These are the safest three-row family SUVs

These are the safest three-row family SUVs

For better or worse, SUVs—particularly midsize crossover models with three rows of seating—have become the undisputed vehicle of choice among American families.

The surge in SUVs has relegated many long-term passenger vehicles to the scrap heap due to declining sales, as consumers prefer crossovers’ rugged looks, higher ride heights and roomier cabins and cargo holds over same-sized sedans. Because they’re built on car-like underpinnings, crossover models ride and handle like many passenger cars without the added weight and lower fuel economy than larger, traditional truck-based SUVs.

It can be equipped with a host of family-friendly features that include rear-seat entertainment systems, in-car intercoms, passenger displays, infotainment systems that come with Wi-Fi hotspots, and a full range of smartphone connectivity interfaces.

Being family-oriented models, it’s especially important to choose an SUV that protects its occupants in the event of a collision with minimal risk of serious injury, and comes with high-tech safety equipment that can prevent drivers from getting into accidents in the first place.

Fortunately, choosing an SUV that can transport the family across the famous river and through the woods safely this holiday season has never been easier. That’s according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which issues awards for the safest trips on the road, based on its comprehensive crash testing and evaluation program.

This year’s SUV lineup is the best ever when it comes to safety, with 19 three-row family crossovers earning a “Top Safety Pick+” award from the IIHS. These are the seven-passenger crossover models that receive top scores in all of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) endurance tests, including the recently updated side-impact test that was created to underscore how well the vehicle protects occupants. Backseat in T-type crashes.

Award winners must also include top-rated front automatic emergency braking systems that can successfully help avoid collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians while driving during the day and at night.

Furthermore, higher-rated vehicles must offer higher-rated headlights as standard equipment. Illuminating the road ahead is often overlooked, but it is a critical component of vehicle safety, as about half of traffic deaths occur in the dark, and a quarter of them on unlit roads. Many poor-quality systems do not provide sufficient illumination to enable a driver traveling at 55 mph on a straight road to stop in time after detecting an obstacle in the vehicle’s path.

We’re listing all of the current top IIHS-rated three-row SUVs below, which include conventional, hybrid, and all-electric models. Since most of the shopping is done through stores, note that only two current small cars, the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, have earned TSP+ awards.

However, be aware that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tends to focus testing efforts on the industry’s best-selling vehicles, which tends to exclude low-volume luxury models at the upper end of the price spectrum. Furthermore, some new or completely redesigned SUVs may not have been fully tested yet; Ratings are updated continuously.

The laws of physics also dictate that frontal crash test results can only be accurately compared between vehicles of the same size. This means that a higher-rated compact car will not necessarily provide the same level of occupant protection as a larger, heavier model in a given crash. Side impact tests, on the other hand, can be easily compared across vehicle size and weight classifications due to the way they are performed.

Ratings for all types of vehicles, both current and past models, can be found at

IIHS Top Safety Pick+ Three-Row SUV

  • Acura MDX
  • Audi Q7
  • Genesis GV80
  • Honda Pilot
  • Hyundai Palisade
  • Infiniti QX60
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee L
  • Kia Telluride
  • Mazda CX-90
  • Mazda CX-90 Hybrid
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Rivian R1S
  • Subaru Rise
  • Tesla Model Y
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Volkswagen Atlas
  • Volvo XC90
  • Volvo XC90 recharging

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(Tags for translation)Safer SUVs

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