Car Buying Tips

Best Mid-Size 3-Row SUVs to Consider in 2024

The variety of options in the mid-size three-row SUV market might be overwhelming for some Canadian buyers, but if you're shopping for one and don't know where to start, the answer is AutoTrader.

Our panel of more than 20 auto industry experts has considered every vehicle in this class and voted on the best ones to help you narrow down your options. They are voting on SUVs that raise the bar, so this list is a great way to kick off your research and get some insight into what the experts think.

Each of these vehicles represents the best in a segment that combines the qualities of a minivan and the all-season capabilities of having AWD, each with its unique qualities. Alphabetically, here are the new 2024 mid-size three-row SUVs our experts feel comfortable recommending to their family and friends.

2024 Honda Pilot

For over two decades, the three-row Pilot has been one of the stalwarts of the mid-size SUV segment. An all-new generation arrived in 2023, and the 2024 version continues to offer loads of room for passengers and their stuff. Starting at $51,560* for the base Pilot Sport, all trim levels use Honda’s familiar 3.5-litre V6, making a respectable 285 horsepower. A 10-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive (AWD) is standard, too. Although there are no turbos, superchargers, or electric boosts, the Pilot’s naturally aspirated six-cylinder is smooth and quiet and perfectly suitable for long road trips or urban errand running. The $62,850 TrailSport trim gets a revised suspension for more axle articulation, wheel travel, and ride height for families looking for off-road adventures.

With one of the roomiest cabins amongst its three-row mid-size rivals, most Pilot trims can seat up to eight passengers, while the TrailSport’s second-row captain’s chairs drop that down to seven. If you want more seating flexibility, the top $62,350 Touring and $63,850 Black Edition versions get a removable centre seat in the second row that can be stored under the rear cargo space floor when not in use.

2024 Hyundai Palisade

Although not a complete redesign, the three-row Palisade received a mid-cycle refresh for 2023, including new exterior looks, a revised infotainment system, and a tow mode for the standard AWD system. Unlike the variety offered by its Honda rival, the Hyundai three-row SUV comes in only a pair of trim levels: the $54,699 Urban and the $58,299 Ultimate Calligraphy. Both are powered by a 3.5L V6 engine, rated at a competitive 291 hp, with an eight-speed automatic transmission. There are no off-road pretensions with the Palisade. Its upscale vibe delivers a comfortable ride and handling experience.

With influences from Hyundai’s Genesis luxury brand, the mainstream Palisade’s cabin feels swishy, too, whether sitting in the eight-passenger Urban or the Ultimate Calligraphy’s second-row captain’s chairs that make it a seven-seater. This top trim’s wealth of standard equipment means it can be a great alternative to pricier luxury-brand SUVs. Along with Nappa leather seats, the Ultimate Calligraphy’s driver’s seat’s air cells add support, improving comfort. Also standard is Hyundai’s Remote Smart Parking Assist, which lets you remotely park the Palisade Ultimate Calligraphy from outside the vehicle using the SUV’s key fob.

2024 Kia Telluride

As a corporate cousin to the Palisade, it’s no surprise our AutoTrader experts saw fit to include the Telluride as one of the best mid-size SUVs for 2024. Yes, the three-row Kia does share a lot with the Hyundai, such as its unibody chassis and V6 powertrain. They also have similar passenger and cargo space. However, Kia offers the Telluride with six trims, including the off-road-oriented X-Line and X-Pro versions, plus a distinctive, rugged exterior compared to the Palisade’s more luxurious style.

Like the Palisade, the Telluride was refreshed for 2023 with a new dashboard and updated technology. The base Telluride EX starts at $50,645. Higher trims, such as the $59,645 SX Limited, include two 12.3-inch displays: a driver instrumentation cluster and another for the infotainment. A 10-in head-up display that projects onto the windshield directly ahead of the driver is also a part of the SX Limited interior’s tech-rich atmosphere. The Telluride X-Line costs $61,745 and has a tow mode with higher ground clearance, making drives off the pavement less anxious. The X-Pro, which costs $2,000 more, ups the off-road gear slightly with 18-inch all-terrain tires.

2024 Toyota Grand Highlander / Hybrid

Leveraging Toyota’s longstanding and popular Highlander nameplate, the Grand Highlander is all-new for 2024. Not just a stretched version of the existing Highlander three-row mid-size SUV, the “Grand” name is warranted with a different platform, unique styling, and the availability of three distinct powertrains. The base $50,490 Grand Highlander XLE’s turbocharged 2.4L four-cylinder gas engine makes 265 hp and uses an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Grand Highlander Hybrid offers two different gas-electric powertrains. The first is a 243-hp unit matched with a CVT, available as an XLE for $53,790 or the better-equipped $61,190 Limited Hybrid. The second is available only in the top-line $65,450 Platinum Hybrid MAX, making 362 hp with a six-speed automatic. And just like every other vehicle on our 2024 list, all versions of the Grand Highlander get AWD standard.

Due to its extended wheelbase over the regular Highlander, the Grand is longer overall, wider, and taller. With plenty of room for up to eight passengers on board (that drops to seven when a pair of captain’s chairs are installed on the Limited and Platinum trims), the Grand Highlander offers extra passenger and cargo space in the third seating row area than its slightly smaller three-row sibling.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas

After six successful years as the largest VW Canadians can buy, the first-generation mid-size SUV gets its second mid-cycle refresh for the 2024 model year. The three-row Atlas and the two-row Atlas Cross Sport get updated exterior styling, premium materials inside, plus luxury features like a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, a digital gauge cluster, and wireless phone charging. Replacing the old turbocharged four-cylinder and the optional V6 engines, the only powertrain is a new 269-hp turbo 2.0L four-cylinder married to an eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD.

The seven-passenger Atlas offers one of the roomiest and most accessible third rows in its class, plus a generous amount of cargo room. Four trims start with the $50,495 Comfortline and end with the $60,495 Execline. Exclusive to the three-row Atlas is a new $54,495 Peak Edition. Beyond unique front and rear fascias, body cladding, and black trim, its 18-inch all-terrain tires are the only hardware to help drivers off-road. The sleeker-looking Atlas Cross Sport is the five-passenger version. Its trio of trims is priced lower than the roomier Atlas, ranging between $49,395 for the Comfortline and $59,395 for the Cross Sport Execline.

*Manufacturer Suggested Retail Prices and trim availability in Canada as of March 1, 2024.