Are you hunting for a 3rd-row SUV and dreaming of a hybrid? You currently only have eight options to choose from. In this article, we’re going to review Toyota and Ford Motor Company’s hybrid chassis that also underpin Lexus and Lincoln SUVs with a 3rd row of seats. In Part Two I’ll discuss the 3rd-row hybrid SUVs from Kia, Land Rover, and Volvo. And in Part Three I’ll go over the rumored and upcoming full-size hybrid SUVs.

2023 Toyota Sequoia


2023 Toyota Sequoia | Toyota

The 2023 Toyota Sequoia is the only full-size, full-frame entrant on this list. This is because the Sequioa shares most of its components with the Tundra pickup truck. But while the i-FORCE MAX hybrid V6 powertrain is a deluxe option on the Tundra, it comes standard on every 2023 Sequoia. The Sequoia offers up to eight seat belts, and the 2WD version’s fuel efficiency is 21 city/24 highway mpg (22 combined).

2022 Toyota Highlander


2022 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

Toyota‘s Highlander also has a third row of seating. But its unibody construction has more in common with the RAV4 than the Tundra. While this crossover vehicle is more than 1,000 pounds lighter than the Sequoia, its 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder hybrid powertrain is only rated to tow 3,500 pounds (compared to the Sequoia’s 9,500). It only offers seven seatbelts, though has nearly the same cargo capacity as the Sequoia. The EPA awarded the 2022 Toyota Highlander AWD hybrid 20 city/28 highway mpg (23 combined).

2022 Lexus RX

Bring along all your friends and family with the new Lexus RX 350L and RX 450hL hybrid, with third row seating. Experience the new members of the @Lexus RX family. #LexusRX #ExperienceAmazing

— Atlantic Lexus of 110 (@110Lexus) March 7, 2018

The luxury trim of the Toyota Highlander is the Lexus RX 450. The 450h hybrid version is mechanically identical to the Highlander. But Lexus has pulled out all of the stops with exquisite craftsman ship, including Yamaha wood trim, and a stereo Lexus claims can compete with six-figure home systems. The regular RX 450h only seats five. The 450hl adds a third-row of seating, but tosses the center bench for captain’s chairs, meaning it only seats six.

2022 Ford Explorer


2021 Ford Explorer | Ford

The Explorer is not Ford’s largest SUV (that’s the F150-based Expedition), but it does offer a third row of seating. It is a RWD crossover with unibody construction. Ford offers a hybrid version of the Explorer’s 3.3-liter V6 that makes a total of 318 horsepower. You can order the hybrid engine on the Limited trim or it comes standard on the Platinum trim. Second-row captain’s chairs are standard on both of these trims, but you can swap to the second-row bench for a total of seven seatbelts. The RWD variation earned 27 city/28 highway mpg (27 combined).

2023 Lincoln Aviator

Now that’s slick. #LincolnAviator #Ad

— Matthew McConaughey (@McConaughey) November 28, 2018

Ford actually builds a plug-in version of its Explorer hybrid, but only sells it in Europe. If U.S. buyers want a plug-in hybrid on this chassis, they have to upgrade to the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring. The Aviator’s V6 is only 3.0-liters. But the plug-in hybrid’s electric motor and battery are powerful enough to give it 21 miles of EV range. When the V6 needs to kick in it gets 23 mpg (combined highway/city). Just like with the Explorer, you can order the Lincoln Aviator’s second row as either captain’s chairs or a bench seat, so it can seat either six or seven.

Next, read about three more competitive the 3rd-row hybrid SUVs or watch a review of the plug-in Lincoln Aviator in the video below:


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