Strange as it may seem, the SUVs with the most rear legroom aren't usually the ones with the biggest or most imposing footprint. Bruisers like the Ford Expedition and the Chevrolet Suburban sure can haul a lot of cargo, and do offer three rows of seating, but when it comes to rear legroom — even in the second row — they typically fall behind a mixed list of other fullsize and in some cases, even midsize SUV options. Since you can't always judge a book by its cover, we've put together this list to help you get the most rear legroom in the second row out of your next sport utility purchase. Let's take a quick look at the 10 SUVs with the most rear legroom.
10 SUVs With Most Rear Legroom
Photo Credit: Ford
1) 2016 Ford Flex — 44.3 inches
The 2016 Ford Flex is the surprise rear legroom leader on our SUV round-up. Sure, the Ford Flex is a fullsize vehicle, but it's not mammoth in the same way that a truck-based SUV like the Cadillac Escalade is — and yet it wipes the floor with any other SUV on the market when it comes to second row leg space. Add in the available of sliding captain's chairs behind the first two positions (necessary if you want to take advantage of the Flex's full 44.3 inches of stretch-out room), and you'll be enjoying the benefits of the Ford Flex's rectangular styling even if you don't call “shotgun” in time.
2) 2016 Toyota Sequoia — 42.5 inches
The 2016 Toyota Sequoia is a truck-based SUV that manages to stand apart from its Chevy, Ford, and GMC rivals in the rear legroom department. Checking in with 42.5 inches of legroom for second row riders, the Toyota Sequoia also happens to match the total available cargo space (120 cubic feet) of many of its extended-wheelbase competitors, despite not being marketed as such. It's clear that the Sequoia's Tundra chassis has been put to good use by Toyota in amping up its interior volume, and passengers will also appreciate the smoothness of the vehicle's independent rear suspension system.
3) 2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class — 41.9 inches
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is another odd duck on our list of the SUVs with the most rear legroom. Based on a military-oriented design drawn in an era where space utilization was still somewhat of a dark art, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is still manages to do what many modern sport-utility vehicles simply can't: provide almost 42 inches of second row leg space. Again, a brick-like shape, which is one of the best natural designs for getting the most interior volume out of an automobile, serves the G-Class' luxury confines well.
Photo Credit: Lincoln
4) 2016 Lincoln MKT — 41.3 inches
The 2016 Lincoln MKT offers us our first peek at how the vagaries of interior design can steal away comfort when the same platform is used as the basis for two different vehicles. The Lincoln MKT rides on the same chassis as our list-leading Ford Flex, and yet due to its more flowing lines, the luxury-oriented model loses considerable leg space in both the second and the third rows of seating. 41.3 inches of rear legroom is still very good for an SUV, but you have to look at the Flex, then back at the MKT, and wonder what might have been.
Photo Credit: Infiniti
5) 2016 Infiniti QX80 — 41 inches
The 2016 Infiniti QX80 is based on the same global platform as the Nissan Armada, but hasn’t yet been updated for the 2017 model year, which is why it boasts more rear legroom than the Armada further down the list. It’s worth noting, though, that the 2015 Armada’s specs were actually a little better than the 2016 Armada, and after the 2017 redesign, they’re a little worse. We expect the next generation of the Infiniti QX80 to follow suit.
Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz Media
6) 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class — 40.3 inches
The 2016 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is a natural when it comes to rear legroom. Designed from the ground up to haul entire families around in total comfort, it makes sense that the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class offers 40.3 inches of second row leg space — a number that's not class-leading, but still strong. Also in the GL-Class' favor are 93.8 cubic feet of total cargo capacity with the rear accommodations folded out of the picture, and even those adults relegated to the third row won't have much to complain about in terms of room.
Photo Credit: Chevrolet
7) 2017 Chevrolet Equinox — 39.9 inches
The 2017 Chevrolet Equinox plays David to the full-size Goliaths that have so far dominated our list of the SUVs with the most rear legroom. The Chevrolet Equinox's achievement is even more surprising given that this vehicle is advertised as an entry-level compact people mover. Like the Flex, the Equinox benefits substantially from having a sliding rear seat, but unlike the Ford, there's no third row legs to protect, giving the sport utility vehicle the ability to substantially shunt itself back and open up a lot of room and comfort.
Photo Credit: General Motors
8) 2016 GMC Terrain — 39.9 inches
There should be no surprise that the GMC Terrain offers the same seating specs as its platform-mate, the Chevrolet Equinox; what is a surprise is that official specs of previous versions of the Chevy gave the Bowtie version an extra 0.3 inches. Now, the two cars are back on equal footing despite no substantial changes for the new model year. Styling and pricing are the only reasons to pick one of these vehicles over the other — interior accommodations are pretty much the same.
Photo Credit: Mazda
9) 2016 Mazda CX-9 — 39.4 inches
The redesigned 2016 Mazda CX-9 isn't just a large people mover that offers a fun-to-drive personality that is rare in its class — it also helps wind down our list of SUVs with the most rear legroom with its rating of 39.4 inches in the second row. Considering the CX-9’s dimensions are considerably more compact than last year’s version of the vehicle, we’re impressed, especially since the CX-9 also offers a third row of accommodations that many of its competitors do not.
10) 2017 Nissan Armada — 38.9 inches
The fully redesigned 2017 Nissan Armada certainly lives up to the image evoked by its highly descriptive name. The updated Nissan Armada actually slips quite a bit down our rear legroom list, showing 38.9 inches of second row leg space, while the previous version of the SUV provided a couple more crucial inches. However, the Armada also has a third row of accommodations, allowing it to seat up to eight passengers. Like the Flex, you can opt for either a center row bench, or a set of captain’s chairs (which reduces total carrying capacity to seven riders).