"Which SUVs have second- and third-row bench seats?"
Teresa P., Richmond, Ind.
"I want to carry a motorized scooter and don't want a minivan."
Maureen R., Troy
You can configure some of the largest SUVs to seat seven, such as the Chevrolet Suburban and Ford Expedition, so those would be the ones that offer the most cargo space. The Suburban has a maximum 137.4 cubic feet of cargo room; the Expedition has 108.3 cubic feet, and the more carlike-riding Chevrolet Traverse has 116.3 cubic feet. Most minivans offer 140 to 150 cubic feet of total cargo space with the seats folded or removed.
If that's more SUV than you want, here are seven-seat models with more than 80 cubic feet of cargo room: Dodge Durango, 84.5; Ford Flex, 83.2; Honda Pilot, 87.0; Land Rover LR4, 87.4; and Toyota 4Runner, 89.7. There are others, and you might want to investigate the height of the cargo area and how high you would have to lift your scooter to load it into an SUV.
The Cars.com Vehicle Recommender could help you with your search. It does not list cargo volume, but it will help you find SUVs that have other features that you want and fit your budget.
Have a car question you'd like us to answer? Send us an email at email@example.com.Related
As a stay-at-home mom of three small kids, there's not much about my daily life that my childless friends envy. So I lucked out when my uber-hip, aka childless, friend came to visit while I was testing the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse. With a revamped exterior that doesn't scream "this is a mom's car" and a striking interior complete with teal-colored contrast stitching, which had us squealing like idiots, we were happy to ditch my usual minivan for our kid-free afternoon out.
The 2013 Traverse is a versatile three-row crossover that I'd be happy to recommend to my single friends as well as those with smaller families. However, for those families with more than two small kids in child-safety seats, I wouldn't recommend this hip crossover.
Most SUVs available today are car-based crossover models, so they aren't intended for off-road driving, but they can be used for towing, in dusty or muddy conditions, heavy stop-and-go driving and other such conditions that qualify as severe. In those cases, you might need to change the transfer case and differential oil periodically instead of just having it inspected. If you drive any vehicle for extended periods under severe conditions, you should perform other routine maintenance items more often, such as oil and transmission-fluid changes, so that isn't unique to all-wheel- and four-wheel-drive vehicles.
A host of 2014 vehicles have earned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's five-star rating in crash tests, perhaps most notably the redesigned-for-2014 Cadillac CTS.
Both the rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of the CTS got an overall score of five in NHTSA's safety ratings. Both earned fives in frontal-crash tests and side-crash tests, and fours in rollover tests. Meanwhile, its compact sibling, the 2014 ATS, earned fives across the board for both the rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions. Both the front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of the 2014 XTS also earned an overall five-star score, with fives in frontal- and side-crash ratings and fours in rollover tests.
Other 2014 models joining NHTSA's five-star club earned fives in frontal- and side-crash ratings and fours in rollover tests. They included:
GM's updated-for-2013 people movers just earned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's top score. The 2013 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia were awarded an overall rating of five stars.
The large crossovers, which share a platform with each other, earned five stars in frontal and side tests and four stars in rollover tests; front- and all-wheel-drive versions were tested. The upscale GMC Acadia Denali received the same scores.
GM's seven-passenger crossovers got refreshed for 2013 with updated styling, more safety features and a new multimedia system.
Watch your back, Honda Pilot — the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse has addressed previous shortcomings and covets the car-based SUV crown. Cars.com reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder says the new Traverse makes great strides with its interior, particularly in the LTZ trim. A redesigned center control panel, classier looking controls and wood-look trim, soft-touch surfaces with contrast stitching and effective faux aluminum make us forget 2012's already-forgettable black-plastic backdrop. Where the Traverse loses us is its optional touch-screen navigation system that has an undersized screen and imprecise capacitive touch buttons; the ride also feels firmer than before. So is the Pilot getting grounded? Read Wiesenfelder's Traverse review below and decide.
When Cars.com reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder says large-family-vehicle shoppers would be "nuts" not to consider the 2013 Chevrolet Traverse, he means the Traverse-averse literally should seek psychiatric help. Although we weren't crazy about the Traverse in a 2012 three-row crossover comparison, the 2013 model is strong, with improved exterior styling, upgraded interior materials and a comfortable ride in all three rows. Beware, however, of lackluster multimedia controls and a squeaky center console, he cautions. Check out the video above.Related
For 2013, Chevrolet's three-row crossover got a mild update, with updated exterior styling and an upgraded interior. The 2013 Chevrolet Traverse may have enough room for a growing family, but connecting to its Latch anchors is anything but comfortable.
For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.
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