Reviews that focus on back seat space

I’m driving a Pathfinder right, and while I ideally still need the 3rd row, it just doesn’t seem possible to find something of that size at a reasonable price right now. We’re a small in size large family (6 people, but I’m the tallest at 5’8 and I don’t expect the kids to get much taller than they are now). One of the kids is away at college so it’s really just 5 of us daily.

I’m looking at moving back to a sedan or compact SUV, but I’m worried about fitting 3 people across the back seat. My wife has a 2011 Sonata hybrid, and the kids do fit in there but it’s a little tight for longer drives.

I really don’t want to go to every car dealer in the area to look at the real world size, even if they had anything sitting on the lot to try. A lot of the reviewers I watch on YouTube climb in the back seat and show the legroom and headroom, but it’s normally just one person and hard to judge how wide the seats are.

I’m wondering if there are any sites out there that might focus on this info. I haven’t found anything in my searching so far, but maybe it’s how I’m wording my search. I know it’s kind of a weird request, so I was hoping someone here could help me out.

Look at Minivans!

They’re still as expensive as a 3 row SUV from what I’ve seen. I wouldn’t not drive one, but I did drive one for over 15 years so I’d rather not again.

Just throwing an option out there - you “might” be able to find a few of the cars your looking for at a single Carmax lot. Whenever i’m narrowing down a wide array or looking for something in particular, i’ve found Carmax is a good place to check out a whole bunch of cars in a short period of time.


How many car seats are going in the hypothetical 3-across second row?

No car seats. Youngest is 12.

I’d love to get another hybrid, I’ve seen a few Ioniqs, Insights, and Niros available in my area at reasonable prices, but not sure how tight the rear seat would be. Also really like the new Tucson hybrid.

There really aren’t many (any?) sedans or compact SUVs that are going to have a meaningfully wider back seat than a Sonata.

Check the current gen Honda Accord and Passport for starters.

Otherwise Sorento is a 3-row PHEV whose tax credit and MPG might make a favorable TCO

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Worth mentioning that the sorento phev is only available with 2nd row captain’s chairs and the 3rd row is a bit tight. It’d be fine for most 12 year olds, but the older kids may not be a fan.

Passport 2nd row is nice and roomy.

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Consumer Reports online lets you compare 5-6 models side-by-side and it includes rear seat and 3rd row width and leg room. I use it constantly when I’m car shopping and think it’s well worth the annual cost. One other idea might be to look at 2-row SUVs like the Honda Passport or Atlas Cross Sport which have the same width as their 3rd row siblings but with a few inches cut off the tail.

I’d be happy to screen shot the dimensions of you want to give me a list of vehicles you’re considering. Passport seems to be leasing in the low $400s for base model, at least in my area and based on the (unconfirmed) RV and MF in the Edmunds lease calculator.

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I’ve thought about electric/plug-in, but don’t think any of those will work. No charging available at my workplace, and my house is about 180 years old so I don’t know about getting a charger put in here.

You don’t have to ever plug in a PHEV option.


Minivans might be harder to find than large SUVs. I tried to test drive a Pacifica Hybrid last week and couldn’t do it. Multiple dealers said we will call you if we get one in but they have been selling before they even arrive. Kia Carnival in all but the lowest trim levels is basically also MIA from dealer lots.

Even on a 120 volt outlet, most PHEVs will charge completely/almost completely if plugged in overnight.

Shit blows out in my house if I run the air fryer and coffee pot at the same time.

In all seriousness, I would bet that the coffee pot and air fryer draw a lot more electricity than the charger would. Ever make a pot of coffee and fee the plug afterwards? It’s warm compared to plugging in your phone charger and checking it.

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As it should if they’re on the same circuit.

Most air fryers are 12-15 amp draw and coffee pots are 5-8 amps. Run those on even a 20 amp circuit and it should be popping the circuit, much less on a 15 amp.

The level 1 charger for my e-tron pulls about half what an air fryer does.

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Depends on the kids dynamic, some will pay you to not sit next to their most annoying sibling.

Also might be helpful for the OP when the college kid is around for breaks and they are a 6-person family again.

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Honestly, I’d take your family to a Carmax if you have one near you and sit in the back seat of a bunch of different vehicles. Figure out what works and what doesn’t and go from there.


Absolutely. Just wanted to make sure the limitations were understood.

Speaking of Sorento PHEVs, I’m probably picking one up this weekend, so I can give some direct size comparisons to the Passport if it’s of interest in this discussion.


It looks like both are out of my price range. But at this point in this market, I wonder if anything at all is. That’s why I’m trying to look at other options to keep it around $30k or so.

Are you trying to purchase or to lease? In this weird leasing world, MSRP can be very misleading.

Part of the appeal of the phev sorento is that it leases better than much lower msrp non-phev sorentos, for example. But yes, they still aren’t super cheap.