Buying Advice

AutomotiveMap Picks: Best Three-Row SUVs for Families

The Hyundai Palisade is one of the best three-row SUVs you can buy.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Familes come in all shapes and sizes. Some need more room than others. The best three-row SUVs fit all your family's comfort and convenience needs from seats for everyone to modern connectivity features and excellent fuel economy.

Despite all the rationale you use to choose your next SUV, sometimes you get in one and just like it more than others. Even with all their years of industry knowledge, AutomotiveMap's writers feel the same way. Often it comes down to feelings about one over the rest.

The three-row SUVs on this list are AutomotiveMap writers' favorites.

2020 Toyota Highlander

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Sue Mead: There's no doubt that the 2020 Toyota Highlander is well-rounded. For the 2020 model year it has been thoroughly updated. Sue's favorite features are the bigger, more thoughtful and useful interior; available 12.3-inch touchscreen; and Toyota Safety Sense suite of safety and driver assistance technology. The fact that the hybrid version is available in front- and all-wheel drive is a plus. The gasoline-powered model can tow 5,000 pounds and the hybrid can tow 3,500.

​2020 Ford Expedition

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Harvey Briggs: The answer here is more. More power. More room. More towing capacity. More of just about everything a family could want in an SUV. What pushes the 2020 Ford Expedition over the top for me over 23 other really good options is third-row legroom.

2020 Kia Telluride

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Jesus Garcia: The new SUV on the block offers space, luxury, and unique styling, at a reasonable price. Available with all-wheel drive, the 2020 Kia Telluride is capable of doing more than just dropping kids off at school.

Nicole Wakelin: The 2020 Telluride is comfortable and stylish with family-friendly features. It's priced better than competitors too.

2020 Hyundai Palisade

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Perry Stern, AutoNXT: The 2020 Hyundai Palisade boasts standout styling, a roomy and comfortable interior, seating for up to 8 passengers and excellent on- and off-road drivability.

Chad Kirchner: The Hyundai has a premium interior with state-of-the-art safety and tech features, while being significantly cheaper than the competition and doing it significantly better.

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Eileen Falkenberg-Hull: While the Land Rover Range Rover Sport's seating can best be described as 5+2, the model serves as an ideal three-row SUV because of its off-road prowess, finely appointed interior, and enough infotainment options to keep your family occupied during a road trip. It's also stylish and is available with a number of powerful engine options.

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Frightening security

Boston Dynamics' robot to patrol Kia factory

The robot is being tested as a security patrol unit.

Hyundai

Breaking into an auto manufacturing facility was already a very bad idea, but new security tech being tested by Hyundai Motor Group makes it downright terrifying as well. In addition to cameras, sensors, and armed security guards, would-be burglars at a Kia plant in South Korea now have to face off with a semi-autonomous robot dog.

The Boston Dynamics quadruped robot, named Spot, is being tested as a safer and more effective way of providing security patrols to the plant. The dog is one of several robots designed and tested by the firm, which has long terrified the internet with its physically capable electronic beings.

Boston Dynamics Spot Robot The robot uses various sensors to detect danger and intruders.Hyundai

If you haven't seen it, the Boston Dynamics robot dog is frightening enough on its own, so it's an excellent choice to provide factory security. The robot uses an integrated thermal camera and 3D LiDAR to detect people around it, and can monitor high-temperature situations and fire hazards. It can be controlled remotely through a secure webpage, which allows personnel to see what's going on in the factory without putting themselves in danger.

The robot is capable of navigating tight spaces and can identify issues not visible to the human eye. It's also able to semi-autonomously navigate its environment, and has been developed with task management and deep learning-based vision technology. Boston Dynamics says that its tech can be expanded to other types of robot platforms.



The robot dog is currently in the pilot stage at Kia's plant in South Korea. It will be used to support late-night security patrols and increase safety for workers. Hyundai Motor Group will assess the robot's effectiveness and suitability for the job before expanding its use in other industrial sites.

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Buying guide

How to buy a modified car: Three tips

This is a clean modified truck, but they don't all end up this way.

Bring a Trailer

Modified cars are a mixed bag. Sometimes, they're incredibly well built and better than the original, but too many times they're only partially finished or end up being rushed as their owners get late-project anxiety. Whatever the case, buying a modified car can be a stressful process if you haven't done your homework ahead of time. The good news is that you can get a good deal on a reasonably well sorted project or modified car, but you'll need to be careful. Looking at used Lexus LXs earlier today, it became clear that there are as many modified vehicles for sale as there are clean examples.

This LX got me thinking about the breakdown between buying a rig and building one. The modifications made by this Lexus' seller are almost exactly what I would do if I were building a light overlanding rig. What could go wrong? I'm still on the fence about the Lexus, but the three topics below will help you make the right decision on buying a modified car.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Even if the mods are well done, you'll want to have the vehicle inspected before you buy.Bring a Trailer

Understand your personal taste

I mentioned the LX470 and how the owner's updates were pretty close to what I'd do with the truck. That's an exception to the rule, because 90 percent of the time I walking away from a sales listing because of modifications, rather than the other way around. If you're hoping to find a tastefully modified car that matches your exact tastes, you could be waiting a while. If you're hoping to sell a modified car, the same is true in reverse. Finding a buyer for your extremely personalized project car may not be the easiest thing you've ever done.

2004 Lexus LX 470 It's a good idea to seek out vehicles in solid shape, regardless of mods.Bring a Trailer

Be aware of condition and quality

This Lexus looks to be well maintained and in good shape. It also doesn't hurt that the LX is one of the most reliable vehicles built by one of the world's most quality-conscious automakers. Even so, it's hard to know what you're getting with this, or any other, modified vehicle. There's a little rust in this image, but the lift kit, wheels, and bumper mods all look good. However, even if the truck looked brand-new, you'd want to get a pre-purchase inspection. An independent mechanic can tell you if there are potential issues that are unrelated to mods, and you'll want to be sure that any modifications are installed properly.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Some mods are more useful than others.Bring a Trailer

Keep an eye on the price

Most people are reasonable when it comes to selling their modified cars, but there are hundreds of "I know what I got" memes on the internet for a reason. Some sellers want to recover every penny of the money they spent customizing their cars. They're convinced that the mods drastically increased the car's value and can't understand why the customized car isn't as attractive to you as it is to them. Tread lightly and be careful not to insult the owner, but it's your job to work toward a reasonable, fair price.

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