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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A diamond mesh grille fronts the 2022 Kia K8.

PhPhoto courtesy of Kia Motorsoto courtesy of Kia Motors

Goodbye, Cadenza. Hello, K8. The Kia Cadenza is one of those cars that is easy forgotten about (if you ever knew about it in the first place) and frequently passed over in favor of the Toyota Avalon or the like. Still, most every automotive journalist who has driven it likes it.

So, Kia's taking the lessons learned from the Cadenza and some from the K5 and Stinger, and rolling them into a new large sedan, the 2022 Kia K8. This week the company unveiled the first official images of the car ahead of its debut. This is the first vehicle named the K8 in Kia history.

2022 Kia K8 The K8's headlights have integrated turn signals.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

2022 Kia K8

"Following our recent company rebrand, we keep moving toward our new brand values with a new model – the K8. This modern sedan has been designed with innovation and elegance at its very core," said Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Center. "While paying homage to the K7, the K8 looks to the future. Its progressive exterior takes on character and emotion, and combines those qualities with an expressive looking front and a dynamic swooping rear, giving the K8 a high-quality, premium presence that takes direct inspiration from some of the world's most technically advanced yachts."

As seen in the photos, the car wears Kia's new logo on its badging, and has design lines reminiscent of the vehicles it has taken lessons from. There's a frameless tire nose grille with diamond lattice, turn signals integrated into the headlights, an elongated side profile, chrome finish along the bottom of the doors, and a roofline that trails off into the trunk. It's all very much from the Kia sedan lineup.

Kia promises that the car will have a "first class" interior that establishes "new benchmarks in premium quality". The sedan will deliver a high-performance driving experience yet be comfortable to ride in, according to Kia messaging.

The rear of the Kia K8 features elongated taillights.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The Kia K8 is expected to arrive in showrooms later this year but the U.S. might not get it until after it's arrived in Korea and Europe.

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NXP Semiconductors has two chip plants in Texas that were effected by Winter Storm Uri.

Photo courtesy of NXP Semiconductors N.V.

The effects of Winter Storm Uri are still being felt across Texas and it's impacting the auto industry. Reporting by Reuters tells that chipmakers, like Samsung Electronics, are still weeks away from resuming normal operations in Texas.

Traditionally, this sort of production slowdown wouldn't much impact the industry. There would typically be enough dealership and inventory and automaker back stock to make up for many, if not all of the shortages for a short period of time. However, COVID-19 has put a strain on the chipmaking industry and is already slowing production, limiting sales, and hurting automaker bottom lines.

There's also been increased demand for semiconductor chips as sales of laptops, gaming consoles, and other entertainment and exercise equipment soared as coronavirus-related lockdowns changed lifestyles globally.

Ford and General Motors have both said that their 2021 sales and profits will be hit hard by the shortage. Additional analysis by Reuters says that Toyota has enough inventory to last four months while Hyundai and Kia, which share common ownership, purchased a stockpile of chips when production was going full steam in late December and are thus far unaffected.

Samsung and NXP Semiconductors shut their factories in Texas last month when Winter Storm Uri took hold. Like Lone Star State households, Texas businesses lost access to electricity, natural gas, and water.

Samsung's logic chip plant is located in Austin. It began operating 2017 and makes chips using Samsung's 14-nanometer, 28-nm and 32-nm chip production technologies. The facility is Samsung's biggest logic chip production facility outside of South Korea, where the company is headquartered. The company also has a NAND flash chip facility in Austin.

NXP's plants are also in Austin where the company has its corporate headquarters. While there are nine other NXP offices in the U.S., there are no other manufacturing sites.

Edward Latson, CEO of the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association, told Reuters that chipmakers now have the power, water and gas they need to operate, but they need time to restart tools and clean the factories. He characterized the process as being slow and "very expensive".

The one month of lost production is most likely to hit automakers hardest five months down the road, in the third quarter.

Many analysts had been predicting an uptick in new vehicle sales for 2021 after car sales rallied in the fourth quarter of 2020. However, these chip shortages are deeply impacting those sales predictions.

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