The Best Three-Row Midsize SUVs of 2023

Published on February 6, 2023 in News by The Car Guide

Three-row midsize SUVs may not be as popular as compact SUVs, but they remain strong sellers in Canada. With seating for seven or eight, these spacious vehicles comfortably accommodate large families on short and long trips. Which one is the best money can buy?

The Car Guide has gathered its team of experts to identify the top three-row midsize SUVs on the market in 2023. Check them out right here!

1. Kia Telluride/Hyundai Palisade

Photo: Antoine Joubert

The Korean duo has set the benchmark when it comes to three-row midsize SUVs. The Palisade and Telluride are tied for first place as they share the same platform and 3.8-litre V6 engine.

The Telluride is refreshed for 2023 and introduces X-Line and X-Pro models, the latter a more rugged offering with increased off-road capability. The Palisade received a mid-cycle update, as well, including cosmetic revisions, new materials and the addition of a more adventurous Urban model.

Photo: Julien Amado

Fit and finish, content, interior space, ride quality and strong V6 performance all elevate these two SUVs above the competition. At 11.3 L/100 km combined, fuel consumption could be better, however. There is no hybrid option.

2. Toyota Highlander

Photo: Toyota

The Highlander is one of the best-selling SUVs in the segment thanks to excellent reliability and tremendous residual value. For 2023, changes include a new multimedia system and digital instrument panel. More importantly, the V6 is replaced by a turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine producing 265 hp and 310 lb-ft. of torque.  

The Highlander further stands out with an available hybrid variant. While less powerful (243 hp), this model impresses with a remarkable 6.7 L/100 km in a mix of city and highway driving.

Complaints? The interior is not as roomy as some of the competitors, the brake pedal lacks bite, and dealers have few units on their lots.

3. Nissan Pathfinder

Photo: Antoine Joubert

The Pathfinder was completely redesigned a year ago, boasting significant improvements in technology, styling, handling and interior space. The 2023 model marks the return of the Rock Creek Edition, which offers a bit more power (295 hp vs. 284 hp) and better off-road capability.

This three-row SUV rides on a smooth suspension making it well-suited for Canadian roads. The seats are another highlight, offering superb comfort and support. The V6 is a potent performer, but there’s no gas-electric alternative.

We have yet to test drive the next-generation 2023 Honda Pilot, so we didn’t include it here. You should still feel pretty confident buying one, though. And don’t miss the all-new 2024 Mazda CX-90 coming on sale in the spring of 2023.

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