The 3-row crossover field shows three clear trends in 2017: safety suites, the adoption of smartphone interfaces, and increased fuel efficiency via hybrid technology. Safety is essential for families and advanced safety technology is available in every revised 3-row crossover for 2017. That said, there are strategic differences in approach between manufacturers. Toyota and Acura draw a line in the sand by making their safety technology suites standard equipment. While Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support aren’t everywhere yet, they may soon be ubiquitous. And finally, a pair of new hybrids join the fray, with new offerings from Nissan and Acura joining the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Fuel efficiency is a key point for many large families and the increased adoption of hybrid technology eases the sting at the pump as fuel prices rise.
2017 Toyota Highlander
The Toyota Highlander sees significant updates for the 2017 model year with a new powertrain, standard Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) technology, refreshed styling, and new trim levels. The new 295-horsepower 3.5-liter direct injected V6 engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. TSS-P tech includes a pre-collision system, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection, in addition to lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. The 2017 Highlander is offered in LE, LE Plus, XLE, SE, and Limited trim levels. The Highlander Hybrid LE is the most fuel efficient 3-row crossover on our list, with an EPA rating of 30 city/28 highway. The Highlander Hybrid XLE, Limited, and Limited Premium are rated at 29 city/27 highway.
2017 GMC Acadia
The fully revised 2017 GMC Acadia is offered in three trim levels: Base ($29,070), All Terrain ($39,115), and Denali ($44,920). The 2017 Acadia is 700 pounds lighter than the outgoing version, with weight savings largely achieved via high-strength steel components. The new All Terrain model is equipped with an Active Twin Clutch AWD system for enhanced traction and stability under all conditions. GMC’s midsize 3-row crossover is equipped with a wide array of safety and infotainment technology. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported and an OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is available. The 2017 Acadia’s EPA fuel economy ratings range from 21 city/26 highway with the 2.5-liter engine and front-wheel drive (FWD) through 15 city/22 highway with the 3.6-liter V6 and all-wheel drive (AWD), dependent on trim levels.
2017 Nissan Armada
The full-size 2017 Nissan Armada is equipped with a new 390 horsepower 5.6-liter V8 engine, mated seven-speed automatic transmission. The eight-passenger Armada offers a suite of safety technology, including an Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection, Predictive Forward Collision Warning, and Blind Spot Mirrors. Large families will appreciate the best-in-class second-row legroom and headroom. The Nissan Armada is a traditional body-on-frame SUV and is the thirstiest entry on our list of-of revised three-row crossovers for 2017, with EPA fuel economy ratings of 14 city / 19 highway with rear-wheel-drive and 13 city / 18 highway with all-wheel-drive. The 2017 Armada is offered in three trim levels: SV ($44,400), SL ($49,150), and Platinum ($57,090) in rear- and all-wheel-drive.
2017 Mitsubishi Outlander
Mitsubishi has added a slew of new features and technology to the 2017 Outlander 3-row crossover. Safety technology now includes forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection, blind spot mirrors with lane change assist, rear cross traffic alert, automatic high beams, and a multi-view camera system. The interior has been refreshed with a new center floor console and available heated steering wheel. The 2017 Outlander is one of the most affordable 3-row crossovers and is offered in four trim levels: ES ($23,495), SE ($24,495), SEL ($25,495), and GT 3.0 S-AWC ($31,395). The 2017 Outlander’s EPA fuel economy ratings are 25 city/30 highway with the 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder engine and 20 city/27 highway with the 3.0-liter V6.
2017 Buick Enclave
While the 3-row Buick Enclave has not been revised, a new Sport Touring Edition debuts for 2017. The Sport Touring package is only offered on the Leather ($44,690) and Premium ($48,550) trim levels. The package includes 20-inch chrome alloy wheels with satin black accents and a satin black ice-toned grille. Safety technology is bundled by trim level. The Leather trim level includes side blind zone and rear cross-traffic alerts, while the Premium trim level adds forward collision alert and lane departure warning.The 2017 Buick Enclave is exclusively powered by a 288-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and is EPA rated at 15 city/22 highway/18 combined MPG with front-wheel drive and 18 city/26 highway/17 combined MPG with all-wheel drive. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support are offered.
2017 Audi Q7
The Audi Q7 benefits from an extensive redesign for the 2017 model year, shedding 475 pounds from the 2016 model and gaining taught new lines. The 2017 Q7 is exclusively powered by a 333-horsepower supercharged/TFSI 3.0-liter V6 engine mated to an 8-speed Tiptronic transmission. The 7-passenger 2017 Q7 is offered in three trim levels: Premium ($54,800), Premium Plus ($58,800), and Prestige ($64,300). Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support are provided with the Premium Plus model. The top-of-the-line Prestige model is equipped with Audi’s virtual cockpit technology and heads-up display. Audi’s full suite of advanced safety technology is available. The EPA fuel economy ratings for the 2017 Q7 are 19 city/25 highway/21 combined. A turbodiesel Q7 TDI is not offered.
2017 Nissan Pathfinder
The Nissan Pathfinder has undergone a thorough revision for the 2017 model year, with changes that range from a new 284-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine through a substantial exterior redesign. The 3-row Pathfinder is offered in four levels of trim: S ($32,680), SV ($32,680), SL ($35,700), and Platinum ($41,870). The front and rear fascias have been revamped and the rear liftgate now features motion-activation. The headlights and front running lights are LED. Interior changes include a standard 8-inch touchscreen and an updated driver information center display. Available safety technology includes an around-view monitor with moving object detection, adaptive cruise control, and forward emergency braking. The 2017 Pathfinder is EPA rated at 20 city/27 highway with front-wheel drive and 19 city/26 highway with all-wheel drive.
2017 Acura MDX
The Acura MDX has undergone a significant redesign for the 2017 model year and was the best-selling 3-row luxury crossover in the first three-quarters of 2016, with over 39,500 sales, according to goodcarbadcar.net. The 3-row 2017 MDX is offered in one trim level, with three option packages: Entertainment ($2,000), Technology ($4,410), and Advance ($6,040). The Advance package adds limo-like second-row heated captain’s chairs with a center console, along with perforated leather upholstery, wood trim, and a host of features. The AcuraWatch safety suite is now standard on all MDX. The 2017 Acura MDX has a starting MSRP of $43,950 and is EPA rated at 19 city/27 highway with front-wheel drive and 18 city/26 highway with all-wheel drive. Acura reports that a hybrid version of the MDX is due in the spring of 2017.
2017 Nissan Rogue
The Nissan Rogue enjoys a thorough refresh for the 2017 model year, with significant exterior and exterior design changes, along with safety technology upgrades and a new hybrid version. There are three trim levels: S, SV, and SL. Seating for seven passengers is available as an option on the S and SV models, but not in the SL. The Rogue was the best-selling 3-row capable crossover in the first three-quarters of 2016, with over 241,000 sales, according to goodcarbadcar.net. The 2017 Rogue’s expected EPA fuel economy ratings are 26 city/33 highway MPG with front-wheel drive and 25 city/32 highway with all-wheel drive. Nissan projects a 33-MPG city rating for the Rogue Hybrid.
2017 Mazda CX-9
While the Mazda CX-9 was fully revised for the 2016 model year, it didn’t hit dealer lots until late in the year. Mazda’s sleek 3-row crossover has been widely acclaimed for its smooth ride and excellent handling. The CX-9’s four levels of trim – Sport ($31,520), Touring ($35,970), Grand Touring ($40,170), and Signature ($44,015) – represent Mazda’s strongest move upmarket since the days of the Cosmo. The CX-9 Signature’s stunning interior features authentic rosewood and aluminum trim, along with supple Nappa leather upholstery. The i-ActiveSense safety suite includes a full range of technology. The 2016 Mazda CX-9 is EPA rated at 22 city/28 highway with front-wheel drive and 21 city/26 highway with all-wheel drive.