driver and passenger side air bag wiring harness connectors and inspect and replace the affected parts for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call GM at 800-521-7300 for more information.

More Recalls

Manufacturer image

By Jennifer Geiger | March 17, 2014 | Comments (1)

GM Announces Three New Safety Recalls

Buick_Enclave_2008_MFR

The Detroit News reports GM will recall 1.7 million cars for new safety issues. The lion's share comes from 1.3 million three-row crossovers, including some but not all Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and now-defunct Saturn Outlook SUVs from 2008 to 2013. Side airbags, front-center airbags (later models) and seat belt pretensioners may not deploy in those vehicles if drivers have ignored the illuminated service airbag warning light over time. GM will also recall 354,000 2009-14 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans for instrument panels that don't meet safety standards to protect unbelted passengers, as well as 66,200 2013-14 Cadillac XTS sedans for brake-booster corrosion that could cause a fire.

More on GM

Of those cars, 1.48 million of the affected SUVs and vans are in the U.S.; it's unclear what portion of the XTS recalls are from here. GM CEO Mary Barra said the recall comes amid "an intense review of our internal processes" on safety. GM faces allegations that it knew about faulty ignition switches across six former nameplates that led to a dozen fatalities because of failed airbag deployments and the recall of 1.62 million cars worldwide. GM says no crashes or injuries are linked to today's recalls.

Our friends at the Detroit News have the full story. Click here to read more. We'll post more specifics as we get them.

Manufacturer image

By Kelsey Mays | March 17, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Chevrolet Traverse: Car Seat Check

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Chevrolet's people-mover, the Traverse, received a light update for 2013, and for 2014 it got a host of available safety features. The Traverse seats seven or eight passengers on three rows of seats, and we tested a model with second-row bucket seats. The crossover should be plenty roomy for a growing family, but connecting to its Latch anchors proved a bit difficult, earning this crossover mixed grades in our Car Seat Check.

More Car Seat Checks

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two — one on each captain's chair

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two

By Jennifer Geiger | March 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

Which Cars Have Heated Seats with Separate Back and Bottom Heaters?

In the new Chevrolet Impala, I noticed the heated seats are two-stages like GM vehicles used to have. But many GMs I've been in recently have just the one setting for bottom and back combined. Is this GM-wide? Which vehicles have the two-setting heaters?

Anonymous

By Rick Popely | September 29, 2013 | Comments (1)

Which SUVs Have Second- and Third-Row Bench Seats?

"Which SUVs have second- and third-row bench seats?"

Teresa P., Richmond, Ind.

By Rick Popely | September 22, 2013 | Comments (2)

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