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User Topic: vehicles w/ 3 row seating - any recs?
Member # 29341
Default  Posted: 9:57 AM, May 30th (Thursday)

Anyone have any recommendations? Warnings?

Due to a family friend, we have the option to get preferred pricing on the GMC Acadia or the Buick Enclave. But they are still kind of pricey. They are pretty much the same car and they are both great to drive. We looked at the Pilot and the Highlander as well - of those two I much prefer the Highlander. Now DH is throwing the Pathfinder in the mix and I am overwhelmed.

The Acadia and the Enclave are both REALLY nice as far as the interior and the way they drive, but I have no experience with Buicks, and my coworker had an Acadia that had really bad transmission problems (according to the salesman, there were a couple of years where they did have transmission problems, but OF COURSE that's fixed now). I haven't test-driven the Highlander yet, but I currently have a two-row 2006 Highlander that drives great, love it.

Anybody have any experience they want to share with any of these cars?

We're both in our 30s. One awesome 4-year-old daughter.

Posts: 6809 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Somewhere in the South
Member # 14003
Default  Posted: 10:02 AM, May 30th (Thursday)

I have a cousin who purchased a Chevy Traverse that had 3 row seating. She loves it.

Walk away from anything or anyone who takes away your joy. Life is too short to put up with fools.

Posts: 13807 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Houston
Member # 33374
Default  Posted: 10:04 AM, May 30th (Thursday)

My MIL had a Buick, nothing but problems.

I have the Honda Pilot and LOVE it! Maintenance is easy, handles great in the snow and rain. Plus has plenty of room for alllllll the things I need!

You are not dealing with rational people or situations. Normal thought processes won't work...story of my life.

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Him- fWh, 34
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Posts: 2030 | Registered: Sep 2011
Member # 15162
Default  Posted: 10:06 AM, May 30th (Thursday)

I am personally morally and ethically opposed to three row vehicle where the 3rd seat doesn't face backwards, but I recently put 1,200 miles over a weekend on an Enclave, and I really liked it. I know the early ones had transmission issues, but that has been corrected. I rode in the middle seat when we went to dinner one night, and wasn't real impressed with the room it offered.

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FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

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Posts: 37386 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
Member # 29341
Default  Posted: 10:10 AM, May 30th (Thursday)

I have a cousin who purchased a Chevy Traverse that had 3 row seating. She loves it.

I forgot the Traverse - it's really similar to the Enclave and Acadia as well - and we can get the preferred pricing on it. They just didn't have many options on the Traverse at the dealer we visited.

Analysis paralysis.

We're both in our 30s. One awesome 4-year-old daughter.

Posts: 6809 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Somewhere in the South
Member # 36697
Default  Posted: 10:25 AM, May 30th (Thursday)

Resale value is going to be better on the Toyota and Honda. If that isn't a concern, you might want to throw Hyundai and Kia into the mix. They are right up there in reliability and they cost less to purchase.

Frankly, the American companies have come so far over the past couple of years just to try to get back to competitiveness that I wouldn't hesitate to buy the GM products either.

Posts: 1734 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
Member # 24621
Default  Posted: 10:27 AM, May 30th (Thursday)

I just had a 2013 GMC Yukon as a rental and it had the 3rd row seating. I loved how it drove and it actually did pretty good on gas - we were doing both city and highway driving.

BW (me) 31
WH 33
DS1 8 yrs.
DS2 1 yr.

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Posts: 155 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Philly, PA
Member # 29341
Default  Posted: 10:28 AM, May 30th (Thursday)

I'm not too too worried about resale just because I plan to drive this car for a long time. Now that you mention it, my good friend has a Santa Fe that she LOVES.

*running off to google Santa Fe to see if it has 3rd row seating*

We're both in our 30s. One awesome 4-year-old daughter.

Posts: 6809 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Somewhere in the South
Member # 12041
Default  Posted: 10:33 AM, May 30th (Thursday)

Of the two I prefer the Enclave aesthetically and it's interior. However I was looking at the Highlander last night actually and it's pretty nice too.

If you qualify for preferred pricing (we can get an employee discount) my vote would be the Enclave. The Traverse looks like a boat to me. I realize the specs aren't all that different but it just feels *too* big.

And now I will go back into my "Can't get a new car until next summer" corner and pout that it will likely be the Equinox to get the discount or the Sante Fe if I get what I really want.

Hey there's another option. If you are willing to forget the discount there is 3rd row seating options on the Sante Fe. I really like them

“We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.”... Anais Nin

Posts: 44957 | Registered: Sep 2006
Member # 12041
Default  Posted: 10:34 AM, May 30th (Thursday)

Ha!! Didn't see your post above mine. Sante Fe!!! Do it!!

“We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are.”... Anais Nin

Posts: 44957 | Registered: Sep 2006
Member # 29341
Default  Posted: 10:35 AM, May 30th (Thursday)

I like the captain chairs (is that what they're called?) in the Enclave and the Acadia. And with the Highlander, they have that removable middle seat in the second row, so it's pretty much the same thing.

My mom has a Pilot and it's a PITA to get in the third row. That's why I like the Highlander better.

The Enclave is one nice-looking vehicle, Meta. I agree!

We're both in our 30s. One awesome 4-year-old daughter.

Posts: 6809 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Somewhere in the South
Member # 22386
Default  Posted: 10:41 AM, May 30th (Thursday)

I have driven a Toyota Sienna for it, and the reliability is is the resale value.

Previously owned three different American models, each one had transmission problems at about 65,000 miles.

Posts: 7591 | Registered: Jan 2009 | From: Northeast
Member # 33642
Default  Posted: 10:48 AM, May 30th (Thursday)

I wanted a Durango, but the gas mileage killed that idea. We ended up with a Mazda CX9. I swear it's only a station wagon, but it rides better than any truck based SUV. Gas mileage isn't bad either, usually in the low to mid 20s. I think when it's time to get a new car, I'm just going to upgrade to the newer model of this one.

"It's a fool that looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart."

Posts: 769 | Registered: Oct 2011 | From: Texas
Member # 34086
Default  Posted: 11:04 AM, May 30th (Thursday)

We are getting ready to buy a new Highlander 4X4 limited. We've had a Durango for 10 years, and it's been "ok". The Highlander is built on the Camry chassis, so it has a decent ride. It just fits what we are looking for. I like the Mazda's as well - the CX9 is a nice vehicle. I'd say that most vehicles these days aren't separated by much in terms of quality or aesthetics. I usually look at the reliability on Consumer Reports - it will all depend on the trim package and add ons that you get. When we test drove mid size sedans last year we had our son come along and sit in the back, like he would on a trip. His comfort was a big part in what vehicle we picked (that, and gas mileage because I commute).

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Posts: 4003 | Registered: Dec 2011
Member # 6475
Default  Posted: 2:04 PM, May 30th (Thursday)

I have a Mazda CX9 and absolutely love it.

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Posts: 416 | Registered: Feb 2005 | From: pa
Member # 34716
Default  Posted: 2:11 PM, May 30th (Thursday)

I love my Durango with the three row seating. The 2012's are a nicer ride..less "trucky" than the earlier versions. Gas mileage is an issue, but it can tow anything.

My favorite thing about it, is that even with all three rows up, there is still plenty of storage room.

We had a highlander for a while (a 2009) With the third row up, we had no cargo space..couldn't even fit groceries in...I don't know if they fixed that, but Really like the durango's capacity. (plus I have some negative feelings associated with the Highlander--but that's not for this forum)

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Posts: 1296 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Everett
Member # 10180
Default  Posted: 2:12 PM, May 30th (Thursday)

Have a two year old Acadia and have loved it for the entire time. Had and Envoy xl before that. GMC has been good to me...


Posts: 1635 | Registered: Mar 2006
Member # 22722
Default  Posted: 2:45 PM, May 30th (Thursday)

I love my Sienna. Love it. I live on a steep mountain dirt road, and it does great with only front wheel drive, plenty of ground clearance. It is also cavernous. I take out the middle seats (I have no children, just a dog and a bicycle) which is easy to do, and fold down the third row into the cubby in the floor, and I can fit 10' long pipe or lumber in on the floor, sliding it between the front seats, and shut the rear hatch. It has a low floor so loading bags of potting soil (even bags of concrete!) is easy. As a 7 passenger vehicle it has a good payload capacity without bottoming out. It actually carries more weight and more volume of stuff than the Tacoma.

It has modest size tires. I get 23-24 mpg on road trips on the highway, with a Thule pod that rides on the top and bikes on a bike rack in the hitch receiver on the back. Two people can sleep in the back as it fits a double bed mattress. I get 19 in town. I have had basically zero mechanical issues with it and it's up to 83,000 miles.

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Posts: 1220 | Registered: Feb 2009 | From: California
Member # 18222
Default  Posted: 4:08 PM, May 30th (Thursday)

We looked at a few 3rd row vehicles before we bought our Jeep. I liked the Pilot best out of all of them.

I don't know if you are looking at new or used vehicles, but, I've always looked through owner reviews online and made pretty good choices based on that. The key is, to ignore the "everything is perfect all the time" reviews, and the "omg this piece of crap is the worst thing ever I hate everything" reviews and pay attention to common themes int he reviews between the two extremes.

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Posts: 4490 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: Indiana
Member # 9898
Default  Posted: 4:19 PM, May 30th (Thursday)

I owned a Yukon, they're really Mom has a Pilot, and I LOVE it. If I had to choose, I'd go with the Honda, they just run better long term imo. My dad has a Honda CRV, about 11 yrs old and they have had zero trips to the repair shop(i don't care for them as much though).

Me,38 BS
DS Born 9/6/10

Posts: 2220 | Registered: Feb 2006 | From: IL
Member # 13584
Default  Posted: 8:11 PM, May 30th (Thursday)

I currently have a 2013 Acadia. I traded in a 2007 Saturn Outlook (basically the same car) when I got this. My Outlook did have transmission issues. My Acadia drive NOTHING like the outlook. I absolutely love the car. I have the model that has the second row captain chairs and it is perfect. Keeps my boys separated with their own space and gives very easy access to the third row. I LOVE my car!

Me 45-BS,Him 47-ws,FWH had PA started end of 3/05 DDay 4/23/05 when I discovered emails NC as of 6/8/05,discovered the truth about the last major lies on 3/26/06
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Posts: 138 | Registered: Feb 2007
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 8:30 PM, May 30th (Thursday)

I had a fully loaded CX-9. It was the best car I ever owned, but I had to sell it when I separated since I could no longer afford the $500/month car payment! I would buy another one in a heartbeat!

me...BS, 43 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17

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Posts: 4185 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
Member # 29341
Default  Posted: 2:18 AM, May 31st (Friday)

We ended up getting the Highlander SE! The car I had before was an '06 Highlander (2 row) and I just had such a good comfortlevel with the way they drive. My car sustained 7k of hail damage in 2011, and we chose to pay it off rather than repair it. Toyota offered us $1500 more than GM for my '06 Highlander, and so we traded in that and my H's midlife crisis corvette, and so I now have a brand new car, we are saving $200/month in car payments, and triggermobile is GONE (hope that is ok to say in OT!) Plus we got 0% financing so as much as I loathe car debt, at least we are not setting money on fire with interest. I am so pleased with the outcome of this!

[This message edited by JanaGreen at 2:21 AM, May 31st (Friday)]

We're both in our 30s. One awesome 4-year-old daughter.

Posts: 6809 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Somewhere in the South
Member # 33209
Default  Posted: 5:18 AM, May 31st (Friday)

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!

Insert glib quote here.


Posts: 69 | Registered: Aug 2011 | From: The Hard Road
Member # 33209
Default  Posted: 5:21 AM, May 31st (Friday)

Whoops, didn't see your post. Have fun with the new Highlander! :-)

Insert glib quote here.


Posts: 69 | Registered: Aug 2011 | From: The Hard Road
Topic Posts: 25