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)

2014 Nissan Pathfinder Photo Gallery

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The 2014 Nissan Pathfinder finished fourth in our $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge. "The ride is great, and it offers just about anything most families need as far as comfort and convenience features," said one of our judges. Check out our gallery below to inspect the Pathfinder's styling, interior and family-friendliness.

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

2014 Toyota Highlander Photo Gallery

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The 2014 Toyota Highlander finished third in our $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge. "The Highlander pairs a handsome cabin with good technology, but that third row is a joke," said one of our judges. Check out our gallery below to inspect the Highlander's styling, interior and family-friendliness.

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

2014 Honda Pilot Photo Gallery

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The 2014 Honda Pilot finished sixth in our $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge. "The Pilot remains a roomy option for passengers and cargo, but the overall package is becoming less appealing as it ages," said one of our judges. Check out our gallery below to inspect the Pilot's styling, interior and family-friendliness.

By David Thomas | April 6, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Photo Gallery

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The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe finished first in our $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge. "Loads of features, a premium cabin and pleasant road manners. Just make sure you pack wisely," said one of our judges. Check out our gallery below to inspect the Santa Fe's styling, interior and family-friendliness.

By David Thomas | April 6, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Mazda CX-9 Photo Gallery

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The 2014 Mazda CX-9 finished fifth in our $40,000 3-Row SUV Challenge. "True to the zoom-zoom marketing gimmick, it was the best handling vehicle in the bunch," said one of our judges. Check out our gallery below to inspect the CX-9's styling, interior and family-friendliness.

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

Kia to Debut New Eight-Passenger Vehicle at 2014 New York Auto Show

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Kia announced today that it will unleash an "all-new midsize multi-purpose vehicle" later this month at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. The Korean automaker shared few details about the vehicle, but judging by a teaser photo, it looks like a crossover SUV with a bit of an evil attitude courtesy of a sinister-smiling front grille and large, angry-looking headlights.

More 2014 New York Auto Show News on Cars.com

"This global debut will challenge the segment and will offer the functionality to transport as many as eight passengers and their belongings while also serving as a purposeful offering for adventure seekers," Kia said in a statement.

The 2014 New York International Auto Show runs April 18-27 at the city's Jacob Javits Convention Center. Cars.com will be there to cover the Kia unveiling, as well as all the other action, so be sure to check back in with us.

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By Matt Schmitz | April 3, 2014 | Comments (10)

Real-Life Test: 3 Car Seats in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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So, you have three kids in child-safety seats, and you're not quite ready for a minivan? Welcome to the club. As a former member of the "there's no way in hell I'm driving a minivan" club, I feel your pain. I remember while pregnant with my second child, glaring at the used-car salesman when he brought me over to a minivan just to "check it out," and I'm pretty sure the only reason I drove off in a Toyota Prius that day was to spite him.

Which Cars Fit Three Car Seats

Now that I have three children in car seats, I've joined the "Minivan Lover" club, but I know some parents haven't. Many are fighting the good fight, steadfast in their anti-minivan stance. For the strong-willed ones, I'm determined to find you some minivan alternatives, like the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

By BreAnn Ahara | April 2, 2014 | Comments (4)

2014 Audi Q5 Review

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Audi already had a good thing going with its compact luxury crossover, says Cars.com reviewer David Thomas, and changes for 2014 should make the Q5 even more appealing. A new turbo diesel TDI model joins the lineup this year, and Thomas says the turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 offers strong power and impressive fuel economy. The crossover's high price didn't score it many points, however. Check out his review for more.

2014 Audi Q5 Expert Review

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Jennifer Geiger | March 31, 2014 | Comments (0)

BMW Announces New X7 SUV

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By Kelsey Mays, Cars.com

BMW announced Friday it will build the recently unveiled X4 plus an all-new X7 (and eventually the X5 plug-in hybrid) at its Spartanburg, S.C., assembly plant. The German automaker currently builds the X3, X5 and X6 SUVs there.

2015 BMW X3: First Look

The flurry of SUV announcements came with few other details, particularly on the new X7, which BMW called "another all-new, larger X model." The automaker said it plans to build all X7s in Spartanburg, and will export them from there for sales overseas. Autoweek reports the SUV will seat up to seven occupants in three rows; BMW will build it off an extended-wheelbase version of the recently redesigned X5 platform, which will underpin the next X6 as well. The X7 will compete with the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, Infiniti QX80 and Cadillac Escalade. Autoweek says it will offer inline-six and V-8 engines. It should also have a plug-in hybrid drivetrain similar to the one in the forthcoming X5 plug-in, which BMW previewed in the X5 Concept eDrive at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.

As part of a $1 billion investment over the next two years, the automaker says it will expand capacity at the 20-year-old plant by 50 percent, to 450,000 total cars from the current 300,000 a year. BMW shoppers here shouldn't expect to get all of those, though: The automaker says it exports around 70 percent of its Spartanburg production each year.

Cars.com photo

By David Thomas | March 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

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