What do you need the 3rd row for--seating or to remove (or lay flat) for cargo? Last fall we looked at nearly all third row SUVs (I wanted ta Traverse, FWH wanted an Acadia).
We ended up with an Odyssey (Honda minivan) and though I NEVER ever thought I'd ever say it, I absolutely love it. Simply put, and I did my research, you can't find more comfortable, usable room (passenger or cargo) in a 3rd row vehicle outside a minivan.
I think we're close to the same age (early 30s) and I have two toddlers. Not only is it a safe, comfortable, reliable, and efficient family vehicle, but it's fun to drive, stylish (for a minivan, it is--leather, sunroof, edgy lines, XM radio, rear camera). Oh, and it has a cooler in the front console. A cooler.
I still sort of look longingly at Traverses and Highlanders, but my Odyssey has more room for out of town visitors, luggage, bikes, groceries, strollers, trips to Sam's and Target, etc.
Take a test drive. Good luck!