Ford Explorer 3rd Row Seating Review

The Ford Explorer’s third-row seating isn’t very cozy or spacious, but its high safety ranking and overall size make the Explorer a good choice for families.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Nov 16, 2022
With a decent 32.2 inches of legroom, the
Ford Explorer
’s third row of seating offers a usable extra row of rear seats, even if they are a bit low to the ground. Still, the Explorer’s overall package of generous features and practicality make it a great choice for families hitting the road.
If you’ve got a family of more than five, we know how hard it can be to find a vehicle big enough to transport everyone in style—especially if you regard owning a minivan as a fate worse than death. Luckily, there is a slew of SUV options that seat seven passengers, so 
, the
car insurance
super app
, has put this handy list together of the best SUVs with third-row seating options.
In this article, we’ll look at the Ford Explorer’s third-row seating situation. You’ll find exact measurements for all three rows of seating, as well as its advantages and disadvantages as a whole.
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever

What is the Ford Explorer’s 3rd row like?

The Ford Explorer can seat up to seven passengers due to its third row (or, the “backy-back” as the kids refer to it these days) seating three extra passengers. The Explorer’s third row isn’t the roomiest, and adults will find its low-to-the-ground design and tight legroom less than ideal. But for stuffing a few extra kids back there, the Explorer’s third row works like a charm.
The third row is standard on all of the Explorer’s 2022 trims, but second-row bucket seats are optional. If selected, this option reduces the third-row capacity to two and the overall Explorer’s capacity to six passengers.

Space and comfort

If you’ve got a family of very tall basketball players, they will definitely not find the Explorer’s third row comfortable. Normal-sized adults will find the Explorer’s third row a bit cramped, but it's fine for most kids. 
That said, comfort is a relative term. So, here are the Explorer’s legroom, headroom, and passenger volume measurements:
  • Third row: 32.2 inches legroom, 38.9 inches headroom
  • Second row: 39 inches legroom, 40.5 inches headroom
  • First row: 43 inches legroom, 40.7 inches headroom
  • Passenger volume: 152.7 cubic feet
The legroom in the Explorer’s third row might be a bit too cozy for longer-limbed individuals, but it’s certainly not the smallest third row of seating out there. In fact, the
Chevrolet Traverse
is one of the few SUVs with a third row that bests the Explorer.  Here’s how some competitors stack up against the Explorer in terms of third-row seating:
Starting price
Third-row legroom
Third-row headroom
Total passenger volume
32.2 inches
38.9 inches
152.7 cubic feet
27.7 inches
36.1 inches
141.3 cubic feet
33.7 inches
38.3 inches
154 cubic feet
33.48 inches
38.21 inches
157.3 cubic feet
31.4 inches
37.8 inches
155.3 cubic feet
31.4 inches
38.1 inches
157.1 cubic feet
30.3 inches
37.3 inches
151.9 cubic feet
31.9 inches
38.9 inches
151.7 cubic feet
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever

Is the Ford Explorer good for big families and long trips?

The Ford Explorer is a solid choice if you’ve got lots of kids, but it's a tighter squeeze for older adults and not the most ideal vehicle if you have to store a lot of luggage and/or cargo.
Other third-row SUVs don’t tend to offer much more legroom than the Explorer does. If you’ve got a tall family or you want to head on a road trip with a bunch of your adult friends, a van (or a bus!) might be a better option.
Still, the Explorer is a solid choice for most families with kids to hit the road in—even for road trips. It’s got a slew of features to make road trips easier, cozy third-row and all:
  • Best-in-class safety features:The Explorer is a 2022 Top IIHS Safety Pick+, so you can rest easy knowing your family is in great hands on the road.
  • Hybrid powertrains:If saving money on gas and/or reducing your carbon footprint is important to you, the Explorer is available with two hybrid powertrain options.
  • Space aplenty:If you’re looking at a vehicle this size,we’re assuming you’d rather drink paint thinner than drive a minivan—the Explorer is a good compromise of size and style.
At the end of the day, the call as to whether the Ford Explorer and its third row are a fit for your family is up to you!

How to find affordable car insurance for your Ford

A serviceable third row can be a godsend to a big family, but getting that extra row can dig into your pocketbook. But there’s one thing you can rely on to not severely deplete your savings: buying a robust car insurance by using
Sign-up takes just 45 seconds, and then this car insurance super app gets to work comparing quotes from more than 50 top insurers to make sure you get the best policy at a price you can afford. Better yet, Jerry automatically searches for better rates on your behalf before every renewal period. Best of all? The average Jerry user saves more than $800 per year on car insurance!
“My policy covers two people and four cars: a truck, SUV, convertible, and muscle car.
helped me go from paying $308 a month to $125 a month with the same coverage. I’m loving the savings.” —Jocelyn A.
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
This app is great, but the customer service is even better! Not to mention convenient! My husband and I got the lowest rate (much lower than the rates I was finding online through my own searches), quickly, and pretty much all through text message! Thank you so much for a hassle free experience👍
Gabriella R.
Find insurance savings (100% Free)
rating primary
4.7/5 Rating on App Store
Compare Car Insurance Quotes For Free
Jerry automatically shops for your insurance before every renewal. Members save $872/year.
rating primary
Rating on App Store
Start saving money!
12,000+ Reviews
Trusted by 3.5M car owners like you

You might also be interested

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free