Subaru Forester 3rd Row Seating Review

The Subaru Forester doesn’t have a third row, which makes its seating capacity limited to five.
Written by Cassandra Hamilton
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Families looking for a little extra legroom and storage might be interested in an SUV with a third row—but if you’re interested in a
Subaru Forester
, you’ll have to sacrifice the third row.
Most people think of the standard family as four people, which would make a compact SUV that seats five like the Subaru Forester more than ideal. What if you have a larger family of five, six, or even seven? You’ll definitely want an SUV with a third row of seating to fit the whole gang—and their gear. 
Here to talk about the importance of a third row plus options for SUVs who offer one is
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What is the Subaru Forester’s 3rd row like? 

The compact Subaru Forester doesn’t offer a third row of seating, which limits its capacity to five passengers. If you’re looking for an SUV with a third row, there are a few other options you can consider. 

Top SUVs with a 3rd row

If you have three or more passengers riding with you most of the time, it might be time to consider a third row of seating to make everyone more comfortable—and to provide more room for all the stuff! Here are some popular options for SUVs with a third row.

Toyota Highlander

Toyota Highlander
is a mid-size SUV that can seat up to eight passengers. Its third row isn’t the roomiest on the market, but as long as you’re not seating full-sized adults, the third row is more than adequate in terms of space.
The third row comes standard on all trim levels, though some trim levels switch out the three-person bench for two captain chairs. Pay attention to this detail if you really need seating for eight so you don’t miss out on a seat. 
As far as space goes, here’s how it breaks down in the Toyota Highlander:
  • Third row: 27.7 inches of legroom, 36.1 inches of headroom
  • Second row: 41 inches of legroom, 39.4 inches of headroom 
  • First row: 42 inches of legroom, 41.2 inches of headroom 
  • Total passenger volume: 141.3 cubic feet
The Toyota Highlander starts at $37,070.

Volkswagen Atlas

For drivers looking for some of the thrill German engineering offers, look no further than the new
Volkswagen Atlas
. This mid-size SUV can seat up to seven passengers thanks to the third row. 
The third row comes standard in all trim levels, but there’s no bench seat available in the second row. Instead, you’ll find two captain’s chairs. If you really need seating for eight passengers, you’ll have to look elsewhere. 
Here’s how the space breaks down in a Volkswagen Atlas:
  • Third row: 33.7 inches of legroom, 38.3 inches of headroom
  • Second row: 37.6 inches of legroom, 40.4 inches of headroom
  • First row: 41.7 inches of legroom, 41.3 inches of headroom
  • Total passenger volume: 153.7 cubic feet
The Volkswagen Atlas starts at $34,335.

Is the Subaru Forester good for big families and long trips?

The Subaru Forester is great for a small family or a couple, but if you have a big family or multiple small children, you’d be better off with another three-row SUV. 
Whether it’s across town to the park or over state lines to Grandma’s for a holiday, even as few as two children need a shocking amount of accessories for any trip. However, if you don’t need the available seating, you could always remove the third row for extra storage.
If you’re by yourself or have one or two passengers, the Subaru Forester could be suitable for a longer trip, but don’t try it if you’re traveling with a band of kids.
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How to find affordable car insurance for your Subaru

Whether or not you decide on a third row for your familial needs, you’re definitely going to need affordable car insurance for a family of any size. And if it’s been six months or more since you last updated your policy,
experts recommend a refresh
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