Finding a fuel-sipper that saves you at the pump can be difficult when looking to haul more than five passengers. This is largely because bigger vehicles require larger engines and tend to deliver a less aerodynamic body structure. However, for those who need a third-row of seating, there are a handful of fuel-efficient options out there. Keep reading to review five of the most eco-friendly vehicles with three rows of seating.
2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
The Toyota Highlander is one of the few hybrid models out there available with third-row seating. Available as an optional upgrade, the roomy Highlander fits up to seven passengers. While the third-row may be a bit on the cramped side for adults, there should be plenty of room for the kiddoes. With an estimated EPA gas mileage of 27-mpg in the city and 25-mpg on the highway, this is one of the most efficient options for those looking to seat more than five passengers. Unfortunately, its also one of the more expensive options. Highlander Hybrid Limited models that boast the third-row seating start around $38,000.
Learn more about the 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
2011 Kia Sorento
For those looking to maximize passenger volume on a budget, the 2011 Kia Sorento may fit the bill. With a base price around $20,000, it is one of the most affordable vehicles with third-row seating for the year (the optional extra row of seats is a $700 upgrade). Additionally, the Sorento offers above-average fuel-efficiency for its class, with an estimated 2- mpg in the city and 27-mpg on the highway. While adults will want to steer clear of the limited legroom available in the third seat, children will likely find enough room to be comfortable.
Learn more about the 2011 Kia Sorento.
2011 Honda Odyssey
With an estimated 18-mpg in the city and 27-mpg on the highway, the 2011 Honda Odyssey is the most fuel-efficient minivan for the year. Among the vehicles on this list, it also boasts one of the most accommodating third-rows of seating. Large enough for adults to sit comfortably, this may be the fuel-sipping model for those who truly need a full-size vehicle. Base price for the 2011 Odyssey starts around $28,000.
Learn more about the 2011 Honda Odyssey.
2011 Mazda MAZDA5
The MAZDA5 is a good eco-friendly alternative to the classic minivan. While not quite as big as the Odyssey, the MAZDA5 delivers a fairly versatile interior that many families will be more than happy with. Redesigned for the 2011 model year, the new MAZDA5 offers a more attractive exterior design that should help boost its appeal. Fuel efficiency figures have yet to be released by the EPA. However, Mazda promises figures of 22 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Base price is set at an affordable $19,900.
Learn more about the 2011 Mazda MAZDA5.
2011 Toyota RAV4
The Toyota RAV4 is one of the few compact SUVs to come with available third-row seating. Available as an optional upgrade, the additional passenger space should be reserved for kids only. While the vehicle's smaller size results in limited rear passenger space, it also serves to boost fuel efficiency. The base RAV4 delivers an estimated 22-mpg in the city and 28-mpg on the highway. This is competitive with other compact SUVs for the year. Initial asking price for a Toyota RAV4 comes in at $21,925.
If you're in the market for a compact SUV with third-row seating, then you may also want to look into the 2011 Mitsubishi Outlander.
Learn more about the 2011 Toyota RAV4.